It is the responsibility of every qualified window contractor to understand and adhere to building codes associated with windows. By understanding these guidelines, homeowners can make well-informed decisions when it is time to get rid of old, shabby windows and replace them with new units for the overall comfort of their home. In this article, Renewal by Andersen® of Cape Cod shares the four key aspects of code compliance for windows.
Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings: The International Residential Code (IRC) requires windows, particularly those installed in bedrooms, to be able to double as a means of egress. This implies that at least one window unit in the room should be large enough to allow the resident to escape and rescue personnel to enter the premises in case of emergency.
Energy Performance: The maximum prescriptive U-factor — the measurement of how well a window insulates — and solar heat gain coefficient — the fraction of solar radiation passing through a window — values are different per zone. The lower the U-factor, the greater a window’s resistance to heat flow; the lower a window’s solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits.
Fall Protection: A minimum sill height of 24 inches is required for all windows. This provision aims to protect young children from climbing over the windowsill, falling over and incurring serious injuries.
Safety Glazing: If your windows meet certain conditions, such as the exposed area of a single pane being bigger than nine feet square or the top edge of the glazing exceeding 36 inches above the floor, then they are considered to be in a hazardous location, which will then require safety glazing. Remember to consult these factors with your contractor before installing your new windows.
Renewal by Andersen of Cape Cod is a premier window company in Cape Cod, MA. Our team is committed to providing homeowners a safe and pleasant living experience through energy-efficient products and industry-leading services. Call us today at (508) 936-1171 or fill out our contact form to set up an appointment.