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  1. #1
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    Question Putting in egress windows - paging construction maggs

    Yeah, yeah I know tech talk BEEEEOTTCH, whatever.

    So this weekend I plan to cut some serious concrete and install 2 windows in my basement. The existing hole/window is about 18" X 30" and I'll need a hole that is 32" by 48". I am going to rent a saw from Home Depot and cut the concrete/foundation out.

    So my question is, how long do think that will take? Its a poured foundation, not a block.

    Anybody got any experience with this?

    <====================>
    After all was said and done, here are instructions and tips

    Tools needed
    measuring tape
    cold chisel
    eye protection
    resp. mask
    mason hammer
    sledge hammer
    shovels
    chalk
    Hilte gun/Nails/Charges
    caulking
    Liquid nails
    window shims
    nails
    Concrete chainsaw
    hip waders
    1/2 - 3/4 yard of gravel
    beer

    Steps
    1. Mark off the area in front of your window that will need to dig - I my case I needed to go at least 48" down and about 48" wide to make room for the railroad ties.
    2. Dig the hole - I chose to rent a mini excavator
    3. Buy the window before you start cutting and make sure you have the proper size to meet the code
    4. Mark on the wall the size of the cut, make sure to make it bigger than the window (account for the buck - pressure treated 2 x 6)
    5. Score your mark with a cold chisel as the water slinging off the saw will take the chalk off
    6. Prepare the inside - I hung visqueen up w/ a staple gun, pulled back the rug, laid down a bead of caulk to act as water trap. Then I got a big "bucket" and laid the visqueen into that to catch the water.
    7. Put your waders on and jump into the hole with the saw
    8. Turn on the water (keeps the blade cool) and start cutting
    9. I found it was best to plunge cut in multiple spots and then link the cuts together.
    10. IMPORTANT note: make sure you cut the bottom first, you don't want to do that last or it will pinch your bar
    11. Make the side cuts and work them down from the top
    12. Leave a little holding concrete near the bottom and go inside and beat the bastard out. *** MAKE sure you dig the hole deep enough so that you can leave the piece in the hole and bury it
    13. Insert window
    14. Place the gravel
    15. Now make the window well (i did mine with railroad ties spiked together)
    Last edited by FreakofSnow; 09-30-2004 at 03:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'm assuming you are enlarging a standard basement window to make it code for an apartment.

    1. There is probably 2 course of 1/2" rebar below the window. Concrete saws can get ruined on bar so heads up.

    2. Your wall is probably 8" deep so you need a saw that penetrates at least 4". That's a pretty f-in big hand held concrete saw.

    3. I'd probably try scoring the wall inside and then finishing up with a chipping hammer.

    4. If you get a window buck with as big a flange as possible, your work should not need to be to precise. You can find in the voids with spray in insulation.

    5. You might want to ask the inspector what he's looking for and what he has seen in the past.

    6. I hope your forearms are in good shape, these things get heavy.

    http://www.masonry-saw.com/graphics/mk_1495.jpg

  3. #3
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    See if it is possible to rent a wall mounted saw, so you don't destroy your back, arms etc. If not hire some overgrown kid and drink beers while he is doing the cutting. Coring and cutting concrete has to be one of the shittiest jobs on the planet.
    As Foggy said, watch out for rebar, those blades are $$$$$.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks guys, just what i am looking for. Couple questions


    I'm assuming you are enlarging a standard basement window to make it code for an apartment.

    -- yep, need one in each bedroom down there to comply

    1. There is probably 2 course of 1/2" rebar below the window. Concrete saws can get ruined on bar so heads up.

    -- How do you know where the rebar is? Any way to tell?



    3. I'd probably try scoring the wall inside and then finishing up with a chipping hammer.

    -- SO cut a decent line inside to get a cleanish edge and bust'er out?



    Any estimate on how long a cut for one window might take for this size?

  5. #5
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    My recommendation is that you hire a professional sawcutter to do the job. They run about $75-$100 and hour depending on where your at and it will take them maybe two hours max to do a job of that size. This way you will get a good clean plumb cut and will save yourself some fairly intensive labor. But depending on the thickness of the wall you could do the job on your own with a hotsaw and a 60# chipping gun. If you choose this route anchor something into the wall above the area and rope your chippen gun to the anchor to take some of the weight off you and your arms. Those guns do damage to the body.

