Renovating or renovating your basement is a great way to turn a damp and dark space used for storage into a functional living area such as a recreation room, home office, or guest room. One thing to think carefully about before starting a project is basement windows. Here's a closer look at this vital home improvement topic.
The perfect time to window replacement
Windows in unfinished basements are usually small and simple. In many cases, the windows don't let much light into the space, giving the room a gloomy and somewhat depressing character. However, basement remodeling is the perfect time to update your basement and bring more sunlight and brightness to your new living space.
Of course, in some cases, you may not want to replace all of your window companies near me, but only some of them. So first, check all the windows in the room carefully. Any windows that are difficult to open and close, have rotting wood around the window frame, or have drafts entering the basement are the first candidates for replacement.
You can choose several types of windows to replace the ones you want to upgrade.
A popular choice for finished basement windows is the casement window. A casement window opens and closes with a hinge attached to the frame. The hinges are installed on both sides and are usually opened with a handle or crank.
Another type of casement window is called a transom window. Finally, a hopper window has the same characteristics as a standard casement window, except that the hinge is at the bottom of the window instead of on the side.
Another standard casement window is the awning window with a hinge at the top.
An additional common choice for remodeled basements is the sliding window, which does not open outward or inward like a casement window, but has sashes that open horizontally. Sliding windows are usually smaller than casement windows, so they are a good option if you have limited space for replacement windows.
A double-hung window is somewhat similar to a sliding window in that it has two sashes sliding past each other. However, the sashes of a double-hung window open and close vertically rather than horizontally.
One particular type of window that may need to be installed during a remodel is an exit window. Local building codes often require finished basements with bedrooms to have a large window through which people in the basement can escape in case of fire. Another purpose of an exit window is to allow emergency personnel access to the house.
Having a basement is a significant advantage to any home. A cellar is, first and foremost, an additional area that should be used wisely. Traditionally, people are used to storing unnecessary things or placing boiler rooms in them. But with a competent arrangement, this space can quickly become, for example, a workshop, gym, sauna, billiard room, or library. To do this, it is at least necessary to install windows. Through them, fresh air and sunlight will enter the room. Windows for basements are different, as are the basements themselves, and the process of selecting and installing window structures differs from regular ones. Choosing the material for basement windows In basement floors, install window structures with plastic, wood, and aluminum profiles: Plastic windows for the basement are the most popular because of their practicality, durability, and the ability to increase the soft opening by about 10% without losing rigidity and thermal qualities. Professionals recommend installing PVC constructions in semi-basement rooms. The window must have sashes that can be opened, as basement rooms require systematic ventilation to avoid the formation of condensation on the walls; in those places where the plastic profile is in contact with the basement walls, it requires waterproofing and insulating layer.
The aluminum profile is rarely used when installing basement windows, mainly in cases where the basement is planned to be equipped with unheated rooms, such as boiler rooms or warehouses. This is because aluminum can not fully protect against the penetration of the cold.
Wooden windows are usually not recommended for installation in rooms with high humidity, and it is believed that wood is the least suitable as a profile for basement windows. However, thanks to innovative technology, you can install a wooden window in your basement if you wish. Modern window profile made of wood is coated with a liquid polymer, laminated, and treated with unique compounds, which allows it to resist moisture well without losing its aesthetic and technical properties for many years.
General recommendations for setting up windows in the basement If you want to turn the basement room into a full-fledged living space, such as a workshop or home office, in the process of glazing, the room should adhere to specific rules: The window surface should be not less than 1/8 of the floor area. This way, the basement will get the optimum amount of sunlight (if you do not plan to stay in the basement for a long time, enough glazing and 1/12 of the surface of the floor); In the process of converting the basement into a living room, you may need to increase the parameters of the existing window opening. When changing the window size, it is advisable to keep the lintels. A window lintel is a part of the building, or the wall, located above the window opening. It can be steel, reinforced concrete, brick, or stone. The lintel is subject to pressure from the structure above. In the process of changing the size of the window, if necessary, the lintel must be strengthened;
If the basement window is buried in the ground, it must be protected by lattice and equipped with drainage.
