Best Windows for a Basement
LESLIE: Catherine in Michigan is on the line with a basement-window question. How can we help you with this project?
CATHERINE: Yeah. I’m just wondering if block windows are the best option for a basement window, as far as security and energy efficiency?
TOM: Well, block windows are – they may be secure, because they’re block windows, but they’re certainly not energy-efficient. And most importantly, they’re not ventable; they don’t open.
LESLIE: Nor are they an egress. You know, you need to have a window that you can escape out of from a basement.
TOM: Well, if you have living space down there, you need a window that you have to escape out of. But if it’s a traditional basement window that’s a small window, it’s never going to be an egress window but it sure is nice to have one that you can open to – and you can get some ventilation when you have to, so …
CATHERINE: But we would get the vents that they put in the middle of the block window.
TOM: Yeah, still not very big. I don’t know. I’m not crazy about block as an option for windows. I would recommend a traditional basement window. You can get a thermal-pane basement window. Very energy-efficient. If you need security, then you can install window bars. But just make sure they have an escape mechanism that you can activate from inside so that you can get out through that window if you had to.
So I mean that’s our two cents. If you like the block windows and you think you’re going to get enough ventilation out of it, then go ahead. But for me, I would never put a block window in a basement. I’d always use a traditional window. I think that’s what people expect in homes. I think doing something different like that could adversely affect my home value. I think I’m going to get the best overall results by doing just that.
I hope that helps you out. Catherine, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.