  6. #6
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    The rebar will be approximetely 1-1/2 inches off each face of wall.

  7. #7
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    I've used one of these chain saw deals before but you need a pretty heavy duty compressor to power it

    http://www.csunitec.com/images/concr...rsaw_angle.jpg

  8. #8
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    A potentially helpfull article

    Popular Mechanics

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by mtgoat
    My recommendation is that you hire a professional sawcutter to do the job. They run about $75-$100 and hour depending on where your at and it will take them maybe two hours max to do a job of that size. This way you will get a good clean plumb cut and will save yourself some fairly intensive labor.
    Good call. It would save you a lot of headache, and when you see how "bitter" the concrete guys are you will realize you how much you don't want to do that job.

  10. #10
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    Yikes, this one is currently over my head. I'm planning to add two large windows and another doorway to my basement in the next year or so and I didn't even begin to consider doing it myself. Although my foundation is entirely made or large stones (house is 114 years old). I was thinking structural engineers and the whole thing. If it can be done much cheaper sign me up. I'd be interested to hear how this shakes out. Good luck mang. And those handheld concrete saws are just badass.

  11. #11
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    Because your foundation is poured, the cutting alone is going to be an immense amount of work. You will definately encounter rebar. I would go the route of a professional concrete cutter. They have the equipment and the know how, plus with what it'll cost you in rental fees for the right equipment you're nearly at the cost of a pro. Penhall is the company we use almost exclusively for any concrete cutting on our construction operations. They're a pretty huge company but they might not be in your area.

    Should you choose to do it yourself... make sure you get goggles and a NIOSH N-95 (or greater) rated mask as silica dust does horrible things to the human body.

    If you can rent a wet saw (likely if you're going to bolting it to the wall... possibly if you're going the hand route) do it... it does wonders to reduce the amount of dust you'll be dealing with.

    Last edited by slim; 09-15-2004 at 09:52 PM.
    HI THERE!

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by meatdrink9
    Yikes, this one is currently over my head. I'm planning to add two large windows and another doorway to my basement in the next year or so and I didn't even begin to consider doing it myself. Although my foundation is entirely made or large stones (house is 114 years old). I was thinking structural engineers and the whole thing. If it can be done much cheaper sign me up. I'd be interested to hear how this shakes out. Good luck mang. And those handheld concrete saws are just badass.
    You should have said, stone wall construction and modifications is something I have had quite a lot of practice at (Budies 160 year old school to gouse conversion)....maybe after the snow is all said and done I'll feel the need for a roadtrip south .

  13. #13
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    Exclamation

    Originally posted by Idris
    You should have said, stone wall construction and modifications is something I have had quite a lot of practice at (Budies 160 year old school to gouse conversion)....maybe after the snow is all said and done I'll feel the need for a roadtrip south .
    MD9 and Idris together with heavy dooty power tools. Yikes.
    It's idomatic, beatch.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by meatdrink9
    Yikes, this one is currently over my head. I'm planning to add two large windows and another doorway to my basement in the next year or so and I didn't even begin to consider doing it myself. Although my foundation is entirely made or large stones (house is 114 years old). I was thinking structural engineers and the whole thing. If it can be done much cheaper sign me up. I'd be interested to hear how this shakes out. Good luck mang. And those handheld concrete saws are just badass.
    I recommend you get a copy of "Building with Stone" by MacKay one of the few books out there. Finding a structural Engineer to does calcs for stone foundations might be tricky as no calcs were done in the first place. Here's a link that might be useful.

    http://www.stonefoundation.org/index.html

    I would think you'd cut a stone foundation as most stone is harder than concrete.
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  15. #15
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    You're in LA, right? Call Penhall, they kick some serious ass. We're using them on my current project in the valley for all our concrete and asphalt sawcutting. For a cut of that size, you're looking at 1-2 hours for them to do it, but they'll do a better job, faster, and it will give you more time to sit around and drink beers. The only problem is, weekend work cost more $ than during the week, and you might not be able to get them on such short notice. Once it's sawcut, just go to town with your chipping gun. Tieing it to the roof is a great idea, those things are fricking heavy after an hour.
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by meatdrink9
    Yikes, this one is currently over my head. I'm planning to add two large windows and another doorway to my basement in the next year or so and I didn't even begin to consider doing it myself. Although my foundation is entirely made or large stones (house is 114 years old). I was thinking structural engineers and the whole thing. If it can be done much cheaper sign me up. I'd be interested to hear how this shakes out. Good luck mang. And those handheld concrete saws are just badass.
    You might want to get an air chisel for that, md.

