Basement Window Safety

These photos of basement windows were taken of a home inspected by my company, Magpie Property Inspections, in Aurora Colorado. In most older homes, ingress/egress windows in basements do not the meet current standard, but were likely OK when the home was built. If this type of basement were to be updated or finished, at least one window would need to lowered and enlarged to allow for quick exit in the event of an emergency, particularly in a basement bedroom. If you are looking to purchase an older home with a finished basement with original windows, we suggest checking for building permits on the work completed to see if it was inspected and approved by the local building department. If not, this should be done in order to meet current building standards.

In older homes, be aware that in order to finish a basement properly there may be an additional cost to update at least one window to make it safe for the occupants.  A basement egress window should not be over 44 inches off finished flooring, have an opening which is at least 24 inches high, 20 inches wide and have at least 5.7 square feet.