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Window Well Height: What’s the Rule?

Window Well Height: What's the Rule?

Just like everything else in a residential or commercial building, there is a specific window well height that builders must adhere to. According to the International Residential Code, homes that have basements fully or partially below ground will need a window well to prevent leaks and bring light into the room.

Habitable rooms within a basement also need to conform to the International Residential Code building code for windows. This requires a basement to contain no less than one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. In turn, these openings also need to follow minimum specifications.

Window Well Height Requirements and Other Specifications

To comply with International Residential Code requirements, the horizontal area of the window well needs to be at least nine square feet. A window well must also meet the minimum horizontal projection and vertical width of 36 inches.

A professional window well technician should know these specifications so that they can address any questions or concerns with you regarding your window well installation. They’ll know your options in terms of added accessories as well, depending on if you can add them while still staying within code regulations.

Ladder and Step Requirements

It may be necessary to install a permanent ladder or steps on your window well in some cases. Such cases include when your window well height or depth surpass 44 inches. A permanent ladder also can’t intrude more than six inches of your window well’s required dimensions.

The interior width of the ladder has to be at least 12 inches, and project at least three inches from your window well’s interior wall. One final requirement is that your ladder rung’s vertical spacing can’t exceed 18 inches centered.

Window Well Cover Regulations

You’re allowed to use covers on your window wells, but they also need to meet minimum requirements put in place by the International Residential Code. For starters, the size of your cover needs to meet the minimum net clear opening size for emergency exits, which is five square feet with an opening of 20 inches.

The cover you choose must also open without using a key or any other unique tool that may hinder your escape route. This means that you should be able to pull it open from the outside or push it open if you’re inside the window well.

Call the Experts at Windowell Expressions for Your Window Well Needs

When it comes to knowing about window well height and other specifications, we’re your experts. At Windowell Expressions, we work to bring you and your home the highest quality products on the market. Our team specializes in Window Well Clear Covers, Liners, Grates, Foundation Liners, and Custom Grates for your window wells.

We also back all of our products with a lifetime warranty. If you have questions about specifications regarding your new window wells, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our qualified staff is ready to answer all your questions.

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