These are just some of the rules for basement window openings. You should not do it yourself if you want to convert your basement into a full-fledged living space. The best solution is to turn to professionals who are perfectly familiar with all the rules of installing windows in basement rooms of different types. Features of window installation in various basements: The way of installing windows in the basement depends on its configuration and how the basement is located to the ground level. Semi-open type. This type is common in buildings erected on sloping surfaces. In them, one of the walls is not covered with soil. It is in it a window opening is mounted, after which the basement room in full compliance with all construction standards can be attributed to the dwelling category. A semi-open basement allows the installation of a window and a door. Through it, you can go out into the street. If such a door is available, no extra would be the arrangement of a small terrace.
Partially sunken (semi-basement). Most of the walls in this type of basement are located below ground level. Although somewhat open, the cellar was well lit, and you need to install it closer to the ceiling oval-hinged windows.
Fully sunken. In such a basement room to organize natural sunlight is the most difficult. Requires not just a window opening but also a particular pit with a drainage system and a canopy—the dimensions of the cavity directly related to the parameters of window construction. A hole must be dug and concreted, paved with stone, and lined with metal, wood, or plastic casing. The configuration of the pit can be anything: a rectangle, semi-circular, with flat/oblique walls, as well as with the walls in the form of a ladder. Often the pit is covered with lattice, which can protect the window opening. The presence of lattice is particularly relevant if the hole is deep (about 1 meter). It should be installed, at least for security purposes, so that in recess, for example, no child accidentally falls.
How to protect the basement from flooding? A crucial point when installing a window in the cellar is to protect the room from possible flooding. For this purpose, unique pits are created. Such an element is mandatory when the window opening is located underground. Parameters of the cavity directly depend on the size of the window opening. For example, if the PVC window is almost completely buried under the ground, the bottom of the pit should be near the bottom of the window. Recess should be more profound than the bottom of the window construction by about 20 cm. Obligatory drainage arrangement: If the house stands on the ground with high water permeability, it is recommended to install a perforated pipe, diverting water to a depth of 1 m. To prevent soil particles from clogging the perforation, it is filled with small chips or gravel; If the ground on which the house is located poorly absorbs water, around the foundation organize a circular drainage system. A ditch is dug along the perimeter, drainage pipes are laid, and wells are installed.
Can I install a window in a built basement? If the house is already built and a window for the basement is not provided, you can still install it. It is necessary to consider where the room is located: partially above the ground or underground. In the semi-basement, windows are installed without problems. The more difficult situation with basements, located entirely underground. To glaze such a basement must partially excavate the wall, arrange the pit and only then install the window opening.
First, you must design the structure and mount the window lintel. Then, the basement wall is knocked out a hole (aperture), mounted profile, and installed window sills and slopes. Installing windows is not easy enough since the creation of a new window will inevitably damage the thermal and waterproofing layers of the structure. The surface will have to be insulated again, and the installation joint where the window profile is in direct contact with the walls must be worked on very carefully. The ideal solution for glazing the basement will be PVC windows with anti-burglary hardware and a profile with a closed reinforcement. It is worth installing a window with heavy-duty triplex glass in a modern basement that is resistant to increased mechanical stress.
Do not forget about the installation of a protective canopy, such as polycarbonate. Such a design will prevent precipitation and direct sunlight from entering the basement.
You are installing a window in the basement of an apartment building or private residence - not an easy task, which should be approached responsibly and professionally. When selecting and installing a basement window, many factors are important: the type of basement, soil conditions, its functionality, and other parameters. If you plan to improve your basement, make it habitable and install windows in it, please get in touch with experienced professionals who competently perform all the work and guarantee a quality result.
When building a country house with a basement, homeowners often do not pay attention to such a design feature as basement windows. They either do not do in general or nailed or closed with finishing materials. This approach is fundamentally wrong because of the number of benefits provided by the presence of adequately made basement windows. For example, in sunny weather, just 2-3 small windows can quickly light the basement room, eliminating the need for electric lights. In addition, a room with natural light is comfortable to stay in, and the decorative properties of window openings can not be discounted.
