Window Details – Kinda boring stuff

That is unless you are one similar to me, who just has to be DIY.

I want to apologize for the long delay in posting. I do have a job outside this renovation, and sometimes my wife makes me work at the business. Darn the bad luck. Also, most of what’s been going on at the “Hobby House” has been, well – pretty boring stuff. Unless you think all new plumbing (again) – redoing the upstairs closet (third time) and all new HVAC systems (two) are stimulating. But I’ll post about them as well in the future. At this rate you’ll be reading about it in a couple of years.

So back to window installation details.

window jigAfter installing 15 or so of these windows I figured out a jig system that would make the installation more accurate. New construction windows usually have a nail fin on the exterior that allows the window to ‘flex’ a little in the window opening. This jig will keep you from constantly checking the plumb of the window frame with a level. If your window framing is plumb, your window will be too. This makes the jamb extensions much easier to fabricate.

window jig 1Once you have the window in place you can shim and screw in place. Talking to the Marvin window rep in our city, he said many new installs are just attached by the nailing fins. This will make the window fail in short order. Follow the window installation instructions and you’ll be just fine and dandy.

window shimWhenever possible use a small solid shim like the one pictured. The screw goes through the window frame and into the wall. This small size allows for more foam insulation and keeps thermal bridging to a minimum.

I told you this would be a boring post – so you were warned.

window foamHere is the foam after the shims are in place. The picture looks like only one shim is located at each screw location, but in fact there are two facing opposite directions. This is to keep the surface that the window is attached to flat. One shim only will give you a slanted surface – flat is better if possible. Another problem with this photo – no protective tape. These windows were ordered pre-painted. The others I put in were just primed. I should have run a strip of painters tape along the outer window edge before I foamed them.

window sillHere you see the metal straps attached to the bottoms of the windows. The straps are then attached to the wall sill at the innermost edge. This keeps any holes in the sill guard window pan inside and away from any possible water intrusion. This was a 2X6 wall – if this was 2X4 you could bend the straps down and attach inside.

foam trimThe start of trimming the foam. You can see some residue on the frame of the window. The jamb extensions I’ll fabricate will cover most of this – but the tape would have kept this clean.

trim bladeThe best thing for trimming foam I’ve found is a blunt trim blade for an oscillating saw. Will cut the foam, but easy on the woodwork.

door openingHere is the rough opening for the patio door. I won’t go into more boring detail here – but let’s just say the door was framed with the top opening the correct dimension and the bottom 1 1/2″ too narrow. Gotta love that framing crew. So with a saws-all and a little time I straightened everything up to the right size.

sill panWhenever possible, use a sill pan or other protection to keep water away from any wall penetration. Here you see a PVC sill pan over protecto-wrap. The concrete blocks will be capped with limestone treads.

door installThis door was a Plaspro fiberglass door unit. Here you see my camera shy brother helping me get the door in place. Well, I’m taking pictures instead of helping. Sorry ‘bro.

doorCouple things to note here. I went with a single 36″ wide door with sidelights instead of a french patio door. When I’ve had double doors before I rarely needed the second door. This combination made more sense to me in cost (a little more than 15% less) and is more energy efficient. Also note the scaffolding I built from the top step – this little door weighed in at over 400 pounds. Even with the door out the frame and side lights was over 200 pounds. The scaffold was a good idea and only took a few minutes to fabricate.

So there you have the latest installment of this ongoing adventure. Exciting? Not really – but stay tuned – something exciting might turn up sooner or later.


6 thoughts on “Window Details – Kinda boring stuff

  1. Very interesting! As usual, I learned something from reading your post…and when they put our windows in, I’ll be looking for some of the things you mentioned. Interesting about your patio door change…we seem to be going with “french doors” in many locations, and I wonder if we would be better suited with something else. The door you picked looks nice…we just had the task of selecting our front door (this morning!) so I’m very much in “door mode”. Glad things are moving along, but sorry to hear that you’re on closet v3 and plumbing v2…interested to hear how that all came about.

    • Hi Janet! Sorry for the long delay. I’ve been watching your fantastic renovation. Spectacular! I feel your ‘decision pain’. I spend much more time or researching and selecting than the actual installation. I know yours will be perfect, as we have the same taste:). Well, time to get back on the renovation. Stay well.

    • Hi Bob –
      Yep the windows are energy star rated. with a U factor of .30 solar gain coefficient of .18 and visible transmittance of .40.

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