Your basement isn’t like the rest of your home. A lot of basements are fairly large, but can often feel dark, damp, and cramped. Artificial lighting schemes can alleviate these conditions in some ways, but nothing will work as well as natural light and ventilation. Unfortunately, stock windows used in basements are not always the best choice. Here are some of the things you want to think about for basement windows:
1. Layout and Space Restrictions
When choosing replacement windows, consider the need for ventilation and the availability of space above the ground. Single-hung and double-hung windows are great for ventilation, but these styles are usually taller and not ideal for basement walls. Casement windows are also good for ventilation, but because they swing out, there may not be enough space. Instead, you want wide, rectangular-shaped windows that open. A few options include awning windows, hopper windows, and sliding windows.
2. Lighting Conditions
Getting natural light into the basement can be a challenge. One option is to put windows high up on the wall, near the basement ceiling. This will filter in more light and make your basement feel warmer, brighter, and larger. Unfortunately, this can make access difficult and you may not be able to operate these windows if they are too high. That is why awning windows work a little better in the basement since the latch is located on the bottom and can be easier to reach.
3. Moisture Levels
While a lack of natural light is a large concern, it isn’t as worrisome as moisture problems. Excessive moisture in the basement can lead to water damage in the form of mildew and mold. Sealing out the elements during bad weather days is important as well as getting more ventilation in the basement when the weather is fair. Make sure you pick a window that has good ratings against air and water infiltration.
4. Energy Efficiency
You want to get as much light as you can in your basement, but you probably don’t want excessive heat gain or loss on top of it. That is where energy efficiency can help. Special gas fills and coatings on your replacement windows will allow in ample amounts of light while preventing unwanted heat gain and loss.
5. Safety Concerns
If you are installing replacement windows in an area of the basement that is considered “living space” like a bedroom or common room, then you should have at least one egress window. These are operable windows of a specific size that you can use as an escape during an emergency. Many windows meet the requirements of egress windows, but you will want to be sure you meet the building codes for your area.
If you want more information about replacement windows, contact the experts at Home Supply Window and Door. We offer a wide variety of high-quality products and can assist you with any type of window installation, including basements. To set up a consultation call 973-949-5401 or visit 160 Van Winkle Ave, Hawthorne, NJ 07506.