Exterior Details – Egress window prep

Well my fellow renovators – I received a notice that my TV lift has been shipped, so soon I’ll be back on the bookcase project in the sunroom. In the meantime I have been busy with the exterior details – getting the building envelope ready for veneer limestone and hardie siding. It’s not pretty but important. I have two sides left to go before we can start the siding project. Today we’ll work on finishing the back of the house.

1 window prepAt the back of the house I have selected this window to become the larger egress window. Due to how the house is situated on the lot, this is the only place I can dig down and put in the oversize window and well. The problem is, this house was really poorly built. The houses to my left and right are very well constructed – this one – huh – not so great. But we’ll make it better. In the photo above the dark board with the holes in it is called a band (or ribbon) board. On most houses, this goes all the way around the perimeter of your home. Usually the floor joists are nailed on edge through this board. This house? No – just that little piece of board above each window.

2 window demoSo that won’t do for structure. So out it comes – the structure above is fine with this gone – mainly because I added several floor joists in this location to replace the ones the termites ate for dinner.

3 steel angleThe floor joists are notched and this 54″ 4X4X1/4″ steel angle is put in place. This will be part of the system to strengthen this area for the wider window. A steel header will be added in the basement wall structure to make this window area super strong.4 angle finishOnce in place we wrap a little protecto wrap for corrosion protection and see how things look.

5 plywood 1st attemptHere’s attempt #1 – the wall was so bowed by the window the siding was out by over an inch – looked like poop – like a big hump in the middle of the wall.

6 sheathing startedSo I started the sheathing with 1/2″ CDX plywood while I thought about what to do.

7 window redoSo I ripped it out and tried a different approach. To make this as simple as possible. There is a metal ledge ( actually a deck ledger ) at the bottom of the sheathing that fits snugly against the foundation brickwork. This keeps bugs from entering, as well as protects the bottom of the sheathing from moisture. But in this area the bricks by the window were so out of plumb I had to put the ledge on top of the brick to make the sheathing straight. The red arrow shows where the transition changes from the top of the bricks to the side of the bricks.

8 sheathing near finishNow the sheathing is plumb and flat – it’ll make the siding look a lot better.

9 notchThe arrow shows the notch of the transition.

10 sheathing doneAll that only took 7 hours – and I’m the only one who would have noticed.

11 window sealThe detailing around the windows is complete. So-

12 house wrapThat’s a wrap – House-wrap that is.

Pretty things to come…someday.


6 thoughts on “Exterior Details – Egress window prep

  1. You never know what you’re going to find when you start ripping into an old house, huh? Good thing you have great construction and problem-solving skills. Stuff like this boggles my mind! Can’t wait to see the siding up, and I bet you can’t wait, too!

    • You’ve got that right D’Arcy! Working outside is not my favorite – I wanna make some pretty stuff – someday…

  2. This is fascinating, Curt. All our houses are built of brick so we know very little about your construction methods.

    • Hi! Thanks for stopping in again. Yep, our houses look so flimsy when compared to those in South Africa. My wife is from the Philippines and it’s concrete block and metal roofs. In the Midwest and most northern areas plaster and drywall are common and last for 100+ years or more – if they don’t get wet. In the south, the construction is similar to yours due to the high humidity and termite activity.

  3. Great Job, I’ve been checking your site out as I have my own project underway and I do everything on my own as well. I’m slow but it’s a challenge. I’m doing a wrap around porch and a sunroom. I like your ceiling in the sunroom and I think I’m going to copy yours except for the beams across as I built it cathedral and don’t need the cross members. On the exterior of your sun room roof. What were you thinking of doing for the eave returns? I’m thinking internal pork chops and run it into a frieze board for my own.

    I also fell of a ladder in my project – I put the ladder on the fascia of my porch – it sunk down below the fascia while I was on it and it went forward. I fell backwards and got a concussion but could have been much, much worse. Lot of similarities between our projects it seems.

    • Hey Andrew, thanks for stopping in. Great minds think alike 🙂 It is a challenge and time consuming – sort of like golf, but a lot more dusty. Everybody needs a hobby. The eave returns are a kind of modified pork chops – they are recessed half way to allow a LED down light. And there is a frieze board as well. The sunroom eaves are around 12″, the pork chop face is about 7″ with a 3″ light. The original building has a 16″ eave and these will be recessed as well. I’m adding a couple of electrical receptacles as well as a place for CCTV cameras. I’ll post on this pretty soon.
      Glad to hear the ladder incident wasn’t any more serious. I was trying not to hit my head and succeeded – but it sure did a number on my legs – 5 surgeries and $300K later I can walk – with a slight limp – but it sure beats the alternative. Wishing you much success.

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