TLDR: New windows appear to be too small for the frames. Is setting them on the previous windows frames acceptable as show in the images below?

Apologies in advance for mislabelling window parts...

So story is that I recently bought this house that was built in the 60's. All windows have been replaced except the basement windows. I was recently contacted by my realtor stating that a contractor (now deceased) hired by the previous owners ordered 6 new windows to replace them which is great as they are all currently single pane. However, I just went and purchased them (1 year after ordering), and it appears that they all may be too small.I know typically you would knock out all existing remnants of the old windows, but I fear that if I do, there will be at least 2-3" of space surrounding the entire window. It appears the contractor must have ordered a size to fit within the existing frame. Anyway, I went ahead and tried one which is what it looks like below. It fit nice and snug, but it looks a bit odd on the outside. The wood is exposed and the depth seems deeper than normal. Is this proper and efficient among other things? And how would you go about replacing if you were to knock out the entire old frame? Thanks!

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  • 2
    Windows can be adjusted in their placement in a hole for windows. Some people like them in, some people like them out and use the space for plants or reading.
    – crip659
    Oct 16, 2022 at 21:27
  • @crip659 , thanks! I wasn’t sure. With that said, does have the wood being exposed pose any issues? Obviously rot I assume.
    – Zach
    Oct 16, 2022 at 21:50

2 Answers 2


That is typical sizing for "replacement windows" intended to be installed into the old frames.

They do look weird compared to normal windows, and can be spotted easily if you are looking for them.

If the old frames are not rotten, they can be OK, (other than looking odd, and having smaller actual windows than normal-type windows) as they skip needing to fuss with the flashing of the old window, how it meets the siding, etc. (little of which applies to these basement windows, of course...)

If the old frames are rotten (or otherwise removed) you end up having to build new frames that size to make use of these windows, if you are committed to using these windows.

I would probably push them all the way to the outside of the framed opening as @crip659 says - windowsills are more useful inside the house, and catch things you don't want on the outside, like water and debris to rot things out.


It looks perfectly fine if this is how your new window looks from inside and outside. Maybe it is the lighting, from outside the window looks white and inside it looks more like beige.

The sills look good on the outside which means it is not exposed to the weather in terms of rain and snow etc. Good job on the insulation there. I would cut off the excess foam.
To finish it cut off the siding straight as much as you can, it won't take much, basically the bottom side of the window. Paint some pine first then install it on all 4 sides of the window. Caulk where it is needed and you got yourself home run.

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