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Old 10-11-2008, 04:10 PM   #1
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Basement windows above floor joists


Hi everyone,

I'm framing my basement and need some advice. Against one exterior wall, the builder put in two small windows. The glass measures 7" x 24", so they don't let in very much light.

About 1 foot in from the windows, an I-beam runs the width of the room, across both windows, further limiting the view of the outside.

And for the final straw, I took a closer look now that I'm framing that part of the basement. And I found that the windows were put in 4" above the floor joists. Even if I drywalled the ceiling without using furring channels, I'm going to be hitting the windows.

As I see it, I have three options:
1. Build a U-shaped soffit around the I-beam and leave the ceiling open on the side nearest the wall.

2. Carry the soffit to the wall and cover up the windows altogether.

3. Lower the windows so that the top is below the floor joits (or brick them in to remove them altogether.

Has anyone ever seen this and if so, what would you advise? I'm leaning toward just carrying the soffit to the wall, covering up with windows and being done with it. But that seems like a halfway measure, plus I don't know what code would say about that. I have no plans to put a bedroom in the basement. I really don't want to put in a well. There's a deck on the outside which I'd have to dismantle to do it and that would land me in the doghouse!

Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:45 PM   #2
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Basement windows above floor joists


Keep in simple. I sounds like moving them would be a real involved project.

Here is a way to get light spread around.

When you build a soffit in the window area use angled walls and paint them a bright white. This will reflect the light around and keep from blocking out anymore light. You could even go as far as installing mirrors in there to really reflect the light although I think some bright white paint will do just fine.

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Old 10-11-2008, 10:57 PM   #3
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Basement windows above floor joists


Yep,just frame up to the top of them and call it a 'light' chute for lack of better term. At what height are these windows from ground level on the outside?? Can you move over a bit,,,different spot on wall and put in a deeper longer window??? NO amount of purchased light is as GOOD as sunlight,,,,without ANY windows it gets WAY too dark!!! If necessary those metal window wells work pretty good,,,with a plastic umbrella over the top!!
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:51 AM   #4
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Basement windows above floor joists


I do have some room if it came to that. The windows are about 1-1/2 feet above ground level. Of course, that would lower them below the deck right outside so that would do away with the natural light benefit.

So it looks like I'm going to build a soffit around the windows. I *really* don't want to take my deck apart, dig down and put in window wells!
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:56 PM   #5
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Basement windows above floor joists


Are you finishing your basement? Do you have an existing method of egress?

You may need to put in a egress window if you finish the basement.

Where I live, they require us to have a method of egress for new construction wether the basement it finished or not.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:07 PM   #6
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Basement windows above floor joists


I haven't read the code (I'm not even sure how to get my hands on a copy) but have read that in most places in Canada, you need an egress window in every bedroom. I'm not putting a bedroom in so hopefully that's not a requirement. I really am not prepared to take on the expense and hassle of ripping apart / rebuilding my deck, digging down to the weeping tile, knocking out a bigger hole in my exterior wall, installing a window well, etc, etc, etc.

That said, it would be a good idea for me to find out what that code says.
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:46 PM   #7
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Basement windows above floor joists


Here in the states you need an egress window in every bedroom, and one (or an exterior door) on every level of the home that doesn't have a bedroom.

Here, if you finish your basement for just living or recreational space, you need to install an egress window. Not fun.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:07 AM   #8
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Basement windows above floor joists


Quote:
Originally Posted by billthecat View Post
That said, it would be a good idea for me to find out what that code says.
Yep, Before you spend one dime.

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