deck that covers basement egress windows

Discussion in 'Decks & Patios' started by utahprout, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Jan 27, 2013 #1

    utahprout

    utahprout

    utahprout

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    i'm looking at building a huge deck that would cover up the basement egress windows, where would i find the regulations that restrict or define what i'm allowed to do
     
  2. Jan 27, 2013 #2

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

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    Check with the local building official since items like egress can vary by community. Not all communities will accept the code minimums and can set their own if they are better than the code minimums.

    Making sure you are still legal will pay dividends when you go to sell since the advertised living space will remain and buyers do not have a reason to knock down the price when the buyer's inspector catches any problems.

    Dick
     
  3. Jan 27, 2013 #3

    kok328

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    I'm thinking you could work a "trap door" into the floor of the deck that will allow the egress window to still be functional?
    Definitely check with the "locals" as they may want a permit pulled for the deck construction.
     
  4. Jan 27, 2013 #4

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

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    Trap doors are rarely acceptable to maintain the basement space as a livable space and qualify for such in getting an appraisal for increasing selling value. A fireman might gain access through a trap door (if it large enough) to fight a fire, but if something (chair, table, etc.) is sitting on the trap door, it makes it unusable as an exit for occupants to get out in time.

    That why there are local requirements that have to be met for specific situations and life safety. - Check first or provide a different acceptable exit.

    Dick
     
  5. Jan 27, 2013 #5

    kok328

    kok328

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    Good point mudmixer; an oversight on my part. Sorry.
     
  6. Jan 28, 2013 #6

    nealtw

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    Is this deck going to be off the ground, if so how high? We install window wells when the window is below grade and they get covered with a metal grill that is not bolted down. Local code would be key.
     
  7. Jan 28, 2013 #7

    AndyGump

    AndyGump

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    I knew I could find a reference to this:

    This is from the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC):

    R310.5 Emergency escape windows under decks and porches. Emergency escape windows are allowed to be installed under decks and porches provided the location of the deck allows the emergency escape window to be fully opened and provides a path not less than 36 inches (914 mm) in height to a yard or court.

    I don't know if you are under this code but it is to show that this is allowed in some circumstances.

    Andy.
     
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  8. Jan 29, 2013 #8

    BridgeMan

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    Interesting that the IRC doesn't specifically prohibit a trap door in the deck, as long as there will be a 36" opening.

    My 2003 IRC (too tight to buy an update every few years) doesn't have a Section R310.5, but it does state in R310.4 that "bars, grills, covers, screens or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings, bulkhead enclosures or window wells that serve such openings, provided the minimum net clear opening size complies with Sections R310.1.1 to R310.1.3, and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool, or force greater than which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening."

    As others have said, it's up to the local AHJ to make a final determination. Without their blessing, things won't fly. Nor will an upward-opening deck trap door with a 300-lb. picnic table parked on top of it.
     

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