New construction window in old home

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Old 03-06-16, 03:13 PM
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Question New construction window in old home

I made an impulse purchase of a few new windows and attempted to start installing them even though I have never done so before. I knew they were smaller than the opening when I purchased them but figured I could build it out. This is where I need advice!

I placed two 2x4 at the top to help fill in the gap which leaves me with about a half inch to shim top & bottom and the sides I have 1 1/12 inches on each side.

I've never installed windows before do I need more space on the top and bottom for Sheetrock or trim to slid under or does the but up against the window?

Should I use 1x4 to fill in the gaps and than foam insulation to fill the rest or do I have to buy a wider window??

I posted a picture below so maybe someone can send me in the right direction.

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Old 03-06-16, 03:29 PM
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Making far more work for yourself by doing it that way.
Somethings really wrong with that part you added and the area above.
There's no double plate at the top of the wall, the wood you added should have been sitting on top of the jack studs, there's no header over the window, there needs to be cripples over the top of the window.
https://www.google.com/search?q=wind...WWSZBpXXnvM%3A
Vinyl windows are made to size at no up charge everyday.
Post a picture of the outside, that's the part that really matters.
 
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Old 03-06-16, 03:39 PM
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There is already a header there so I thought this would be ok :/. I don't have enough room to add jacks under the 2x4's. Here is a picture of the outside.

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Old 03-06-16, 03:59 PM
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You already had jacks on place, they should have been cut off 3" so the wood you added was sitting on top of them, not sitting inside of them.
Doing it the way your doing it there's not going to be any support for the floor joist over the window.
Looks like the windows so narrow it's going to miss the holes in the nailing fins on the sides.
Once again ordering the windows made to the right size would have reduced your labor and materials by about 50%.
Good luck trying to fit that shake siding into the built in J molding.
 
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Old 03-06-16, 04:15 PM
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I have plenty of lumber as I am currently refinishing my basement. I could easily unscrew the 2x4s, cut down the jacks and slide in the longer 2x4s.

I understand the correct size would be easier but I got a great deal on these so I would like to make them work. As far as the spacing on the top and bottom, with 1/2 inch between them both do I have enough clearance? And is 1x4 furring what I'd use to fill in the side gaps or no?

I have trim pieces that should slide in around the J molding.
 
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Old 03-06-16, 04:52 PM
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I think joe missed the part where you said there is already a header. Maybe he cant see the picture cuz its kind of dark. Disregard all that, as its not a problem.

Yes, you need to add about 1" of lumber on the sides. 3/4 will not be enough. If you have a table saw, rip a couple 2x4s down to 1" thick... maybe even 1 1/8". Take the window out and and apply them to the sides, under your double 2x4s.

Anytime you pad out a window opening, it's a good idea to use construction adhesive as you add those layers of wood. If you dont, you will have a lot of air infiltration coming in between those layers of wood when the wind blows. The framing you add should line up with the existing framing level, then you should cover the exterior side of your new framing with a strip of plywood that us the same thickness as the existing sheathing.

Putting trim over the nailing fin / around the j-channel will be fine. But before you do that, I would recommend you put some peel and stick flashing over the top nailing fin, and be sure you put in a piece of felt paper that goes under your existing felt paper above the window. Its important that water never reaches the nailing fin on top. When you put the window in for good, you will want to run a bead of sealant around the opening and push the nailing fin into it. Then secure the window with a few roofing nails, making sure you have it centered left to right between your siding and that it's plumb, level and square.
 
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Old 03-06-16, 05:18 PM
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Thanks again Xsleeper! Great advice about the construction adhesive between the stacked layers.

I have 1x4 furring strips already for strapping of my ceiling that I can use to build up the opening. So basically, just get the sides, top and bottom gap filled as tight as possible? Do I even need more than 1/8 inch of wiggle room between top bottom and sides? These shouldn't need to be shimmed for square just level and plumb correct?
 
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Old 03-06-16, 05:32 PM
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Follow the mfg's installation instructions. I'm sure you can find them online. Normally, you always shim a window that size about 3-4" from each corner and at the midpoint of the sides. No shims on top.

Like I said, 3/4 thick material will not be thick enough. No, you do not frame the gap as tight as possible. You don't want the RO too tight, or you won't be able to square the window or insulate it. If you have 1 1/2" on the sides now, 1 to 1 1/8" would be the perfect size to rip a 2x4. You want about 3/8 to 1/2" of room around the perimeter of the window.

Square is the most important thing on a window. Theoretically, if you have the window perfectly plumb and level, it will be square. But don't let the level deceive you. If your bubble says it's level and plumb, but when you open it a crack and the reveal isn't straight, well guess what. You don't have it as level and square as you think it is. DIY levels are pretty much always junk if you've got the plastic playschool $10 variety.
 
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Old 03-06-16, 05:48 PM
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Ok sorry, I forgot 1x4 is actually 3/4 thick not 1". I will see if the local home depot will rip a couple 2x4s down for me as I do not have a table saw. If not I guess I will go buy one ( I really could use one anyway).

What should I use for insulation to fill in the small gap after shimming to level square and plumb?
 
