So, I have read the basement egress “code” a few times and got a call back on an egress issue I wrote up. This house has an “unfinished basement.” The “mechanical room” in the basement is framed but no drywall installed.
The 2018 IRC says:
R310.1 Emergency escape and rescue opening required.
Basements, habitable attics and every sleeping room shall have not less than one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, an emergency escape and rescue opening shall be required in each sleeping room. Emergency escape and res-cue openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.
Storm shelters and basements used only to house mechanical equipment not exceeding a total floor area of 200 square feet (18.58 m2).
This basement is more than 200 square feet total. The “room” that houses the mechanical equipment is framed but not drywalled.
I understand that it can be interpreted in a few ways. That being said, does basements mean finished or unfinished or both. Does a basement larger than 200 square feet require one emergency egress besides the stairs leading to the main floor?
Also, I inspected another house that had a finished basement and 2 bedrooms. One bedroom had two doors. The main door lead to the closet and another door inside the closet which lead to the mechanical room. That “bedroom” was not required to have an egress because it housed a mechanical room, therefore was not considered a bedroom. The other room had and egress. The living room however did not have an egress but had stairs leading to the main floor.
For this house I did not write up the living room in the basement for not having an egress window because one bedroom and the stairs were essentially two means of egress.
This new house had just the stairs and no window egress. One of the 4 casement windows though was blocked by a sewer clean out and did not open.
Am I completely misinterpreting this egress issue? Don’t want to look like a fool to these guys.