Emergency escape windows under porch

IRC 2006 section R310.5 says “Emergency escape windows are allowed to be installed under decks and porches provided the location of the deck allows the emergency escape window to be fully opened and provides a path not less than 36 inches in height to yard or court.”

What if it is a screened-in porch? If there is a limitation, what part of the code addresses this?

And your from?

I’m a home owner in Austin, Texas. Our new house is under construction, and the designer DID pull the back porch screened-in area back from the full width of the porch slab, such that the bedroom window is OUTSIDE the screened-in area.

While exploring I came across this site, and it seemed an appropriate place to satisfy my intellectual curiosity.

So I’m wondering, if the code says you can have an emergency egress window under a “porch”, is there something that would guide a designer or inspector to know that this means a porch roof only?

Thank you.

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As a non-member (even with a temporary ID) I can only preview the first page of the course. But from what I saw I’m highly impressed with the value of the material.

I don’t currently qualify for membership, and as a homeowner/computer programmer I’m not likely to need it. It does, however, look like it would be interesting, entertaining, and informative to go thru the courses. But I don’t think I’d have time until I finish our new house now underway! :slight_smile:

It doesn’t matter whether the porch is screened in because you’d be crawling out from beneath the porch which, as you mentioned, must have at least 3 ft. clearance from framing to the ground.

Now if it had a skirt installed around the perimeter that was fastened securely enough to prevent exiting from beneath the porch, that route wouldn’t qualify as a path of egress.

It’s not UNDER a porch deck. All is slab on grade, ground floor. Question is about window opening ONTO/INTO a screened porch. We want screened in area to include window, but get mixed opinions as to acceptability.

Typically, an egress opening needs to be able to be opened without the use of tools or special knowledge but check with your local construction code official. He has the final say, so it doesn’t matter what you hear elsewhere so much.


You might ask here also.


Thank you for that lead, Carl. If I get a definitive answer I’ll post back here.

If I understand correctly. This is a window:

From a bedroom AND there is NO other egress? As additonal exits and their size will influence the outcome of this. Do your Approved plans inc. Screened in Porch?

If the window in question is the only means of egress, I would generally NOT like to see that nor would most of your local Building officials.

Most answers over the years in different jurisdictions have said…

Patio COVER - OK, but once you are screening or closing the Patio in and prohibiting/limiting exit… not generally advised OR allowed. Most codes indicate exit to EXTERIOR (some say alley or similar as well)

If there is another point of egress, such as an exterior door or window that is the proper size for egress, the screened in porch is likely OK. As mentioned, consulting with your local building and safety, your contractor as well as voicing your concerns to whomever is drafting your plans… you’ll get there!!

This goes without saying, as I’m sure you know. In the end, it’s for you and yours safety!

Good Luck

Thank you. It would have been nice to enclose the entire porch, but we are taking the more conservative approach. The bedroom window in question opens under the porch roof but outside the screened-in area. We’re also doing an NFPA 13D fire sprinkler system.

If it’s under the porch roof but outside the screened in area… no problem, as long as the window meets all the other egress requirements.