Quantcast Basement Egress Window Rant
 
INTERCOT: Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Guide Walt Disney World Disney Cruise Line Mousehut Mail WebDisney News INTERCOT: Walt Disney World Vacation Guide
News Discussion Theme Parks Resorts Info Central Shop Interactive Podcast INTERCOT Navigtion
 

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Troy, MI USA
    Posts
    1,096
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Basement Egress Window Rant

    We moved to our current home in 2006. One thing we were looking for was a house with a space for a pool table. The house we bought is a ranch with a full basement. The basement has indoor-outdoor carpet on the floor, but is otherwise just a giant open space.

    I mentioned something to DH last week about putting up a couple of stud walls down there. He said we couldn't because we don't have an egress window. I thought those were only required if you planned to have a basement bedroom, so I called the local building department today to ask.

    It turns out that, technically, we are already in violation, because basements without egress windows are only supposed to be used for storage. We have computers down there, and DH and DD use the open area for hockey practice.

    Now, I understand the safety concerns, and the reasons why an exit is required. However, I also know that our neighbors have a giant, wall-sized projection TV in their basement, and they spend most of their time down there.

    I'm not sure how DH is going to react to this. There really isn't anyplace else to put the computer area. To be honest, I wouldn't have been as interested in this house if I had known that we couldn't use the basement for a family room. There's no good way to add on to the house, so I fear that my dream of a pool table is going out the window (so to speak).

    Sorry, just needed to vent a little!
    Tammy

  2.     Please Support INTERCOT's Sponsors:
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    8,006
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Sorry about that news. Did you have a home inspection at the time of the purchase and ask the home inspector those questions?

    I have to admit that it's so hard to tell what's correct and what isn't but that's one of the reasons even on our brand new home we did an inspection with a private firm to be sure of any questions we may have had from a design point of view.

    Hopefully the house will still meet your needs.
    Natalie
    Feb 2001 off site Jan 2002 All star movies Dec 2002 All star sports jan-04 Poly Nov 2004 pofq Nov 2005 Pors Mar 06 at PORS CBR Dec 2006 POR sept 21-30 2007 oct 2008 poly and akl, dec 2008 pop and VWL

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Jasper Indiana
    Posts
    4,426
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I don't know the laws in your state, but in Indiana, the only time the issue of an egress window becomes and issue is if you spend over a certain percentage of your time in the basement or if you put in a bedroom. While I don't remember what that percentage is off the top of my head I do know that it is fairly high and most people would never have a problem with it other than if you were sleeping down there. Frankly this is more of an insurance issue than it is anything so if you are thinking of making changes down there than I would most definitely contact my insurance agent about it and get their opinion. Hopefully you have known your insurance agent for many years and he/she will take a look without getting caught up in all the details even if you are technically in violations of some of the rules already.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    6,226
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Wow, that is a really stringent building code. Did you talk to you building inspector directly? I would recommend that you call and ask to see the basement specifications in writing just to double check and make sure this is correct.

    In most areas you cannot have a bedroom without the egress window but just having a rec room in most areas isn't a problem.
    '94 & '97 Off Site
    '98, '04 & '07 PO - Riverside
    '00 Polynesian I '01 Contemporary
    '02 Animal Kingdom Lodge I '03 All Star Movies
    '05, '08 & '09 Pop Century I '06 Wilderness Lodge

    Next 9/18 PO - French Quarter


    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." ~ Walt Disney

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    953
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Here in ND, we were in a similar position. We fell in love with a house that had a full basement with rec room, bathroom, and 2 bedrooms. But because there were no egress windows, the current owners were not able to market the house as having such amenities. They could only list it as "finished basement" because the lack of egress windows obviously violated code. Maybe it's the same for you? You can use it for what you want, but if you sell, you can't say you have a rec room? I'd double-check the actual law. Of course, I imagine if you use it for a rec room tho' it's against code, if you should have some sort of problem like water damage, the items in the basement wouldn't be covered, but I don't know.

    Good luck!
    "Oh that clock, even HE orders me around!"
    -Cinderella
    ~~~~~~
    Next trip: DLR February 2015
    Last trip: January 2014.
    7 trips to the World.
    1 trip to Disneyland Paris.
    25 trips to Disneyland.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    1,102
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    You can have an egress window installed...
    for saw-cutting concrete, new window, and area well you are looking at about $1000 to $1500 (Chicago prices - yours should be a bit lower). Ironically, that's about the price of a pool table.

