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FHA: Wooden Decor Security Bars?

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teh l33t

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Oct 22, 2007
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Texas
I know that FHA requires that there be a quick release on security bars or at least some egress out of the bedrooms. However, this home that I am working on has wooden bars over the windows that are part of the original home decor. I have conditioned the appraisal on their removal, but the homeowner does not want to remove them as they are a part of the house. Does anyone know if there is a certain height and width requirement for egress openings? Any other suggestions? I do not know of any other way to conform to FHA safety requirements other than to remove the bars completely. :shrug: See picture below.

greyoaksbb.JPG m2:
 

CANative

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Jun 18, 2003
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California
They're made of wood. All you have to do is wait for them to burn off before making your escape.
 

teh l33t

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Texas
Thanks...I let them know that! :rof:
 

Mike Boyd

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Retired Appraiser
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California
Thanks...I let them know that! :rof:

Greg's suggestion is too slow. Just have your wife stand on a chair and jump through. Then, you can open the door and walk through it to safety.

No need to remove the wooden staves.
 

Webbed Feet

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Feb 11, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Canada
I know that FHA requires that there be a quick release on security bars or at least some egress out of the bedrooms. However, this home that I am working on has wooden bars over the windows that are part of the original home decor. I have conditioned the appraisal on their removal, but the homeowner does not want to remove them as they are a part of the house. Does anyone know if there is a certain height and width requirement for egress openings? Any other suggestions? I do not know of any other way to conform to FHA safety requirements other than to remove the bars completely. :shrug: See picture below.

View attachment 14217 m2:

Try Handbook 4150.2 Page 3-17 in section 3-6 (B)(6)

Webbed.
 

Mr Rex

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Jan 12, 2004
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
For wood bars, there should be a glass case within 2 feet of the window, labeled "Break in case of fire" with a handsaw inside. Chainsaws may be substituted, but must start with 3 pulls of the cord or less.
 

Charles Witt

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Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Require an active colony of Formosan Termites to be placed within one foot of the window at all times! :rof: Open lid when you need immediate action! :rof:
 

teh l33t

Thread Starter
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Oct 22, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Thank you Webbed Feet for the only feasible response :)
I still didn't find exactly what I was looking for. But since it is a safety issue, I called for complete removal. To the other responses, thank you for making me laugh, I will choose my questions wisely from now on. :rof:
 

CANative

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Jun 18, 2003
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
I was being silly because I didn't know the answer. I don't think this issue is specifically addressed in any of the HUD/FHA protocols and manuals. In some of the handbooks there is a height, dimesion or "ratio" for windows in bedrooms, and I think there is a discussion of security bars, but your situatino is one of this unique issues that come up once in a while.

Rather than require their removal (appraisers can't make "requirements" per se) it might have been better to describe the condition with some detail (such as the size of the opening) and let the underwriter decide.
 

Mark to market

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
FHA

B. BASEMENT BEDROOMS, BASEMENT APARTMENTS
As a rule basement space does not count as habitable space.
If the bedroom does not have proper light and ventilation,
the room can not be included in the gross living area. The
following requirements apply to the valuation of below-grade
rooms:

·The windowsill may not be higher than 44 inches from
the floor.

The windowsill must have a net clear opening (width x
height) of at least 24 inches by 36 inches.

The window should be at ground level; however,
compensating factors may allow less.
In all cases, use reasonable care and judgment. If these
standards are not substantially met, the basement area cannot be counted as habitable space.

6. Bedroom Egress

All bedrooms must have adequate egress to the exterior
of the home. If an enclosed patio (solid walls) covers
the bedroom window, it is possible that the bedroom
won't qualify as a habitable bedroom. Security bars
are acceptable if they comply with local fire codes.
Occupants of a bedroom must be able to get outside the home if there is a fire. Bedroom windows with security bars require a quick release mechanism foremergency egress. If not so equipped or inoperable, condition the appraisal on a "required repair


International Residential Code 2006
Emergency escape and rescue openings must have a sill height of not more then 44 inches above the floor (R310.1). The size of the opening should be at least 5.7 square feet (R310.1.1), measuring no less then 24 inches in height (R310.1.2) and no less the 20 inches in width (R.310.1.3).

Bars grilles, covers, screen or similar devices are permitted provided the minimum net clear opening complies with R310.1.1 thru R310.1.3, and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool, special knowledge or force greater then that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.
 
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