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Old 04-12-2014, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
38,394 posts, read 47,274,053 times
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We are getting estimates for replacement windows, and are getting conflicting information. A home improvement store says we are required to use it in some of our windows, and a window replacement company, which I would like to think would definitely know all the rules, representative said this only pertains to new construction.

I read the Universal Building code and it seems to say tempered glass is required, but I wonder if it varies from state to state? We're in GA.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:15 PM
 
19,674 posts, read 21,740,800 times
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When I remodeled I had to use tempered glass on a kitchen window over a sink because the sliding door was within a certain distance so it required tempered glass. The bathroom windows and laundry/garage I used frosted glass for privacy reasons. None of the other windows were tempered with the exception of the one window in the kitchen. I'm in Califirnia. And I'm not sure if it pertains but you may also fall under egress code so some windows in bedrooms may need to be lowered
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:32 PM
 
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While I sometimes scratch my head when I read a particular building code, wondering what the point of the code is, there is no doubt whatsoever that codes pertaining to using safety glazing in certain locations and applications is a very good thing. Playing with broken glass is generally not a good idea.

If your replacement window rep is telling you that you don't need to follow glazing safety guidelines because they are only intended for "new construction" then you need to ask him for his reference that safety glass isn't required in your application, because IMO he is in error and he could be potentially putting you and your family at risk of serious injury or even death. Doesn't matter where you live.

The International Residential Code is very specific to where safety glazing is required. I don't think I have ever seen a modern local code that allows the use of non-safety glass in certain hazardous conditions, pretty much identical with the IRC requirements. I don't know if your local jurisdiction follows the IRC, but if I were in your position I would be telling the window rep that the windows will meet the minimum safety glazing requirements (after all, code is actually the minimum requirement) whether he thinks it necessary or not.

From International Residential Code, just for reference:

R308.1 Identification.
Except as indicated in Section R308.1.1 each pane of glazing installed in hazardous locations as defined in Section R308.4 shall be provided with a manufacturer’s designation specifying who applied the designation, designating the type of glass and the safety glazing standard with which it complies, which is visible in the final installation. The designation shall be acid etched, sandblasted, ceramic-fired, laser etched, embossed, or be of a type which once applied cannot be removed without being destroyed.


R308.4 Hazardous locations.
The locations specified in Sections R308.4.1 through R308.4.7 shall be considered specific hazardous locations for the purposes of glazing.


R308.4.1 Glazing in doors.
Glazing in all fixed and operable panels of swinging, sliding and bifold doors shall be considered a hazardous location.

Exceptions:
1. Glazed openings of a size through which a 3-inch-diameter (76 mm) sphere is unable to pass.2. Decorative glazing.

R308.4.2 Glazing adjacent doors.
Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel adjacent to a door where the nearest vertical edge of the glazing is within a 24-inch (610 mm) arc of either vertical edge of the door in a closed position and where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the floor or walking surface shall be considered a hazardous location.

Exceptions: 1. Decorative glazing.2. When there is an intervening wall or other permanent barrier between the door and the glazing.3. Glazing in walls on the latch side of and perpendicular to the plane of the door in a closed position.4. Where access through the door is to a closet or storage area 3 feet (914 mm) or less in depth. Glazing in this application shall comply with section R308.4.3.5. Glazing that is adjacent to the fixed panel of patio doors.


R308.4.3 Glazing in windows.
Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel that meets all of the following conditions shall be considered a hazardous location:1. The exposed area of an individual pane is larger than 9 square feet (0.836 m[SIZE=2]2[/SIZE]);2. The bottom edge of the glazing is less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the floor;3. The top edge of the glazing is more than 36 inches (914 mm) above the floor; and4. One or more walking surfaces are within 36 inches (914 mm), measured horizontally and in a straight line, of the glazing.

Exceptions: 1. Decorative glazing.2. When a horizontal rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34 to 38 inches (864 to 965 mm) above the walking surface. The rail shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 1[SIZE=2]1[/SIZE]/[SIZE=2]2[/SIZE] inches (38 mm) in cross sectional height.3. Outboard panes in insulating glass units and other multiple glazed panels when the bottom edge of the glass is 25 feet (7620 mm) or more above grade, a roof, walking surfaces or other horizontal [within 45 degrees (0.79 rad) of horizontal] surface adjacent to the glass exterior.


R308.4.4 Glazing in guards and railings.
Glazing in guards and railings, including structural baluster panels and nonstructural in-fill panels, regardless of area or height above a walking surface shall be considered a hazardous location.


