Day 54: Emily’s Window

2013-11-23 19.09.04

Old studs come out, new studs go in.

We’re adding a window to the rear of the house.  For some weird reason there are no windows on the back of the house.  Granted there isn’t a whole lot to see back there, but with a little TLC, the yard will turn into a nice green space.  It’s doubly strange because it’s super easy to punch a hole in the gable end of a house.  The gable end is the side of the house where the roof is pitched up (looks like an A).  There is less concern about structural integrity on those two sides because the weight of the roof is pushing down on the perpendicular walls.  If you imagine a simple tent (think like a tarp thrown over a hitched line), either end is open.  Same kind of idea here.  Your house (assuming a standard A-frame roof style) has two ends that don’t need a lot of support.  Anywho, so we’re going to punch a 36×54 window at the end of what will one day be the back hall way.  I think our dream is to put a little bench of some kind under it so you can put on and take off your shoes.  It’ll also add a bit of light to the area which will eventually lose the added light from the other side of the house.

2013-11-25 12.13.12Em was assigned the job of roughing in the window.  When putting in a window, there’s essentially +++ steps.  The first step is to create the rough framing.  This process is very similar to a door.  You need to put in a few new studs, and a header that will distribute the force around the window and down to the foundation.  The big difference is that you’re going to create a sill.  A sill is a board that the window will sit on.  Ideally your opening is just a bit larger than your window, so you can easily fit your window in, but not have to go crazy adding wood filler.  The next step is to cut a hole.  You should do as much as possible inside before breaking the envelope of your house.  This step will vary dramatically based on the construction of your house.  We have a wood frame house with plastic siding, so it’s as simple as cutting the boards with a circular saw, and trimming back the siding with tin snips.  The third step is to weather seal the opening and install the window.  These days, this process is incredibly simple.  There exists in any hardware store weather tape.  It comes in like 4″ or 9″ wide rolls.  You’re going to tape around the opening and up the sill before you install the window.  Then run a bead of silicone, pop your window in, level, and nail it in.

I should confess that as of writing this, we’ve only gotten as far as roughing the opening.  It’s been too cold to install the window.  The weather tape goes down to 25f, but silicone doesn’t like freezing temps.  But none the less, Em did an awesome job roughing in the frame for the window.  Hopefully this weekend will be warm enough to install it.

An important thing we learned about windows…they come in two broad varieties: New Construction and Replacement.  Replacement is just what it sounds like.  If you’re putting in a new window where one doesn’t previously exist, you want new construction.  New construction windows come with a nailing flange (a bit of of the window that creates a lip with predrilled holes for you to nail it into your wood) and that’s going to be really important to installing.

2013-11-24 17.29.58

Em testing out her new window for good fit


About Nathan

Originally from central Florida (near Orlando), I've lived in the Cleveland area since 2008. When I'm not caught up in the life project de jure, I paint, sculpt, play games (mostly board games and video games), and run a small hobby import/export business.

One thought on “Day 54: Emily’s Window

  1. Can you get the right cut with a circular saw now that the roughing-in is done? Or is the rough work not nailed in place yet so you can move it out of the way and get the blade where you need it? In any case a saws-all would do the trick, if necessary (after thinking about the siding of course).


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