The International Code Council (ICC) reviewed proposed changes to the International Building Code’s Section 1008.1.7 (IFC [B] 1008.1.7), related to thresholds, as part of proposal E60 – 12 and Section 1013.8 (IFC [B] 1013.8), related to window sills, as part of proposal E109 – 12, and passed both.

Proponent of the revision in E60 – 12, Julie Ruth, representing the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, wanted to add a second exception to section 1008.1.7 (IFC [B] 1008.1.7). The exception would read: “In Type B units, where Exception 5 to Section 1008.1.5 permits a 4-inch (102 mm) elevation change at the door, the threshold height on the exterior side of the door shall not exceed 4 ¾ (120 mm) inches in height above the exterior deck, patio or balcony for sliding doors or 4 1/2 inch (114 mm) above the exterior deck, patio or balcony for other doors.”

Ruth supported the motion and Jeff Inks, representing the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, followed her support.

“This proposal would permit the height of the threshold itself to exceed ½ or ¾ inch in height, as long as the resultant profile from the interior floor to the exterior surface is maintained as required by current code text,” Ruth explained.

“We have put in a lot of work and the revisions have been reviewed by those who understand the requirements very well,” Inks said. “Builders have been struggling with this for a long time. It is an important fix from water infiltration to the interior and the potential of snow build-up on the outside.”

The motion passed 14-0.

Proponent of the revision in E109 – 12 was Carl Baldassarra, chair of ICC Code Technology Committee (CTC). The CTC Study Group on Child Window Safety examined Section 1013.8 during the preparation of the code change for existing buildings and questioned the original intent and scope, according to the ICC.

“Reviewing all the code changes that led to the current language, we concluded that the limitation on window openings and the requirement for use of protection devices was focused on dwelling units within buildings,” according to the revision document. “We also felt that any such buildings would have a high incidence of exposure by small children to other window openings where they might fall and be injured.

“Therefore, we have clarified the language specifying that it is all windows in an R-2 or R-3 building, which has dwelling units in it. Similarly, we have clarified that the height is to be measured to the top of the sill of an operable window. Finally, the exceptions aren’t actually exceptions, but conditions where various devices and their standards are allowed to be used.”

Ruth supported the motion, and it passed 14-0.



  1. It absolutely befuddles me why these clarifications have to be so vague What is the “top of the sill”? Does that mean the highest point of the low end of the clear opening, when the window has been opened without tools?

    How is it that the maximum distant of 4 3/4″ reduces water infiltration? It’s the decks that are tight to the thresholds that cause infiltration.

  2. Please a arch. drawing showing dim.areas would be nice

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