Egress question

The home inspected today is new. The window well for the basement is large and with a ladder would provide an adequate exit from the basement. The question I have is exiting the bedroom windows above the well for the basement windows. Some type of cover should be installed to allow a safe exit from the bedroom windows above…correct? This seems like a poor design to me. Drainage issues, an adequate cover, an appropriate safety fence with 4" pickets etc. What are your thoughts? See attached pics.
Sincerely Gerald Wilcox
House Check Home Inspections

Large window  well for basement.jpg

Viewed from back yard.jpg

Viewed from upstairs bedroom.jpg

I would think a permanent set of steps should be in the “window well” for egress, and as far as the upper window, it would be no different than a typical second story window. Maybe someone will chime in with a code blurb.

Looks wrong to me.

IRC R310.2.1 Ladder and Steps. Window wells with a vertical depth greater than 44 inches (1118mm) shall be equipped with a permanently affixed ladder or steps usable with the window in the fully open position. yada yada yada.

When it comes to the fence, IRC R310.4 only talks about bars, grills, covers and screens that can be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, to or force. As a home inspector, I would still call the fence out as a concern.

For the window above. Get an emergency ladder long enough to get into the window well area and then climb out.

Thanks guys, The steps are a given…but it didn’t make much sense to me to climb out a window into a hole and then climb up out of the hole…
Sincerely Gerald Wilcox
House Check Home Inspections

is there a door out of the basement to the outside?

I think they are just concerned with getting out of the window. The covering would have to strong enough to hold lbs

What option do they have if they need to use the window due to a fire. Going into a hole and getting out is better then trying to jump over the fence from a window.

Do the best that you have to work with.

A clear plastic roof, open on the sides, with a flashing under the top window ledge…
On paper, “unconventional design, provide exit steps” :mrgreen:

John Kogel

The fence won’t qualify as an extension of a ladder if footrests are greater than 18" apart, meaning that fence doesn’t comply, but could probably be made to comply fairly easily.

I’m thinking if that house was on fire behind you …You would have no trouble getting out of that egress…it is not a convenience opening, but an emergency opening…jmo…jim

Thanks for your imput, it does allow for an exit, that is what’s important.
Gerald Wilcox
House Check Home Inspections

Here is a free, online mini-course on Egress:

Here is an advanced PPV course on Egress: