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Old 10-09-2019, 08:17 AM   #1
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Framing window on basement floor


I need to put in a new window on the bottom floor of a bi-level house. No current window there so there's no framing set up for a new window, just regular framing, meaning studs.


I've put in windows where there haven't been on one story houses and used IBC tables to find the right size header to put in but need advice on findin ghte right framing needed to put in window now since there's more weight to put on it.


Any advice? Window is 26x41 new construction. Wall is exterior wall and load bearing.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


Some bearing walls have more weight to consider than others. Normally a 2 ply 2x10 with a jack under each end would be plenty. You don't really want to be below the jack and king for a window or door above.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


How about this idea. Before removing a stud(s) do a measure between the top and bottom plate with 2 pieces of lumber lapped. Most any size will work as long as they lap over each other so you can clamp them together. After a stud is removed use this to determine how much the top plate lowered ( if any ) then you'll know how much to jack it back up to fit a header.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:22 AM   #4
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


That might work, but I'm worried about it sagging, even temporarily and what cracks in drywall and finishing work it might cause on the second floor. I'm thinking that a pair of 2x12s with plywood between is probably sufficient. Even if it's overkill, I'd rather be on the safe side than anything else.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:30 AM   #5
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


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Originally Posted by mramj4 View Post
That might work, but I'm worried about it sagging, even temporarily and what cracks in drywall and finishing work it might cause on the second floor. I'm thinking that a pair of 2x12s with plywood between is probably sufficient. Even if it's overkill, I'd rather be on the safe side than anything else.
2x 10s and 2x12 shrink and expand with moisture, plywood does not. We never put anything between because can cause cracking. 2 12s is likely over kill and there is nothing wrong with that. Do you have other doors or windows, you should match the top height of those.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:34 AM   #6
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


How is a header installed in this instance without removing at least 1 stud . Maybe i'm not understanding the situation.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:52 AM   #7
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


I was going to put the plywood in because adding it to the 2x12 matches the width of the 2x4 stud wall. There is another window in the basement family room, but this new window is for an office in the basement. The two are separated by a wall so I'm not really too concerned about matching window heights.


As for removing one stud, yes, I 100% have to do that and replace it with the correct header, which is why I'm posting this question to get the right header size. But considering the size of the window, it's only going to be one stud that gets removed.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:55 AM   #8
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


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Originally Posted by mramj4 View Post
I was going to put the plywood in because adding it to the 2x12 matches the width of the 2x4 stud wall. There is another window in the basement family room, but this new window is for an office in the basement. The two are separated by a wall so I'm not really too concerned about matching window heights.


As for removing one stud, yes, I 100% have to do that and replace it with the correct header, which is why I'm posting this question to get the right header size. But considering the size of the window, it's only going to be one stud that gets removed.
Will you see both windows from outside?
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:01 AM   #9
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


Yes, but don't care too much about the height matching. It would be nice, but not of major concern. Reason it isn't so important is because the basement level is half sunk into the ground - it's a bi-level, common design in my neighborhood. Plus, the back patio extends along the whole back side of the house with a patio furniture set sitting just a few feet away from the wall, so it wouldn't be too noticeable. But having the window in there would make the basement office a lot brighter and nicer to sit in.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:09 AM   #10
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


Just remove the stud and install the king stud (s)
lean the jack studs against the king and set the header on top of the jacks and move the jacks in tight. Then you can add the cripples and sills.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:11 AM   #11
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


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Originally Posted by mramj4 View Post
Yes, but don't care too much about the height matching. It would be nice, but not of major concern. Reason it isn't so important is because the basement level is half sunk into the ground - it's a bi-level, common design in my neighborhood. Plus, the back patio extends along the whole back side of the house with a patio furniture set sitting just a few feet away from the wall, so it wouldn't be too noticeable. But having the window in there would make the basement office a lot brighter and nicer to sit in.
Up to you.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:38 AM   #12
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


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2 12s is likely over kill and there is nothing wrong with that.

that's what I'm trying to get. if it's overkill, then what isn't overkill? I've done headers on one story houses with 2x6 headers and some with 2x8 headers. Those were all one story houses. It's putting in a header on first floor of two story house that make me ask the question.


Considering it's a 24" wide window, then what isn't overkill? 2x10? 2x8? It's cheaper if I can use smaller lumber and also not as heavy. what will not mess with the structural integrity?
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:46 AM   #13
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


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Originally Posted by mramj4 View Post
that's what I'm trying to get. if it's overkill, then what isn't overkill? I've done headers on one story houses with 2x6 headers and some with 2x8 headers. Those were all one story houses. It's putting in a header on first floor of two story house that make me ask the question.


Considering it's a 24" wide window, then what isn't overkill? 2x10? 2x8? It's cheaper if I can use smaller lumber and also not as heavy. what will not mess with the structural integrity?
On a 2 or 3 story house we do a 2 ply 2x10 unless some engineer has found some load above that calls for more. Often when we are fighting to get a good size we just double up the rim joist above and if there was a big load above the extra piece we put up there might be an LVL.

Bigger loads above usually have extra studs all the way to the foundation. So if you are looking at single studs you can relax and 26" is a small window and you could do less. But we never go less than 2x10.
So I am not going to guess at how much less you can go.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:20 AM   #14
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


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On a 2 or 3 story house we do a 2 ply 2x10 unless some engineer has found some load above that calls for more. Often when we are fighting to get a good size we just double up the rim joist above and if there was a big load above the extra piece we put up there might be an LVL.

Bigger loads above usually have extra studs all the way to the foundation. So if you are looking at single studs you can relax and 26" is a small window and you could do less. But we never go less than 2x10.
So I am not going to guess at how much less you can go.

This makes perfect sense about the extra studs vs single studs. We're taking off the drywall this weekend to start framing and will see for real what's what. Probably going to go with the 2x10s.



Appreciate all the useful feedback.
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:40 PM   #15
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Re: Framing window on basement floor


Loving this thread, I think this is a very interesting discussion
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