    As long as you are not doing any work to the basement that requires a building permit, the city cannot do anything about it. However, if you need a permit in your town for finishing a basement, you will then be required to bring the egress situation up to code.
    1995 - Grand Floridian (Honeymoon)
    1997 - Fort Wilderness Cabins
    1998 - All-Star Music
    2005 - All-Star Music & Movies
    2006 - All-Star Movies


  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Troy, MI USA
    Posts
    1,096
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    We don't plan to have a bedroom in the basement. We currently just have our computers there, and DH and DD have a hockey goal set up at the far end for practice.

    DH thinks that, as long as we don't put a bedroom there, we're okay. Unfortunately, we don't know our insurance agent very well, but I may call her anyway.

    We did have an independent home inspection, and the inspector said we needed the egress window for a bedroom. I don't think I explicitly asked about whether we needed one for a family room. We "finished" the basement at our previous house (put up a couple walls, hung ceiling tile) without an egress window. There was no way to add one to that house - it had a wrap-around porch on three sides, and the garage attached on the fourth side.

    When I called the building department, the lady who answered the phone deflected me from talking to the building inspector. Maybe I'll stop by and see if I can read the code on finished/partially finished basements.

    Tammy

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    1,102
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alphamommy View Post
    DH thinks that, as long as we don't put a bedroom there, we're okay.
    Without knowing your local amendments to your codes, your husband is correct. That's how it is around here.
    1995 - Grand Floridian (Honeymoon)
    1997 - Fort Wilderness Cabins
    1998 - All-Star Music
    2005 - All-Star Music & Movies
    2006 - All-Star Movies


  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    East Lake Tohopekaliga, FL (Saint Cloud)
    Posts
    13,855
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Another reason why many jurisdictions have this requirement is for the safety of emergency personnel, especially firefighters.

    If (heaven forbid!) you were to have a fire in your home, can you picture a firefighter with all of his/her turnout gear and an air pack on his/her back trying to squeeze out through a normal small basement window if there was no other way out of a flaming, smoke-filled basement? Or worse yet, trying to carry one of your own family members out of that situation?

    I know it's frustrating for you in your situation, but consider the "big picture" when trying to understand what seems like a 'silly' requirement.
    Ed
    Senior Imagineer Emeritus

    Welcome to the INTERCOT forums !


  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Look for a shelf wrapped in plastic with a triple padlock and hazmat suit next to it and that's where the round up is at any local hardware store. The lethal dose is probably 10,000 times more than an average item in shoppers drug mart but the province needs to scare people from killing weeds growing in window wells somehow.
    ___________________
    basement renovation

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Whitwell, TN
    Posts
    1,551
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Reading this thread makes me glad I live in the rural South. The idea of City Hall saying someone can't have a computer or TV in the basement (especially when the house was built at a time when there was no inspections or no egress requirement at the time) is absurd and unimaginable.

    I am fully aware that large swaths of the country now live in a municipal Nanny State, but boy am I glad I am not in one of them!
    Disney Dream May 2019, maybe WDW Nov 2019

    18 Oct ASMv
    16 (APs) Jan POR, Feb CSR, April ASMv, June BC, Oct Pop & Cabins, Dec ASMv & AKL & Pop, Jan '17 POFQ (10k!)
    15 May Pop&CBR pirates
    13 Oct ASMu&AoA
    10 (APs) June CR, Oct AKL&Pop, Dec Pop
    07 March ASMv
    04 June POR
    94 June Onsite

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    6,805
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Another reason why many jurisdictions have this requirement is for the safety of emergency personnel, especially firefighters.

    If (heaven forbid!) you were to have a fire in your home, can you picture a firefighter with all of his/her turnout gear and an air pack on his/her back trying to squeeze out through a normal small basement window if there was no other way out of a flaming, smoke-filled basement? Or worse yet, trying to carry one of your own family members out of that situation?

    I know it's frustrating for you in your situation, but consider the "big picture" when trying to understand what seems like a 'silly' requirement.

    This. It's a hassle, but it is worth it. What if there is a fire (or any other disaster) and your DH or DD are cut off from the rest of the house due to the fire? I've tried to resuscitate people who were in house fires. It is horrible. The money it would cost to make it safer is definitely worth it.
    “Verged on the threshold of infinity, we see our world as it truly is: small, silent, fragile, alive, a drifting island in the midnight sky. It is our spaceship, our Spaceship Earth.” – Spaceship Earth (pre 1986)

Share This Thread On Social Media:

Share This Thread On Social Media:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

 
Company
Advertising
Guest Relations
Community
Discussion Boards
Podcast
Newsletter
Shop
Social
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
Pinterest
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Enter your email address below to receive our newsletter:
INTERCOT Logo PRIVACY STATEMENT / DISCLAIMER | DISCUSSION BOARD RULES
© Since 1997 INTERCOT - a Levelbest Communications Website. This is not an official Disney website.
> Levelbest Network Site