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What Are the Key Aspects of Code Compliance for Windows?

Every window in your home should be code-compliant. This assures you that each window is capable of performing at an optimal level and ensuring safety within your home. Renewal by Andersen® of New Jersey-New York Metro discusses the four main aspects of code compliance for windows.

Energy Conservation

Energy codes typically have a limit for the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient. This is applicable to windows in new construction as well as replacement windows in existing buildings.

Safety Glazing

IRC has identified seven locations that are deemed “hazardous.” It doesn’t matter whether you have picture windows or casement windows. If your window is situated in any of these locations it must be safety glazed. Safety glazing uses either security film or tempered glass.

Emergency Escape and Rescue

In 2015, IRC implemented that EERO (emergency escape and rescue openings) finished sill heights must not be more than 44 inches above the finished floor. The windows must also open no less than 20 inches wide or 24 inches high. Total open area should not be less than 5.7 square feet.

An opening, however, cannot be both the minimum width and the minimum height while also meeting the minimum area requirement. Ensure your contractor measures accurately.

For replacement windows built before the 2015 enactment of minimum dimensions, installations won’t be allowed if they don’t meet today’s code for an EERO. In order to install new windows, you will have to remodel the opening the wall. This will likely involve drywall finish work and changes to the exterior siding among others.

Fall Protection

Another aspect of code compliance for windows is fall protection. Window sill height that’s less than 24 inches above the floor must not be greater than six feet above the grade outside the window. The purpose of this provision is to protect young children from severe injury in the event they fall through an open window with a low sill.

Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey-New York Metro is dedicated to providing long-lasting windows for your home. From casement windows to speciality windows, rest assured that our team will deliver top-notch results. Call us at (908) 497-1020 or fill out our contact form to request a consultation. We serve customers in Staten Island, NJ, and the surrounding areas.


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