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topher0524 05-20-2009 10:18 PM

Basement window replacement
I was wondering if anyone could help me with a basement window replacement. The existing windows are metal framed into the concrete and the bottom of the window sits on a sloped bit of concrete about 3 inches.
The window opening is currently 32 inches wide x 17.5 inches high. Once the 3 inches is removed I will effectively have 20.5 inches in height.
My question is how do I go about framing out the opening once I remove the old window.
I'm able to purchase replacement windows from lowes or homedepot that are 32x19 (actual size 31 3/4 x 18 3/4)

I'm thinking I will need to break out the 3 inches of the slop to insure its level. add a top and bottom plate (about 1/2 each) but then what.

Would I screw/attach the windows directly into the concrete on either side being I only have 1/4 inch play or would I need to custom order smaller windows to allow for a full frame to be built?

Any help/images would really be helpful.
I want to see if this is something a DIY'er could do or is it a job for the pro's

jcman01 05-21-2009 05:49 AM

Sounds like the exact situation I had a couple of years ago. I thought that a frame, which would be visible, would be unattractive from the outside. So I purchased a custom sized windows from HD that was slightly (e.g. 1/8") less than the rough opening. I then set it in place using Tapcon screws into the masonry, with plastic shims. I then foamed around the frame using the spray.

I took the glass unit out while installing to keep it from getting damaged. Make sure you're going in square, though.

It has been in for 3 years, and it has made a huge difference in my basement laundry room. I had an aluminum slider imbedded in the masonry, and it was horrible. You could see the cobwebs moving in the drafts.

Just Bill 05-21-2009 06:48 AM

If the existing frames are not rotted or too rusty, I leave them in place and use them as a stop for the new windows. But I never buy stock sized windows from big box, I get custom sized units from lumberyards. The old sash is usually easy to remove. Caulk around the inside of the frame, push the new window into the caulk, and screw into the block or concrete with tapcon screws. Foam around the edges with NON-expanding foam to seal air gaps. When the foam drys, it can be trimmed off and painted or you can add finished trim around the windows. Urethan foam should be painted or covered, UV light makes it weather to an ugly brown.

If the old frames are too far gone, you will have to break out the cement that holds them in place. It usually comes out with a few solid raps with a heavy hammer and leaves a square opening. 1. You can get windows with a nailing fin and set them flush with the outside. 2. or-Size the windows about 1/4" smaller than the opening and install as above with tapcons. 3. or-install a treated wood frame and install the windows to that.

When measuring for more than one window, measure all windows, they are rarely exactly the same size.

topher0524 05-21-2009 07:26 AM

Thanks for the advice so far.
Jcman do u happen to have any pics of what your windows look like now. I'd be interested in seeing how it looks
Bill if using the existing metal frames as stops is an option would the window be installed from outside or inside?
Also do you guys have any references/images of a similar install. I know each install is unique but maybe something to use as a guide would be helpful
Thanks again

jcman01 05-21-2009 07:48 AM

I'll charge up my batteries and take some pics. Please check back later today.

topher0524 05-21-2009 09:31 AM

sounds good. thank you.

jcman01 05-21-2009 02:22 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I've attached some photos of the window. One needs to be rotated 90 degrees left.

From the inside, you'll see a rounded backfill on the window. I had to chip out the old mortar backfill with a hammer and masonry chisel, and pack in new mortar. I let it dry for two weeks and then painted it.

The key is to measure as accurately as possible so you have a good fit with just enough room to shim and foam.

I caulked from the outside first, and then foamed from the inside after the caulk dried. That way, no foam is exposed to the light. Then I trimmed the foam and caulked and painted the inside.

Hope this helps.

topher0524 05-21-2009 02:59 PM

thanks alot for posting the pictures. I really appreciate it. Will help alot.
I'm going to try to put a picture or two up of my windows so its a little easier to visualize.
The window looks very nice.

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