I just conducted an inspection of a home here in Juneau Alaska with a beautiful Anderson vinyl clad window in the bedroom. Only 14.5 inches of vertical clearance. The engineers doing engineer reports (CE’s in Alaska are allowed to inspect homes using their PE license) and most of the appraisers are calling for any bedroom window that doesn’t meet the egress requirements of the 2003 IRC to replace said windows so that they meet at a minimum the requirements for a replacement window.
I am not arguing that the window should or should not be replaced. But, if is should be replaced, why? There is nothing in my reading of the 2003 IRC or 2003 IEBC that would require replacement. The IEBC says it just can’t be made “less conforming” or “less safe” by repairs or alterations. The realtors and APPRAISERS are calling for these windows to be replaced but no one can tell me where that requirement comes from.
A question to the code enforcement division of the City and Borough of Juneau got the following response.
“Egress windows can sometimes work even if they do not meet the full current code for clear area opening of min. width and height, as well as distance from floor depending on which code was in effect at time of installation. And if the only item out of compliance is the finish floor to sill height requirement there is now flexibility to build in a permanent step.”
And now I should have a matrix of when certain building codes were in effect? Does anyone know what the egress codes looked like for 1971?