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Old 01-29-2012, 08:49 AM   #1
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Basement Window Screw Up?


I am looking to get an unbiased third party's opinion on some basement windows I had installed. I hired a contractor to finish the basement, although I'll be doing some of the work (floor, stairs). He suggested I replace the old basement windows with new vinyl windows.

Anyway, they installed the windows while I was at work. They bought 32" windows for a 31 1/2" opening. To make up for it, they chipped away at the concrete blocks on either side of the window. The windows are much shorter than the opening (about 3") so they filled the open space above the window with a piece of painted pine. Then they used a ton of caulk to fill in around the window. I understand you won't be able to see the block around the windows in the finished area since they will be covered with drywall, but the window in the unfinished area will always show the gouged out holes they made so the window would fit. They also chipped up the sill below two of the windows, caulked over the weep holes in three of them, and mounted one off level.

Needless to say, I'm not happy. But, I sometimes expect too much. Am I overreacting? How would you fix the broken blocks and sill? Or would you leave them?

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:55 AM   #2
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Basement Window Screw Up?


Quote:
Originally Posted by eagles9259
I am looking to get an unbiased third party's opinion on some basement windows I had installed. I hired a contractor to finish the basement, although I'll be doing some of the work (floor, stairs). He suggested I replace the old basement windows with new vinyl windows.

Anyway, they installed the windows while I was at work. They bought 32" windows for a 31 1/2" opening. To make up for it, they chipped away at the concrete blocks on either side of the window. The windows are much shorter than the opening (about 3") so they filled the open space above the window with a piece of painted pine. Then they used a ton of caulk to fill in around the window. I understand you won't be able to see the block around the windows in the finished area since they will be covered with drywall, but the window in the unfinished area will always show the gouged out holes they made so the window would fit. They also chipped up the sill below two of the windows, caulked over the weep holes in three of them, and mounted one off level.

Needless to say, I'm not happy. But, I sometimes expect too much. Am I overreacting? How would you fix the broken blocks and sill? Or would you leave them?

Thanks,
Matt
Are these windows in a bedroom?

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Old 01-29-2012, 09:08 AM   #3
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Basement Window Screw Up?


No. They're in a living space. I should also say that the contractor is coming out in a couple of days, so I don't yet know what his response is going to be. He wasn't here when the windows were finished.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:24 AM   #4
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Basement Window Screw Up?


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No. They're in a living space. I should also say that the contractor is coming out in a couple of days, so I don't yet know what his response is going to be. He wasn't here when the windows were finished.
Did you get permits and inspections for this basement finish?
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:01 AM   #5
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Basement Window Screw Up?


You could have him wrap that sill or cover it with some Azek to clean up the look.

Based on your unhappiness with the finished work, he should want to do that.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:50 AM   #6
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Basement Window Screw Up?


Unless that opening was way out of square there's 0 reason those windows could not have been ordered the correct size and be slide right in place without all that beating and banging.
The inside can be fixed easy enough but that outside is a mess.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #7
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Basement Window Screw Up?


Yes. We got permits.

Windows - What about the sides, where the concrete blocks have been hammered out? Is that acceptable or standard? I was thinking that if you were going to increase the width, you would at least use a saw to get a level surface.

Joe- That's what I was thinking. It looks like a sloppy/lazy job to me.

Thanks for the responses.


And thanks for the move to the correct forum. I realized after I posted that I put it in the wrong place.

Last edited by eagles9259; 01-29-2012 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:04 AM   #8
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Basement Window Screw Up?


Try patching up the concrete with hydraulic cement & a large putty knife (to fill in the chipped-out locations). (You can also use a damp wall-papering sponge to smooth it out more). If you don't like the color difference - use masonry/cement paint over it all. Be sure to cover & protect the white vinyl window areas prior.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:58 AM   #9
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Yes. We got permits.

Windows - What about the sides, where the concrete blocks have been hammered out? Is that acceptable or standard? I was thinking that if you were going to increase the width, you would at least use a saw to get a level surface.

Joe- That's what I was thinking. It looks like a sloppy/lazy job to me.

Thanks for the responses.


And thanks for the move to the correct forum. I realized after I posted that I put it in the wrong place.
That is not "standard" by any means. The window width should have been measured to the smallest of the 3 opening sizes and ordered accordingly.

Looks to be a measuring error that was accounted for by enlarging the opening.

The fact that the "demo" has already been done largely invalidates the necessity to re-do the window because you can undo what has been done.

I would require that he finish trim out the exterior with the cement as mentioned or Azek (PVC wood) to clean up the look.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:27 AM   #10
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Basement Window Screw Up?


Thanks again for the responses. I plan on asking him to take the windows out. At least two of them. One is not even close to level, a second is offset to one side, so it's going to look funny when the drywall goes up and one side of the frame is showing and the other isn't. As far as the others, I guess we'll see what he says about fixing or cleaning up the demo. I appreciate the responses. They give me some ideas about what to say when he comes tomorrow.
Thanks,
Matt
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:04 PM   #11
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I would agree with the others that they were probably mismeasured and forced to fit. What's done is done, but I'd expect a higher level of finish. The cement should be patched up, and then some variety of wood, vinyl, or metal should be used as trim. On the windows that are out of square, those really should be fixed as well.

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