Adding a window to your home

This is a discussion on Adding a window to your home within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Has anybody done this? I'm not talking about replacement windows, but actually cutting a hole, adding a header and dropping in a new window. I ...

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Thread: Adding a window to your home

  1. #1
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    Adding a window to your home

    Has anybody done this? I'm not talking about replacement windows, but actually cutting a hole, adding a header and dropping in a new window. I would expect its fairly easy, the area I want to add the window is vinyl sided, second floor.

    How involved was it, and what would you expect to pay? Since the housing market dropped, we wont be selling and upgrading as planned, so we are looking at making some improvements so we are happier in staying in our current home for a longer period of time.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array DrLewall's Avatar
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    hopefully there are no "electrical" wires in that space! Is winter the time to be cutting a hole in the house? or can you wait for better wx?
    "Brains before Bullets"

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    ha, I can wait... but she won't.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    I've only replaced windows, but it doesn't look to hard.

    Home Tips : How to Install a Window
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    I've installed in new construction and done replacement windows before, but never a new hole in an existing home. I think I'd rather hire it out than do it myself, it just seems like to much can go wrong. I'd rather a pro do it.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    It's very doable,any wiring should be running at about the wall outlet height.
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    +1 on easy enough if you're competent with a sawzall. Remember what they say about measuring twice...

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    Senior Member Array DrLewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chooie View Post
    +1 on easy enough if you're competent with a sawzall. Remember what they say about measuring twice...
    "I've cut this board twice and it's still too short!"
    "Brains before Bullets"

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    I did the job once a number of years ago. The wall was stuccoed on the exterior. It's an easy enough job so long as you don't have to deal with the wiring.

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    Member Array ImaShepardRU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    It's very doable,any wiring should be running at about the wall outlet height.
    Yep. Pretty much.
    Worse part is the second floor; It is harder to get to on the exterior.
    Gotta make sure if it is a bearing wall, (supporting the roof trusses) that you temporarily support the structure while cutting out the studs and inserting a header. If the new window is less than 6' wide, the header should be reasonable with a double 2x12. If 6' or larger you may want to have a lumber yard do some beam sizing for you.
    If you have done window installs in new construction, you know how to get where you are going for the most part. Remember you have to cut the cripple studs below the window 1-1/2" lower than the drywall opening and insert a sill, also you need to get a couple lap studs under the new header set into the sides. Demo'd hole will be larger than the window opening. This can be tricky, usually requiring replacing a 'ripper' of drywall under the new casing. Sides may require a little mud work.
    Remove the drywall & insulation in the area intended and look for wiring, vent stacks, etc. If nothing's in the way, now you are ready to modify framing. Siding is easy to remove, cut to fit and replace, but it's gonna be a reach.
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    Yeah, I can do it myself, I just don't want too. I worked on a framing crew and "punch out" crew all through high school and for a few years after I got out of the military... I can do open heart surgery with a sawzall, I just would rather pay somebody who has done it a lot more recently than 15-20 years ago, and that might offer a warranty.

    What I (she) want is a four foot transom window in my (OK, OK, her)bedroom. It will be fixed, and we'll (Me) make a stained glass insert for it.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array ImaShepardRU's Avatar
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    Ahhh...probably alot of contractors out there right now looking for work. Sure are around here.
    I've done residential design for 30 years and have never seen it this bad. Close. But not quite.
    Sounds very cool. Like the stained glass idea.
    I have a 5' wide x 2' tall transom over my, (okay her) bed.
    Like it alot but sometimes it is just too much light.
    Especially if you need to sleep during daylight hours.
    Good luck with your project.
    This is the law;
    The purpose of fighting is to win.
    There is no possible victory in defense.
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    The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental. - John Steinbeck

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    While it is doable by a semi-trained monkey, I wouldn't recommend it in the middle of winter. Vinyl siding has a way of becoming brittle in very cold weather, there is a good chance you'll end up breaking a couple pieces. Seeing that you are not a professional carpenter it would probably take you twice as long to do it and there is the possibility of it getting screwed up. While all this is happening you would have big hole in the side of your house letting in all the balmy outside air. You would then start hearing the complaints about how cold it is in the house, why is it taking so long, you screwed something up, etc, etc, etc.

    Winter is the contruction dead zone. You should be able to negotiate a fairly good price to have a professional do it, and you wouldn't have to bear the brunt of your wife's displeasure if you made a mistake. I speak from hard earned experience from my home improvement efforts. While I'm not as bad as Tim "The Toolman" Taylor but I have faced the displeasure of my wife enough to make my think twice about some DIY projects.
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    Senior Member Array ntkb's Avatar
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    Not much to it past what has been said, if you have done windows before just need miter saw and saws -all.

    Does it support the roof, if so double up king studs before cutting the old studs. To see just how to plan for what is ahead make trip or two to Home Depot/Lowes and look in framing books also remodeling books it should cover any thing you will need.

    Siding should be removed before cutting hole, saved and reinstalled and cut to fit window so it will match the only new material new on the outside would be trim (J channel) if you don’t have a opening right next to where you are putting the new window it will look like it was always there.

    No telling in this work hungry environment what some will put it in for, call and get a price but I would think somewhere around $1,500 give or take.

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    SIXTO,

    Here is my opinion. Unless you have worked construction, or have a friend that has that will be there to assist DO NOT do it yourself. If you do hit a water pipe or electrical line you will wind up paying a whole lot more in repairs.

    I would hire a pro to do it.

    Think of it this way would you want a guy off the street on your entry team serving a high risk warrant??

    I have some training in construction, but would still not do it with out one of my SF engineer buddies that has done his contracting license.

    This is in no way saying you are not competent enough to handle the job, but better to have someone else that has the skills, this way if something does happen your not paying.

    Again just my $.02
    "Without fear there can be no Courage!"

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