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How to Replace Basement Window Inserts

How to Replace Basement Window Inserts
You must make 3 basic decisions when it comes to replacing your basement windows:
  1. Vinyl or aluminum
  2. Monarch or Columbia
  3. Single- or double-paned glass

  1. Basement replacement window inserts are made of either vinyl or aluminum. Vinyl is a better insulator and will not feel as cold to the touch as aluminum, but aluminum windows cost less.
  2. Columbia Windows and Monarch have manufactured a large number of the windows present in today's homes. We currently carry Columbia. Columbia manufactures two styles of basement window: Monarch replacement windows and standard Columbia windows. Identify your original window using the rules below:
    • Slider handle: When Columbia window is closed, slider handle latches onto center interlock in middle of window; When Monarch window is closed, slider handles latches onto side rail.

    • Take-out clips: Columbia take-out clips on top of window are slide-in; Monarch take-out clips are riveted in place.

  1. Many basement windows in today's houses are single-paned glass--there is only one layer of glass in the window. Double-paned windows, or insulated glass windows, have two layers of glass, and can be beneficial for reducing heating or cooling costs in basements. *Note: Single-paned windows come in aluminum only; Monarch replacement windows come in double-paned only.

If you have Kewanee windows, or think you might, scroll to the bottom of the article.

How to Replace Sliding Basement Window

  1. From inside, remove current basement windows (in the pictures, we removed an aluminum single-paned window to be replaced by a double-paned vinyl window). Do this by pushing down on tabs at top of window and gently pulling window in, being careful of dirt and debris that may come in with window. It may be necessary to run a razor along edge of window and wall or frame, where paint may be holding window in place.

  1. Make sure slider handle of new window is facing inside and place window in opening. Push forward until take-out tabs click in place. No caulk is required.

We have also made a video of this process: How to Replace Basement Window Inserts

Links to Replacement Windows. Click on the link for the windows you want.

All windows come in standard heights: 12", 16", 20", 36" (standard width is 31")

Single-Paned Aluminum Columbia Style
Double-Paned Aluminum Columbia Style
Double-Paned Vinyl Columbia Style
Double-Paned Aluminum Monarch Style
Double-Paned Vinyl Monarch Style
Double-Paned Vinyl Kewanee Style (see note 2)

NOTE: While a large quanity of basement windows are either Columbia or Monarch brand, there are other brands of windows out there. Some of them can be replaced by Columbia windows. If you are not sure, contact us and we can help you find a replacement insert.

NOTE 2: We now carry Kewanee replacement basement inserts. Make sure you know the width and height of current window. All Kewanee replacement basement windows are double-paned/insulated glass; they are made by Columbia Windows and operate the same way the Columbia windows shown above do. An adaptor has been fit to the bottom of the windows to allow for a proper fit. If window size is not available on our website, call to special order custom size. Click to see an infosheet with pictures of the Kewanee buck.