Egress window required for guest room in a walkout basement?

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Posted by: from Ottawa
3/1/2017 at 4:30:51 PM


I'm wondering if I need to add an egress window in a basement guest room. My basement is a walkout and the walkout door will be 15 feet from the proposed bedroom door. I live in Ottawa, ON.


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Date/Time3/1/2017 at 6:44:03 PM

No, an egress window is not required.

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Date/Time3/1/2017 at 8:53:32 PM


I don't know the laws are there but in Alberta all bedrooms need an egress windows.


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Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time3/1/2017 at 9:11:21 PM

All bedrooms in basements must have means of egress to be legal. Assuming your guests are not renters or government officials, you should be fine without, no one will report you for not having one. But you could be regretting it for many years if a fire ever broke out and they were trapped in the home. Legally speaking, yes it is in Ontario. Although your exterior door on that floor serves as egress.

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Date/Time3/2/2017 at 12:03:19 AM

Yes you must have an egress window unless there is a door leading directly to the outside from that room. It is a Canada wide law. Here is the law as it relates to Ottawa.

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Dave from Crown Choice in Nanaimo
Date/Time3/2/2017 at 2:33:34 AM

All bedrooms require egress window to be legal.

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Shanna in Ottawa
Date/Time3/2/2017 at 3:58:33 AM

Thanks for the responses. I was trying make sense of the info on this site.

Specifically regarding Ontario building code.

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Matt from MRC in Regina
Date/Time3/2/2017 at 2:16:38 PM

Quick answer is yes. Any room that doesn't have a door connecting directly to the outside needs a window at least 3.5ft sq. And nothing under 15". I.e 21"x 21" is about as small as you'd want to go.

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Date/Time3/2/2017 at 7:39:47 PM

Hi Shanna.

According to section Egress Windows or Doors for Bedrooms of Ontario Building Code, you are not required to have an egress window for a bedroom if you have a door leading directly to the outside on the same level as the bedroom. The exact clause is "Except where a door on the same floor level as the bedroom provides direct access to the exterior, every floor level containing a bedroom in a suite should be provided with at least one outside window that... (meets certain size and placement)". In your case the walkout door from the basement will serve as an exit door for that level, so you are not required to have an egress window in the bedroom.

However, you are required to provide a window in a bedroom for daylight requirements of the code (OBC Minimum Window Area). The glazed area should be at least 5% of the room area.

You should also make sure that you have your building permit in place if you are enlarging or inserting windows.

Victoria Zamchevska

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Shanna in Ottawa
Date/Time3/2/2017 at 9:45:13 PM

Thanks Victoria! That is very helpful.

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Date/Time3/3/2017 at 12:04:52 PM

Hi Shanna,

Yes Victoria is correct as that is what the building code says. But you should verify what your local municipal bylaws may have in this regard.


Kingsway Construction Inc.

Glenn Rosborough

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