How to Make Basement Windows Bigger

Do you have a basement, but the windows are too small to let in much light? You’re not alone. Many people have this problem, but there is a solution: making the windows bigger. In this post, we’ll show you how to make basement windows bigger so that you can enjoy the extra light and fresh air. Keep reading to learn more.

How to Make Basement Windows Bigger

What Causes Small Basement Windows?

There are a few different factors that can contribute to small basement windows. The most common one is the design of the house. Older homes, in particular, tend to have smaller windows in the basement. This is because they were built before the International Residential Code (IRC) required larger windows in this part of the house.

Another factor contributing to small basement windows is the house’s location. For example, if your home is built on a hill, the basement windows might be smaller to make room for the foundation. This is because the windows need to be above the ground level to meet egress requirements. Additionally, some homes have a walk-out basement, which means the windows are located at ground level. In these cases, the windows might be small to preserve privacy. Lastly, the windows might be small to save on construction costs.

Why It’s Important to Make Basement Windows Bigger

There are a few reasons why you might want to make your basement windows bigger. The most obvious one is that it will let in more light. This is especially important if you use your basement as a living space, such as a home office or bedroom.

Another reason to make your basement windows bigger is for ventilation. Small windows aren’t as effective at letting fresh air into the space, which can lead to musty smells. Additionally, small windows can make it difficult to regulate the temperature in the basement. Additionally, if you ever want to add a bathroom or kitchen in the basement, you’ll need to have larger windows to meet egress requirements. Finally, bigger windows will make your basement look more spacious.

Some Effective Ways How to Make Basement Windows Bigger

1. Add a Window Insert 

The simplest way to make your basement windows bigger is to add a window insert. This frame goes around the existing window, making it appear larger. Window inserts are available in various materials, including wood, vinyl, and aluminum. To add an insert, you’ll need to measure the window and then order a slightly larger frame. Once the frame arrives, you’ll need to attach it to the window using screws or nails. To choose the best option for your basement, consider the style of your home and the level of maintenance you’re willing to do.

2. Add a Window Well 

Another way to make your basement windows bigger is to add a window well. This is a hole dug around the window and then lined with brick, stone, or other material. Window wells allow you to put in larger windows without compromising the structural integrity of your home. Additionally, they can provide ventilation and natural light, making your basement more comfortable. To add a window well, first, you’ll need to excavate the area around the window. Then, you’ll need to install a drainage system to keep the well from flooding. Finally, you can line the well with your chosen material. Try to match the material to the style of your home for the best results.

3. Replace the Existing Windows

If you’re willing to do a more extensive renovation, you can replace the existing windows. This is a good option if the windows are in bad shape or if you want to add a new window. To replace the windows, you’ll need to measure the openings and then order new windows that are slightly larger. Once the windows arrive, you’ll need to install them in the openings. This is a more challenging project because you’ll need to ensure the new windows fit perfectly. Second, you’ll need to ensure the windows are properly sealed and insulated. Otherwise, you’ll lose heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.

4. Install a Bay Window

Install a bay window if you want to add a dramatic focal point to your basement. This type of window protrudes from the house’s exterior and is supported by brackets or posts. Bay windows are available in various styles, including Victorian, Edwardian, and Georgian. To install a bay window, you’ll need to create an opening in the wall and then frame it out. Once the frame is in place, you can install the window. First, you’ll need to attach the brackets or posts. Then, you can add the window itself. Finally, you’ll need to seal the window to the frame. Avoid installing a bay window yourself if you’re not experienced with this type of project.

5. Install a Garden Window

You can install a garden window if you have a small amount of space around your basement windows. This type of window is similar to a bay window but is much smaller. Garden windows protrude from the house, with shelves on the sides for plants. These windows let in a lot of light and can make your basement feel more open. To install a garden window, measure the space around your window and then order a custom window from a company like Pella or Andersen. Garden windows can be expensive, so get a few quotes before you decide on a company. Once you have your window, follow the instructions that come with it for installation. Avoid installers who want to charge you an extra fee for installation, as this should be included in the price of the window.

6. Install Mirrors

If you can’t make your windows bigger, you can install mirrors opposite them. This will reflect the light and make your basement feel more open. To install mirrors, measure the window and then purchase a slightly smaller mirror. Next, use heavy-duty adhesive to attach the mirror to the wall. Finally, add finishing touches like mirror frames or hanging curtains. If you want to get really creative, you can create a faux window by hanging a mirror in a frame and adding shutters or curtains. Avoid using glass cleaner on your mirrors, as this can leave streaks. Instead, clean them with a mixture of vinegar and water.

7. Use a Window Sash Kit 

You can use a window sash kit if you’re not ready to commit to a full window replacement. This is a less expensive option that will still give you some increase in light and visibility. Measure your window carefully before purchasing the kit to get one that fits properly. Follow the instructions included with the kit to install it. Try to do this on a day when the weather is mild so you can open the window to ventilate the area while you work.

8. Insert a Glass Block Window

One creative way to add natural light and interest to your basement is by installing a glass block window. They provide a unique design element and offer increased safety and energy efficiency. Glass block windows can make your basement feel brighter and more spacious by allowing for bigger window sizes without sacrificing strength and security. And with various designs, colors, and patterns available, it’s easy to find the perfect fit for your home’s style. So consider adding some glass block windows as an interesting and practical upgrade to your home.

You Can Check It Out to Add a Kitchen to a Basement

Tips and Warnings on How to Make Basement Windows Bigger


  1. Make sure to measure your windows before you start making any changes. You don’t want to end up with a window that’s too big or small for the space.
  2. If you’re not sure how to make the changes yourself, hire a professional contractor to do it for you.
  3. Be prepared to spend some money on materials, as well as the cost of labor, if you hire someone to do it for you.


  1. Be careful when making changes to your windows. You don’t want to break them accidentally.
  2. Make sure that any new windows you add are properly sealed and insulated to prevent drafts and leaks.
  3. Do not make your windows too big. They should be just large enough to let in light and air. Otherwise, you might have a difficult window opening or closing.

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So there you have it. Now you know how to make basement windows bigger. By following these tips, you can increase the natural light in your home and make your basement feel more open and spacious. So don’t wait any longer. Get started today and enjoy your brighter, more welcoming basement in no time. Thanks for reading!

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