Window Expansions – Saw Jockey Concrete Cutting – Salt Lake City, Utah

IMG_0284A Basement Window

Many older homes have windows in the basement that are tiny.  They don’t let much light in and they won’t allow a person to get out (egress) in case of an emergency.  To add a new bedroom in a basement you will almost certainly be required to bring the window up to current egress codes).  Thus, a basement window expansion is a GREAT way to increase light in the basement, add safety for those in the basement and to boost the value of your home!

If you want to expand a window in your concrete basement wall, here are some issues you will want to think through:

  • Will you keep the same width and simply expand downward (in concrete cutting terms this is a “window bottom” cut)? Often, you can meet egress codes using the existing width if you use a casement window (the type that swings open like a door). A benefit of this is that you typically won’t change any structural aspects of the wall (note: Saw Jockey Concrete Cutting does not offer structural advice). Please contact a general contractor or structural engineer if you have structural questions.
  • If you do plan to enlarge the width, you will want to decide if you will center the new window on the old window or if you will use one side of the existing window as a side of the expanded window. When expanding the width of a window you should check with a general contractor or structural engineer to discuss what the concrete being removed was supporting and how that will be supported in the future. Often a metal lintel is added above windows to support the structure above the opening. We can cut the lintel opening in the concrete and provide steel (we stock 3” x 3” x ¼” and 4” x 4” x ¼” angle iron). Once we make sure the lintel fits in the opening, it is up to the customer to affix it to the wall.
  • Older homes often had a metal window frame (a “window buck”) placed in the concrete when the walls were poured. Some people leave them and some people remove them. Removing them means we would need to cut all around the window and thus increases the price of the cutting.
  • Once the concrete is cut, we can: 1) leave it in place for you to tip out later (this is helpful if you plan to install the window at a later date), 2) tip it out for you to break and remove, 3) tip and jack hammer (into soccer ball sized pieces) for you to remove or 4) tip and remove.  The first two are included in our cutting price. The latter two add to the price of the project.
  • We can cut from either the inside or outside. Outside is preferable since the slurry (a mixture of the cut concrete and the water used for the blades) simply goes into the dirt. If cut from the inside, there can often be an additional cost due to more preparation needed to manage the slurry.
  • To prepare for a window bottom to be cut, we need this clearance (which is pretty much the same as you need for a window well): 1 foot around the new window dimensions (including below) and 4’ back from the wall
  • When you are excavating, one common strategy is to dig deeper and leave the concrete slug (either whole or broken up) in the hole.

Please contact Saw Jockey Concrete Cutting of Salt Lake City, Utah if you have questions about a window expansion or any other concrete cutting or core drilling need. We are committed to giving our customers excellent quality work in a timely fashion at a reasonable price.

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