Basement Windows allow Sunlight and Fresh Air
into Your Basement
By: Mark J. Donovan
Have you ever been in a basement
where there are either few or no basement windows? The basement is dark and
musty and unappealing for spending any length of time in it.
Basement windows play a couple of
key roles in your basement. They let light in, and allow you to let stale
musty air out of the basement.
When building a custom home with
a basement you should try to architect into the home building plans as many
basement windows as possible, particularly if you have plans on finishing
the basement someday.
Basement windows also provide an
egress from your home in the event of a fire or some other home catastrophe that
may require you to exit the home via the basement. The basement window also
needs to be capable of allowing a fire fighter to crawl through it. As a result,
it is important that you install a basement window of the appropriate size that
meets federal, state, and local building codes.
Retrofitting a basement window into
an existing basement window frame is fairly straightforward to do. Installing a
new basement window into a concrete foundation requires additional work, e.g.
cutting concrete walls, however it is a task a do-it-yourself homeowner can
tackle. Tool rental companies rent concrete cutting saws at affordable prices.
Basement windows from the past were
typically of low quality and were susceptible to air and water leaks. Today,
there are higher tech basement windows on the market that are constructed out of
Low-E glass, and have excellent seals to prevent water or air infiltration. This
said, however, care has to be made when installing new basement windows so that
air and water infiltration wonít occur around the basement window frame. It is
important when installing new basement windows that insulation and caulking be
applied around the basement window frame.
Soil Grade around
It is also important when installing
basement windows to make sure that the ground and landscaping near the basement
window does not funnel water towards the basement window. The soils that are
back filed around the basement foundation should be installed to shed water away
from the basement window. The back fill soils should also be of a sandy or
gravely nature to allow the water to quickly drain downward, towards the
foundationís perimeter drain.
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New basement windows offer better
locks than their predecessors, however, for added home security installing
reinforcing metal window coverings over the basement windows is a good idea.
Basement windows can turn an
otherwise dark and dingy basement into an inviting living space. So before you
build your custom home or plan on finishing your basement make sure you install
the latest in basement window technology.
For more help on Finishing
Basements, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's
Basement Remodeling Bid sheet. The
Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet will help
ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your basement remodeling
project is done
correctly and you get the project finished on time and budget.
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