What are the Different Kinds of Basement Windows?

Basement WindowAlthough it might seem that there are very few different kinds of basement windows, there are actually many styles and sizes available. Your choices really depend upon what type of basement that they are going into.

If you have what is known as a daylight basement where your home is built on a slope and the back of your house is completely exposed while the front part of the basement is underground, your back windows usually include a slider and any size of window that you normally would put into an upper floor of your home.

If your basement is largely underground on all sides, the different kinds of basement windows that are popular are largely going to be wider than they are tall.

The Hopper Window

Hopper windows are a basic design that includes a strong frame around one piece of glass that opens by tilting inward or outward as an entire unit. They are a classic basement window design that frequently incorporates frosted glass or other effects like glass block to allow for privacy in buildings where the windows either face the street or are close to a public access area. Hopper windows are normally wide and not very tall. When shopping for hopper windows, you might note that they are not so different from awning windows. The primary difference is that awning windows tend to tilt out from the bottom, making them a poor choice for a basement window unless they are installed upside-down.

The Casement Window

Casement windows are found a lot in bathrooms and in basements that have more of the basement showing above ground. They are typically taller than they are wide and like the hopper window, they open as one whole window outwards. They also normally feature privacy options.

The Slider Window

As mentioned, if you have a daylight basement, having a sliding glass door coming off the back of your basement can be a nice way to enjoy both a basement in the front and a deck experience in the back of your home. Although most sliders have the same engineering ratings, it is helpful when you shop for basement sliders for you to gravitate towards those which have the strongest frame so that if your home settles, your door won’t stick. Slider windows that are smaller are a popular choice to face the street.

Types of Window Materials that are Best for Basements

The conventional wisdom is that wood is one material that you want to avoid for basement windows because the window itself is near the ground, making it closer to moisture that can cause the frame or the window to rot or shrink or expand, according to the New York Times. Most contractors will therefore recommend that you use vinyl framed windows. Vinyl can be cleaned easily. It is impervious to mold and other types of ground-borne dampness problems. It is also the primary type of window that is sold as a new window and as a replacement window- so if you want to change your windows at any point, you won’t have to worry about replacing all of them so they still match.

Related Resource: When Does a Home Need an Egress Window

Basement windows can add extra light to your home and they are worth putting in if you do not have them. The most popular different kinds of basement windows tend to be simple in form, secure, and vinyl or aluminum framed.