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Basement window needs to be taken out and walled please How?

We are prepping to pour a cement patio.  This means the window in our laundry room needs to go.  How exactly do I go from a 35 year old aluminum window to a foundation-like wall.  The window is about 4' tall by 7' wide.

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Posted 2011-08-12T21:50:29+0000  by mom2hazen mom2hazen

Hello mom2hazen,


Welcome to the community! Let's talk about getting that window out to help get your cement patio in.


Depending on the manufacturer, older aluminum windows like yours should be able to come apart in pieces. Luckily, getting it out will be the first and easiest part of this process. Remember with any demolition work to be careful and be safe. Any hammering or chiseling away at a window that large will need to be done with precaution. If the glass cannot be easily removed by taking them out of the frames, knocking it out with a sledgehammer, but done with gloves, long sleeve shirts and eye protection. Tape up the glass as much as you can to avoid chards and flying bits going everywhere. Visually check for any screw holes or cracks where the window was installed. That may lead to taking the window out as well, as older aluminum windows were usually fastened in more than one piece back then. More of those areas should be on the interior of the window instead of the outside, making removal easier.


Make sure all edges and pieces of the old window are gone, and you are ready to inspect and clean off any caulking or mortar from where the window was. After that, you are now able to "fur" in the 4' by 7' hole with 2" x4" or 2" x 6" pressure treated lumber for the new wall, depending on the depth of the blocks. Using exterior fasteners rated for outside use, such as Tap-Cons can be used to screw the wood to the existing blocks. 


Now depending on the depth of blocks you have now on the other areas of the wall, match up as closely as you can the new blocks so to ensure a uniform and flush fit. 


Now you are ready to build your cement walls according to the same sizes and layout as your existing walls. You will most likely need to cut down any blocks or bricks you use with a saw blade rated for masonry cutting. There are wet saws you can rent out or simply use a circular saw with an abrasive blade for cutting just a few feet of concrete/brick. Below is a picture of one...

abrasive blade.JPG


After installing the wall by use of proper tools and cement, you should have the wall up ready for the cement patio.


Any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask,


Posted 2011-08-13T18:32:46+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Thanks for the info.  Getting the window out isn't the problem.  It's pretty straight forward.  I've never filled in an outside wall before.  That's what I need details on.  Thanks again.  You're awesome.


Posted 2011-08-15T15:17:34+0000  by mom2hazen

Hello  mom2hazen and welcome to Home Depot’s how-to Community!


Wow, that is one big basement window!  It sounds to me like filling in the space would be best done using cinder blocks and mortar.  The process is the same as simply building a cinder block wall except you already have the “ends” established and are just filling in the “middle”.


Once the window is out, clean up the opening.  Remove any caulk, dirt and debris to give the mortar a good surface to grab on to.  Measure both length and height so you can buy blocks that will fill in the entire space and account for the 3/8 mortar beds as well.


Let me start by asking you to watch 2 excellent videos on how to build up a cinderblock wall.


Quikrete Video


Sakrete Video


Notice that the mortar mix is quite dry in one video and somewhat wet in the other?  These are the two extremes you can have.  Shoot for a middle ground and your block will set in really well.


While initially one person can start on this project, as the wall gets higher you will really need 2 people with trowels and mortar to finish and seal the top of the wall.  When you measure out length, if you find that you end up with a very short block needed to complete the wall, instead cut 3 blocks down to take up the space of 2 + a very short one.  Or use a half block in the run so your short cut is a half block plus that little bit.  At each end on the first course and 2 rows from the top you will want to use a masonry bit to drill into both the foundation and the end block to fit rebar.  This will tie in your new wall with the existing one.


For height you may have to get creative.  A row of cinder block bricks or caps may be needed to get just the right height without having to try and cut down a row of bigger blocks.  Check the top and bottom of your opening for level and if needed, gradually make up the difference in grade by varying the mortar bed heights.


Since you will be setting this block flush with the outside foundation wall, if your foundation is wider than 8" cinder block you can then frame in the inside area with wood.  Insulate the gap if you want and then you can finish the inside wall to flush.


I hope this helps.  If you have any other questions please let us know.



Posted 2011-08-16T15:42:56+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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