Looking to replace 4 old creaky louvered windows in my basement and garage that are rusted in an "almost closed" position and basically doing nothing right now except leaking air outside. Wondering how critical brand is for a hopper/basement window as opposed to a "normal" window in the house. Do the better brands (Marvin, etc) make basement windows or does it not matter that much for that type of window?
Usually nothing special about basement windows. Wood is not a good choice. Vinyl windows almost always have double insulated glass, some with Lo-E. Big box stores carry stock sizes, which rarely fit. Lumberyards can order windows to 1/4" of your measurements, and they are usually better quality.
Replaceing those old windows can be fairly easy of difficult, depending on the damage or rust. If steel frames are not badly rusted, I use them as a stop for the new windows. Caulk around for a tight seal, secure the windows thru the sides into the foundation, seal with non-expanding foam. If the old frame is too far gone, that will need a sawzall and some cement busting to get out the frame.