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Replacing Basement Windows, problems with floor joists?

Replacing Basement Windows, problems with floor joists?


Old 07-01-14, 01:39 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Canada
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Replacing Basement Windows, problems with floor joists?


This is my first post. I really am not sure what to do with what we found.

We are in the process of redoing the whole basement of our 1949 house. The windows are all the orignal wooden frame windows, so we are replacing them. When we removed one window to enlarge the opening , we noticed that 2 floor joists above were sitting directly on the window.

In the basement, there are 2 beams that go north-south, and the floor joists run east-west, and connect from the beam to the basement wall. The floor joists are encrusted into the basement wall. (sorry not sure of the proper wording, english is not my first language...)

But the windows are so "high" that the top end of the window opening arrive directly under the floor joists. The floor joists dont sit on anything there...

I have added a picture to show what I mean.

Is this something I need to correct?

What can I do ? I need some advices,

Thank you,
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Old 07-01-14, 04:44 PM
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Location: USA
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You can't always bring old houses up to current codes. Your picture is so dark I can't see what's up there, but I expect that you have a horizontal sill plate on bottom (flat). Resting on the sill plate are your floor joists, and on the exterior side is a single rim joist, which the floor joists are nailed to. The single rim joist would be like having half a header over the window. Not ideal by today's standards, but if it hasn't sagged yet I would say that it's probably fine.

One fix would be to brace those joists to the floor temporarily... then cut out any siding over the rim joist from the outside... and cut out the rim joist, replacing it with a 3" thick header. To do that you would have to precision cut those 2 joists an additional 1 1/2" farther back. The joists would then be able to sit in joist hangers nailed to the header. Ideally, the inner half of the header would run from joist A, B, C, D... sitting BETWEEN joists A and D, while joists B and C are the ones above the window in the hangers. The exterior half of the header would need to be 3/4" longer on each end so as to nail to the center of joists A and D.

Now, I'm not recommending you do that. But if you did, that would be a good way to do it.
Old 07-01-14, 05:05 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5,957
As was stated, if you don't have any existing problems as the openings now stand glassblock would make for an eay and inexpensive solution.

Last edited by Norm201; 07-01-14 at 05:09 PM. Reason: clarification.

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