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Old 05-30-2011, 10:24 PM   #1
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Adding a window


I'm looking into adding a window frame into one of my walls. Outside is stucco. I've been looking around the web but curious if any of you had suggestions or other links.

Thanks ahead.

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Old 05-31-2011, 01:09 AM   #2
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Adding a window


How large a window? Load bearing wall?

Here is a synopsis of what I have done in my stucco'ed house: You will need to frame the opening for a window of course - header, etc. Do this from the inside. After the opening is framed drill a hole in each corner out through the stucco. Draw lines on the stucco from hole to hole. Use a 4.5" cutoff tool or similar to cut out the window opening. Next demo the stucco about 12-18" back from the window area, leaving the wire mesh - this so you can house-wrap and weather seal the new window opening properly. Install the new window. Patch up the stucco in the 12-18" area you cut back using the wire mesh you left during demo. Fix up the drywall and do whatever else is needed on the inside for a window sill, etc.

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Old 05-31-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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Adding a window


Thanks VSheets.

We haven't concluded on the size of the window but imagine it will be around 5-6 feet wide and 3-4 feet high. How do i check if it's a load bearing wall?

Also, when we frame the window, do we need to add new studs on the side of the frame going from the bottom to the top of the wall?
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:23 PM   #4
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Adding a window


Have you any framing experience or is this the first? Generally, both the front and back walls are load bearing. One or 2 story? A picture of the wall would help.
From inside as mentioned, find a stud close to where the window will be. This will be one king stud that you'll nail your jack to. I'd do 2 jacks with a 6ft. window opening.
If there is another window on that wall, you kinda want to keep this new one the same height for cosmetic reasons. The new window should have the rough opening dimensions. Its better to go bigger on those then smaller if you get off.
The header, sill, and jacks need to be level and plumb or you'll have trouble with the window install.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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Adding a window


A window on an outside wall - safe to assume it's a load-bearing wall.
You're going to have to put a "header" above the window - probably,
(2) - 2 X 12's, with 1/2 inch plywood in between.

5 to 6 foot opening: then -
We would put 2 "cripples" (studs), underneath each end of the Header.
Also, studs going from the top-plate to the bottom-plate, at the ends
of the header.

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Old 05-31-2011, 02:26 PM   #6
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Adding a window


If you are not set on a perticular size window - watch Craigslist for new windows that someone ordered and were wrong size or the plans changed. You can usually get them for about half the price.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:44 PM   #7
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Adding a window


Also - when you're cutting into the wall -
Watch out for electric, gas, plumbing runs!
Cut the drywall/plaster out carefully, and see what's inside the wall.

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Old 05-31-2011, 03:52 PM   #8
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Adding a window


I moved and re-sized four windows in my stucco house this weekend. I can echo what has already been said here. There are tables online to help you size the appropriate header for the window width depending on the window placement, i.e. gabled end, first floor, etc.

Frame the inside first. If you're installing a large window, say wider than 48 inches (that's my gut feel, I'm not sure what the minimum really is), into a load bearing wall you'll want to install a temporary wall to support the load while you remove the existing framing. A temporary wall is a "real" wall, fully framed and nailed with studs 16" o.c. about two feet inside of the exterior wall.

Once the framing is in place I used an angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut out the opening.

The windows I replaced were not flashed, and you may be able to tell from my pictures I really have nothing to flash to/against because the stucco is the only layer of building material. I consulted for a while with Home Depot about the flashing issue, and they've assured me the lifetime warranty on my windows will cover me over any leaks for any reason, as well as the repairs to the inside of the house. I took several quotes from several local window companies from names you know; Pella, Anderson, Marvin, and in the end I was sold on HD, and they weren't the cheapest. However they were the only company to offer a lifetime warranty on the windows for any problem. I was skeptical at first but they've really been awesome to work with.

This is a picture of two of the windows framed in. One has the exterior plywood cut and installed, just waiting for the stucco guys to come out and patch in new stucco.

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