How to Install Basement Windows

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How to Install Basement Windows
(measuring tape image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

Installing windows in a basement can bring light to an otherwise dark area. In this way, the space in the basement can be used more efficiently. Window kits are available, which have the frame and window already assembled, as well as the necessary mounting and installation hardware.

For the purpose of this article, we will assume that the openings for the basement windows already exist. Therefore, the steps will cover window installation only.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape, pencil or pen, paper
  • Window kit (See TIPS section for more information)
  • Mortar and trowel; caulking
  • Electric or regular screwdriver

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the existing window opening so that you will know which size window kit to buy. Measure carefully, so that you can match the window kit size as closely as possible to the opening. Record your measurements.

  2. 2

    Purchase the window kit(s) you will need, in the sizes you will need.

  3. 3

    If necessary, perform any work needed to ensure that the windows you purchased will fit the opening. This may include enlarging the opening slightly. (See TIPS). Regardless of whether or not you have to make any adjustments, clean and smooth the opening so that the window will fit as snugly as possible.

  4. 4

    Install a piece of moulding on the INSIDE of the window. This may be included with the kit, or you may need to build one from either wood or metal.

  5. 5

    Working from the OUTSIDE, fit the frame to the moulding, and secure it just enough so it will stay in place.

  6. 6

    Mix the mortar, according to supplied directions, so it is thick enough and stays where it is put. Apply it to the bottom and sides of the window.

  7. 7

    Insert material that will allow for expansion to the top of the window, and caulk all the way across the top of the window.

  8. 8

    Once the mortar has hardened, install the moulding on the outside of the window, and caulk around the complete window to prevent leaks and provide additional stability and security.

Tips and warnings

  • Frosted glass block windows, such as those used in bathrooms and showers, are an excellent choice for basement windows. They provide light, and their unique appearance add beauty to the home, but at the same time their strength and frosted coating offer a heightened level of security and privacy.
  • Don't worry if you have to buy a LARGER window than the opening calls for. A little extra will just make installation easier. What you DON'T want to do is buy a window that is too small. This will just make more work for you, as you will have to fill in any gaps that are left because the window frame was too small.
  • Use care when working with window frames and glass. The material that makes up the frame can be sharp, especially if it is made of aluminium or steel, and there is always the danger of glass breaking, causing severe cuts. Use protective eye and hand gear.

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