Need help with tempered glass code for replacement windows

lil_teeOctober 1, 2011


I'm in the process of getting estimates for replacement windows (in Georgia) and I'm getting some differing opinions on whether or not some windows need to have tempered glass. I found the 2006 IRC Code -Selected Tempered Glass Requirements but need a little help interpreting some of it.

  1. a 24"x48" window at the top of the stairs, 32" from the floor, on the same wall the stairs are on

#10 in the code says "Glazing adjacent to stairways, landing and ramps within 36" horizontally of a walking surface when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60" above the plane of the adjacent walking surface."

Based on that, I think it needs to have tempered that correct? temper just the bottom sash or both sashes?

  1. 36"x72" windows, about 8" from the floor, in the living room and kitchen

#7 in the code says "...that meets ALL of the following: 7.1. Exposed area of an individual pane is greater than 9 square feet. 7.2. Bottom edge is less than 18" above the floor. 7.3. Top edge greater than 36" above the floor. 7.4. One or more walking surfaces within 36" horizontally of the glazing."

I get the less than 18 and more than 36 items, but I'm not 100% clear on the other two. Is the 9 square feet for the entire window or each sash? Walking that interior such as the floors in the rooms, or exterior like sidewalks?

  1. For the two items above, is there such a thing as being grandfathered in because this isn't a new construction?

I don't have kids or pets (or wild parties) :-) so I'm not too worried about anything happening, but I do want to do this correct and to code.

Many thanks in advance!

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Windows on Washington

1. Check the meeting rail height on the stairwell window and if it above 60", not required for temp. Bottom sash is a yes.

2. 9 ft2 requirement is for the bottom sash. Each sash is treated as its own "window"

As long as you are okay with code minimums, I would say you are covered.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 12:24PM
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Thank you very much, windowsonwashington!

The meeting rail height in the stairwell window is less than 60" so I'll have both sashes tempered.

Now that I know each sash is considered to be its own window, mine definitely have less than 9 feet of exposed area. I'm getting prices for both tempered and not tempered, but was getting conflicting information so I wanted to know what was required versus optional.

Thanks again for the information!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 9:05PM
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Windows on Washington

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 12:15AM
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Thanks! I'm sure I'll be back with a new post about the window options once all the quotes are in. :-)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 9:28AM
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