Sunday, September 1, 2013

Basement Windows get a Makeover, part 1

Summer has flown by, and for the most part, we haven't done any large-scale house projects--a welcome break. But now it's time to delve into another project.

We want to avoid the flooding we had last spring, so we're doing a number of things to address it. To start with, we replaced the old, rotting wood window frames with new, glass brick windows. We also installed window wells where there had been none before. Sounds pretty easy, but there were a lot of steps involved.  

Before: Window 1

Cutting out the old window with a sawzall

First, we had to remove the old window and cut out the old frame.

Uneven foundation that had been hiding beneath the window
We discovered that the foundation wall beneath the old window was very uneven. As in, cracked and pockmarked. We'd have to fix that before installing the new window...

Forms to hold cement in place. Note the beginning of the hole for the window wells. 
...So we decided to add a layer of quick-setting cement.

Expand, foam, expand! 
To keep the concrete from running out the cracks we used expanding foam.

Does watched cement ever dry? 
Justin poured the cement and made sure it was level, then made sure if was dry before moving on to the next step.

Mortar, viewed from inside. 
Next, we laid the mortar bed that would hold in the new window.

After: Window 1. Ta da!
Finally, Justin slid the new window into place and finished mortaring around it while Brigitte stood on the other side, making sure it didn't fall inward and crash to the ground. No photos of this part since we were both occupied and Juniper was running around somewhere else. But here's the finished product! Doesn't it look much better?

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