Can someone help IL inspector with question about egress? Posted at his request.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 6:15 PM
Subject: Basement windows

  • To whom it may concern,

I hope I am sending this to the correct person. I am a licensed home inspector in Northern Illinois. A home owner has a concern regarding windows. He has a quad level type home and at the lowest level(that is finished)he has those small sliding metal windows(can’t recall the exact size maybe 12"x 20-24"). He wants to replace them with non opening or even block windows. This is a family or office area at the lower level. I am under the belief that they do not have to be an egress and that they do not have to be ones that open(are windows like that grandfathered in?).*

Thank you for your time,
Justin Houcek
Home Pro Inspections
Spring Grove,Illinois

Minimum egress window sizes are for sleeping rooms only. This arrangement will be fine for office/family room space.

P.S. Nick, I have emailed this answer directly to the person who asked the question.


***I would contact the local building department, housing agency, or AHJ for any restrictions that may be applicable from the city the remodel/retrofit is going to take place. ***

Better safe than sorry!


I suggest you check your local egress codes.

Modern building codes now require that finished living areas (not just a sleeping areas) have more than one way of exiting, and windows must be openable.

Find out the code in McHenry County or city whichever applies. May depend on the age of the home

Russels answer is also likely correct as long as no one is sleeping there.