While a lot of attention is given to windows on the upper floors of your home, basement windows are often neglected. Windows in the main living areas of our homes are adorned with window treatments and kept clean. And savvy homeowners ensure that those windows are energy efficient. But basement windows deserve some consideration too.
Basement windows, especially those in older homes, are often a metal frame with a single pane of glass. They’re not energy efficient and probably not pretty to look at either. Whether you have a finished basement that’s used as a recreation room or other living area, or an unfinished basement that’s used for storage and utility, installing replacement windows in your basement will improve the energy efficiency of your home.
A variety of window styles will work in a basement. Hopper windows are very common in basements. A hopper window is hinged at the bottom and tilts inward, which is useful if you need ventilation in the room. Similar to a hopper window, an awning window is hinged at the top and swings outward. Awning windows are useful because they won’t let in water when it rains, instead draining the water down the window pane and away from your home. In some areas, you may simply want a picture window, meaning it is stationary and doesn’t open or close.
Some homes sit on a sloped property and have more of the basement wall exposed above ground. If you have enough clearance between the basement ceiling and the outside ground level, you can install a double hung window. Having a double hung window allows in a lot more natural light than a hopper or awning window. Another option for a larger space is a slider window, which is basically a double hung window turned sideways and opening from side to side.
Whatever type of basement windows you choose, it’s important to check the area outside of the windows on a regular basis to ensure rainwater is draining away from your home. If water collects around the window it could case water to enter your basement. Make sure that the ground slopes downward and away from your home. Also inspect your gutters and downspouts for any clogs or leaks that could cause water to enter your basement. If you have window wells, check them to make sure the drains are clear and they’re free from debris.
Consider replacing your old basement windows. New windows will enhance the look of the room, potentially allow in more natural light and ventilation, and improve the energy efficiency of your home.