10 Common Types of Basement Windows

Basements can have a reputation for being dank and damp, but your basement doesn’t have to be that way. In addition to proper insulation, ventilation, the right materials, and more to combat moisture and create a more comfortable environment, there are also several basement window options available to help add more natural light. Here are a few common types of basement windows to consider when you are finishing or remodeling your basement:

1. Egress Windows

Egress windows are windows designed specifically to provide an exit in case of an emergency while also providing natural light to a room. Egress windows are available in several window styles and types of custom windows, which means they can be configured to work well in basements and other areas.

When it comes to egress windows for basements, especially those that are below ground level, you can construct a window well with a ladder or add exterior steps to be able to add a window, get some natural light, and also still maintain a means of exit in case of an emergency.

There are also options to cover and secure window wells to help burglar-proof your basement windows. Working with an experienced, reputable contractor goes a long way in making sure you get egress windows for your basement that meet all requirements, are high-quality materials, and are also installed properly.

Natural light, means of egress, and more are all things to consider before finishing your basement. Check out the video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team digging a window well and installing a basement egress window for this homeowner!

2. Basement Walkouts

Adding windows or glass doors are ways to add more natural light to your home. With basements, you have the option of adding a walkout. This tends to be common on sloped lots where some of the basement might naturally be above ground. If part of your basement is above ground level, you may be able to install some doors that allow you to simply walk out into your yard.

With basements that are below ground level, you have the option to dig and build a staircase that leads down to a door provided your home and lot allow for it. Not only does this allow for a means of egress from your basement, but you can also add natural light sources to your basement with the doors. With basement walkout doors, you can include window options for entry doors to let in some more light or go for full-glass sliding patio doors to let in even more.

3. Daylight Windows

Daylight windows are common types of basement windows for letting in a little extra light in a space that can be difficult to illuminate. Egress windows tend to be large because they need to be big enough to allow for entry and exit.

Daylight windows can usually be much smaller and take on a variety of sizes and shapes because they just need to let in some light. They don’t always open, but there are types of daylight windows that can be opened so you can get some fresh air into your basement as well as natural light. This can be a great way to incorporate windows into your home, especially in an area that may not have as much flexibility as other spaces.

Generally, these types of windows are installed higher on basement walls to allow for light to enter a space that is likely mostly underground. The higher placement has the bonus of adding some privacy without sacrificing natural light. If you want to add privacy to your windows further, you can explore textured glass, frosted glass, or other options for more privacy without affecting the quality of the light coming through your daylight windows.

4. Awning Windows

Light sources, air flow, egress, and more are all considerations to expect during a basement remodel. Awning windows are characterized by their ability to open outward. They are typically hinged from the top and have a horizontal shape. This can make them a great option for daylight windows in the basement. They can also be manufactured to be large enough to serve as egress windows.

Plus, you have the option of an insect screen so you don’t have to worry about bugs when you want some fresh air in your basement. All of these things make awning windows a great option when it comes to replacement windows for your basement, whether you are adding them or upgrading windows that are already there.

5. Hopper Windows

Hopper windows may seem similar to awning windows in that they are hinged and can be opened. Unlike awning windows, hopper windows tend to only open inwards and are not generally designed to be able to work as egress windows.

Typically, they are horizontal and can have hinges on the top or the bottom top open at 45 or 90-degree angles. Generally, only top-hinged hoppers will open to a 90-degree angle to avoid accidents. Hopper windows can be popular options to install below or above picture windows. They can also be a good option as daylight windows in basements because they are usually higher up on a wall for better ventilation.

6. Casement Windows

Casement windows are typically vertically oriented and are hinged on the side. They are characterized by the crank used to open them. Although they can be manufactured to be shorter for smaller spaces, they are usually larger windows and can be an option for egress windows.

When used as basement windows, this usually means that they require a good chunk of that part of the basement to be above ground. If not, then a window well would need to be included to be able to use this window option in a basement that is entirely or partially below ground.

7. Sliding Windows

Sliding windows are one of the most popular types of windows. Not only are they one of the popular kitchen window styles, but they can be a great option for basements and several other rooms as well. They’re built to operate smoothly on a track and rollers so that they can slide open horizontally easily and efficiently.

These windows are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and more, which also means they can be manufactured large enough to operate as egress windows if needed or designed to be smaller to operate as daylight windows.

8. Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are another one of the most common types of windows. They are popular due to the fact that they can be opened from the top or the bottom. Because they are so popular, that also means there are a lot of options available and opportunities for customizations. This makes them a great fit for any room of the home, including the basement.

9. Picture Windows

Picture windows are characterized and popular for their large, clear views to the outside and for letting in a lot of natural light. These windows do not open, so they cannot be used as egress windows. But, they can be paired with other types of windows that are smaller and do open along the top, bottom, or sides to allow for fresh air and ventilation.

Provided there is enough wall space above ground, they can be a good option for letting a lot of natural light into your basement. This is one of the living room remodel ideas that pay off and it can pay off big in your basement if it works well in your space.

Check out the video below to see Zephyr Thomas replacing this homeowner’s picture window with casement windows on the side for ventilation!

10. Glass Block Windows

There are cases where modern glass block windows work well. Traditional glass block windows tend not the best for current basements/ Traditional-style glass block windows were popular types of basement windows in older homes. These windows were built block-by-block or brick-by-brick. Individual glass bricks or blocks were stacked and mortared together to form a basement window.

This resulted in a thick window that often had frosted glass for privacy while also letting some natural light into the space. They can’t be opened, are difficult to repair, usually aren’t energy efficient, and do not offer a means of egress. This can make your basement less safe, can detract from it, and can also be one of things that can hurt your home value.

For these reasons and more, glass block windows in that style are not recommended for basements today. But, if you have an older home, it may have glass block windows in the basement that you need to replace; either with a modern glass block window or another type of window. This could also indicate other outdated materials and techniques, which are some signs it’s time for a basement renovation.

Remodel Your Basement With Zephyr Thomas

These are just a few common types of basement windows to consider when you are thinking about remodeling or finishing your basement. If you’re ready to overhaul your basement to create a more comfortable space or just add a window to your existing space, contact Zephyr Thomas at 717-399-4708 to schedule a free estimate.

Take a look at the time-lapse video below to see the Zephyr Thomas completing a basement remodel for this homeowner!