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shtoink 09-03-2008 02:09 PM

Re-sizing a window opening

I'm the daring fellow who moved a 100 year old house. The house had a 3-sided bay window on one side. The bay window had to be removed before the house move in order to be able to fit the house down the road.

Here is a pre-move photo of the bay window:

I sucessfully removed the 3 windows and dismantled the surrounding framing. The windows are old but we are going to re-use them. The casing of one of the windows was damaged during removal, but I have since repaired it.

I have rebuilt all of the framing and I was about to put up sheathing, building paper, flashing etc. in preparation for re-installing the windows until I came across a stupid miscalculation on my part. When designing the re-build of the bay window, I measured the two windows that were still intact (the third window was being repaired off-site) and two other identical windows in the house. All of those windows had the EXACT same measurements, so I made the assumption that the window being repaired was the same size.

I framed all three rough openings in the bay window to be the same size. As luck would have it, the window that I was repairing is 1 1/2 " wider. :furious:

The two smaller windows are 29" wide. The wider window is 30 1/2 " wide. My rough openings are all just under 30" wide.

I did all the framing using 2x4s. There is a 4x12 LVL header spanning the 14' wide opening in the wall. The bay window framing is not load-bearing; it only supports its own weight. Could I simply remove a single trimmer stud from one side of one of the rough openings or should I remove both trimmer studs and replace them with 1x lumber? Is this allowed? I really don't want to dismantle all of the framing at this point. The drawing below shows one of the 3 identical framed sections of the bay window and the entire unit in plan view. Trimmer studs shown in green. Header shown in grey.

I know there's some sorta lesson here. Something about ASSUMING.

Help please.


Allison1888 09-03-2008 10:18 PM

Sorry, this is over my head, but wanted to say congrats for moving the house. Think about it! What an accomplishment!

shtoink 09-03-2008 11:55 PM

Thanks, Allison1888. It has been an adventure and a learning experience. I will try to document it more thoroughly when I have time (ha!).

Right now though, I would really like an answer to my current problem.


747 09-04-2008 05:43 AM

Your going to have to reframe. Unless you can plain those windows down a inch and a quarter on each side which is unlikely or grab some new windows.

AtlanticWBConst. 09-04-2008 06:18 AM

In order for that area (projected area above the bay winodw) to be non-load bearing, there should be a span of support that is carrying the rafters that are (about 14" rearward) above that window.
I assume that this is the 4x12 that you say is spanning and carrying that load.

If that is the case, then yes, that area above the window is not carrying a load. You "could" remove one side...however, I wouldn't recommend that.
In order to keep things symmetrical, I'd recommend this: Confirm that you properly nailed the non-structural header to the king studs securely. Then remove both jack studs, and replace those with 3/4" stock on each side. That way, the window will be centered in the opening.

shtoink 09-04-2008 10:47 AM

Thanks, Atlantic!

The 4x12 header is bearing all of the load from above, so I have no concerns there. I think I will remove the 2x4 trimmers on both sides and put in 3/4" stock in order to keep it symmetrical. Removing just one is the easy route, but I would rather do it right.

Is there anything in the building code that specifies the size of trimmer studs? Are they even really necessary in a case such as mine? I know these are questions for my inspector, but I was wondering if anyone here knew.

Thanks again.

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