Many homeowners choose to increase the space that they can use by sawing through the concrete wall of a basement in order to create a window. However, some of them perform the task without thinking about the major factors that can affect the usefulness or safety of that window. This article discusses three considerations that you should make so that the window that you add to your basement will be functional and safe.
The Obstacles Affecting the Sawing
Consider the obstacles that are within the wall and outside it before you start sawing through it. For instance, utility lines (such as power cables) inside the wall make it very difficult to cut through that wall. This is because you will have to slow down when you get close to those power lines. It is even worse if water pipes run through the wall. The risk of flooding your entire basement is very high. You should also examine the obstacles outside the concrete wall that you wish to cut a window into. Such obstacles may include shrubbery and other landscaping features outside that part of your home. It is advisable to pick a wall where there are very few obstacles so that you limit the risk that something can go wrong during the concrete wall sawing process.
The Necessity for a Beam
Some homeowners do not know that sawing a window out of a weight bearing basement wall can threaten the structural integrity of that basement. This oversight can result in a section of the basement collapsing because it is no longer able to carry the weight of the house above it. Ask a concrete contractor for advice on how to identify the walls that are weight bearing. If you are to cut through a weight-bearing wall, have a plan to put up a beam so that the wall retains its structural integrity once the window space has been sawn through it.
The Source of Light
Avoid having to saw through several walls in your basement just because the first attempt did not let in ample natural light. Concrete wall sawing is a very tedious and expensive activity. That is why you should select the wall you want to cut through carefully. It is better to pick a wall facing the direction where the sun rises from (the East) so that your basement can receive that huge amount of light during the day.
Concrete wall sawing is a very complex and potentially dangerous activity. Hire a professional, such as those found at Allied Concrete Cutting & Drilling Pty Ltd, to cut your basement window if you lack sufficient experience in handling concrete sawing equipment.