Sizing retrofit basement Window

I am trying to get the correct size for a basement window to be ordered from Home Depot. The existing aluminum (skinning frame) window appears to be installed wedged between two steel tube frames. the outer frame is approx 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 and the inner one 2 by 2. I am not sure if the two are connected. Without destroying the existing window how can I get the right size for a retrofit window ? Is the retrofit window installed from outside to but with the 2 by 2 frame ??
Thanks.
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What on earth is a 'skinnning frame'? Basement windows I have seen, you measure from concrete to concrete, the 'rough opening', and remove all of the old window. Of course, if you want to reuse part of the old frame, hopefully the manufacturer or dealer will have instructions. Are these egress windows, or the itty-bitty venting windows? Those usually fit in a slot in the bock around the opening, and the rough frames are installed when basement wall is layed or poured. Almost sounds like you already have replacement windows down there- never seen a mixed-metal installation. I have seen egress-size windows installed in walkouts or big window wells using PT wood studs anchored to the sides and bottom of the opening in the concrete, but it is really just a normal window install at that point. A traditional venting window opening is so small that you really don't want to block any of the opening off like that.
aem sends....
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My apologies for not proof-reading my previous post. I meant a 'skining (thin) frame. The window in question is too small to be used for egress, so I guess its just for ventilation. I also have a deck outside that covers the window. What got me confused was the fact that the wall opeing has three steel tubular frame with the concrete pour for the opening. The tubes are 2 by 2 with a 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 in the middle. If the building wanted a steel frame why not just use one instead of three ?
I was at the local home depot last night and the guy there asked me to measure the opening from the inside. According to him, the window should be installed from inside and should be pushhed towards the outside as far as possible. With a 3 1/2 wide window, the window is going to end up just at the end of the middle tubular frame. I have had flooding through this window before and I just wanted to make sure that incase I have any problem with flooding later on, I don't want to create any opening around the window now.
Thanks.
On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 13:02:12 GMT, "ameijers"

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Save yourself a ton of grief, skip the Home Depot thing and call a real window place and just have them replaced. Your only looking at probably $300-$350 a window if we are talking your basic sized basement window here. That way you'll avoid the work and the almost certain issues that will arise with Home Depot......
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