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Old 03-06-16, 06:10 PM
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Low expanding foam, should say its for doors and windows. Dap latex is a good one. You have to be very careful if you use great stuff brand in the blue can. (Don't use the red can at all) Even though the blue can is low expanding, it will sometimes expand more than you think and will make a mess. If you use it, put the straw against the back of the nailing fin and slowly fill the gap halfway.... then let it expand. Wait until your interior jamb is installed to insulate it again. (If you let those shims stick out toward the interior, your jamb will be perfectly aligned with the edges of the window, and you can foam that gap too, before you put the casing on..)

Also noticed in your photo that the window is sitting right on the subsill. You want a 1/2" gap there to insulate, so you might want to rip 1/2" off one of those 2x4s on top.

If the gap on the sides of the window is 1 1/4"... then your 1x4s would work fine. The thing is, if you have more than 1/2" of space in the rough opening, you won't usually have much for your nails to sink into when you nail the fin on. So if you have plenty of wood behind those nail fin holes, your 1x4s will work fine.
 
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Old 03-06-16, 06:16 PM
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Alright, I found the Pella installation video here http://www.pella.com/support-center-...tallation.aspx They recommend the Great stuff brand as well as the pella smart flash tape the type of stuff I believe you were referring to earlier.

You've been a great help man, I truly appreciate it. Looks like I should be able to get this wrapped up on my day off tommorow!
 
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Old 03-06-16, 06:24 PM
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Only problem is that the Pella tape (or any other tape) doesn't stick to that old black felt very well. When it gets hot, it lets go. But it's better than nothing. Those tapes work best with Tyvek and other similar modern housewraps. Hope it goes well for ya.
 
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Old 03-07-16, 03:03 PM
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Ok, I saw you mentioned that if I only had 1 1/4 inches that the 1x4s would work. The widest part of the frame is 30" smallest 29 3/4" the window is 27 1/2". I took pictures to get your opinion, right now its just dry fitted.

The window is sitting directly on the subsill but I do have some space at the top for when I shim the bottom, not quite 1/2 inch though. will this be enough?

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Old 03-07-16, 03:16 PM
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Sounds like if you add 3/4" per side you will still be left with 3/8" per side which must be what ur tape is showing. I would have shaved that 2x4 on top so you could have 1/2" space around the window on top and bottom. You can't insulate a gap that is too tight.
 
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Old 03-07-16, 03:40 PM
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OK, I will do that. I just wasn't able to get a hold of a table saw today. But the sides are ok with the 1x4?
 
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Old 03-07-16, 03:41 PM
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Or remove the one 2x4 on top and use a 1x4. Then center the window in the opening. Yes, sides look fine.
 
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Old 03-07-16, 03:56 PM
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Good Idea, removing a 2x4 and adding a 1x4 on the bottom will be easier!
 
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Old 03-08-16, 04:35 PM
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Ok, I have another question. In measuring from floor to sill with the window sitting directly on the subsill, it measures 43 1/2. egress is 44" so if I shimmed directly off the subsill it would still meet code. Would I be ok shimming off the subsill and replaceing the top 2x4 with the 1x4 instead of putting it on the bottom under the window??
 
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Old 03-08-16, 04:39 PM
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Code for what? Those windows are too small to be egress. An egress DH must have 5.7 sq ft free.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 04:44 PM
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Right, but the rear windows in the same room will be egress so Im thinking I should keep them at the same hight?
 
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Old 03-08-16, 04:46 PM
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Doesn't really matter. You aren't required to follow egress height for a window that isn't an egress window.

Its the clear opening (daylight) that has to be no more than 44" anyway, so you are probably already too high.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 04:54 PM
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Ok got it, just trying to cover all my bases. Looks like egress height in the back is gonna be a problem. May have to put a step.
 
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Old 03-13-16, 11:30 AM
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OK so I just picked up all the stuff to finish the install and realized I don't know how to shim a window! Do I shim the frame and level the shims then install the windows?
 
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Old 03-13-16, 03:10 PM
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So I put two blocks on the sill, leveled them, placed the window on the blocks, threw a screw in the center top of the flange, adjusted for square and plumb, set the rest of the screws and now I'm throwing in shims at the bottom corner, mid window and top corner. I seriously have no idea if I am doing this right as I can not find any guides on youtube for this procedure. Here is where I'm at. Any help or pointers would really be appreciated.

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Old 03-13-16, 04:50 PM
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Flat blocks are fine, but you usually use tapered shims because they are narrow and allow you to insulate better around them. (A wide block is just basically equal to zero insulation.) Tapered cedar shims work best. You stick the fat end of one shim in first, then stick the skinny end of a second shim on top of the first. (Making one stack of two shims). You can cut the skinny end off and make the shim shorter if you need to tighten the shim up.

The idea is that you level, plumb and square the window, then shim the corners to keep it that way.... and shim the middle of the sides to prevent the window from ever spreading out in the center.
 
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Old 03-13-16, 05:06 PM
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Got it! So if I'm placing the shims in after the window how do I get the shims to stay in place in the case of expansion and contraction? Does the foam insulation take care of this??
 
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Old 03-13-16, 07:36 PM
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I put a brad nail in them in front of the window and cut them off flush with the inside edge of the framing. That way they also act as a shim for your jamb. (The trim you will add next)

When you foam the window the shims get encased in the foam as well.
 
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Old 03-13-16, 07:45 PM
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Oh that makes sense, that eliminates having to shim the jamb too. You've really been a great help. I'm sure I'll have a couple more questions. They should make you a moderator
 
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Old 03-13-16, 07:50 PM
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Glad to help. I like where I'm at.
 
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