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Change size of the basement windows

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  • Dec 7th, 2020 3:45 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 8, 2017
39 posts
34 upvotes
Vaughan, ON

Change size of the basement windows

I have three basement windows like the ones in the pictures. They are all 30" wide and 14" high. As you can see, they are all above the ground (80" & 130" respectively). With such small windows, the basement doesn't get good ventilation and natural light. My question is whether it is easy to cut down part of the wall under the windows and replace them with the bigger ones like 30" by 48". Do I need a permit and how much will it cost do each one. My basement is finished.
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10 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9942 posts
5233 upvotes
Paris
To go down no permit is required. The second you make them 1” wider, permit is required.

Lots of hacks out there will just saw the brick and cap over it. Make sure they remove brick and key it all back in so it looks original.

I’d guess around $2500 per window.

Source: Am window/door contractor
Sr. Member
May 11, 2008
808 posts
356 upvotes
Vancouver
A permit is going to be required. Before going to far, you should verify the limiting distance and check the area of unprotected openings you're allowed.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
6162 posts
3226 upvotes
Mississauga
aznrsx1979 wrote: A permit is going to be required.
Not necessarily. At least around here you’ll only need a permit if you’re widening the opening since you’re changing the structure.
Before going to far, you should verify the limiting distance and check the area of unprotected openings you're allowed.
This is the bigger issue. There are limits to the total glass area you’re allowed to have facing another home. It’s all about fire containment.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 4, 2009
5025 posts
1354 upvotes
We were looking to enlarge a window, we were told going down was far less expensive (something like $650/opening) than going wider ($2500/opening). More structural modifications involved with going wider than going down was the reasoning.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
Member
Jun 1, 2017
453 posts
315 upvotes
Mississauga
You will want to avoid widening the opening if you are looking at the easiest/cheapest solution

Widening the opening will require at a minimum (permit required as well):

a new steel lintel for the brick
a new wood header/beam (not only for the floor joist, but there is always the potential of needing to support a point load which may not be visible unless you remove drywall)
floor framing may be framed to match the current opening size. Widening the opening will require altering the floor framing as well.
Member
Dec 25, 2006
252 posts
70 upvotes
When I had my basement finished, my GC subcontracted the windows portion. It costs anywhere from $800-$1200 to enlarge or open each new window. Since your basement is finished, you will have to protect the interior well as it is a messy job. Call around and get quotes.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9942 posts
5233 upvotes
Paris
aznrsx1979 wrote: A permit is going to be required. Before going to far, you should verify the limiting distance and check the area of unprotected openings you're allowed.
This is absolutely incorrect for Ontario
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
6162 posts
3226 upvotes
Mississauga
Which is incorrect the permit or the unprotected openings limitation?
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9942 posts
5233 upvotes
Paris
mrweather wrote: Which is incorrect the permit or the unprotected openings limitation?
Sorry, the “permit is going to be required” piece. It’s unlikely a permit will be required, but you are right does depend on the distance between houses and number/square feet of openings.
Newbie
Dec 5, 2020
3 posts
1 upvote
Moncton
Well last year, I had 2 egress windows installed in my finished basement. I needed a permit, also the city I live in had a limit on the number of windows you can have on a cement wall. It came to 2500 per window. That's including , making a bigger hole, installing a new header, removing siding and re-installing, the egress window was included in the price.
Check with your city for what they require.

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