If you came to this page via a search engine, you may first want to FIRST read Replacing Leaky Rotted Basement Windows – Part 1 (click here)
STEP 1 – NEW WINDOW PREPARATION
- It took about 3 weeks for the windows to come in and my Dodge minivan was awesome in carrying all 4 basement windows as well as 2 double hung windows with seats folded down
- As instructed by the manufacturer, I immediately removed all shrink wraps when I returned home to reduce the risk of frame warping (fig.2.1)
- Upon inspecting 4 basement slider windows, I noticed that window corners had excessive “left-overs” from soldering two joints together (fig.2.2 and fig.2.3).
- I knew these protrusions would interfere when squaring, plumbing and/or leveling a window, so I took my trusty Stanley SurForm Planer and filed them down
- Please note that each swipe removes quite a bit of material so you should take your time in filing them with little pressure
STEP 2 – REMOVE OLD WINDOW AND INTERIOR WINDOW TRIM
- This is the part where it gets a bit messy with rusted nails sticking out and concrete pieces flying all over the place
- If you have any glass windows or any other breakable objects near by, either cover them up with a sturdy cardboard or relocate them temporarily
Make sure to wear your work gloves, goggles and ear protection when hammering away. It will be hard to continue when your ears are ringing and can’t see when small concrete shards are hitting your eyes.
First thing I had to do was remove the bottom bracing that was installed as a window “lock” (fig.4.1). At the same time, also removed hinges that were screwed to the top header jamb (fig.4.3).
Unfortunately, the window itself was caulked to the frame so it was impossible to remove the glass window so I placed a tarp outside and using a brown paper bag as a cover, I gently broke the window glass outward (fig.5.1). I then removed the window frame itself and interior trim pieces (fig. 5.2, fig.5.3 and fig.5.4).
STEP 3 – REMOVE ROUGH OPENING WOOD FRAMES
- Once the window and interior trim pieces were removed, it took about 20 minutes to completely remove the supporting frame. I took my time taking out one component out at a time so I did not encounter any problems.
- I DO NOT recommend using a heavy duty demo tool like a Stanley 55-099 FatMax Xtreme Fubar Functional Utility Bar. This tool just has too much power that just may create more problems like breaking chunks of the foundation cinder blocks. For that same reason, I DO NOT recommend using a power tool to chisel off concrete either
- My game plan is to assess the exposed wood frame from inside before attempting to remove it as the window has sloped mortar built up against the wood frame.
Interior Trim Assessment
- Fig 6.1 through 6.4 shows you the top, side + blind stop trim and bottom frames as well as mortar used on the header as a “spacer”.
Removing the bottom frame
- I used a corded reciprocating saw to cut the bottom frame in half; if you don’t have a reciprocating saw, you can use a circular saw (make sure to set the proper cutting depth) or a handsaw
Removing the side frame and blind stop
- I was surprised to find out that my side frame was built up with mortar from the outside
- I had to chisel the side mortar carefully as to not damage the rest of the area
- Once the bottom frame piece was removed, I went ahead an pried off both side jambs using a crawbar
- Gently pull the top header frame partially, keeping in mind that top mortar “spacer” may fall off
- Next, we remove both top and bottom blind stops (in my case, I had a mortar build up on the outside)mortar “spacer” may fall off
Removing exterior mortar sills
- As expected, this is the most time consuming, physically challenging part of this project
- Although slinging a 3 pound mash hammer feels easy at first, try swinging it hundreds of times in a confined space and you can appreciate hard manual labor
As seen in above pictures, I need to remove quite a bit of mortar from the bottom sill. I intended to leave the side sills intact as much as possible because I had no reason to remove them. Before getting started, make sure to wear your safety goggle at all times, as well as some type of ear protection.
I decided against renting a power tool because I was concerned of peripheral damage to the foundation cinder blocks. Rather than creating more repair work, I reasoned that it would be more time efficient to manually chip away the mortar. As previously stated, my main tools were 3 pound mash hammer and a couple of cold chisel with point and spade tips.
Before starting, I examined the bottom mortar sill for any cracks as a starting point. Switching between pointed and spade tips, it took about 1.5 hours to complete.
Whew. That was some hard work! Please note that I had to go through several iterations of chipping off high points to get the window to fit into the opening. As always, please take your time and try to chip off little at a time.
As you can see from Figures 8.7 and 8.8, there is no way to absolutely remove all imperfections.
The last part of my post is to clean up and install a brand new basement window!
Please continue on to my post, Replacing Leaky Rotted Basement Windows – Part 3 of 3