We have 4 basement windows and 3 of them were completely boarded up. Now that we’re renovating the basement, we wanted to have some natural light and get new windows.
Each window was custom ordered so that they fit perfectly in the random sized window holes. I was very stressed about getting the size right. Each window was boarded up and it wasn’t obvious how much of the old window trim would need to be replaced or removed. I took my best guess and each window ended up working out well.
The back bedroom window was a special egress window, but the other two were frosted glass (for privacy) and didn’t open. We were concerned about security and couldn’t really open them anyways given they would open into our narrow walkway beside the house.
I ordered the first window just before the start of the pandemic so the window was delayed and I also couldn’t install them when they arrived because we were isolating and unable to have someone take the kids or help me with the window. The windows therefore delayed each of our basement reno projects, but that was just par for the course with the entire pandemic.
Each window had its own challenges, but once the old windows were removed, it was relatively easy to install the new windows.
We placed the new window in place and added some 2x4s and shims around it to hold it in place. To finish it off, we added self-expanding foam which sealed the window and helped hold it in place (making sure it was plumb and straight). That was it!
The exterior trim was a bit annoying to install because the brick above had an arch and the sides were just too large for caulking alone. I bought some hobby wood from Home Depot and cut the arch piece to size.
After the trim pieces were in place I painted them black and finished caulking. And voilà. New windows!
I finished the windows on the inside with modern trim. The depth of the wall was a bit of a challenge but I think I made it work!
We decided to cover the window at the front – partly for security reasons, but mostly because the window was so close to the edge of the house that once we built walls inside, the studs covered about half of the window and any window trim would have been extremely awkward looking. Plus with adequate lighting, I don’t think we’re losing much without the natural light.
Between the new windows and proper insulation, the basement is a lot more sound proof than it was and not drafty anymore!