Egress Windows Barrie

Window Enlargements, Cut Outs and Egress. Create a legal basement …

Egress Windows in Barrie, ON

Installing an egress window in your basement has a few key benefits for every homeowner. It allows you to invite more light and fresh air, as well as creates an opportunity to convert your basement into a secondary suite. Having an egress window installed also significantly increases your home value. 

Egress windows are currently a must-have for converting your basement into a separate unit in Ontario. This is required to create a safe and reliable emergency escape from the unit. When installed professionally egress windows can prevent water leaks and damage, create an escape route, and simply convert your basement into a cozier space than a regular dark and damp basement. 

There are a number of regulations that homeowners need to follow when installing an egress window.

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Egress Window Requirements in Barrie

The Ontario Building Code has a set of requirements for egress windows installed in the province. Size, type, and functionality of egress windows must adhere to the Ontario Building Code. Below we listed a short summary of these requirements:

  • Every floor with a bedroom must have an egress window installed unless there is a door leading directly outside.
  • An egress window must be easy to open without using special tools or knowledge
  • The openable portion must be at least 0.35 sq m (3.8 sq f)
  • Every dimension must be at least 15”
  • Only the openable portion of the sliding window counts towards egress requirements
  • If an egress window opens into a window well then the projection of the well must be at least 22”
  • The window must be able to fully open into the window well without clearance reduction if the window sash opens into the window well
  • If a cover is placed onto the window well then it also must be easy to open without any special knowledge or use of tools


Escape window requirements in Barrie, ON

The City of Barrie has specific requirements for homeowners who choose to install escape windows. The reason for that is to provide the safest and fastest escape route in case of fire or emergency. You can find these requirements outlined below:

  • The windowsill must be within 1 meter (3 feet) of grade. If the windows sill is higher than 3 feet of grade then the homeowner must install a set of fixed steps to the sill.
  • The smallest dimension of the egress window must be 0.5 m or 18 inches.
  • The escape opening must be at least 0.38 square m or 4 square ft.
  • If a window well is installed it must have a projection of 1 meter or 3 feet
  • If a window well is installed the window must open into the suite to not interfere with the escape route.
  • The window must be easy to open without the use of any specific tools or knowledge


If you aren’t sure if you are meeting the provided requirements do not hesitate to give us a call and we will be happy to advise you.


Types of egress windows

An Egress window doesn’t have to be a specific type of window. However, it is important to remember that if you are planning to install a sliding window then the openable portion of the window must meet the city requirements.

One of the options for an egress window is a hopper window. They open upwards and can stay open without any additional support which is essential for an easy escape route. However, you must have decent clearance space for them to fully open without hitting the ceiling. Hopper windows have a restriction of 36’’ in order for the opening mechanism to be able to support the weight in the open position.

Casement windows swing out to open and are also a popular choice for egress windows. To open a casement window one must use a crank handle. They can open outwards to 90 degrees. There is a width limit of 72’’ for a casement window. Our casement windows include special egress hinges that allow a fuller opening than regular egress windows.

In-swing casement windows open inwards and work like a door with side hinges. One of the reasons to choose an in-swing casement option is because they have a single pane that creates a wider opening. However, if the egress window is installed into a recess with a ceiling the in-swing casement window will not be able to fully open. The width limit for this type of window is 36”.

Last but not least, another great option is the tilt and turn window. These windows open similarly to in-swing casement windows, but they also have an option to be tilted. Tilting this window allows to create an opening for the fresh air to come in the unit without having to open the window completely. Same as in-swing windows tilt and turns can be installed if there is nothing that limits the opening from the inside of the unit. Tilt and turn windows are limited to 40” width in order to support the sash weight properly.


Cutting and Enlarging Windows for Egress

It’s very likely that you will have to enlarge your basement window because standard basement windows are usually not big enough to serve as an emergency and/or fire escape exit.

The best way to enlarge the window is to cut it down. More often than not, it is easier to obtain a permit for a window that is being enlarged vertically than horizontally. When cutting the window down you don’t need to provide any additional support for the brick and floor joists.

A 28” window would need to be cut down to 32” which creates an openable portion that meets the average municipal requirement size of 4 sq f after frame deductions. Please note that any window can be cut down even more if you wish to invite more light and fresh air in your basement.

If you don’t have enough space to keep your egress window above grade you will also need to install a window well and proper drainage to avoid flooding the window well and leaks.

If you wish to go for a horizontal enlargement of the window please note that there is additional work that will need to be done. A steel lintel will need to be installed to provide the required support for the brick as well as a wooden header for additional support for the floor joists. You must also make sure that the exterior of the house allows the horizontal enlargement.

