Basement Window Replacement

We have four very old basement windows which are slowly falling apart. I st apled plastic sheeting over them to keep the wind from coming through the g aps in the frame a couple of years ago but want to replace them in 2014. I was thinking of glass blocks; does anyone have any experience with them or opinions about them?
Paul
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On Monday, December 30, 2013 9:32:41 PM UTC-5, Pavel314 wrote:

stapled plastic sheeting over them to keep the wind from coming through the gaps in the frame a couple of years ago but want to replace them in 2014. I was thinking of glass blocks; does anyone have any experience with them o r opinions about them?

I HATE glass blocks. first no way to open a basement window for ventilation . just those tiny vent windows..
think of scrubbing or cleaning or worse painting:(
they provide a fake sense of security, if someone wants to break in your ho me, they will use the easiest access, not climb thru a inconvenent basement window....
criminals dont want to work hard, easier to kick in a door, or break a wind ow by a door, reach in and unlock door. which makes removal of valuables ea sier.
they sell regular vinyl replacement windows.that open, they are not expensi ve.
far better choice...
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On Monday, December 30, 2013 9:32:41 PM UTC-5, Pavel314 wrote:

I HATE glass blocks. first no way to open a basement window for ventilation. just those tiny vent windows..
think of scrubbing or cleaning or worse painting:(
they provide a fake sense of security, if someone wants to break in your home, they will use the easiest access, not climb thru a inconvenent basement window....
criminals dont want to work hard, easier to kick in a door, or break a window by a door, reach in and unlock door. which makes removal of valuables easier.
they sell regular vinyl replacement windows.that open, they are not expensive.
far better choice...
I got my basement windows replaced for $107 each a few years ago. Love them they are GLASS BLOCK. We live in the basement and the difference in heat loss was signifigant. To each his own, but I like them.
R
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On 12/30/2013 8:52 PM, bob haller wrote:

Joe Biden gave the best advice for protecting your home from burglars. ^_^
TDD
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On 1/17/2014 10:20 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Yep, and if we all just went out and fired two blasts into the air, we'd all be standing there with an empty shot gun.
--
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Christopher A. Young
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On Fri, 17 Jan 2014 22:38:53 -0500, Stormin Mormon

Or through the front door when someone knocks.
The other day he told a collection of Ford employees that he saved their asses with the bailout. Gotta love Crazy Uncle Joe. Typical lefty.
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On 12/30/2013 9:32 PM, Pavel314 wrote:

Add me to the glass block category. It was the first thing I had done to my home when I purchased in 04' and it cost $225 for 5 windows.
IMO, they do offer greater security and eliminates easier entrance areas for the bad guys.
They definitely serve as a good insulation barrier due to the thickness.
I would do it again in a heartbeat.
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Pavel314 wrote:

Do you have another way to exit the basement if there is a fire in your house and you can't get out that way, like a Bilco door? If not, you're putting your family at risk besides a possible violation of Building code.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On 12/31/2013 1:08 PM, willshak wrote:

My preference has been jalousie windows with an inside storm and screen. Years ago I sold and installed many of them in stone foundations using mortar mix to avoid wood and the associated issues with it. Never had a call back.
Glass block does not open and you can't see through it very well. Disadvantage is you can't see if the NSA is watching you. The advantage is the neighbors cant see your torture dungeon.
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On 12/31/2013 7:22 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I always wanted a home with a basement in a neighborhood full of Nosy Nellies so I could mess with their minds. I would build props with radiation warning symbols all over them and a lot of blinking lights that looked like something you might find in the den of Mr. Evil or a mad scientist's laboratory. The props would be visible to someone peeking through the basement windows but whomever peeked would have to trespass to see through the windows. Over the years, I've found that the nosiest people ever, are women who own or work in beauty shops. They are the most fun to mess with and make them pay for being nosy. ^_^
TDD
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No requirement for basement egress windows unless it's finished living space, at least here in Michigan.
I've got glass block basement windows. I've only opened the vents in them a handful of times in 13 years. I like them.
Cindy Hamilton
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I had 2 small windows (~3' x 1.5') and 1 larger one (~3' x 4') replaced with glass block about 25 years ago. No complaints thus far. I have vents in the smaller windows but ever since I had central air installed, I haven't opened them.
Knowing what I know now, there are 2 comments I can make:
1 - If you have central air, you probably don't need the vents. They are obviously not as weather tight as the blocks would be, so there is some loss of efficiency with the vents.
2 - if I were doing it today, I'd probably buy the pieces and parts and install my own. I was a new homeowner back then and didn't know how easy some of this DIY stuff can be. That, and the fact that it was before kids meant there was a little extra money available to pay people to do things for me.
I also had a 3' x 4' basement window sealed up with cement block by the same company. The room eventually became my shop and interior wall space was more important than a window. The shop has a door to the backyard, so I have light, air and a means of egress. I also built a deck off of that wall, so the window was useless in so many ways.
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One way to custom size a glass block window is how they did it at my house.
They laid a ~2” thick cement slab, sort of like a 2 x 8 x 16 patio block, on top of the block that formed the bottom of the window opening. This left an opening that was just the right size for one 8" glass block and one 4" glass block plus the mortar joints.
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On 12/30/2013 08:32 PM, Pavel314 wrote:

I'd be hesitant of glass block windows.
If you wanted to jump out the windows to commit suicide you'd have to break it and it would leave sharp edges.
You could get cut and bleed to death!
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On 12/31/2013 1:51 PM, philo wrote:

At one time I did a lot of automatic door, storefront and commercial glass work. Tempered glass is very strong and someone can actually bounce off if they run into it but popping it with a center punch will cause it to shatter into little chunks. A lawyer in Toronto liked to impress people by running into and bouncing off the windows of his law firm's 40 story office suite. He did it several times until the last time when he either broke the tempered glass when the sharp edge from his watch hitting the glass causing it to shatter or the whole window popped out sending the idiot for a 40 story drop to his death. I have to wonder what that moron thought on his way down? I always recommended laminated safety glass in the doors for customers because it held together when broken and made it more difficult for someone to break in. But most of the new doors I installed had tempered glass. ^_^
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garry_Hoy
TDD
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Mythbusters just ran an episode testing the movie myth that if 2 workman were carrying a sheet of glass and a car drove through it they would not get cut.
They set up a jig to hold the glass with human-proxies wrapped in plastic on both ends. The plastic was filled with red liquid to simulate blood. They then drove a car through the glass at 30 MPH.
Before the test, Adam dropped three different types of glass on the ground. Standard plate glass, laminated safety glass and tempered safety glass. He said the the only glass that scared him was the standard glass because of the sharpness of the broken pieces.
The Results:
Standard Plate Glass, the type that breaks into large, sharp shards: One workman bled to death from several deep lacerations, the other workman was unharmed.
Laminated Safety Glass, the kind used for windshields which is supposed to stay together due to the plastic in between the two layers of glass: Neither workman was injured. The glass broke into a few very large pieces with the typical spiderweb cracks throughout. The interesting part was that with the broken glass lying on the ground you could see the curved shape of the car where it caused the glass to break in an arc pattern.
Tempered Safety Glass, the kind used for side windows which breaks into tiny little pieces: Both workman died from multiple lacerations, one of which was located at the exact height of Jamie's crotch.
Adam noted that he had a new found respect for the dangers involved with not only plate glass, but also with tempered safety glass.
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I like the ability to open at least one basement window, typically the one farthest from the basement stairs. This makes it possible to air out the b asement in the event one of my electronic projects goes up in smoke, or if I need to run a pipe out the basement for a temporary sump pump discharge w hile I am changing out the sump pump motor, both of which I have had to do at least once in the 48 years we have been in this house
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I'm fortunate enough to have a walk out basement with a door. The door happens to be in my shop, so most reasons to need to air out the basement happen in the room with the door. I also have an antique industrial fan that moves a heck of a lot of air. (It can dry a pair of jeans in a couple of hours) I often set it up on a stool by the open door when I'm doing something odoriferous.
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On 12/31/2013 5:55 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

My own farts bother me too. ^_^
TDD
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Pavel314 wrote:

I'm happy with our glass block windows. They are strong enough that the occasional misfired hockey puck won't break them. We had fairly large wood frames around the old windows; the class blocks were installed without frames. It was surprising how much ambient lighting we gained with the larger glass area. And the basement is warmer because there are no leaks; I doubt the glass has much R value, but perhaps the air in the blocks does. I had them install a hole for the dryer venting, and one for the bathroom venting.
Around here the code requires ventilation on two opposing walls, so we have the vents, but don't use them. Our code doesn't require a second exit from the basement; I'm not sure a window at the top of a basement wall would be very effective as an exit.
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