R308.4.5 Glazing and wet surfaces.
Glazing in walls, enclosures or fences containing or facing hot tubs, spas, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, bathtubs, showers and indoor or outdoor swimming pools where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) measured vertically above any standing or walking surface shall be considered a hazardous location. This shall apply to single glazing and all panes in multiple glazing.

Exception: Glazing that is more than 60 inches (1524 mm), measured horizontally and in a straight line, from the water’s edge of a bathtub, hot tub, spa, whirlpool, or swimming pool.


R308.4.6 Glazing adjacent stairs and ramps.
Glazing where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 36 inches (914 mm) above the plane of the adjacent walking surface of stairways, landings between flights of stairs and ramps shall be considered a hazardous location.

Exceptions: 1. When a rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34 to 38 inches (864 to 965 mm) above the walking surface.The rail shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 1[SIZE=2]1[/SIZE]/[SIZE=2]2[/SIZE] inches (38 mm) in cross sectional height.2. Glazing 36 inches (914 mm) or more measured horizontally from the walking surface.


R308.4.7 Glazing adjacent to the bottom stair landing.
Glazing adjacent to the landing at the bottom of a stairway where the glazing is less than 36 inches (914 mm) above the landing and within 60 inches (1524 mm) horizontally of the bottom tread shall be considered a hazardous location.

Exception: The glazing is protected by a guard complying with Section R312 and the plane of the glass is more than 18 inches (457 mm) from the guard.
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
38,394 posts, read 47,274,053 times
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Thanks, both of you. I agree that safety is the first consideration. Secondly, I don't want to get nailed on a house inspection if I want to sell.
In our case, 3 windows are less than 18" off the floor, 2 windows are less 18" off the floor and less than 24" on either side of a door, and one window is over a bathtub.
Am I correct that windows in a bonus room or garage are exempt?
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:39 AM
 
Location: West Madison^WMHT
3,387 posts, read 3,344,529 times
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Unhappy With tempered glass what would normally be a moderately annoying chip or crack becomes a need to replace the entire pane

I've never heard of a requirement to "use tempered glass on a kitchen window over a sink", but then I've never dealt with real estate in CA.


Tempered glass is annoying, I would be PO'd if anybody told me I was required to use it anywhere but in a shower or sliding glass door. With tempered glass, what would normally be a moderately annoying chip or crack becomes a need to replace the entire pane.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:27 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
40,160 posts, read 49,314,312 times
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OP the best answer and quickest would be to call your local city/county code enforcement inspector and they can tell you immediately what you want to know. The you have it from the horses mouth and can relax.
Codes vary from city to city, county to county, state to state. Some go by federal standards, some add on to those code requirements.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Amelia Island
3,058 posts, read 4,094,032 times
Reputation: 3205
Quote:
Originally Posted by wit-nit View Post
OP the best answer and quickest would be to call your local city/county code enforcement inspector and they can tell you immediately what you want to know. The you have it from the horses mouth and can relax.
Codes vary from city to city, county to county, state to state. Some go by federal standards, some add on to those code requirements.
Great advice as with the others.........we are within a block of the ocean and our Code (Florida Statue) requires impact resistant windows up to a certain MPH. Depending on where you live enforcements vary also. We have roving code officers and they are very strict, AC, water heaters, door replacement as well as window on existing homes require permits......they don't play here at all.

Here replacement has to be brought up to new code.......they now (on new installs) require a separate breaker on our water heaters to be in line with new code!

Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Cold Springs, NV
4,575 posts, read 9,928,997 times
Reputation: 5047
Quote:
Originally Posted by wit-nit View Post
OP the best answer and quickest would be to call your local city/county code enforcement inspector and they can tell you immediately what you want to know. The you have it from the horses mouth and can relax.
Codes vary from city to city, county to county, state to state. Some go by federal standards, some add on to those code requirements.
The only problem I have with this is the information being verbal and not written. To come back later and say, but the building department told me? You may find the horse is really a jackass. The person answering the phone, or at the front desk may be the least qualified.
Asking for documented changes to IBC requirements might be more appropriate. This way you can read the differences yourself. Also, don't discount hiring a local qualified contractor that will most likely be aware of added local requirements.
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Venus
5,030 posts, read 3,416,523 times
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We just replaced all of our windows and some HAD to be tempered because they were a certain amount of distance from the floor (not too sure the exact measurement). Most of the windows were not tempered.



Cat
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
13,155 posts, read 50,619,140 times
Reputation: 15354
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
...representative said this only pertains to new construction.
This "representative" is a salesperson who only wants the sale! And will do or say anything to get it.
Please tell me this is Champion windows- that will answer everything!
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