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When it comes time to replace your basement windows, don’t just toss in anything.

Choosing wisely can improve not only your home’s security and energy efficiency, but also protect against leaks and improve your home’s value. Like other windows in the home, basement windows can be found in a variety of materials including aluminum, wood and vinyl.

The base material is your first consideration, thinking specifically of your regional weather. Areas prone to storm conditions will want something stronger than wood and regular glass, for example.

One of the most popular materials modernly for windows is aluminum. This is a very strong product, very unlikely to leak. Within that framework, getting a safety glass only improves the overall performance. While aluminum might not look very fashionable, how many people are looking at your basement windows anyway? In many homes those windows aren’t even visible behind bushes and other landscaping.

Vinyl is also very durable, and the design of vinyl windows typically allows for easy cleaning and replacement should the window ever get damaged. Wood has a traditional look and feel. No matter your decision you may want to consider privacy glass so as to block unwanted peeks into the lower levels of your homes design. This is a security issue. Typically this type of glass has reinforcement too.

Basement windows have other values too, such as improved air circulation in your home. Since many homeowners have workrooms, laundry rooms, and even finished family rooms in this area, that circulation is very important to health and comfort. So, if possible consider windows that don’t simply offer light, but have secure ways to open and close, providing that air. And, speaking of light, try to find windows that offer natural light especially in areas where people will be frequenting. It makes the entire space feel larger.

Now, as with many household changes, windows are regulated by law. Most basement windows must be 24×24″ minimum to provide an additional fire escape route. Please check with your local ordinances before buying (if you’re installing yourself) or ask your contractor for advice in this area. Some laws are newer, meaning the original size of your cellar windows may no longer be “regulation’.

Additionally, if you’re utilizing your cellar for family space, a larger window is recommended to improve the overall ambiance and functionality.


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