by Theo Stephens December 16, 2020

One of the most intimidating parts of the egress window installation process is cutting into your basement wall to create the opening for your window. There’s a good reason this aspect of the job gives DIYers pause. Cutting through concrete is a messy, dangerous and time-consuming task. For the untrained, there’s also the risk of making a bad cut. That’s why we recommend hiring a professional concrete cutter for the job.

While it might add more cost to your project, working with a concrete cutter will provide peace of mind that we believe is well worth the money. While a homeowner is still responsible for marking the lines where the concrete should be cut, they have the know-how and equipment needed to make the process easier and more efficient. Here are a few other reasons why leaving concrete cutting to the professionals makes sense:

Convenience. Concrete cutting requires powerful equipment and tools that DIYers often don’t have on hand. While it’s possible to rent a concrete-cutting saw, hammer drill and other tools you’ll need, it could take awhile to assemble all the equipment and there’s no guarantee that you’ll secure exactly what is required for your specific job. You’ll also want to gather safety gear that isn’t necessary for other parts of the installation process, including a properly fitting filtration mask (hard to come by these days) to help protect you from the large amount of dust generated when cutting. So subbing out the cutting could help you avoid too many trips to the store.

Another nice benefit of hiring a concrete cutter is having them quarter the concrete block once it’s cut for easier removal and disposal. You can also ask them to haul away the concrete for you. Just keep in mind that you’ll pay extra for those services.

Expertise. There’s no doubt that cutting concrete takes practice. Professional concrete cutters are well acquainted with the tools of the trade, giving them the ability to make precise cuts and to cut efficiently, which will save you time in the long run. If you do the job, you’ll need to take extra precautions to safely prevent power surges, electrical shocks or system overloads – dangers that don’t impact professionals since they supply their own power source. In addition, concrete cutters are accustomed to performing this kind of physically taxing work, unlike some weekend warriors. Removing a concrete slab can mean lots of hammering and hauling, which can not only leave you sore, but potentially lead to injury if you don’t do it correctly.

Greater odds of success. Using a professional concrete cutter will increase the chances of having a smoother install without any hiccups. For example, most foundations walls are eight inches thick. If you rented your own equipment, chances are you’ve gotten a saw that can cut five inches maximum, which means you’ll have cut four inches from inside and outside and unless you match the cuts perfectly, the concrete block could get bound up and not come loose easily. In addition, because you’ll be cutting from the interior as well as the exterior, you’re likely to create a dusty mess inside your home. With their high-powered saws, professionals can avoid these issues.

The cost involved in hiring a concrete cutter will vary by market, the depth of the cut (determined by how thick the foundation wall is), and whether you include disposal services. It may range anywhere from $250 to $700. When you schedule the concrete cutter, make sure you plan to have the cutting done on the same day you plan to install your window, so you’re not dealing with an open wall in the interim.

Working with a professional may take a bit of research and coordination, but we’re confident that hiring a concrete cutter will result in fewer headaches and a faster install.




Theo Stephens
Theo Stephens

Author

Entrepreneur and inventor Theo Stephens engineered a better way to install egress windows, by developing a patented process over the course of his Brighter Basements team installing thousands of escape windows. The proven innovation of his steel ExoFrame™ design saves installation time and money while providing greater structural integrity and security. He founded Bright Idea Egress to make his complete egress window kit and efficient installation process available to homeowners and installers nationwide.




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