How do I frame in a recessed window?


Old 03-05-16, 03:29 PM
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Question How do I frame in a recessed window?

I've decided to build out the top half of the basement foundation wall in order to create niches and built-ins (shown in drawing below). As you can see from the picture, the windows are already in with the proper headers. My question is do I need to build another header on the wall that will sit on the foundation with jacks under it or can I just screw in a header made of 2x4's with no jacks? I guess what I'd like to know is what is the proper way of recessing the windows?

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Old 03-05-16, 04:02 PM
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You could have drywall returns or you could put on deep jamb extensions of wood to match the windows. Usually the drywall returns look more open, but it comes down to taste. Either way, you don't need another header or jacks...there's no load being supported from above. Just whatever minimum framing you need to get structure where you need it. Doesn't even need to be 2x.
Old 03-05-16, 04:14 PM
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Your wall on top of your concrete foundation should have one long continuous bottom plate and the top should have one long continuous top plate. They should be plumb with one another, and with the bottom plate at the floor. The reason being, you want your final product to be in a straight line, not a series of independent sections like what you appear to be building in the middle there, because they will surely not be perfectly straight if done in that manner.

As mentioned, drywall or wood jambs, you need to figure that out now. If wood, you usually will frame the opening far enough away from the window so that you can fit a 3/4" plywood "box" jamb into the rough opening, shim it and square it with the window, creating a 1/8 - 1/4" step or reveal around the window, then you nail that to the rough opening The jamb you make is usually installed after the drywall is finished and painted, then the jamb and trim is applied last.. Its important that the wall and window be plumb or else you are creating a tapered jamb which is no one's idea of a fun way to trim a window.

Maybe you already know, but you also don't place untreated wood in direct contact with concrete... (I think i see the treated tag on the wood) and if those boards are attached directly to the concrete, I hope it's plumb. Going to insulate that concrete?
Old 03-05-16, 04:24 PM
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Great point about the drywall returns Carbide! I bet it will make it look more open. Maybe I will just put a wood sill that sticks out an inch or so to give it some character and leave the rest untrimmed with finished drywall.
Old 03-05-16, 04:35 PM
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Hi xsleeper, that wall is 19 ft long so I would have had to do it in two sections. I opted for three to keep the breaks in the wall balanced. Maybe that wasn't the correct way to go about it :/.

I think I am going to go with the drywall jambs, I will be sure to level the hell out of the frame though.

Yes, I actually tore out the 2x4 s that were resting on the concrete because they were not treated and I am now using PT on all bottom plates. The furring strips were also already there (old work) I am contemplating replacing those too as well as putting insulation board ( R7?).
Old 03-06-16, 07:28 AM
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Your going to end up with several issues with the way I see it being done in that bottom picture.
There's no good way to install the needed outlets to meet code.
NEC Code Questions & Answers, June 2011
There's no vapor barrier on the wall, no room for the needed insulation in the wall.

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