Looking for accurate cost information related to basement window replacement?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- How to tell when to replace your basement windows
- Accurate cost guide of basement window replacement
- How to replace your basement windows
- How to save money with basement window replacement
Many homeowners know that foundation problems are often severe and should be corrected as soon as they are discovered. However, many people don’t know how critical it is to replace basement windows.
Poorly functioning basement windows can allow bugs to enter into your basement, lead to issues with water leaks, cause high electric bills, and create uncomfortable drafts in your home.
Below, I’m going to discuss how to identify when your basement windows need to be replaced and how to replace them. I’ll give a detailed pricing guide for professional replacement and give you some tips on saving money when getting them replaced.
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How To Tell If It Is Time To Replace Your Basement Windows
Before you replace your basement windows to prevent the problems mentioned above, you should identify if your windows need replacement. Below are some of the most common signs that indicate a replacement is necessary.
Difficult to Open and Close
It should go without saying that any type of basement window should open and close without too much effort. However, older or improperly installed windows can often give you some trouble.
Most vinyl windows won't exhibit these issues, but outdated wood windows can rust or rot, making them problematic when opening or closing. Basement windows that were installed improperly can become imbalanced easily, and even windows that were correctly installed may become challenging to use if your foundation has shifted or settled around them.
Any of these signs should trigger replacement.
An essential part of a window’s job is to help maintain temperatures in your home. If you feel air leaks coming in through your basement windows during cold winter days, it probably means the window is damaged. Neglecting to replace drafty windows in your basement often leads to reduced energy efficiency and a less comfortable house.
Condensation Between the Panes
Most modern windows are made with two panes with a layer of argon gas in between them. These double-pane windows help insulate your home far better than single pane glass. If the seal in either pane of insulated gas is broken and the gas escapes, you’ll likely see condensation between the panes. This build-up of moisture is a sign of an ineffective window that should be replaced as soon as possible.
Increases In Your Energy Bills
As windows age, they become less and less effective at resisting heat transfer, which means they’ll contribute to your home getting colder in the winter and warmer in the summer - not something any homeowner wants.
As a result, you may see an increase in your energy bills as your heating system struggles to keep up with the failing windows. Higher energy costs may be a sign that your basement windows need replacement.
Physical damage around the windows in your concrete block walls almost always indicates that it’s time to replace them. You may notice rotting around the wood frame of your window or on the wood around the glass pane.
What Are The Costs Of Basement Window Replacement?
The cost of replacing basement windows depends on a few factors, the most significant of which are the type of window you’re replacing and how many windows you need to replace. To provide the most accurate cost estimate, I’ll break down the national average cost on a per-window basis for each type of basement window.
Casement, awning, and hopper windows typically cost an average of $250 per window for materials and will run about $300 for labor. For total cost, you should expect to pay about $550 per window.
Double hung windows are more expensive at approximately $400, but their installation cost will be around the same. The total cost will be around $700 per double hung window installed.
Sliding windows are the most expensive and average around $550 per window for materials. Add the $300 in labor costs, and you should be looking at an average of $850 per window installed.
Lastly, glass block windows are the cheapest due to their lack of moving parts. The materials generally cost approximately $200, and labor will bring the total cost for replacement up to an average of $500 per window.
How Do You Replace Your Basement Window?
Whether you want to educate yourself about what your hired contractor will be doing or you’re considering replacing your basement windows yourself, it’s helpful to know the process. Below are all of the detailed steps for installing replacement basement windows.
I’ll assume that your new window is the same size as the one you’re replacing for this breakdown. If this is not the case, I strongly recommend hiring a professional installer to do the replacement for you.
Step 1 - Remove the Old Window
Begin by removing the window sash to expose the window frame. Use a reciprocating saw to cut the frame out of your foundation wall.
Step 2 - Clean the Opening
There may be mortar or dried window sealer stuck to the concrete, creating a rough opening. Carefully remove any residue with a razor blade or hammer and chisel.
Step 3 - Place the New Window
Next, place the new window in the opening, ensuring that it’s leveled and centered. Use shims to help set the window properly. Secure the window in place by screwing into the sill plate.
Step 4 - Seal the Window
Apply window caulk around the outside edges of your window to seal to the cement. Use expandable window insulating foam along the underside to seal the window properly.
What Are The Types Of Basement Windows?
There are several different types of basement windows, each functioning differently, and with its own pros and cons. I recommend replacing old basement windows with an identical type for ease of installation.
Casement windows have hinges set on the side and swing open like doors. They’re often used when a point of egress is required in a basement.
Hopper windows have hinges on the bottom, so they pull open and hang at a 45-degree angle when opened. These windows have minimal airflow but block dirt and splashing water from getting into your basement.
Awning windows are hinged at the top. They open outward, so they protect against rain. They’re particularly useful in basement window wells, and they allow a good amount of natural light into your space, an important feature for finished basements.
Double hung windows have two sliding panes, so they give you the option of opening the top or bottom of the window. They provide a good amount of ventilation.
Sliding windows slide left and right to open and close. They offer good ventilation and can be used as points of egress.
Glass Block Windows
Glass block windows are made of solid glass blocks, so they don’t open at all. They offer no ventilation or egress, but they do have the best protection against water intrusion. However, there are some guidelines on how many glass block windows can be installed in your basement.
How To Save Money With Basement Window Replacement?
Replacing your basement windows can be a relatively expensive home improvement project, so many homeowners look for ways to save money in the process. There are a few ways to cut down on cost when swapping out the windows in your basement.
First, you can save on window installation and custom window costs if you choose new windows that match your old windows’ size. Adapting your foundation to fit new windows can add additional labor costs.
Second, you can save money by choosing cheaper window styles. Double hung and sliding windows are nearly double the price of glass block and hinged windows. If feasible, choose more affordable windows to reduce your material cost.
Lastly, you can save on professional installation by installing the windows yourself as a DIY project if you’re handy. If you do go the professional route, you can save on material costs by purchasing the windows yourself rather than having your contractor buy them for you and upcharge them.
Check out the video below for more tips on replacing your basement windows: