Whether you're a homeowner or realtor bad looking and old and nasty basement windows are not a good thing! These window openings can be a good place for someone to break into, can cause high heating and cooling costs, can detract from the appearance of the home and can be one of the causes of a musty or moldy smelling lower level. This article will focus on the more popular choices (and their relative advantages and disadvantages) that you can consider.
If you're looking for high security windows at a cost effective price glass blocks are an excellent choice. These windows can be put together using either a silicone, mortar or for the most security using a vinyl stack fabrication process (called the Protect All System) If you're worried about ventilation there are small air hopper style air vents available to keep fresh air flowing into the space. The main disadvantage of the glass block window is the entire opening space is not available for air flow.
Not that many people are aware of using acrylic block windows - and even when they see them they assume they are glass blocks. The main advantage of this style of window is it can be fully opened. They are available in both hopper, awning or casement styles for lower levels. The main disadvantage is these windows are more expensive than glass block.
If you're in the midst of a basement remodeling project and you're looking to add a living space like a bedroom you will likely be required to use an egress window. Basically an egress window is a larger window opening that can be used as a way to get out in the case of an emergency. Since these openings are usually larger than 6 to 7 square feet it usually requires making a bigger opening in the foundation to use an egress window. The advantages of egress windows are the ability to get out in the case of a fire or flood - the disadvantage it is costly to put this type of window in due to the preparation required to cut through masonry and concrete foundations. Most egress windows are made using vinyl replacement windows (the acrylic block casement window is also another option).
Vinyl replacement windows
A vinyl hopper or awning style window is also a perfectly good choice for basements. These windows are generally more expensive than glass blocks but they can provide full operability and more air flow. Their disadvantage is the are easier to break the panes of glass (with a stone kicked up from a lawmower) or someone who might try to break into the home.
What experiences do you have with basement windows? Can we provide any additional assistance to you on this project (we offer nationwide supply of basement windows and regional installations in Ohio, Northern Kentucky and New York & New Jersey areas). Links to our offices are as follows - Cleveland Glass Block, West Side Glass Block, Cleveland Window & Door, Columbus Glass Block, Clear Choice Window & Door & Mid America Glass Block of Cincinnati and Dayton.