Everything You Need To Know About Basement Windows Replacement

As a homeowner in the US, it is vital that you keep up with the maintenance of your house. And one thing that most people overlook is basement windows. That is because they are not always in your line of sight, which can make you neglect them.

However, basement windows play a crucial role in a house's security and appearance. They also have many benefits that we'll discuss in this post soon. If you're not sure you need to replace your windows, then you've come to the right place.

Here is everything you need to know about the replacement of basement windows.

Signs That You Need New Windows for Your Basement


If you've been living in the same for a long time, then it's most likely that your basement windows require replacement. But of course, you cannot just jump into deciding with vague knowledge. That is why here are practical signs that will allow you to have a better grasp of the situation:

Operating Difficulty


One of the ways you can determine whether you need a replacement is by checking the window's functionality. Whatever type you may have, window features must be working correctly. Hence, you should check whether you can open them with ease or not. Besides that, you should check if you can lock the window or not. Sometimes the parts can jam or get stuck from corrosion. You should also look for other defects of window components. For example, look for rust, rot, and other problems.

Moisture Accumulation


If you have a double-paned basement window, then you must know how to check for moisture. The glass is typically filled with gas to ensure that air doesn't accumulate. As a result, the window can stay clear, and you can have a perfect view of the outside. However, sometimes due to condensation, the gas can displace and make your house vulnerable. That is because moisture can accumulate around the basement windows.

Not only that, but the weather seal also becomes damaged. Thus, water from rain can seep into your basement. You can check for moisture around the fixture and hinges of the windows. The best way to identify damage is by looking for discoloration, paint coming off, and mold. Mold appears slimy in texture and typically green or black in color.

Damaged Glass


Some basement windows can never open. That is why most people install these in the basement for additional security. However, these are only best at protecting if they are intact. Otherwise, they will offer easy access to intruders. To see if the windows of your basement require replacement, you should look for damage. Even a minor crack can decrease their efficiency. That is because air loss can take place, and so your home temperature will not be maintained. As a result, your energy bills will increase.

Besides that, a crack can allow rain or snow to enter your house during winters. Not only that, but it can make it easy for intruders to sneak into your place without making too much noise.

Window Well Loosening


Window wells are what keeps the windows secure and in place. They are the reason why your windows stay attached to the surface. If you spot warping of wells, then it's time for you to replace the windows.

You can get the wells repaired too if you don't want to spend more. But keep in mind that the issue is more likely to occur again due to the aging of the window. That is why it is best to replace all of them if the wells start to loosen.

If you let the issue, be, then you'll be opening your home to further risk. That is because it will affect the drainage system. Not only that but even animals and intruders can break in with ease.

Why Should You Replace Basement Windows?


There are many reasons why you need to replace your basement windows. Besides replacing them out of necessity, there are also many advantages of them. Here are some benefits that will help you understand the need for having new windows in your basement:

  • Prevents Loss/Entry of Air. If you've been living in a house with old basement windows, then they are most likely to suffer from gaps. This is the case with most original things of a property. That is why you should replace them after every few years. Gaps around your basement windows can allow warm air to escape during cold months. Similarly, hot air can enter during warmer weather conditions. Besides that, humidity can also accumulate inside your home. By opting for a window replacement, you can tackle the unnecessary loss and entry of air.
  • Insulation. If you have years-old windows in your basement, it's time to replace them. That is because older models have thin glass that acts as a barrier to wind. However, they are not effective against offering excellent insulation. One of the many reasons why people prefer to have windows in the basement is to keep the house well insulated. For this reason, you need to have thick glass to remain comfortable in all weather conditions. Besides that, insulated windows also keep out unnecessary noise. So, if you live in an area that is noisy and ruins your peaceful environment during the day, it's best to replace your old basement windows. This will allow you to live comfortably and with fewer worries.
  • Reduces Utility Bills. You may be wondering how a window can affect your utility bills. Well, it is simple. By insulating your house and tackling air infiltration issues, you can cut down on energy costs. All the earlier mentioned benefits will prevent you from using extra methods and appliances to control the home temperature. As a result, your house will be more energy efficient. Hence, you can reduce your bills and save up some money.
  • Increases Security. Due to their underground location, basements are one of the easiest ways for intruders to enter your home. Therefore, instead of having an exterior door installed in the place, you should opt for windows. That is because they will offer more resistance to unnecessary guests. Besides that, basement windows are more difficult to tamper. Not only that, but most people cannot get in through narrow passageways. That is why they are great for ventilating your home while keeping it secure.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing. One of the reasons why most people prefer to replace their basement windows is for aesthetics. It does not matter if the interior of the room is rugged and worn out. If the exterior appearance is excellent, people will never know. Having new windows can improve the appearance of your house. Meanwhile, rusty windows can serve as an eyesore. Not only that, but if you want to sell your home, then aesthetics plays an integral role. You can get more buyers if your property does not appear outdated and vulnerable. A basement window replacement can help you achieve this.

What Types of Basement Windows Can You Get?


If you're planning to replace your basement windows, then it is always good to be well-informed. There are many types that you can choose from. (Related: 12 Types Of Replacement Windows (And Costs) That Homeowners Need To Know About) The reason why you need to know them is because of price differences. Besides, that most of them have different operational methods. That is why it is best to get the one that is easy for you. Here are the top types of basement windows you can get:

Slider Version


These are the most prevalent windows you’ll find in most houses. They have two different sections. One of them remains in place and does not open. Meanwhile, you can slide the other part in one direction to open and in the opposite way to close it.

Slider basement windows are a great option if you want to let air in the room while keeping the bugs out. That is because you can attach a mesh screen to them. Besides that, they allow sunlight to enter quickly and gives you a clear view of the yard.

Fixed Version


As the name implies, these basement windows are fixed in one position. Therefore, you cannot open them in any way. The only purpose they serve is to insulate the house well.

Besides that, they allow light to enter the room during the day. An example of fixed types is Glass Block windows. This type also offers greater security than the sliding version. That is because they are more difficult to tamper using a crowbar.

Hopper Version


Hopper Basement windows are one of the standard versions you can find in various homes. They are pretty popular and for a good reason. Firstly, they ventilate your basement excellently. Secondly, they come in a variety of models with different privacy features. For example, you can choose a version that will not allow anyone from the outside to peak in. Thus, you can efficiently secure your house without spending extra.

The Hopper windows operate through a bottom hinge functionality. You can pull them down from the inside. As a result, air and light can enter the room. The best part is that they are a cost-effective option and won’t break your bank.

Awning Version


These windows are the opposite of the Hopper version in terms of functionality. That is because they are hinged from the top rather than the bottom. The design is such that the basement window will open outwards rather than inwards, giving an awning effect.

What's so great about this window type is that they allow adequate ventilation of the room. They are also great for preventing the entry of water and snow. Additionally, it will be difficult for intruders to enter without shattering the window.

Crank Version


Crank windows are also called casement windows. These are mainly designed for above-ground basements. That is why they should be your top replacement choice if you have such a basement. These windows have a panel and can open due to vertical hinges like a door. They have a crank handle that you can use to open them. However, keep in mind if you're looking for high security, this type may not be the best.

Double Hung Version


These windows consist of two components that can slide independently in either direction. You can get either the vertically opening version or the horizontally one. They can provide adequate ventilation and light whenever you need it. However, these windows are typically high. That is why they are not suitable for most basements. Hence, they should not be your first choice, no matter how cheap you get them.

What are the Best Materials for Basement Windows?


Just like different types, all products are also made of different materials. That is why you must know the best ones. Otherwise, you may end up replacing your basement windows with worse options. Here are the best materials that you should consider:

  • Vinyl - This is one of the most popular materials for basement windows. Vinyl offers excellent resistance against condensation issues. Not only that, but it also enables the windows to insulate the basement well. The best part about them is that they are low maintenance and do not degrade.
  • Aluminum - If you have a tight budget, replacing your basement windows with aluminum-constructed versions will be great. The material is lightweight, so opening them will be easy for you. Additionally, it does not rust and require negligible maintenance.
  • Fiberglass - If you're looking for windows that will secure your basement for years, then you should opt for fiberglass material. It is highly durable and water-resistant as well. Thus, the windows won't warp, rust, and crack, making them a secure option.
  • Wood - Wood is one of the classy materials and is best for aesthetics reasons. In most versions, it is used for lining the interior of the window. However, you can find options that are purely made from wood as well. This material is excellent for insulation but keep in mind that it can degrade quickly.
  • Clad-Wood - This is a better alternative for windows made out of wood. The interior is lined with wood cladding. Meanwhile, the exterior is made of aluminum, making the window highly durable. What sets this material apart from pure wood is that this is resistant to rot.

How to Secure your Basement Windows?


Many basement window types are difficult to tamper with. However, that does not mean they are fully secure. That is why you must take additional steps to improve the security of your home. Here are some of the cost-effective options you can benefit from:

  • Increase the Lights. Lights are one of the ways to keep intruders out as they compromise the invisibility of the individuals. One of the ways you can use them to your benefit is by placing them near the window. But keep in mind that they should be indoor, so that they cannot be tampered with. Besides that, you can also purchase window sensors. They are more affordable than a fully-fledged security system. The best part is that they can alert you through an alarm.
  • Put Bars on the Window. One of the best ways to protect your home from vulnerable access points is by having window bars installed. With them in place, no one will dare to enter your home. That is because to remove the bars, heavy and noisy equipment will be required. Besides that, if you're worried about ruining the aesthetics of your property no need to. That is because you can have the grates installed from inside. Additionally, secure locks can also help you with protecting your home.
  • Put Window Decals. Intruders love to break into houses, but they are not prone to risking their freedom. That is why security stickers on the windows can serve as a deterrent and make them think twice. The best part is that they barely cost anything.

How Much Does Replacing Basement Windows Cost?


To give you a rough overview, here are the costs of basement windows. These are divided into four categories for ease. Of course, it is always best to hire professionals for the job. Professionals securely install the windows in the basement. Besides that, you may injure yourself due to lack of experience if you try to put them yourself.

Type

Window Price Only

Window + Installation Price

Hopper

$45 to $500

$200 to $1000

Awning

$45 to $500

$200 to $1000

Slider

$40 to $500

$190 to $1000

Fixed

$100 to $1500

$250 to $2000

Conclusion


That was all you needed to know about replacing your basement windows. Changing old windows will benefit you in many ways and secure your home further. If you're wondering what your next step should be after deciding on which type to get, then no need to. Once you make up your mind, it is best to hire an external service provider that can offer you the windows and install them. By getting both from one place, you can enjoy your new basement look while making significant savings.

Kenneth Wilson
September 22, 2021
Contractor Tips, Window Replacement

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done.