Below are some of the highlights of the 2006 IRC (International Residential Code), Section R310, as it pertains to windows below ground level.


Sill height of window above floor: Not to exceed 44 inches.
Minimum opening area: = 5.7 sq. ft.
Minimum opening height: ≥ 24"
Minimum opening width: ≥ 20"

Window Wells/Area Wells

Required where window opening sill height is below ground elevation.
Horizontal dimensions: ≥ 9 sq. ft.
Horizontal projection: ≥ 36"


Required on window wells deeper than 44" and must be permanently attached.
Ladder may encroach into well up to 6".
Step distance between rungs: ≤ 18".
Rungs: 12" wide or greater and must project a minimum of 3" away from wall but maximum of 6".

Grates and Covers

Shall be removable without special tools.
Code sponsored by: The International Code Coucil, the Building Officials Code Administration (BOCA), the Uniform Building Codes (UBC), and the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI).

Contact Details

Egress Systems, Inc.

601 Ridge Road

Spring City, PA  19475

Phone:  484.369.8540

Fax:  484.369.8541

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contractor Information

PA License# PAHIC000613

Fully Insured (Including Workman's Compensation)