Framing a gang of windows

Old 02-07-07, 05:38 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington
Posts: 181
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Framing a gang of windows

I am going to be installing (3) single hung windows right next to one another & am wondering what the best framing option would be for the header. Should I run the header continuous over all three windows with a double trimmer on both ends or install an individual header above each window with a king stud running the full height of the wall in between them with a trimmer on both sides. The windows are 32x62 & the wall height is a about 9'-3" & is load bearing of short side (about 12'-0") of a hip roof.

Old 02-07-07, 06:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,772
Received 32 Votes on 29 Posts

Use double kings between each window with individual headers.
Old 02-07-07, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 110
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I think it mainly depends on how important it is to you to get the windows close together. Putting king studs and trimmers in between each cuts down on the size (depth) of the header required over each but pushes the windows further apart. Or you can frame a single opening for all three provided you make the header strong enough for the span, this approach enables you to get the windows as close together as possible. Temporary support for the ceiling/roof/2nd floor during construction will be more critical for the single opening approach.
Old 02-07-07, 03:32 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,085
Received 905 Votes on 831 Posts
I'd say that it depends on the type of windows you are using. With many brands of windows (vinyl ones included), you can get snap in vertical mullions and mull all 3 windows together into one unit.

But if you're not mulling them together, and you are using nailing fins, you need to separate them by at least 2 1/4" (one 2x4 plus 3/8" on each side for the rough opening) and then be very careful to keep the tops and bottoms in a straight line while using 2 1/4" spacers in between the windows to keep the spacing exactly the same for your exterior trim.

In either case, I'd recommend using one header over the entire opening. Having too much framing between windows when it's not absolutely necessary looks tacky IMO, and it cuts down on the view. If I was doing it, the finished rough opening would measure 101 x 62 3/4. (32+32+32+1.5+1.5 plus about 2" for space around windows (2" / 6 sides would be about 3/8" per side. The header would be 107" long, have king studs on each side, and would have 2 trimmers underneath supporting each end.
Old 02-07-07, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 117
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts

It all depends how much space you want in between. Wether you frame with three different headers or one big header and 2x4's in between wether it's two or three, all you need for the outside of the headers are a king stud and one jack because the rough opening is so small.
Old 02-08-07, 06:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 3,140
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Dan: I am going to agree with some of the info give, and disagree with other.
Everyone is thing about the windows, and have forgotten about the bearing wall, which is the most important thing. I would first check with your building dept and find out any regulations they may have concerning your bearing wall. If you do decide on a single header, it will have to be a double header with 1/2 plywood or osb sandwiched inbetween, and double jack studs on each end. The header will have to be a 2x12 probably. A 2x10 is minimum.
I would put a minimum of one stud between each window to strengthen the wall and keep your window straight and plumb. The other method of a stud and 2 jack studs between window has alot of merit is lateral space is not a problem. I would set it up so each window has a stud to attach it to. By attaching to each other is a program for a big problem down the road. Just my thoughts. Good Luck

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: