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Old 01-17-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


Hi,

I plan to make my basement windows larger by removing 1 row of concrete block and putting in new casement windows.

When I remove the row of block, the vertical cavities in the blocks will be exposed. Should I fill these in before inserting the window ? If so, how ? Fill them with mortar ? Cover it with piece of aluminum ?

Thanks for the advice.

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Old 01-17-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


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Originally Posted by Mike Mike View Post
Hi,

I plan to make my basement windows larger by removing 1 row of concrete block and putting in new casement windows.

When I remove the row of block, the vertical cavities in the blocks will be exposed. Should I fill these in before inserting the window ? If so, how ? Fill them with mortar ? Cover it with piece of aluminum ?

Thanks for the advice.
I would fill them with mortar cement to give you solid points to fix the window to.

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Old 01-17-2012, 03:49 PM   #3
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


You should cutting out every other block and filling back in with half blocks or ones that have been cut, and turned around so there's a flat surface.
If not the area around the frames your going to have to make and install may leak.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


If I understand correctly, I think you are saying to take out one and a half rows of block and then put 1/2 blocks with a smooth surface.

I'm wondering if it would be simpler to just take out 2 complete rows and put back 1 row of blocks with a finished surface.

Thanks for responding.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


Are you putting in a new taller basement window (like a 32" by 23") or are you putting in a casement built for wood construction. I'm just having a hard time understanding how you'll acheive enough height for a casement by only removing one course.

If you're just looking to install larger basement windows it's relatively easy and there is no need to "tooth" and relay block.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:43 AM   #6
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


Yeah it's tough to know exactly how to finish the opening without an idea of the size of the window.

Either way you will likely want to slope the outside sill away from the home so water doesn't come rolling back in under the window. As far as the interior sill you can use a cement wash after you fill the top core of block with cement. Make sure to allow enough room under the window frame to perform the procedure mentioned above.

And of course make sure to caulk it properly.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:53 AM   #7
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


The existing rough opening is 37 wide by 24 high.
By removing one row of block, I get 37 wide by 32 high.
I will order the window to be 36 wide by 31 high in order to allow for shimming.

The concrete block wall is 10 inches thick. I will need to either fill in the holes in the concrete block with mortar or remove more than one row of block and fill back in with block that has no holes in the top.

On the outside, I guess I would then slope up to the new window frame with mortar to provide drainage ?
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


I would fill the course below with broken block pieces, up to the top. Finish the outside with a mortar "wash", which should be at an angle of at least 1:4. Favoring the window to the outside will make this wash more aggressive. Likely, you'll need to patch in the jambs of the fourth course down as well, as it's not likely you'll find them to be flush ends when you open it up.
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:38 PM   #9
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Thanks, good advice although I don't really know what a "Mortar Wash" is.
Any advice on mixing it up ?

Also, I assume you meant that I should use the mortar wash over top of the broken block pieces in the holes under the window ?
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


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Originally Posted by Mike Mike View Post
Thanks, good advice although I don't really know what a "Mortar Wash" is.
Any advice on mixing it up ?

Also, I assume you meant that I should use the mortar wash over top of the broken block pieces in the holes under the window ?
Yes.

A "wash" is just what we call the tapered mortar under the window. Probably one in place under the existing window now.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:35 PM   #11
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Mike
Hi,

I plan to make my basement windows larger by removing 1 row of concrete block and putting in new casement windows.

When I remove the row of block, the vertical cavities in the blocks will be exposed. Should I fill these in before inserting the window ? If so, how ? Fill them with mortar ? Cover it with piece of aluminum ?

Thanks for the advice.
You are talking about the bottom row of block...right?
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:43 PM   #12
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


Umm, Yeah, the row of block underneath the new window (The holes in the block will be exposed because I have removed a row of block.)
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #13
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


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Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
You are talking about the bottom row of block...right?

Why not frame it up with ripped to width 2x12 treated lumber, angle the sill and let it overhang with a drip groove under it?
Foam insulation in the cut blocks.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:58 PM   #14
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Basement Window in Concrete Masonry Wall


I can't add any extra framing around the new casement to be inserted because I need the windows to be as big as possible.

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