An empty basement with a window and a fireplace
June 24th 2021

How to Add More Natural Light to a Basement

Every part of your home deserves to get plenty of natural light. It accentuates the beautiful features of your interiors and makes any room livelier and happier in an instant. Typically, basements do not get sufficient sunlight, but they don’t always have to be dark and dreary.

In this article, we share how adding windows to a basement and selecting the correct type of basement windows can transform a dimly lit space into an aesthetically pleasing one you’d love to hang out in every day.

Let’s get started!

Install The Right Basement Windows

Adding windows to a basement is perhaps the most surefire strategy to shower this part of your home with an abundance of natural light. Beyond brightening up your space, basement windows can also be used to control indoor temperature and promote excellent air circulation and natural ventilation. It can potentially lower your heating or air conditioning use and reduce your energy bills as a result.

The Best Types of Window For Your Basement

1. Hopper Windows

A Hopper window is the quintessential basement window. Its size is ideal for basements that are partially above the ground. This small window is usually hinged at the bottom and fully open inward or into the house using an easy-to-operate pull-over lever.

2. Awning Windows

An awning window looks almost identical to hopper windows, except that they are hinged at the top and fully open outward or away from the house.

The most significant advantage of adding awning windows to your basement is that they can remain open regardless of the weather outside. Thus, it will continue to let natural light shine into your basement and allow air to circulate while protecting the room from getting wet from the rain. Awning windows also have a higher energy efficiency rating compared to other types of basement windows.

3. Sliding Windows

Sliding windows also make good-looking basement windows. You can effortlessly open them by gliding one window into one side to usher in the morning light and cool breeze. The right size of sliding windows can make great egress windows as well.

4. Casement Windows

Casement windows open outwards on a hinge the same way that doors do. Having casement windows is a great way to have ample sunlight and ventilation in your basement. Furthermore,

The Importance of Egress Basement Windows

Suppose you want to increase your property’s value or make the most of your basement area by converting it into a guest room or rentable living space. In that case, you need to have an egress window as required by the National Building Code of Canada.

Egress windows are large openings that should serve as a secondary exit in case of emergency. Basement bedrooms and living spaces should have a minimum of one egress window, measuring at least 5.7 square feet, 20 inches wide by 24 inches high, and with an opening no higher than 44 inches from the floor.

In some cases, you might also need to install an egress window well, which are U-shaped or rectangle-shaped linings either fitted with ribbed metal or plastic or fixed into place by concrete. Egress window wells are designed to protect your basement from possible soil erosion and are typically also equipped with drainage systems to prevent puddles and flooding. Transparent covers for window wells are also available to prevent debris and rain from getting inside.

Like lightwells, egress window wells are also great sources of natural light and air circulation for your basement.

Top external view of a window well lined with stones and a casement window for a basement under renovation

Other Ways to Brighten Up Your Basement

Aside from installing basement windows, you can do other cool and fun ways to increase more light in your basement area. Here are several examples.

1. Use Mirrors

Putting mirrors in strategic places is a smart strategy to reflect light inside your basement. For example, hanging a large mirror on a wall opposite your basement window can double the natural light streaming from it.

Shopping for decors and furniture with glass, chrome, or mirrored features in their design will also work wonders in maximizing natural or artificial light while enhancing the room’s overall aesthetic.

2. Go With An All-White Wall

Painting your basement with a crisp white colour is the most straightforward design technique that you can do to make it appear bigger, brighter, and more inviting.

Pristine white walls are great at reflecting or bouncing back both natural and artificial light. It also serves as a neutral but stylish backdrop for various interior design themes or motifs you want to use for your basement.

3. Maintain an Open Floor Plan

Keep an open floor plan that will allow natural light and artificial light to spread throughout the entire space. Building wall partitions won’t only be space constricting for a basement, but can also potentially block out sunlight shining through your basement windows.

Chic basement with an open floor plan, basement windows, and white walls

4. Install a Sun Pipe or Solar Tube

Sun pipes, also known as solar tubes or sun tunnels, are designed to channel natural light into the house. The pipe is fitted with a series of reflective mirrors, facilitating light to travel towards the interior space. Sun pipes are typically installed on the roof or an exterior wall. For basements, they can be placed on the portion of the wall that is above-ground.

5. Glazed/Glass Doors

Opting for large glass doors can also boost the amount of natural light your basement gets. As previously mentioned, glass has a shiny and reflective quality that can magnify light. Besides making your basement appear brighter, you can also take advantage of stylish glass sliding doors when adding flair to your interiors.

6. Build A Basement Light Well

Whether you are building a new basement or renovating an existing one, incorporating a light well into your design should be a must.

A light well (or lightwell), sometimes also called an air shaft, is an architectural feature utilized to channel natural light from an unroofed space. It brings in vertical light that can powerfully illuminate your basement. Exterior light wells are commonly carved out of the garden, while interior light well digs one or more floors inside the house.

Get Chic Basement Windows and Doors from Burano!

Burano Doors is one of Canada’s most trusted providers of high-quality windows and beautiful exterior and interior doors. For over 42 years, we’ve provided homes with stylish, energy-efficient, and professionally installed windows and doors. We also offer a lifetime warranty at no extra cost to replace parts.

For a free home estimate for basement windows and doors, contact Burano today!

Posted by Raj Kain
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