How to Replace a Basement Window

Do your basement windows let the chilly winds come in winter? Or they let humid heat pass through in the summers? Do the basement windows leaks air or can you see outside through the cracks made in the cement? Are the basement windows of old style and out-dated? Don’t they cut anymore?

​Basement windows are quick, easy and cheaper replacement options than other windows in the house. The time taken to replace the leaking, old, out-dated or cracked basement windows can curtail your expense incurred on heating or cooling costs.


​Basically, two types of basement windows are available in the market. The first one is that with window frame nicely secured in concrete and second one is that with steel bucks in replacement of window frames. Steel bucks are embedded steel boxes in which the house window perfectly fits in the box. The replacement of both the basement windows is easy and cheap. But today, I am going to discuss about those with window frame in concrete. It can work on most aluminium and steel windows.

​Let’s take a look on how to replace a basement window in concrete:


  • 1. Remove sash components and leave only the aluminium or steel frame. You need to remove glass slats, louvers, jalousie window etc. Or it can be a hopper or awning sash as well.
  • 2. Once when you are done with the innards of the window, get your hands on the frame. The idea here is to reach to the rough opening in concrete which is not at all easy. You can say that it is the most difficult task to do in this world as the frame is nicely secured by the concrete. So don’t take it easy guys.
  • 3. Grab a reciprocating saw and cut the middle of the frame bottom. Make sure that saw has metal cutting blade to make the cut deep. Cutting the frame will make it easy for you to slice a pry bar between the steel frame and concrete as the strength of the frame will be destabilized by cutting.
  • 4. Now, it’s the time to work with one side of the frame with pry bar by taking complete grip over it. Slice it out of the rough opening of the concrete. Guys, if the frame is made of steel, then you may need to cut each side of the frame with reciprocating saw. It is to make sure that the frame comes out perfectly as steel frame is harder than aluminium to pry off.
  • 5. Once you are done with the frame, it’s the time to head over to the rough opening of the concrete. If you want to purchase replacement windows, then you must measure it first. And if you have made your purchase, it would be better if you cross check the measurements just to make sure that it fits in. Like for example, when I purchased the replacement window, I was unaware of the ridge of concrete beneath the window and I made my purchase before I had the frame out of concrete. But when I checked the measurements, some modifications were required. I had to knock out some concrete from the bottom opening to make it the same size as the window i.e. square.
  • 6. Window may also need some modifications as in my case; I adjusted the fins located on the outside edge of the window. This edge is the extra piece of vinyl which sometimes interferes with the fitting of the window into the hole. So the adjustments which are required to make entirely depend upon the situation of how close the window is to the opening of concrete. I would highly recommend you to cross check the measurements before switching to any type of major alterations in the rough opening or the window.
  • 7. Install the window in the rough opening but make sure that it gets installed rightly i.e. right side in and right side up. Plus, you first need to stick the window in the opening before installing. If you have done correct measurements, then the window should be tightly fit. And if it’s not, then you may have done something wrong in the measurements.
  • 8. Now access the screw holes by confiscating the screen and sashes off the window. If the window to be replaced is a slider, then what you need to do is that lift the sash and screen panel one at a time carefully and with gentle hands into the trop track. And lift it up until the sash bottom clears the bottom track. Here the sashes are supposed to easily come out through inside.
  • 9. Next, it’s the time to install double threaded concrete screws to make sure that the window is securely placed. Plus, the screws need to be screwed along the top and sides of the window.
  • 10. Install screw cover plugs.
  • 11. Then fit the screen and sashes back into the window.
  • 12. Don’t forget to fill the gap between the window and the cement.
  • 13. Take spray foam and use it to fill the outside gap between the window and the cement. Solid foam strip can be exposed to outside elements but for that you have to be sure of how your window fits inside the wall. In my case, I, before applying spray foam, tore it off to get tight insulated seal.

Guys, this was all about replacing a basement window. Read the article carefully and try to understand each step properly before implementing it. Keep all the necessary tools or gears near you before replacing the window. And here you go!!

​Stay tuned for more tips and tricks and if you any suggestion, comment in the section below…


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