I took off work all last week to instead work on the house. After we installed the door on Sunday, I spent Monday doing some follow-up tasks like replacing the handleset with one that fit and matched the door, plus reinstalling the porch railings, mailbox, and doing some weather sealing. With that finished I got to work on the windows.

We installed the first window a few weeks back and I figured out the details and made a couple of tweaks to the plan. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I installed a window a day. Each one took roughly twelve hours start to finish. The reason it took so long was all of the steps in the process. I’m pleased to say I didn’t need to make a single trip to the hardware store to do these windows and the whole thing went smoothly, it was just very time consuming.

Here’s the rundown of the process: first I removed the existing window, established the exact window height with the laser level, reframed the opening using existing lumber and modern window framing methods (king post, jack post, header, and cripples), removed all three layers of exterior siding to expose at least 6″ of sheathing around the window opening, installed new sheathing to account for the higher sill, and built jamb extensions. With everything framed, I stapled on housewrap with taped seams, installed two layers of 1″ polyiso foam insulation with staggered and taped seams, flashed the window opening with a sloped Weathermate plastic sill pan and 4″ tape. At that point Sarah helped me fit the window into the opening and screw the facing clips through the foam and into the framing. With everything secure, the last step was to apply more of the 4″ tape to the sides and top, sealing everything up. I’ll come back through later and fill the gaps on the inside with Great Stuff and foam backer rod.

Bay with siding removed

Bay with siding removed

Friday I was running low on some materials and I went to the store, then started removing the siding around the front bay, which has three windows. I discovered that the decorative sheathing had a frame that meant I had to do it all at once rather than just the 6″ around the window. Saturday we wound up completely removing the framing on the front section of the bay and rebuilding it with new sheathing. Unfortunately after putting everything together, the window didn’t fit into the opening. Between the existing studs and the taper of the lumber, we’d managed to build a parallelogram. All the dimensions were right, but it wasn’t square. We wound up unscrewing one side of the jamb extension and cutting down the length of the jack post stud at an angle to make it straight enough to fit the window. We didn’t get the window screwed in until 11:15 at night.

We still have two more bay windows to go, but this week I’m back at work, so I’ll need to figure out when I can get them in. I’ll be sure to check for plumb studs as I go to avoid a repeat of the last window. Thanks to Will for helping us on Saturday!

New bay window

New bay window

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