Small Windows... Bedroom... Built in 1999

I inspected a house yesterday for an investor (pre-listing) and came across a 1st floor bedroom (closet included) with only (2) 3’ x 3’ windows.

I called it as an egress safety hazard (really its a blatent code violation) since the window opening is only 3.46 sq. ft. (32" wide x 15" tall clear opening)

I was building homes in 99’ and we were required to have 5.0 sf of open area on the 1st floor. He doesn’t agree with my reporting. (ha!)

Please chime in and let me know how you would have handled this one.


Andrew Constantine
InspectPro Home Inspections
Charlotte NC Home Inspector](

1999 bedroom.jpg

I include a diagram detailing egress window requirements in my report.

Your job is to offer your expert opinion. They can do with it as they wish.

In this case I would try to find out what he disagrees with.

You noted it, You know the requirements. stand by your Inspection simple enough.

There you go pissin off builders again!

Everybody knows that 3.46 + 3.46 = 6.92 sf which is greater than 5.0 sf!!!

Geesh!!! :mrgreen:

The investor thinks it shouldn’t be in the report because the building inspector passed it when the house was built… even know its wrong. Like a building inspector never misses anything. Really?

Thanks for the feedback guys!

Which is it- 3’x3’ or 32"x15"? Is it just a single hung window- is that why you are calling the clear opening differently than the actual window size?

Stupid question, but what if the window is a double hung that both sashes can be removed?

In my opinion it would not matter because it is a emergency exit

That may take special knowledge and would not be appropriate in an emergency situation.

My reason for my answer even if it was a double hung window it would still reduce the exit opening unless the panels were totally removed
BTW It was not a stupid question but a interesting one. what does everyone think would it make a difference or not

Nate, you don’t have time to remove windows in a fire, a rescue person may not be able to do it and in a child’s room, or elderly persons room, or non-mechanically inclined occupant, they cant do it. The home should be good for any situation. You need to get the minimum required opening by normal window operation.

Nice graphic Mike L.