  17. #17
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    Just use an eight pound hammer and a chisel. It will probably take a few years, but you would be a lot like that guy in Shawshank redemption. Hopefully without getting raped in the laundry room, unless you are into that.

  18. #18
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    True, every crackhouse usually has an escape tunnel.

  19. #19
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    I just cut two holes in my foundation wall. One 4'x6' one 5'x6'. The crete was 30years old but not too hard (not as hard as the stuff that is the basement slab) and 8" thick. I used a ring saw. It is a hydralic saw. the pump sits in the back of the truck. The saw itself is reall light. It has a hose connection that sprays water on the cut to keep the dust down to zero. however water got on the basement floor. No biggie cause it is an unfinished basement. I has to cut each piece into 4 smaller ones because they weigh a fkn lot. Even with them cut into smaller pieces they were a bitch to get out of the hole because they weigh a fkn lot and don't slide for shit. I wailed on the first one with a sledge until it slipped out. I had to jacl one of them up because it slipped down and got in a bind against anothe piece. All in all a lot of work. The ring saw rental was about $250/day plus blade useage at $7.8 per thousandth wear. Total bill was just over $600CAD. Total lenght of cut was about 50'. The end result is a smooth cut that I nailed my sill to with a Remington power nailer (one of those little .22 shell power actuated nailers).

    How old is your foundation? Apparently "in the old days" rebar was uncommon. Mine had none.

    I had thought about putting a door in but then I would have had to fk around with insulating my footing so I decided screw it. I can go out the window if I have to get out in a hurry.


    Gas powered hydralic pump sits in the back of your truck or on the ground and all you have to hold is this ~ 15 - 20 lbs.
    http://www.toolfetch.com/tools_image...ems/k3600c.gif
    Last edited by Beaver; 09-16-2004 at 10:22 AM.
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  20. #20
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    those diamond blades slice rebar. they cut everything with them.

    you def want a wall mounted rig that you can plumb and level, or else you are going to have a lot of chipping and parging in your future.

    edit: something like this:http://www.tractive.se/img2/sagning-6-16_liten.jpg
    Last edited by basom; 09-16-2004 at 10:32 AM.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by basom
    you def want a wall mounted rig that you can plumb and level, or else you are going to have a lot of chipping and parging in your future.
    Def on the wall mount. Do it right, do it once.

  22. #22
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    Holy balls, lots of information. Damn, I am leaning towards just getting the concrete heads to come out and do it. Just called and they can do one hole for $250, not too bad. I'll do the rest myself and save the money there.

  23. #23
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    call A-core, mark it for them on the outside and dig out plenty around it if it's below ground at all, if it is window well treatments are worth the effort of making them stylish and functional like a tiered planter thingy versus a steel bucket and drainage becomes an issue etc...
    double check that your openings will allow for your two-by framing and still net you enough opening for "code approved" egress windows- the vinyl units on our current project were extra thick and made for a smaller egressable window so the R.O. had to be larger to accomodate this. having the windows right there eliminates the guesswork...
    good luck

  24. #24
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    I decided to go for it myself. Talked to the rental shop and they have a concrete chainsaw, makes cuts 12" deep. I figure if i can't hang with it, i'll stop and call in the pro's

    Wish me luck...I'll be looking like this dude on Saturday. TR to follow

    http://www.jimslimstools.com/images/.../basement1.jpg

  25. #25
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    Wink

    Originally posted by FreakofSnow
    I decided to go for it myself. Talked to the rental shop and they have a concrete chainsaw, makes cuts 12" deep. I figure if i can't hang with it, i'll stop and call in the pro's

    Wish me luck...I'll be looking like this dude on Saturday. TR to follow

    http://www.jimslimstools.com/images/.../basement1.jpg
    Heh, we're gonna need pics of the carnage. Complete with Red-neck guy sawing in overals and white shirt.
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