New Thermopane Basement Windows

Project by Jim posted 07-19-2015 06:40 AM 48726 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Not a glamorous project but a nice improvement nonetheless. I own a rental duplex built in the mid 70’s. I decided to replace the original single pane aluminum frame builder grade windows with new vinyl thermo pane windows with built in screens.

After removing the old windows I cleared\enlarged the opening to 16” deep, then installed the new 14” x 32” wide windows and added 2 new 2”x 8”x16” cinder block caps at the interior base of the window to create a window sill effect, next I painted the block window sills to match the existing white wall. Spray foamed and caulked the sides for energy efficiency.

The exterior photo shows the new window mated to the existing stucco beautifully and I added an angled mortar sill at the base to divert water.

I plan to replace the 12” deep corrugated metal window wells with 24” deep wells and add some crushed rock to the bottom of the well to improve appearance and drainage.

-- DONE is a "four letter word" at our house, we don't say it often.

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20 posts in 4148 days

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basement windows

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11 comments so far

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

33 posts in 4323 days

posted 03-25-2009 04:57 AM

I’ve got to replace the windows in our basement soon. They’re aluminum as well and are mortared in place with an angled sill on all four sides, inside and out.

Anything I should watch for when doing the job, or is it easier than my cautious mind is making it?

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View Jim's profile


20 posts in 4148 days

posted 03-25-2009 05:46 AM

In my case, it went easier than expected. After removing the glass frames, I removed the bottom aluminum sill by hitting it with a cold/cement chisel in the center bending it upwards, wear eye protection. The sides were short and came out easily. The window frame corners were not fastened on mine, the aluminum was just sort of crimp interlocked together at the corners, if you know what I mean. This made frame removal easier. The top frame piece was simply nailed into the wooden house sill in two spots. I used a cats’s paw to pull the rusty nails out and then the top frame piece came out with ease as there was no mortar at the top.

One word of caution, my new windows came with friction fit screens that you pull downward from ithe inside of the basement and then push outwards to remove. Make sure the windows are spaced properly from the top sill and stucco (in my case) so that the screens have clearance to remove, otherwise you may never be able to remove the screens for future repair, etc. I tested screen removal before permanentaly installing the windows to make certain they functioned properly. Good Luck. I figure the 4 new basement windows should help with energy efficiency/heating bills here in PA.

-- DONE is a "four letter word" at our house, we don't say it often.

View tenontim's profile


151 posts in 4481 days

posted 03-29-2009 02:19 AM

I did this upgrade to my house when I lived in Maine. It was unbelievable how much cold was coming in those old windows. I could actually go in the basement during the winter, without my parka and muk-luks.

-- Tim

View daltxguy's profile


31 posts in 4302 days

posted 04-03-2009 09:22 AM

Wow, basements. I’m so jealous.

Nice job on the windows, Jim.

View jim1953's profile


26 posts in 3858 days

posted 12-18-2009 05:42 AM

Great Lookin Job Very Nice

View Janice's profile


103 posts in 3862 days

posted 12-23-2009 07:04 PM

We need to do this too. One of our many projects so badly in need of. But our window wells fill up with water and come thru the windows when we get alot of rain. Did you have this problem before replaceing the windows? I never thought about putting rock in there to help with drainage, I’m not sure it even will. But I do like the idea of going with deeper wells. How much rock did you or are you putting in? Thanks for any advise you can give me and thanks for sharing this. This may have helped with our problem! By the way, I love the idea you came up with for the sills. Might have to do that too. Thanks again for sharing this.

-- Janice

View Jim's profile


20 posts in 4148 days

posted 12-23-2009 10:28 PM

Thanks for your comments. Actually one of the window wells did fill up with water once and the new window leaked. This was after I completed (not pictured) new 24” deep window wells and added approximatly one foot of drainage rock to each window well base. The leaking was caused by one of the worst rains that we have seen around her in the last 15 years or so, and happened to the window closest to the roof downspout. Unfortunalty I think the permanent solution to the problem is more complicated and pricey, meaning digging down to the homes foundation, installing drain tile around the base of the foundation and connecting new window well drains to them. I’m no expert on drainage though, just a thought. I do have a floating slab for my basement floor and a sump pump in the corner where the window leaked which kept things under control. Good Luck!

-- DONE is a "four letter word" at our house, we don't say it often.

View a1Jim's profile


160 posts in 3928 days

posted 12-24-2009 09:13 PM

That’s really has to help on energy cost

-- a-1contractor.com

View ThomasMaloney's profile


11 posts in 2114 days

posted 03-26-2019 04:47 AM

I am waiting for your photos of the new and improved deeper wells with crushed rocks. I have been wanting to do a similar setup for my basement window ledge but I am not sure where to begin.

-- Thomas Maloney: http://supercheapselfstorage.com.au/facilities/brisbane/south-brisbane/

View markgrogan1's profile


12 posts in 465 days

posted 04-02-2019 05:43 AM

This is actually pretty cool, but I worry that you’re going to have a whole lot of nonsense filling up that whole in due time because it sits below the surface level..

-- Mark Grogan, https://www.supereasystorage.com.au/locations/wollongong/

View arianapham's profile


33 posts in 426 days

posted 02-26-2020 03:22 AM

The exterior photo shows the new window mated to the existing stucco beautifully and I like it. You can click to download to find out more

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