When building a country house with a basement, homeowners often do not pay attention to such a design feature as basement windows. They either do not do in general or nailed or closed with finishing materials. This approach is fundamentally wrong because of the number of benefits provided by the presence of adequately made basement windows.
For example, in sunny weather, just 2-3 small windows can quickly light the basement room, eliminating the need for electric lights. A room with natural light is comfortable to stay in, and the decorative qualities of window apertures can not be discounted.
When constructing basement windows, there are often some difficulties; however, all of them are solvable if you approach the matter thoughtfully.
In the process of glazing basement floors, you should consider various factors that will directly affect the duration of operation of structures. In this case, the basement floor's main feature is that the windows will be relatively low relative to the ground (sometimes not higher than 10-20 cm), so they will have to withstand heavy external influences and exceptionally high humidity.
Based on the above, you should not use conventional wood as a material for windows in the basement. A cheap wooden profile for the basement is not suitable, as it has a lot of disadvantages (from shriveling in heat and warm weather to excessive moisture on rainy days). Instead, you can use only modern construction for the basement, treated with unique compounds and designed for such loads.
Features of basement windows
In most cases, basement windows are much smaller than the rest of the window structures in the house. In addition, where they are installed, the walls are very thick, so the light in the basement part of the house will penetrate at an acute angle.
If you feel that the lighting on the basement floor is poor, be sure to wipe and clean the windows because dirt absorbs up to 60% of the sun's rays. In addition, you should consider that the white color of the profile construction and soffits will reflect more light.
The presence of windows in the basement should be provided even at the stage of designing a country house. You should also offer pits, or particular niches, which will increase the surface of the window by 1.5-2 times.
Additionally, making a small visor over the window is recommended, so the niches are not littered and do not get atmospheric precipitation. Finally, you can consider the device of polycarbonate canopies, which perfectly cope with rainfall, as well as easily cleaned if necessary.
PVC profile, which is used for the device of window structures, is quite large. However, such systems are considered the most popular due to their characteristics. Today on the market, you can find such plastic profiles that can increase the opening of the light by 10-15% without losing stiffness and its thermal properties.
If you want to glaze the windows with a plastic profile on the basement floor, an additional 10% will be a significant addition. Experts recommend using plastic structures in basements where the basement is located halfway above ground level. Then you can buy a few small windows of standard sizes at a reasonable price, without any problem installing them in your home. In addition, the plastic windows must have sashes that can be opened. This is because the basement must be systematically ventilated so that condensation does not form on the walls and ceilings of the room.
When constructing plastic windows in the basement, it is imperative to provide waterproofing and thermal insulation layers where the profile will be in contact with the basement wall material. Many experts recommend using polyurethane foam; however, it is an expensive solution, although the most effective in this case.
As a rule, the aluminum profile in the construction of basement windows is practically not used. This is because aluminum windows are suitable for the basement only if the room is unheated. For example, if a boiler room or a warehouse is installed in the basement. In this case, the aluminum profile will be a good solution for glazing.
If the basement is used as a living or working space, it is recommended to find a suitable option with a plastic profile. The aluminum profile cannot effectively protect the basement room from the penetration of cold air.
Aluminum windows are usually cheaper than plastic windows; however, they have a reasonably high heat transfer performance. That is why the aluminum profile is used in no more than 15% of cases for glazing basements in country houses. The market for aluminum profiles is quite diverse, so you can easily find the right solution for your home.
As a rule, wooden profiles are not used for glazing rooms with potentially high humidity. For example, the basement floor is humid because of the constant exposure to moisture and warm air. That is why it is not recommended to install wooden windows in it.
In recent years, you can find many different wooden profiles on the market, created with innovative technology that allows them to withstand the effects of moisture for many years successfully. The rigid window profile, created by new technologies, is laminated, coated with liquid polymers, and treated with unique compounds, so it does not require cosmetic repairs after a few years of operation.
Windows of this type can be adapted to the glazing of varying thicknesses. In addition, a modern wooden profile can boast better thermal characteristics and many other properties characteristic of the most expensive plastic window designs.
It is impossible not to mention that wooden windows will look very attractive and aesthetically pleasing on the ground floor. It is also a great addition to the exterior if the house is built of wood or timber.
