How to Remove Basement Window Steel Frame?

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Old 02-08-17, 07:38 PM
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How to Remove Basement Window Steel Frame?

I'm planning on replacing my old single pane basement windows with glass block windows, but found that they have a pretty hefty steel frame. Can this be removed without causing any issues? If it can and should be removed before installing the new glass block window, how do I remove it?

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Old 02-08-17, 08:22 PM
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Whether or not it needs to be removed is likely completely dependent on the size of the glass block window. If it won't fit once your hopper sash is removed, then obviously more of the steel frame will have to come out.

I have replaced hundreds of basement windows, some are easy and some are not. It all depends what kind of steel frame you have and whether or not it has a fin that is embedded in the concrete or not. Some come out easily with a prybar, (pry the top of the frame down and collapse the sides in) while others require a lot of prying, cutting, chiseling, wiggling and hammering. Sometimes the concrete is left intact, other times it becomes slightly damaged from the process. In almost all cases, you need to clean up the opening with a cup grinder to have a nice clean and straight surface to start from.

Can't tell much from your pictures, you might want to open or remove the sash and take a couple closeups of the frame inside and out, especially the sill.
 
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Old 02-09-17, 07:46 AM
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What X said is generally the case.

What I did notice in your photo is that the sill above the window may have a sag. Not knowing what the load above or the exact construction is, it may be wise to review that "dip" in the sill to determine if that may impact your forward thinking about the glass block window.
 
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Old 02-09-17, 11:04 AM
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The basment is block, so I don't think the frame is embedded in concrete. There is no block above the frame. Only a piece of wood across that then supports the joist in the middle. Taking out the steel frame might cause that joist to sag?. I'm now considering basment window inserts and leaving the steel frame.

I suppose if I do inserts they would be easier to install, but I would have to derust/paint the frame instead.

What do you guys think would be better to install? Glass block - try to remove the frame or window inserts - leave the frame?
 
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Old 02-09-17, 11:11 AM
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From the picture it appears the wood above the sash has a deflection. Perhaps it is only a visual anomaly but if you put a long straight edge across the bottom of several joists in the area of the sash, you can check for deflection in the joists above it.

If in block work, the sash should be easier to get out. I would probably take it out and insert a new operable window. There may be times you want to be able to have the ability to open a sash in that area.
 
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Old 02-09-17, 04:57 PM
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Calvert brought up a good point. I was thinking it was a steel lintel, but it is just a 2x lumber lintel, which could easily have a sag to it, since there is a joist directly above it .

I removed 2 similar windows in my garage a couple of weeks ago, and found the best way to do it is remove the sashes and bend the middle of the lateral frame down and up.....top and bottom. The sides will follow. Not a bad removal. Once I got a little bend in the frame on top, I cut it with a reciprocating saw and did the same with the bottom.
 
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Old 02-09-17, 05:12 PM
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A big pry bar and as mentioned bottom section goes up and side pull in and if the planets are aligned it will fall out.

Other guys need to put glasses on, that upper lintel looks straight to me!!
 
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Old 02-09-17, 05:54 PM
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Aha, it MUST be straight and the extruded metal frame is sagging on the two sides. That accounts for the gaps at the top right and left edges. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-09-17, 08:00 PM
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This video shows a clip of someone with the same steel frame at 1:07. Looks like they got it out by using a pry bar on the bottom/top.
https://youtu.be/J7Ob3d4GHG0?t=67
 
 

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