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You are knee-deep into planning the redesign of your basement and have reached the stage of deciding what basement window to pick. Selecting an egress window is your best choice if you want to make the most out of your remodel. These windows have to fulfill specific opening requirements to meet building code. Which is the best egress window type for your basement? Here are some options.

Tilt and Turn Windows:

What are tilt and turn windows?

Tilt and turn windows were originally invented in Germany in 1954(“Dreh-Kipp Fenster” in German) and have been around in many European countries such as Germany, Austria, France, and the U.K ever since. Tilt and turn windows are primarily different from other casement windows as they open towards the inside of the room and can also be tilted inwards at the top, similar to how a hopper window opens inward. You might think of it as having three window styles combined in one.

1. A fixed window
2. A casement window that opens inward
3. A hopper window that opens at the top

What are the main benefits of tilt and turn windows?

1. Safety

  • Several aspects make a tilt and turn window more secure than its traditional counterparts.
  • These European windows are equipped with solid and sturdy hardware that locks in multiple points, and they are attached using swing hinges, providing for a smooth tilt and turn function.
  • The inward swinging opening mechanism makes it highly unlikely that someone can force or pull the window open from the outside. Yet you can still achieve ample and efficient ventilation through inward tilting without compromising your home’s security.
  • Tilt & Turn windows use steel core framing, making them very sturdy and secure.
  • Impact-resistant glass provides peace of mind.

2. Ventilation

Hot air rises, so the option to open your window only at the top by tilting it provides excellent ventilation allowing the hot air to exit swiftly. Another benefit is that you can air out your room regardless of how cold it is outside, as the tilting enables fresh air to come in without inviting chilly drafts. A tilt and turn window offers more options for efficient ventilation than other window styles, depending on your desire.

3. Aesthetics

European tilt and turn windows have a stylish, modern, yet unintrusive design. Their clean lines and number of handle options give you the customization you want and make it a beautiful addition to your home.

Egress Tilt & Turn window with brown interior trim kit

4. Views, Light, and Comfort

The big glass area allows for plenty of light and unobstructed views in formerly dark rooms. Whether you add your tilt and turn window to a basement bedroom or laundry room, you will enjoy the brightness and utility of these German windows.

Laundry room with lots of light

5. Effortless Maintenance

There is no need to step into your window well or balance your heavy water bucket on a wobbly ladder while trying to clean your window. Tilt and turn windows can be cleaned from within the comfort of your room since the inside and outside of your window are both accessible. All hardware components are easy to reach and maintain if needed.

6. Ease of Use

The premium ergonomic German hardware allows you to open your window easily and swiftly compared to the cranking function that opens traditional casement windows. No more worries about a stuck window because your crank is not working.

Tilt & Turn Egress window in open position

7. Better air-seals

Tilt and turn windows are well insulated, less prone to air leakage, and the sash closes tight. They will help with keeping your heating or cooling cost at bay.

The benefits certainly outweigh the disadvantages, yet there are a couple of points to consider.

  • You have to make sure you have the unobstructed space on the inside to open the window entirely.
  • These windows have a very robust, dependable, and complex mechanism, which is very reliable, but it could potentially be more challenging to repair if a rare failure occurs.

    Other Egress Window Styles

    Casement Windows:

    Casement windows are large windows with wide side hinges. They open either via a crank, a handle, or a cam handle which is installed at the bottom of the window. Casement windows have a more traditional appearance, and they are ubiquitous throughout the US.

    How do traditional casement windows compare to tilt and turn windows?

    • Like their European counterparts, traditional casement windows have less air leakage and are very energy efficient as the sash presses against the frame when in a closed position.
    • They open wide to the outside compared to tilt and turn windows, which have an inswing mechanism.
    • Unlike the European tilt and turn windows, you cannot tilt a side-hung casement window. If these windows are kept in an open position, even only by a crack, it could potentially allow an intruder to pull the window to the outside. Therefore, casement windows provide less security.
    • Casement windows can only be partially cleaned from inside the room as they swing outwards, which can turn out to be a nuisance if you want to clean your window and have to crouch into your window well to reach the outside.
    • Conventional casement windows do not offer the option of tilting the window to let air flow in without opening the entire window. The lack of a tilting choice means you may have to choose between airflow and safety.
    • You will not have to worry about space on the inside as these windows open to the outside.

    Glider Windows

    Glider windows are also known as sliding windows. These windows are widely used across the US, less so for egress windows for the following reasons.

    • Sliding windows open horizontally or vertically; either way, this means they need to be twice the size of a tilt & turn or casement window to meet building code requirements for egress windows. Consequently, they involve a lot more concrete cutting to provide the right size opening in your foundation, not to mention they need double the size hole on the outside to install the appropriate window well.
    • These size requirements will add significantly more time and cost for concrete cutting, digging twice the size hole, and they will increase the cost of hauling away all the extra dirt and concrete compared to a tilt and turn or traditional casement window.
    • Aside from the added preparation and installation cost, a bigger opening in your foundation will often require engineering plans, depending on which jurisdiction your home falls under. These requirements, too, will add time and cost to your project.
    • Sliding windows, however, do not require any outside or inside space, as they only slide horizontally or vertically.
    • While sliding or glider windows offer a lot of light, given their size, code requirements, extra digging time, added cost, and space may not make it a good choice for an egress window in your basement.

    Which window should you choose? The final decision depends on your requirements, budget, space availability, and design style. If you want to add the most value to your homeregarding safety, energy efficiency, and design, then our patented Egress Window Kit with ExoFrame™ and Window Well is your best choice.

    Don’t hesitate and give one of our courteous and experienced team members at Bright Idea Egress a call at 303-761-3730 or email us at We are happy to help with all your egress window needs.

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