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Basement window under deck

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[OP]
Newbie
Jun 29, 2016
39 posts
12 upvotes

Basement window under deck

Building a deck over a basement window well and im trying to find a cheap solution to still have some light going to the basement. Thinking of framing the joists for a tempered glass panel usually used for the railing. Just not sure if I can walk on them. Theyre usually .25in thick so I can stack a couple for added strength. Genius or stupid? Any1 have any experience on this?
14 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
Mrlurk wrote: Building a deck over a basement window well and im trying to find a cheap solution to still have some light going to the basement. Thinking of framing the joists for a tempered glass panel usually used for the railing. Just not sure if I can walk on them. Theyre usually .25in thick so I can stack a couple for added strength. Genius or stupid? Any1 have any experience on this?
Before smart phones I owned a house where I did this and was going to put a glass panel over it. Instead I just didn’t step in the hole and neither did any of my guests. I also thought of one of those plastic window well covers but didn’t need it.

Build it, try it, see how it goes?
Deal Expert
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Dec 26, 2005
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Thornhill
Something I would be too hesitant to try. Unless you get glass designed for that and check with the manufacturer about the specs.

bjl
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Oct 19, 2008
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GTA
You can't walk on glass made for railings no matter how many layers. There are glass panels designed for this, last time I looked very expensive. A steel grate is an option, lose some light but cheaper....find an old farmhouse floor air return grate and build for whatever size it is.
Might find correct glass online used and frame to whatever size that is.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
I wouldn't do that OP, that glass is not rated/designed for that load. Instead, use a plexiglass/acrylic panel with appropriate framing to support it. It will scratch/fade though, but you can always buff it out every few years if you care.
Deal Addict
Dec 14, 2011
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London
Is it an Egress window?

There was just a thread on this the other day about building around a window. Do that.
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Feb 2, 2014
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Toronto
Mrlurk wrote: Building a deck over a basement window well and im trying to find a cheap solution to still have some light going to the basement. Thinking of framing the joists for a tempered glass panel usually used for the railing. Just not sure if I can walk on them. Theyre usually .25in thick so I can stack a couple for added strength. Genius or stupid? Any1 have any experience on this?
Yes, do what you said. Even thicker plastic will suffice. It's not in the middle of the deck OP, you won't be walking on it often at all.
Kevin Somnauth, CFA
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[OP]
Newbie
Jun 29, 2016
39 posts
12 upvotes
CdnRealEstateGuy wrote:
Yes, do what you said. Even thicker plastic will suffice. It's not in the middle of the deck OP, you won't be walking on it often at all.
Whats considered egress? I dont have bedroom in basement. But its the only basement window i have.
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Dec 27, 2009
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Victoria, BC
Mrlurk wrote: Whats considered egress? I dont have bedroom in basement. But its the only basement window i have.
It is a window that is big enough that you could potentially escape out of it in the event of a fire, etc.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 29, 2016
39 posts
12 upvotes
engineered wrote: I wouldn't do that OP, that glass is not rated/designed for that load. Instead, use a plexiglass/acrylic panel with appropriate framing to support it. It will scratch/fade though, but you can always buff it out every few years if you care.
I was looking at stacking 3 plastics as well. Polycarbonate at bottom then acrylic then a sacrificial acrylic. Should be cheaper than one 1-inch thick piece.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 29, 2016
39 posts
12 upvotes
Chickinvic wrote: It is a window that is big enough that you could potentially escape out of it in the event of a fire, etc.
What if i dont fasten the panels down to the joist. It would just sit on top of the framing leveled with the wood deck.
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
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kryton619 wrote: A couple of years ago I got rid of all my plastic window well covers and purchased the glass ones from Rona. They can be walked on, they are hinged, and come in various sizes. https://www.rona.ca/en/window-well-cover-4388014
Mrlurk wrote: Cant tell from the picture if theyre glass or not. I will check it out in store. Thanks!
It’s not glass, but some type of plastic, we have two in our deck. Our deck was like OP, covered the two windows and then we cutted the wood and have two of these installed and reinforced, gives good lighting

Yes, you can walk over it, supports like 250lbs or something like that, I forgot the exact spec on packaging, i’m 180lbs and walk over it no problem
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