Egress Window Cost in Barrie

There are multiple factors that affect the cost of the egress window project. Each installation requires a proper inspection so it is best to contact us in order to get an accurate estimate. A few things to keep in mind when budgeting your project:

  • If you already have a sliding window that has an opening big enough to serve as an egress opening you can replace it with a single pane window.  In this case, the price project is usually about  $1000 including manufacturing and installation.
  • If you need to enlarge an existing small window to meet municipal requirements this means we will also have to excavate the ground, install a window well and drainage. This job spans within a $2000-$3000 range.
  • If you need to enlarge an existing small window but have enough space above grade you are looking at the $1400-$2400 range.
  • If a new window needs to be cut out below the ground, the work can get complicated. A new opening must be provided with proper support to maintain structural integrity. If the new window has to be placed below grade then we would need to excavate, install a window well and drainage. In this case, the job cost is approximately $2800-$3500.

If you would like to get an idea of the cost for your project please don’t hesitate to give us a call and we will be happy to discuss it with you.


Egress Window Installation Process

Our process is divided into 4 parts: estimate appointment, measurements, installation, and clean up.


After scheduling an estimate appointment for your project, we send out one of our technicians to your location. This is when you tell us what is it that you are looking to accomplish. We will provide you with the best solution to achieve your project goal that fits the timeframe and your budget. Once the details are discussed we provide you with a quote where all the needed work and associated costs are outlined.


Once you are ready to proceed our team of installers will be returning to take final measurements. They will also make sure that the measurements meet the Ontario Building Code requirements and confirm that the job can be done safely. This appointment is very quick and usually doesn’t take longer than 10 minutes.


Our installation team are experts in their field and are certified to the latest window industry standards. As we mentioned above, installing an egress window can be a complicated job depending on what kind of cut is done. For example, when cutting horizontally it is very important  that the installer can provide a proper support for the foundation. Often, companies take shortcuts when performing the job which can result in costly repairs in the future. One way to check the credibility of your installer is to ask them to complete the job with a home inspector present.


Last but not least, we provide a clean up after our job is completed. It is important to remove all the debris, soil and other waste in order to create a safe job site. While clean up can take a while, we believe it is an important finishing step and our team will not leave until the clean up is finished.


Egress window installation in barrie before and after

Egress Window Permits in Barrie

According to the City of Barrie, a permit is required when:

  • Cutting a new window opening and installing a new window
  • Cutting a new door opening and installing a new door
  • Enlarging the existing openings for doors/windows
  • Building a basement walkout
  • Creating a secondary suite

You do not need to obtain a permit if you are replacing the doors/windows with the same size as the existing ones.

If you are unsure whether or not a permit is required for your project, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

You can also visit the building department website for the City of Barrie for more information.

Secondary Suite Zoning in Barrie

When deciding to add a secondary suite in Barrie, it is important to make sure your property abides by the zoning requirements. Violating any zoning requirements can make your property ineligible for the addition of a secondary suite. Below are some of the main zoning requirements, for more information on secondary suites in Barrie, refer to the information package on the municipal website.

  • Constructing a secondary suite is allowed in residential zones and in existing dwellings that face a municipal street. Any properties that are located on condominium roads and/or private roads are not allowed to have a new secondary suite constructed.
  • A property owner must be able to provide 2 parking spots (at least 2.7m wide by 5.5m long). Parking spots must be within private property and can be located back to back and/or side by side. Parking spots can be located in a garage, as long as the provided spot meets the outlined above measurement requirement.
  • The secondary suite must be smaller than the principal suite. You can calculate the gross floor area by taking the measurements from the outside around exterior walls. Electrical rooms are not included in the measurement of the floor area.
  • Property owners are allowed to have one second suite per lot.
  • Any homeowner is allowed to have a professional to manage your building permit. In order to proceed this way, a homeowner must sign the Property Owner Consent Letter (can be found at and submit it with their permit application.


Why Choose Egress Window Experts

At Egress Experts our main focus is installing egress windows, therefore, our team is the most experienced and leading team in Ontario. No matter how complicated the installation is, we guarantee to handle it from beginning to end. 

We provide the best service without taking shortcuts during the process and provide the best warranty. Our numerous satisfied clients speak for our quality of workmanship. 

Services include:

  • Permit applications for your project
  • Window and door enlargements
  • Cutouts
  • Basement walkouts
  • & many more


Call us today to receive a free consultation with our expert team.


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