Sunday, March 23, 2014

Double Trouble

Continuing from our last post, we're still running around trying to get some windows in before winter hits.

We left off here, with our pump jacks all set up and the moldy wood removed.

There were two things I really regret about all of these windows we're install installations.

The first was our choice of windows.  We decided to go with Andersen 200 windows, because they were vinyl wrapped wood, they brand seemed reputable and the price was fair.  The drawback was that they only came in standard stock sizes.  Not one of our windows was a exact replacement size width-wise, which created a lot of extra work having to resize windows.  Plus, it meant we'd have to lose about 2" of sunlight.  If we had paided for Andersen 400 windows, which pretty much double the cost, we could have skipped some (not all) resizing of the windows.

The second was our choice of windows (wait, whaa...?).  The original windows upstairs were really low to the ground, which both seemed like an kid-climbing-on-the-sill issue, and a we-can't-have anything-under-the-window issue.  So we decided to intentionally order windows about 8" shorter than the previous windows.  We figured we'd have to replace every framing sill anyway.  However, blissfully unaware as we were, we had no idea what an 'egress' window was :(  I'll get to that in another post.  Thankfully this room has another egress window in it, but we'd like to replace that one for sure, because it's [hopefully] going to end up with a master bathroom built around it someday. 

Anyway, back to the first point, we have to bring the stud of this window in a little bit, so I did some sleuthing in the attic to see what I was working with.  Jaw drop.


There is no top plate.  At all.  All those studs in the attic, for the most part are the same studs in our walls. 

Found Here

 This is the type of framing I was expecting.  Thrown into a whole new world now, I've learned that is called 'platform framing' and this is called 'balloon framing', more info found here.
I'm sure we don't have any fireblocking up there

So this is what we get.  Which makes it a lot harder to make changes.

Back to the pictures.

And you'd think, for the first picture, that the window is between those two doubled up studs.  Nope.  It's kinda weird, but they're sort of just thrown in the middle of everything.  I have no idea.  Still, since we're bringing the size of this window in, we were able to frame to the inside and move on.

My stepdad came back to help us, and thanks to the platform, were able to get the window framed out pretty quickly.


We went a little uncovential with this one.  Once the studs were in, instead of filling in the back with plywood, we taped up the moisture barrier.  I knew it would be kinda tough to do at the end around the studs and then filled in with insulation.

One the plywood on the exterior was in, we finished up for the night with a fully framed window.

The next, part was sealing everything up with housewrap, which wasn't that hard with the scaffolding.  However, the hard part was actually removing the scaffolding supports so that the wrap could go wrap around to the inside of the window.  It was surprisingly hard, because we had to do it without using the scaffolding.  Additionally, we had to relocate the brace on the right because we had originally attached it where the window would need to go.  Thanks to the radon system, that was really hard to do and was surprisingly time consuming.

But once that was settled we were back on track to install our flashing (I've said it before, I love this stuff).

No pictures for the install as it was all hands on deck, with my parents helping out again.  The pump jacks worked great getting the window up there.  We ran into a little snag in that  we framed the width a little too small, so we actually didn't shim it at all.  I'm not [too] worried because everything measured great once in.

As with the other window, we left the siding a complete mess. For now, our focus was getting the windows in. You'll notice though, we have  smaller window now, and all the panels on the left side of the window are too short, which is a little concern.   We'll get that later.

 So here's we are on our plan for upgrading windows:

Eve's Room Dormer- Install
Eve's Room #2 - Doesn't exist yet, install next summer
Boy's Room #1 - Install
Boy's Room #2 - Install
Master Bedroom Domer - Install next summer
Master Bedroom Double - Install
Master Bedroom Back - Upgrade TBD (Master bath..?)
Bathroom - Upgrade TBD
You can read about the other window posts here and here.  Most of installations we were planning before are in (although not cleaned up inside or out), but we still have some one lingering window.

All in all, these projects haven't been awful, but they sure are time and energy consuming.  One bonus, I'm getting much more comfortable about heights.  My first trip up our ladder to fix the shed roof gave me a little trepidation, but now that seems like nothing.

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