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Windows and Doors/CBC for Window Egress Sill Height for Retrofit


If I have a house that was built before 1977 does the current CA Building Code allow the maximum sill height requirement for a bedroom egress window to be raised from 42 to 48 inches for a retrofit window that meets all other egress requirements.

We are using the existing window frame and installing a retrofit window in the exact same location (6 feet wide by 3 feet tall).  The existing sill height is 45.5 inches. The house was built before 1977.

Hi Art,

You will need to check with your local city building code department for the city's requirements.

You would not be able to raise the sill height.

For EGRESS: 5.7 sq ft of operable area. Example: Minimum height 24" clear height so width will need to be 34 1/4" clear with for an operable area of 5.7 SQ FT. Minimum width 20" clear width with then 41 1/8" clear height for an operable area of 5.7 SQ FT. Max sill height Off Finished Floor is 44" max (again you will need to check with your local building department for city's code as it can very form city to city). Remember that EGRESS is for a fire fighter to get into the room with all his/hers gear on, not so a person can get out.

Also in a lot of city's a permit is required when replacing windows - even in retro fit.

Each city requirements can be different so you will need to talk with you cities building inspector for your city's code requirements.

Also as your home is build in 1977 your home is also subject to the EPA Lead Base Paint Law. If you are hiring a company to install the windows for you they will need to be EPA Lead Base Paint Certified and will need to test for home for lead base paint.

Sorry I could not be of more help.

R&R Windows & Doors
(R&R Windows & Doors is not a City Building Code Department and all information is based on standard code requirements or requirements based on our city and is not be liable for any information given. R&R Windows & Doors and is not responsible for if any information given. Also building codes maybe different in one's own city code requirements. Each person is responsible for finding out code requirements in their own city by contacting their city's building department).  

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Brittini Reitz


We are most familiar with the Hurd Window & Door brand. We can answer how to replace parts, identify parts, where to buy parts, if they are discontinued from manufacture and if there is a retro fit part that will work, how to shim and adjust Hurd Windows & Doors or diagnose a problem a Hurd window is having and how to fix it. We can also answer questions about pros and con of different types of window brands and help a person to know what they should ask when they are looking to buy new or replacement windows.


R&R Window Service (dba) R&R Windows & Doors is a family owned and operated company. We started out as service center for windows and patio doors. Now we are a dealer, installer and service center for Colorado. Our founder Ron Reitz has been in the window industry since the late 1980's, so people not only be getting my window and door expertise but from everyone in our company. Our window & door lines we carry are Hurd Window & Door, Cascade Windows and Milgard Windows & Doors. But we have worked on about every type of window brand that has been sold in Colorado over the years.

These is for everyone in our company who would help answer questions: Arapahoe Community College, Installation Masters Institute - Level RLC-1, Hurd Sales Training Program, Hurd Service Training Program, EPA Lead Base Paint Certified.

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