The IRC 2000 Egress Code which requires every home with a full basement to install window wells. The details of the Egress code for one and two families are as follows:
International Residential Code (IRC) 2000
Egress code for one and two families:
Definition of egress as described in IRC 2000 (Section R310) as it pertains to windows below ground level:
Window Wells/Area Wells:
Required where window opening sill height is below ground elevation.
Horizontal dimensions: = 9 sq.ft. (width x projection)
Horizontal projection: = 36 "
Sill height of window above floor: Not to exceed 44"
Minimum opening area: = 5.7 sq. ft.
Minimum opening height = 24"
Minimum opening width: = 20"
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".
Though the IRC 2000 Egress Code was formed for the general safety of home owners. It is important to install a window well cover to safeguard the window wells from unwanted entry and to prevent falling accidents. But in order for a window well cover to be effective, home owners should take note of some of the qualities or characteristics of a good window well cover.
A good window well cover should be rust-resistant. This is an important feature since rust might be a sign for decay or weakening of a window well's durability. Also window wells should be able to hold great amounts of weight since children may from time to time step on it. Hi grade window well covers do not bend nor break easily (for transparent covers). And lastly, a window well cover should fit perfectly on youre window well opening, this is why choosing a custom made well cover is always an advantage over a pre-buit cover.