Even the most ambitious DIY projects become a lot easier to pull off successfully with the help of some online guidance. Do you have an old basement window that absolutely needs to be replaced? Reasons for needing a new window include the glass being cracked or broken, it has a single and drafty window pane, or the steel frame has become rusty. You may decide to see if you can do yourself proud and save some money in the process by tackling the job yourself.
How Do You Replace an Old Basement Window?
Here’s a short guide to help you out.
Tools You’ll Need to Replace A Basement Window
To successfully replace a basement window, you may need:
- Partner for assistance
- Safety gloves
- Screwdriver – preferably electric
- Angle grinder
- Hammer and masonry chisel, or a pneumatic chisel
- Tape measure
- Nails and screws
1. Take the Old Window Out
First, take the window sash out of the window frame. The window sash is the portion of the window that can move, whether up and down, inward, or outward with hinges. Once that easy part is complete, cut through the bottom and then the top of the window frame (the portion of the window attached to your walls) with an angle grinder equipped with a metal cutting wheel. You are now ready to lift the weakened frame out of the wall.
2. Get Ready to Put a New Window In
Now that your old basement window has completely been removed, you need to get the wall ready for its replacement. Prepare for the new energy-efficient window to be installed by chiseling away any leftover mortar or concrete to create a clean working space. If you have a pneumatic chisel and a lot of work to do, this can be a lot faster. A good old hammer and masonry chisel are going to work just as well, however.
Now, assuming that you have done your research and bought the correct new basement window, you are ready to begin the more exciting work of installing your new basement window.
3. Make the Window Bucks And Insert the Window
Window bucks — wooden frames that make installing a new window much easier — are going to guide you through your next steps. It is important not to skip constructing and placing the bucks. Making bucks deserves a tutorial of its own. The best tip would be to dry-fit your window, assess the space, and then make a tapered internal buck in the appropriate dimensions. Secure the buck with hot-dipped galvanized nails.
In some cases, bucks are not necessary, and you can simply fit the window, screwing it securely into the mudsill.
4. Applying the Caulking
Once your brand new basement window is in place, you need to apply caulking to all sides of the window. Don’t forget to include both the sides as well as the top and bottom. Remember to let it dry all the way. Depending on the caulking you use, the manufacturer may say that it will take anywhere from 30 minutes to over 24 hours to dry. The added humidity typical of basements may prolong this process, however. Once the caulking is dry, a layer of urethane foam at the bottom of the window will offer additional protection. If your new window frame is made of wood, primer needs to be applied before you paint it.
When it comes to DIY jobs, and especially more complex ones such as replacing a basement window, visual learning can be better. Before you tackle your project, you will want to watch some of the many online videos showing professionals replacing basement windows in action.
Additional Source: What makes it ENERGY STAR?
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