Is your basement dark and lacking in warm, comforting natural light? Are you considering an upgrade or remodeling project so you can get more use out of your basement?
Installing new basement windows can transform what has been an underused home space into a great new bedroom or entertainment space. And they can add value that boosts your home’s appeal when you’re ready to sell it. So, investing in basement windows is a smart home remodeling project.
What to Look for in Basement Replacement Windows
As you consider your options, it pays to evaluate what you need most from your basement windows. Here are the top things to think about when upgrading the windows in your basement.
Do you use your basement mainly for purposes such as storage, and access to elements of a house’s overall structure—such as vents, heating units, and plumbing? If this remains your goal for basement usage, then your choice in windows should be practical.
- Functional style — Simple windows such as sliders are often preferred for unfinished storage spaces.
- Few frills — Insulation factors (such as triple panes) and fancier styles (such as bow windows) may not be as important if you don’t spend time in the space often.
If your basement is being used as a bedroom or play area, the replacement windows you choose should provide livable comfort. Think in terms of creating a warm, bright space that is also secure.
- Insulation — Value-adding energy-efficient windows with features such as gas fill, or double- or triple-panes, can often make sense to keep the space comfortable without costing you in utilities.
- Exits — Egress windows are especially important in finished basements. Not only do they allow for emergency escape if the home catches on fire, but many places also require them as a part of the building code.
- Styles — When a space is lived in, an attractive window style adds a warm, homey feel. Choose windows that look good in the space.
- Lighting — Additional natural light makes a room appealing, so consider window styles that have larger glass panes and bring in greater light, such as sliders.
Spaces You May Remodel in the Future
Perhaps you’re not planning to turn that unfinished basement into a fully redesigned apartment right now—but if you have dreams of doing that in a few years, choose replacement windows that can easily fit in with your future plans.
- Natural light — Basements can be gloomy without sunlight. Even though you may not need natural light now, if you’re going to make the space livable in the near future, invest in window styles that bring in more lighting.
- Ventilation — During a future remodeling project, you’ll appreciate windows that open to bring in fresh air and allow paint fumes and other odors related to remodeling to escape.
- Special features — Consider investing in window features that will add value later on, especially if you’re dreaming of creating a rental space. Great locks, protective low-E coating to prevent furniture from fading, and strong Energy Star ratings are all worth considering.
Understand the Value and Importance of Egress Windows
When you replace basement windows, don’t overlook the usefulness of egress windows as an option. Specifically designed to allow people to escape a home in case of emergency, these windows can help prevent unnecessary deaths or injuries due to home fires and other dangerous situations.
Egress windows must meet the building codes in your area. By meeting the local requirements, you are not only protecting your family’s safety but also ensuring your home will be easy to sell later on. Beautiful egress windows make homes more appealing to buyers.
- Wide size — Egress windows must be at least 5.7 square feet in size to allow people to climb through them.
- Ease of opening — Egress windows must be simple to use, with unlocking and opening mechanisms that require no special effort. Windows that need a special tool to be opened, or that may require a lot of force to be applied, such as crank windows, are not appropriate because they will make it hard to exit a home quickly.
- Added features — If the window is high above the inside floor, you may want an attached ladder to make exiting through the window simpler.
Replacement Window Styles that Work Well in Basements
Of course, it’s possible to install any type of window in a basement—but some styles make more sense than others. Here are the most common window styles for basements.
This style of window is hinged at the top and opens upward from the bottom to create a sort of awning. It works great to bring in ventilation while protecting a space from rain or snow.
These windows are hinged at the bottom, opening downward and inward into the basement space. They’re easy to clean, and provide ventilation without blocking outside walking spaces the way awning windows can.
The most popular style of egress window for its ease of use, casements are hinged on the sides. They essentially swing open like doors, making them wide and easy to crawl through if needed.
Sliders have sashes that allow glass panes to glide left or right. They offer good ventilation and an attractive appearance, and they’re simple to operate.
Get Years of Satisfaction with Lovely Pella Replacement Windows
No matter what you’d like to use your basement for in the future, the right replacement windows can make your home more comfortable, livable, and valuable. Egress windows are an especially smart option to increase your home’s safety as well.
If you’re still wondering about what type of windows to choose, feel free to reach out to our team. As a Pella Platinum Certified Contracor We have years of experience transforming Detroit and Ann Arbor homes, and we’d be happy to answer your questions and provide a consultation. Check out our replacement window services, and contact us to learn more.