Replacing Basement Windows

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Old 11-12-07, 06:33 AM
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Replacing Basement Windows

I have a house built in 1956 with poured basement walls and metal frame windows that tilt in. The metal frames appear to be set in the concrete. The concrete angles out slightly from the frame. It appears that the window may have been set into the rough concrete opening and concrete troweled up to the edge of the window on both the inside and outside creating the beveled opening. I need to replace these windows. If I simply remove the existing metal frame I will have a very small (1 - 1.5 inch or so) ledge on which to rough in with treated lumber to mount a new vinyl window. Do I need to remove the beveled concrete? - Will the metal window actually be imbedded in the beveled concrete? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have not been able to find anything on this
 
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Old 11-12-07, 07:00 AM
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I had this exact situation in my last house, except my basement walls were block. In my case, what you call beveled concrete was actually a separate piece of masonry. As such, it was easy to remove. The window frame was embedded in it, but not deeply.
 
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Old 11-12-07, 10:16 AM
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md2lgyk,

Thanks, I was wondering if it may chip out easily. I want to have some idea what I'm doing before I get into too much of a mess! So you just chipped out the beveled concrete? Did you put in a treated wood frame to mount the new window to? If so how did you trim it out on the outside?

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-12-07, 02:14 PM
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Yeah, you can usually tell if the cement has been parged onto the outside of a rough opening- you can usually see the cold joint has a hairline crack. If there is any doubt, take a cold chisel and give the parged cement a couple whacks- it should chip off cleanly. Any rough cement that is left can be cleaned up with a 4 1/2" grinder that has a diamond blade in it- great for smoothing out rough cement.

In many cases, we will often forego the treated woodbuck and simply order a vinyl replacement window that is close to the exact size of the rough cement opening (provided the rough opening is nice enough) and we'll just shim the window into the opening, secure it with 4 tapcons at the corners, insulate it with window and door foam, and caulk the edges with a urethane sealant and a wide nozzle. When you do it that way, you want to leave the original parged cement sloped sill intact. If it's broken up, you'll want to pour a new one.

Installing small basement windows this way eliminates the need for any exterior trim at all, reduces the chance of water and air infiltration, and it looks the cleanest, IMO. It usually works to install the window just far enough to the exterior that it covers up the old line where the old window once was.
 
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Old 11-13-07, 08:59 AM
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As I said, my "beveled concrete" was actually a piece of masonry. A couple of whacks on a chisel at the mortar joint and it came out in one piece. I did replace it with pressure treated wood which I beveled on my table saw.
 
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