Types of Basement Windows

Written by AnonymousMarch 3, 2011

Looking at the Different Types of Basement Windows

The different types of basement window styles are casement, double-hung, and sliding. Each style can be used to satisfy building codes for egress, as long as the dimensions for width and height meet the minimum requirements.

  • Casement basement windows are the ideal type of basement window because they offer solid construction for energy efficiency and provide a good source of natural light and ventilation. Casement windows also crank open quickly and provide an easy escape through an unobstructed exit. Casement window prices vary by manufacturer, size, material, and the type of hardware. Prices range from $200 up to $2,000 or more.
  • Double-hung basement windows aren’t as energy efficient as casement windows, but they’re attractive, easy to clean, and easy to open. Double-hung windows have top and bottom sliding sashes (the framed part of the window that holds the sheets of glass in place). The windows open by pulling the lower sash up or the upper sash down. Double-hung window prices vary based on factors such as manufacturer, size, material, and whether they’re double or triple pane. Prices range from $150 up to $1,000 or more.
  • Sliding basement windows don’t have compression seals, so they are less energy efficient than casement windows and double-hung windows. Although sliding windows can be leaky and drafty if they’re not properly weatherized, they’re easy to open and close for quick escape, easy to clean, and widely accepted in fire and building codes.

The International Residential Code (IRC) requires two forms of escape for every living space: a window large enough for a firefighter or emergency responder to enter, and an exit door. If your basement is being used as an extra bedroom, game room, or a home office, you’ll need to add an egress window with a minimum opening of 5.7 square feet, width of at least 20 inches and height of 24. The window’s sill height must also be within 44 inches of the basement floor to allow for easy escape.   

You can hire a contractor to install your egress window or you can do it yourself. If you decide to do the work yourself, you will need a building permit in order to dig the well, cut a new or larger window opening in the foundation, install the window, and install the well.


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