What Are Hopper Windows ?

Hopper windows are a unique style found in basements, bathrooms, and small spaces. They open inward and from the top, resembling the opening of a laundry chute.

Hopper Window

Sometimes hopper windows are placed at the bottom of large casement windows. But, since they provide a lot of ventilation and suit awkward, narrow spaces, they’re a top pick for basement and shower windows.

If you’re considering adding a hopper window to your home, here’s what you should know about cost, pros, cons, and more.


What are the Types of Hopper Windows?

A standard hopper window contains a single glass panel that fits inside a frame. It opens inward and down. In addition to the single hopper window, there are double and triple varieties. 

A double hopper window has two vertical stacked hopper windows, and a triple has three. Using double and triple designs provides a larger window while still reaping the benefits of the hopper design.


How Do Hopper Windows Open?

Most hopper windows open inward and down – the exact opposite of an awning window. The window can have a crank or handle. To open a window with a crank, turn the crank until the window is open. Then, turn the crank in reverse to close it.

If a hopper window has a handle, grab it and gently pull it toward you. When you want to close the window, push it shut. (Tip: Make sure the window is unlocked before you try to open it.)

There are a few varieties of hopper windows that open upward. To open this style of window, unlock it, lift the window sash, and lock it in place.


How Much Do Hopper Windows Cost?

Hopper windows are inexpensive. You can find small vinyl hopper windows for less than $100. But, depending on the size, material, and which brand you choose, these windows can cost as much as $1,000.


What are the Most Common Hopper Window Sizes?

Hopper windows come in many sizes and are usually long and skinny to fit a basement. Standard lengths are 30-36″ inches long, and typical heights are 12-24″. 

While this list is not all-inclusive, you can find hopper windows in the following common sizes:

  • 24” x 24”
  • 31” x 13”
  • 31” x 15”
  • 31” x 17”
  • 31” x 23”
  • 32” x 14”
  • 32” x 16”
  • 32” x 18”
  • 32” x 22”
  • 32” x 24”

Pros and Cons of Hopper Windows

Hopper windows are an excellent solution for awkward spaces. Since the entire window opens, they allow maximum ventilation. But, they also have a few cons.

Pros:

  • Maximum ventilation – Since the entire panel of a hopper window opens, it provides a lot of fresh air.
  • Great for awkward spaces – These windows come in many wide, skinny options suitable for basements, showers, and other narrow areas.
  • Inexpensive – Hopper windows are one of the least expensive windows.
  • Easy to clean – Since hopper windows open inward, you can clean them from inside your home.
  • Energy efficient – They have a tight seal when shut, blocking air leaks.

Cons:

  • Unsuitable emergency exit – Since most hopper windows are narrow and open inward, they don’t make good emergency exits.
  • Potential hazard – Any window that opens inward can be a hazard. Unless up high, be cautious about family members walking into it.
  • Can’t leave open during rain – If you want a window you can leave open during light rain, try an awning window. Since a hopper window opens inward, it’s not as weather-safe.

What’s the Difference Between an Awning and Hopper Window?

Awning and Hopper WindowView in gallery

An awning window is a hopper window in reverse. Instead of opening inward and downward, it opens out and up. When an awning window is fully open, it resembles an awning, protecting the side of your home and preventing rain from entering your house.

Both windows are energy efficient, secure, and reasonable solutions for basements and bathrooms. Awning windows are a little more expensive than hopper windows.


Can a Hopper Window be an Egress Window?

Hopper windows are not a good choice for an egress window. Since they open from the inside, usually at a 45-degree angle, it makes exiting through them difficult. Plus, finding a hopper window with a big enough clearance to meet the IRC egress codes can be challenging.

As a reminder, an egress window must have a minimum opening width of 20 inches, a minimum height of 24 inches, and a net clear opening of at least 5.7 square feet. The best choices for egress windows include double or single-hung, casement, or horizontal sliding windows.


Should You Choose Hopper or Casement Windows for the Basement?

Hopper or Casement Windows for the Basement

Casement windows have a hinge and open outward and to the side. They are ideal as basement egress windows. But hopper windows are a good option if you’re trying to fill a narrow space and don’t need to meet egress codes. They’re also less expensive.


Should You Choose Hopper or Sliding Windows?

Hopper Vs. Sliding Windows

You can find hopper and horizontal sliding windows in similar sizes, and both are reasonable solutions for basements and bathrooms. 

Here’s a look at some key differences:

 Hopper WindowsHorizontal Sliding Windows
Typical PlacementBasement and bathroomBasement and bathroom
How to OpenTilts inward and downSlides open
CostInexpensiveSlightly more Expensive
Works as Emergency ExitNoYes (if big enough)

How Do You Clean a Hopper Window?

Since hopper windows tilt inward, they are easy to clean. You can clean the inside of the window by wiping it with a microfiber cloth and Windex. To clean the outside, open the window so that it tilts in and gently wipe it down with your cleaner and lint-free cloth.


Can You Vent a Dryer Through a Basement Hopper Window?

You can purchase a hopper window with a built-in dryer vent hole. These windows look like a regular hopper window on one side and have a second panel with a place to run a dryer vent. They are an excellent solution for basement laundry rooms. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Does Home Depot sell hopper windows?

Home Depot sells a wide variety of hopper windows. They carry hopper windows from TAFCO, American Craftsman, and Clearly Secure.

Do they make hopper window curtains?

Yes, the easiest way to find hopper window curtains is to search for basement window curtains. You’ll find a variety of short curtain panels you can use for your smaller windows.

Can you put a screen on a hopper window?

When you purchase a hopper window, it should come with a screen. If it doesn’t, you can buy one. 

Can you put an air conditioner in a hopper window?

Air conditioners won’t fit in a hopper window unless you take the glass panel out. Even then, you might still have trouble fitting an ac unit in the opening. Your best bet is to use a portable ac unit and run the vent through the window. You’ll need to purchase a window seal insert kit to block the rest of the open area.

Can hopper windows be installed upside down?

Unless the window you purchased specifies that you can install it upside down, you shouldn’t. If you install a window upside down, you risk leaks and a chance it won’t open.

How far do hopper windows open?

Hopper windows open from the top at 45-degree angles. Hopper windows that open from the bottom open at 90-degree angles.

Final Thoughts

Hopper windows are a top pick for the basement. You can get them in long, skinny sizes, making them ideal for awkward spaces like showers and basement walls. They offer excellent ventilation for their size and are easy to open and close.

The biggest con to the hopper window is that you can’t use it as a method of egress. Since these windows open inward and typically at 45 degrees, they will not work as emergency exits. They’re still an inexpensive and high-quality option for narrow spaces.