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  1. #1
    will carrasquillo's Avatar
    will carrasquillo Guest

    Lightbulb Egress Requirments for a Finished Basement

    An existing single family dwelling built in 2005 now has a finished basement with no door leading outside from this elevation and only 3 small windows approx. 18" H x 32" L. The basement is below grade and the only means of access is the staircase leading to the first floor.The home is located in Philadelphia (inside city limits).My question is this in code since the home was built with the existing layout mentioned above but with an unfinished basement and now has a finished basement.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Egress Requirements for a Finished Basement

    Will,

    The following is from the 2003 IRC, not knowing what precisely was required in your area, this predates that house so it can serve as a guide.

    (underlining is mine)
    - SECTION R310
    - - EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENINGS
    - - - R310.1 Emergency escape and rescue required.
    Basements with habitable space and every sleeping room shall have at least one openable emergency escape and rescue opening. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room, but shall not be required in adjoining areas of the basement. Where emergency escape and rescue openings are provided they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches (1118 mm) above the floor. Where a door opening having a threshold below the adjacent ground elevation serves as an emergency escape and rescue opening and is provided with a bulkhead enclosure, the bulkhead enclosure shall comply with Section 310.3. The net clear opening dimensions required by this section shall be obtained by the normal operation of the emergency escape and rescue opening from the inside. Emergency escape and rescue openings with a finished sill height below the adjacent ground elevation shall be provided with window well in accordance with Section R310.2.



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

  3. #3
    will carrasquillo's Avatar
    will carrasquillo Guest

    Default Re: Egress Requirments for a Finished Basement

    Are there any exclusions as per this requirement. Also if it was a requirement at that time how would have the builder gotten around that (unfinished vs finished). Thank You also for the reply.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Egress Requirments for a Finished Basement

    miller,
    3. some ahole finished the basement without a permit and inspections!


  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Egress Requirments for a Finished Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    miller,
    3. some ahole finished the basement without a permit and inspections!
    Brian: Yep. There are many of those around too. HGTV afficiandos. Reality morons.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Egress Requirements for a Finished Basement

    Will,

    This is from the 2006 IRC - I am not posting the entire section, only the first part so you can see the wording which was removed and should no longer allow that to happen.

    - SECTION R310
    - - EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENINGS
    - - - R310.1 Emergency escape and rescue required.
    Basements and every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency and rescue opening. Such opening shall open directly into a public street, public alley, yard or court. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room, but shall not be required in adjoining areas of the basement. Where emergency escape and rescue ...

    You will notice that "Basements with habitable space and every sleeping room" is now simply "Basements and every sleeping room".

    As others have said, that basement was not originally required to have an EERO (emergency escape and rescue opening), however, upon its conversion to a finished habitable space, it was and is required to have one or more EERO(s).

    There is also another problem I did not mention previously because you were only asking about EERO(s) and I presume you have this covered, but will now mention: I doubt that finished basement is legally "habitable space" due to the lack of natural light and natural ventilation, therefore that basement *should not have been finished out*.



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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Egress Requirements for a Finished Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ...not knowing what precisely was required in your area, this predates that house so it can serve as a guide...
    It's definitely illegal in Philadelphia now to finish a basement without secondary egress. Not positive about whether this was the case in 2005. I believe it was. Personally, I don't care. I'd write it up for sure. It's a fire safety issue.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Egress Requirments for a Finished Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by will carrasquillo View Post
    ...My question is this in code since the home was built with the existing layout mentioned above but with an unfinished basement and now has a finished basement.
    I didn't read this carefully enough at first. So, the house was built in 2005 but the basement was just recently finished? Definitely not allowed without secondary egress.
    A house built in 1900 isn't allowed to have the basement finished now without secondary egress.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

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