Is it possible to make windows in an already built basement?
All openings in the basement part of the building (both for windows and ventilation) should be provided already at the design stage. For a small basement, 2-3 medium-sized windows will be enough to illuminate the room, allowing you to save on electricity.
If the house you built did not include windows for the basement, you could fix the situation. However, it is difficult to do because waterproofing and thermal insulation layers will be damaged when creating window openings in the structure. Therefore, the surface must be insulated anew, paying particular attention to the points of contact of the window profile and the basement material.
The type of the window profile should be chosen depending on the specific features of the country house construction and the owner's capabilities. Of course, if there is a possibility (and the design allows), it is necessary to install plastic windows with maximum clearance. In addition, installing small canopies is mandatory, protecting window designs from the effects of precipitation and increasing the amount of light transmitted.
A house built with a plinth is externally beautiful, and the presence of windows in the lower part of the building only improves the view from the outside. But in addition to the decorative function, these openings have several other purposes.
One of the essential functions of such windows is the room's ventilation, which you can not do without in the basement. In attics, such openings are called dormer windows, which are opened to ventilate the room. Basement windows allow fresh air from the street and light the room. On a sunny day, just 2-3 small openings can give a comfortable illumination of the underground part of the house, which will comfortably spend time in it, if there is a living area or workshops. Additionally, you can find photo materials representing the basement's arrangement and the window openings involved in the interior.
Types of basements
The presence of windows in the basement depends on their type and depth. This directly affects the way the room is illuminated. There are several options for arranging window openings, and the design and location options can be found in numerous photos in the public domain.
The easiest way to illuminate a basement with sunlight is when one of the walls is not covered with soil. This type is expected in the case of building houses on a slope.
An opening is installed in the wall, and the room can be considered residential according to all construction standards. However, arranging a bedroom, a study, or a living area is recommended for other purposes.
It is possible to install not only a window opening and a balcony with a door, thus arranging an additional exit to the street. It would look good to have a small terrace in this arrangement.
In such basements, most of the walls are underground. Therefore, illuminating this room will require an arrangement of unique windows, oblong and opening themselves with a hinged device. The height of the window aperture of this type is limited by the size of the above-ground part of the basement.
These places become a vulnerability of the basement not only for the cold but also for unauthorized entry into the house by unauthorized persons. To avoid this, lattices and roller shutters with unique mechanisms against burglary are arranged. But this way to protect windows in the basement can be only in the case of additional protection of the first-floor windows.
Such a deep basement placement is the most complex and expensive to arrange natural light. Here it would help if you had not only a window but also a pit, with a drainage system and a protective canopy over it. Designers have come up with several alternatives, in particular, to make narrow openings in the wall surface of the basement and lay in glass blocks. This will make it possible to make a light belt around the perimeter.
You can make the entire opening with glass blocks, then the amount of light in the room will create the illusion of the overground floor instead of the basement. But these methods are too expensive and troublesome, so resort to the standard pits with protection.
In a cove.
This arrangement of the window opening is made with the structure of the pit, which is concreted, encased with stones, and finished with plastic, wooden, or metal covers.
The size of the pit depends on the size of the window opening, and the shape can be different, even a staircase with ledges. A hole of any condition is covered from above grates, the pit itself, or the window. The crater is closed from above if its size exceeds 0,7-0,8 meters.
The bottom of such a pit is made lower 20 cm than the window sill of the window opening. Therefore, to collect water, it is necessary to slope toward the sill - a trough or pipe.
If the soil is well water porous, it is enough drainage near the wall in the form of a perforated pipe at a depth of one meter. In this case, it is necessary to waterproof the basement walls to protect against water penetration into the basement room.
With a light tunnel or light pipe
The light tunnel is a sleeve that is bent according to the configuration of the basement and equipped with mirrored walls inside. This design allows the basement to be illuminated without window openings.
Outside can see only the dome, which due to its transparency, does not spoil the overall appearance of the private house. Shutters or grilles are not installed on it because its size is so small that it prevents unauthorized entry into the room. In addition, a 90-degree turn will not allow a basement view.
