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  1. #1
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    Default Minimum window height above bench

    Other than the "code of common sense", is there a code provision (similar to the 24 inch requirement above floors) for a window located above bench or other "stepping surface". (This window was in a child's bedroom.)

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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    Confirming, wide 2-panel operable slider (neither fixed) with horizontal blinds in front, partially raised, correct? (not two single or double hung window units side by side).

    Scale difficult to determine. Overall size and size of panes, type of glazing?

    City or burb or non-home rule area or unincorporated area of Cook County?

    Is this really a legal bedroom? Clear headroom and floor area minus this "bench" area? is this space legitimately habital if other than bedroom/sleeping room?

    Legal attic conversion or initial legit 2nd story, zoning? Dormer/window original?

    Strict SF, Condo, rental, multi-family?

    Qualified EERO? Sole operable window of so-called bedroom and/or open adjoining room area? Door or other opening to exterior? alternate stair? obstruction escape path.

    Vintage?

    Operable window faces street above roofing surface pitched or flat, or walkable surface, or nothing?

    Sill height above floor below (or riser)?

    Height above "seating area" of window seat/platform surface?

    Depth of "seat"?
    Headroom from "seat" to ceiling?
    Height floor to ceiling in front of window (low ceiling clearance? note sloped ceiling to the right).

    Use intended, Dwelling, Owner occupied or investment non-OO property, or other occupancy/use intended?

    Doesn't appear to be a screen guard pressent - elevation of sill from below? Full screen half-screen or any screen present?

    Or are you looking for simply the present unammended I-code glazing hazardous areas glazing standards applied?

    One of my points being, it wouldn't be the first time for example an adjoining area might have been partitioned off from another such as a seating area of a master bedroom, or for example an open area from a hall loft was partitioned off, post CofO, or a crib was placed into a dressing area or walk-in closet area and a door way moved and called a bedroom, without plans, permit, etc.
    What is under this "bench" a cantillevered projection for the dormer for example, or opening to protected entryway below?

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-10-2011 at 07:07 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    Don't have measurements, this was one of those situations where the agent is limiting your time on-site, and I had bigger fish to fry.

    Single-family home in Oak Park, IL.

    Finished attic, part of a gut rehab done about 10 years ago, see the pics below. No idea on the zoning.

    I'd estimate the sill is around 16-18" above the bench, you can visually scale from that.

    Access is via stairway from floor below. That's the EERO, it's a slider with one fixed pane. There are additional windows.

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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    Don't remember which year IRC OP is in and don't know the IRC well enough to say for sure. However, in the City that would likely not measure out to be a compliant bedroom.
    Kneewalls and percentage of ceilings are likely too low, light and vent are probably Ok since it looks like two windows, if attic is over 2 levels above grade a 2nd egress may be needed depending on various factors, did you see a high return - without it the space will probably cook, was joist size increased or original - old joist may not be big enough for occupancy, is the carpet directly on top of old 1x,
    I always look hard for insulation, heat and AC in these spaces. It's usually one of the things they cheat on. If the original attic stairway was left in place, rise and run are usually not occupancy compliant. Since this is a recent rehab ALL current occupancy requirements would need to be met.
    Hope that helps.

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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    That new picture with the bed is same room? that (under bed) window might be the EERO. Looks like there is a full height long wall for a bed, which doesn't belong staged in the dormer alcove under the EERO, if that's it. Looks like you've got the 70 sq ft associated with the other window.

    18" above surface if that's 36x36 glazing panels, sufficent, as long as the swinging "door"/bench lid when opened is below the sill. Taking second look, appears "bench" top or lid is sloped not flat as a window seat or walking surface might be. Curious if sporting safety hinges/or gas lifts as toy boxes and chests must for safety.

    Similar question as to former attic stair - width, etc. What do these windows open to (porch roof, nothing, stright drop, etc.).

    Suppose could be 9 sq. ft. glazed panels - tuff to scale can't see through obstructions either.

    Still not clear what the question was. Safety glazing for thermal windows?

