Every replacement window company needs to comply with building codes that pertain to windows, and this can sometimes clash with what a homeowner has in mind for their remodeling project. Understanding these codes can help you make informed decisions when it’s time to choose new windows for your home. In this blog, Renewal by Andersen® of Louisville/Lexington shares the key aspects of code compliance for windows.
Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings
The International Residential Code (IRC) requires windows that are installed in any room that could be used as a bedroom to be able to double as a means of egress. This means at least one window in the room must be big enough to allow the occupant to escape, or for rescue personnel to gain access to in case of an emergency. The IRC specifies that egress windows must be at least 20 inches wide or 24 inches tall, at least 5.7 square feet of total open area, and the sill must be, at most, 44 inches from the finished floor. These windows must also be operable without the use of keys or special knowledge.
All windows must have a minimum sill height of 24 inches. This provision is intended to protect young children from climbing over the windowsill. If the window was installed before 2015, check to ensure it has the correct sill height, as this will need to be corrected before replacement windows can be installed.
Certain windows may be considered to be in a “hazardous location”—which will require safety glazing—if they meet the following conditions:
The exposed area of a single pane is bigger than nine square feet.
The bottom edge of the glazing is less than 18 inches above the floor.
The top edge of the glazing is more than 36 inches above the floor.
One or more walking surfaces are within 36 inches of the glazing.
There are maximum prescriptive U-Factor (window insulation) and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) values that vary per zone. In the State of Kentucky, the values are 0.32 and 0.40, respectively. These values are indicated on a white label affixed to every replacement window.
Renewal by Andersen of Louisville/Lexington is your leading provider of custom replacement windows, including bay windows. Give us a call at (502) 716-7264 and (859) 629-4649. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Louisville, KY, and surrounding areas.