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I'm considering remodeling one side of my basement, adding a new bedroom. I've been researching egress codes and it's not entirely clear to to me if my basement meets the egress code now, or if it will after my remodel.

The wall along the side I want to remodel, is about half underground, with two windows and one exterior door. There is an upstairs deck outside which runs the entire length of the wall. The sill for each window is right at foundation/ground level which is 44" above the basement slab. The door is a full height exterior door, with a concrete stairwell leading down to it outside. The deck structure starts about 10 inches above the tops of the windows and door.

I know the windows are too high from the floor to meet IRC egress code, but since there is an exterior door, does that mean that the code is satisfied? How does the deck affect this?

For the remodel, I'm considering having the new bedroom span that entire wall, which means all windows and the exterior door would be inside the new bedroom. This would leave the rest of the basement to be a rec room without any windows.

Incidentally, the basement is accessed from the main floor via interior stairs.

Assuming that the door alone meets egress code, my understanding is that even though the door would be inside the new bedroom, it would still be sufficient to meet egress code for the new rec room area. Yes?

Any other things I should consider? Thanks!

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. This is a complex question; a diagram would really help. – Daniel Griscom Feb 3 at 0:54
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Yes, a door that opens directly to the exterior meets the “egress” requirement for sleeping rooms (bedroom).

There are few requirements for “exiting through adjoining rooms.” However, if the door between the two rooms has a lock and is the only exit from the recreation room, then you’d have a problem. However, you have an interior stairway so it doesn’t matter.

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