    Unammended 2009 IRC:

    R308.4 Hazardous locations. The following shall be considered specific hazardous locations for the purposes of glazing:

    3. Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel that meets all of the following conditions:
    3.1. The exposed area of an individual pane is larger than 9 square feet (0.836 m2); and
    3.2. The bottom edge of the glazing is less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the floor; and
    3.3. The top edge of the glazing is more than 36 inches (914 mm) above the floor; and
    3.4. One or more walking surfaces are within 36 inches (914 mm), measured horizontally and in a straight line, of the glazing.
    Exceptions:
    1. Decorative glazing.
    2. When a horizontal rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34 to 38 inches (864 to 965) above the walking surface. The rail shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 11/2 inches (38 mm) in cross sectional height.
    3. Outboard panes in insulating glass units and other multiple glazed panels when the bottom edge of the glass is 25 feet (7620 mm) or more above grade, a roof, walking surfaces or other horizontal [within 45 degrees (0.79 rad) of horizontal] surface adjacent to the glass exterior.
    HTH

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-10-2011 at 10:51 AM. Reason: formatting woes.

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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    For me, the issue is that the window above the bench is apt to serve as a third-floor diving board for some 5 year old, viz. Connor Clapton.

    Michael Thomas
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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    For me, the issue is that the window above the bench is apt to serve as a third-floor diving board for some 5 year old, viz. Connor Clapton.
    And the window over the bed, which already has the spring board in place?

    Don't let the bed cause you to discount that window being used for the same purpose as the one with the seat under it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    For me, the issue is that the window above the bench is apt to serve as a third-floor diving board for some 5 year old, viz. Connor Clapton.
    Hi Mike,

    Your concerns about kids taking a header are valid. The old timers may remember the tragic death of Timothy Healy back in the late 1990's. Here is a link to his foundation.

    The Timothy Healey Foundation

    Don't worry about what the code says (by the way, which code?). If you think this is a concern, or something that you think your client should be aware of, then simply tell them.

    Sincerely,

    Corey


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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Friedman View Post
    "4,700 children are injured by falls from windows in the United States each year... Falls from windows occur in the child's own home in 96% of the cases."

    Thanks for that link, it has been been added to my report boilerplate.

    Michael Thomas
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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    For me, the issue is that the window above the bench is apt to serve as a third-floor diving board for some 5 year old, viz. Connor Clapton.
    Oh, a 3rd floor above grade in Oak Park. What was I thinking.

    Well nix on the 2009 IRC reference .

    Oak Park, Illinois Village Departments -- Building and Property Standards

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-10-2011 at 09:50 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Other than the "code of common sense", is there a code provision (similar to the 24 inch requirement above floors) for a window located above bench or other "stepping surface". (This window was in a child's bedroom.)

    Common sense is always better than a code (gets my vote).

    The intent of the 24 inch rule to a floor below a window (IRC R613.2) may be the same as your photo as the seat could serve as a floor. If you explain your thought of this to your client your client gets disclosed and your client can make the decision of importance under their own personal responsibility of due diligence.

    It may too easy to add a type of thumb screw lock on the window. I assume the original intent was of more of a concern when the window was open (hence the requirement for the 4 inch spacing) and a child was near than if the widow was shut and locked. Once a year it is not uncommon to hear about a child passing through a open window, never a closed window.

    If the little booger wants to roll out a window then he can do that with a window of 24.5 inch, 25 inch, 26 inch, etc. height as well as a window located above a box seat, chair, toy box, etc. (Parents can decide to remove the box seat, add a window lock or don't worry about it). The important thing is that you give them information to make their own decision.


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    Default Re: Minimum window height above bench

    [quote=Jim Hime;168090]Common sense is always better than a code (gets my vote).[quote]

    Agreed ... unless there is a necessity to back up what is written with a code reference, sometimes there is.

    It may too easy to add a type of thumb screw lock on the window. I assume the original intent was of more of a concern when the window was open (hence the requirement for the 4 inch spacing) and a child was near than if the widow was shut and locked. Once a year it is not uncommon to hear about a child passing through a open window, never a closed window.
    One must be cognizant that the window in question may be an EERO (or it may not be), and if an EERO then no lock of any type (other than the window lock itself) is allowed to be added to the window as that would require "special knowledge" and thus not be code compliant.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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