Whether designing a new home, remodeling, or simply installing replacement basement windows, the choice of windows is usually between three different types. These are hopper windows, slider windows and awning windows. Window wells and window bubbles are specialized options that may be used in conjunction with most basement windows.
Hopper windows are basic, standard basement windows. This type of basement window hinges to the bottom of the window frame, and opens by tilting inward from the top. For this reason, the window screen on a hopper window is typically installed on the outside of the window frame. This is the least expensive type of basement window, but usually offers the widest range of options in sizes.
Slider windows, as their name suggests, are designed to open and close by sliding from side to side. Also referred to as glider or sliding windows, they are well-suited for larger windows as well as for situations where there is limited room into which the window can swing. The screen on a slider basement window may be either on the inside or on the outside of the window frame. Slider windows are often more affordable than the awning basement windows.
Awning windows are, in many cases, the most expensive of all basement windows. They also boast a more contemporary style, and offer more design features than hopper or slider basement windows. This type of basement window is popular in bathrooms and in coastal areas.
Awning windows are hinged to the top of the window frame, and open by swinging from the bottom out, much like a fabric awning. Since this window tilts outward at an angle, it can be opened for ventilation even in the rain or snow. The window screen is usually installed on the inside of the window frame.
A window well is a structure that extends outward from a basement window. It fulfills both practical and aesthetic purposes. It can serve as an emergency escape route that allows for safe exit in the event of an emergency. Window wells are commonly used to comply with building codes requiring that a basement with sleeping quarters or other livable space have an escape window. This type of window also lets natural daylight into the basement.
A window bubble is a dome-shaped, plastic or vinyl cover that is designed to fit over a window well. Also referred to as a window well cover, it helps insulate the window well as well as protect it from dirt, animals, plant debris, and the elements. Window bubbles also help prevent potentially dangerous falls from above.