Basement windows in Concrete

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Old 04-30-06, 09:00 AM
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Basement windows in Concrete

I want to remove my old rusty basement windows and replace them. They are steel frame hoppers. The frame is embedded in the poured concrete foundation on 3 sides and the top is wood.

I can lift the sash out, but the frame is stick in the concrete. Can I simply measure the rough opening of the existing frame and mount the windows in it or do I need to dig the old frame out of the concrete. The old frames seem strong and just need a good sanding and painting and these frames would seems to provide a good/flat surface to drill through and mount the new windows.

I have found a local retailer who can have them custom madeto fit my opening with double pane glass for better insulation.

Any thoughts?
 

Last edited by esteve999; 04-30-06 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 04-30-06, 09:49 AM
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If you can lift the sash out cleanly, it seems to be the right avenue to go down. I'm not sure if you will be able to continue with the hopper opening mechanism, but if opening is not a problem, then, yes, just have them made, silicone them in place and if you wanted to, screw them from the outside through the metal frame into the wood, caulk and paint.
 
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Old 05-04-06, 02:49 PM
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Surely others must have an opinion on this.

The retailer suggests not mounting the new windows inside the old steel jam. They suggest mounting it behind (from the inside) the old steel jam.

Any thoughts on this approach?
 
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Old 05-04-06, 04:28 PM
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I've replaced hundreds of basement windows and I always rip out the metal frames that are embedded in cement. My suggestion would be to do the same.
 
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Old 05-16-06, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper
I've replaced hundreds of basement windows and I always rip out the metal frames that are embedded in cement. My suggestion would be to do the same.
I have a very similar situation. Do you have to cut the frame out with a concrete saw? If so, do you then frame in the window with treated lumber to mount the window to, or can you mount the vinyl windows directly in the concrete cutout?
 
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Old 05-16-06, 04:03 PM
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No, usually I cut the metal frame with a reciprocating saw that has a heavy metal cutting blade. I usually make a cut in the center of the top and the center of the bottom... Usually you only cut partway through (cement is kind hard on reciprocating blades) but that weakens the metal enough that you can usually get a wrecking bar underneath the metal frame and bend it up a little bit, then cut some more, bend it up the rest of the way, then finish the cut. Usually once you do that it's just a matter of prying the frame out.

Here's some illustrations: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/thexsl...nm=4c51scd.jpg

As far as putting the new window in is concerned, it largely depends on what kind of an opening you have left after the window is out. If the cement on the bottom is sloped, you might be able to put in a replacement window right into the masonry opening, anchor it with some tapcons to keep it put, then caulk both sides. (no nailing flanges)

Other times, the opening will need a PT woodbuck installed on at least 3 if not 4 sides, and then it works well to install a window with nailing flanges.

On some openings, I've installed a sloped sill on the bottom, and anchored stops onto the top and sides, wrapped them with trim coil, and installed the window up against a blind stop- more like a traditional replacement window install.

It just depends on the opening, I figure them out on a case by case basis and order the window size and type based on how it will be installed.
 
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Old 05-17-06, 07:57 AM
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Thanks XSleeper.

I see what you're doing in the pictures, but it looks like the metal frame is sitting on the concrete. Is that correct?

In my situation the metal frame is embedded in the concrete, albeit I am not sure how deep. I see what you're saying about cutting the steel frame and then prying, but I am concerned that it will break up the concrete wall when I try and rip it out where it is embeded.

Unless you're saying just cut the exposed metal frame flush and then mount the new window over it???
 
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Old 05-17-06, 09:25 AM
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I just finished doing this exact same thing. My frames were embedded in the wall, but only about 1/2-inch. Instead of a reciprocating saw, I cut them with an abrasive blade in my circular saw and then pried them out with a wrecking bar. It took less than 10 minutes per frame.
 
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Old 05-17-06, 10:50 AM
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Thanks md2lgyk!

When you pried them out did it damage the concrete wall at all? Did you have to do any patch work?
 
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Old 05-17-06, 04:42 PM
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Yes, they are rarely set into the cement more than 1/2". Prying them out does not do much damage at all on most jobs, and if some cement does blow out, it's usually just a little bit, which will all be covered by the new window anyway.
 
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Old 05-18-06, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by esteve999
Thanks md2lgyk!

When you pried them out did it damage the concrete wall at all? Did you have to do any patch work?
Nope, not a bit. The replacement windows covered the slot where the old ones were.

One hint, in case you don't already know: Since I had never worked with hopper windows before, I didn't realize at first that with most of them, the framed glass section is easily removable (for cleaning, I guess). That does make it a whole lot easier to cut the frame.
 
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Old 05-18-06, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by md2lgyk
One hint, in case you don't already know: Since I had never worked with hopper windows before, I didn't realize at first that with most of them, the framed glass section is easily removable (for cleaning, I guess). That does make it a whole lot easier to cut the frame.
Yep, I did know that the sash comes out. Thanks for all the advice.
 
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