Basement Progress: Snugged in for winter with new basement Windows

With winter coming (the weather just shifted from 70’s to 40’s this week), I was reminded of a punch list of get it done in good weather items.  One was last weeks painting catch-all.  Another is the possibly crazy goal of getting the mudroom framed in, scheduled for next week.  This week I wanted to install the rest of the basement replacement windows.

The basement used to look like this: with weird soffits wrapping around the windows and cut back to allow the little wooden shutters to operate.

After I tore the original wall and ceiling finish off, I also pulled out the old window casing leaving the single pane awning windows in place for the summer.  They were drafty but intact and served their purpose.  Tuesday, I pulled out the framed glass panes and old twist in screens.

I’d intended to entirely remove the old window frames but when we cut in the egress windows I realized that the wood frames were actually set into notches in the surrounding concrete making them both good-and-sturdy and hard-to-remove.  I decided to leave them as the rough framing for the replacement windows.

I removed the front facing, pulled the old metal weather stripping and used a wood chisel to chip out the old stops at the top and sides.  Then I sealed the edges with caulk and slid the new window in from the outside, with its exterior flanges snug against the outside wood framing.  That got sealed with caulk as well, screwed into the side framing and then the edges made airtight with spray foam insulation.

Because I am leaving space for the soffit to run continusouly around the edge of the room, these two windows had to get a little shorter but should still work better than the old ones.  The two windows in the unfinished part of the basement are taller and full the old window frame perfectly.  That’s nice because natural light makes basement storage much less creepy.  This photo also shows off the very tidy job done by the plumbers when they updated the plumbing to the utility sink and laundry area.

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Here’s Roxie at the bottom of the basement stairs (she’s gated off from the construction zone so that she can’t find wood chips to chomp) “helping.”  She’s giving me her best when-is-my-afternoon-walk face, which is actually not helpful at all, but is really cute.

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