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Opinion: Replacement windows in sleeping rooms

Inquiry:

05-02

Subject:

Replacement windows in sleeping rooms

Code:

MR1309.0310, section R310.1.5             

Submitted By:

Contractor

Approved By:

Thomas R. Joachim
State Building Official

Issue Date:

November 2, 2005

Question:

A builder is proposing to install replacement windows in the sleeping rooms of a 1973 home. No modifications are proposed to the existing interior wall finishes or to the rough opening in the wall framing.  The residence is not used for any Minnesota State Licensed purpose, such as daycare.  The existing double-hung windows have a net clear opening of the bottom openable sash of approximately 3.4 square feet, and the replacement windows will be approximately the same size.  The local building inspection department is asking for replacement windows that would meet the minimum requirements of the code in effect at the time of the original house construction, or at least meet 5.0 minimum net clear opening as noted in the Fire Code.  Can the builder install replacement windows as long as the net clear opening of the existing windows are not reduced more than two inches in width and two inches in height per MR 1309.0310, section R310.1.5, item number 1?

Answer:

In our opinion, Yes.  As noted in the first paragraph of R310.1.5, the replacement windows are "exempt from the requirements of sections R310.1.1, R310.1.2, and R310.1.3.  Item "2" states "The rooms or areas are not used for any Minnesota state licensed purpose," and Item "3" states "The window is not required pursuant to the Minnesota Fire Code."  The Division's intent when writing item 2 and item 3 was to not supersede the licensing requirements of other state of Minnesota licensing agencies. 

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