But for the same reason, such a tunnel gives much less light flux than a conventional design and is suitable only in cases where the room does not need a lot of light. For example, a diameter of 25 cm will illuminate about four square meters.
The maximum size of the tunnel entrance can be about 55 cm, which gives a good illumination of 55 square meters. Therefore, a daylight lamp can be arranged inside the structure, equivalent to using sconces or outdoor lighting as a small lantern.
A light pit.
This pit arrangement is made to increase the basement's illumination level. Recess with light is made of polypropylene, reinforced with fiberglass reinforcement. The structure is protected by a lattice or transparent cover made of plastic. Additionally, needed drainage, which is connected to the drainage or sewerage. Finally, a pit is fixed at the basement wall until the final backfill with soil.
In some cases, pits are built into the waterproofing layer, which protects the basement from moisture penetration, in which case all gaps are filled with viscous type waterproofing.
The size range is extensive, and if the depth of the basement is great, you can lengthen the pit with special inserts. Usually, the cost of such a pit with a grid is about 10 thousand rubles, and the extension will cost about four thousand rubles.
Each of the basement window options will allow for quality ventilation of the room, which opens up the possibility of arrangement in the basement boiler room or living quarters. When the pits are made, it is necessary to take care of additional insulation so that there is no cold penetration through the created openings.
Features of basement windows
Windows in the basement are always much smaller than other similar structures in the house. In addition, the thickness of the walls is quite large, which causes light to enter at a sharp angle.
It is necessary to regularly clean and washes the glass, as any contamination of its surface leads to 60% obstruction of sunlight inside. In addition, white profiles and made jambs will reflect a large amount of natural light.
Windows, niches, pits, and other types of windows should be provided at the stage of construction of the building. Additionally, it is recommended to make protective canopies against the effects of atmospheric precipitation. Optimal for such purposes will be using polycarbonate, which reliably protects the pit and can be easily washed away with water for cleaning.
Materials for basement windows
Windows in the basement are made low, about 20 cm above the ground, so they are pretty challenging to resist increased humidity. However, the arrangement of windows in the basement must provide the choice of materials such as moisture resistance, so the operation was long and problem-free.
Thus, the wood in the usual form is unsuitable - in a hot time, it will fade up, and in the cold - to swell with moisture and freeze in the expanded form—needed designs, impregnated with memorable compositions with the expectation of such loads.
PVC profile, which makes structures, is quite large. But it is this design of window openings that is the most popular. Window constructions made of PVC can increase the light flow by 15% without losing thermal properties and rigidity. Therefore, this material is recommended in the case of a basement that is half underground.
The windows must have a ventilation system and sashes that can be ajar so the room does not accumulate condensation on the walls and other surfaces. Where the opening is in contact with the wall, you need additional insulation and protection against water; installers often use polyurethane foam.
Aluminum structures for the basement are not usually used, and the only exception is an unheated basement with a boiler room or warehouse. However, even in the cellar, you need to maintain a specific temperature, so aluminum is unsuitable.
If the plinth is residential and used, aluminum cannot provide the necessary protection against the cold. Such structures are much cheaper than plastic but better than them in terms of thermal insulation. There are many options for aluminum basement windows for all tastes and needs.
The basement has a high humidity level, making it impossible to use untreated wood for window openings. But increasingly, builders are offering wood profiles with impregnation to resist moisture for years to come successfully.
Coating with special laminates, polymers, or compositions gives both the material attractiveness and durability without repair in operation.
Windows made of wood are made in different thicknesses; in addition, the material keeps heat well and is environmentally friendly, unlike other types of structures. Finally, the wooden profile looks attractive, especially if the house is built from a beam or wood.
The type of window profile should be chosen based on the features of the basement and the estimate for finishing or construction. It is best to put plastic windows with maximum clearance and a canopy for protection.
Possible types and shapes of canopies of different materials can be found in the public domain photos or manufacturers' catalogs. In the case of pits, it is vital to make drains for water and periodically check the hole for defects.
An arrangement of a drainage system is not required in clay soil because the clay will not let water inside. Thus, the soil's quality also affects the basement windows' location and appearance.