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Question DetailsAsked on 7/24/2016

I have 3 windows and I want to knock out some of the wall to make 5. I believe only drywall would be involved.

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3 Answers

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Well, unless you intend to spend your days looking at the inside of the siding (shades of "counting flowers on the wall ..." as the song goes), will involve cutting through drywall AND siding and likely an exterior sheathing in many cases too, and almost certainly removing some insulation. This assumes no piping or wiring in that section of the wall.

If an older house could possibly also involve issues with lead paint or asbestos insulation or siding - possible if older than eartly 90's, likely if pre-60's.

This also assumes you are talking narrow windows that can fit between studs (so typically not over about 13-1/2" outside dimension width on frame) - around 21-1/2" max if 24" stud spacing - otherwise involves cutting out studs and putting in blocking and header to transfer the wall load around the window opening.

Also involves water barrier and ice and water shield and flashing to tie the window opening into the water barrier and siding, so a touch more complex than just cutting a hole in drywall and slipping it in.

Windows would be your normal Search the List category for this. Remodeling General Contractor and Handymen are other categories that do it, but for just a few small windows probably overkill in the first place unless piping or wiring to relocate in the openings, and in the second case many Handymen are not familiar with or do not go to the care to properly do the water barriers and flashing and drip edges so you get window area leaks down the road - stay with the pros for this.

You can find a lot of prior questions with answers about ballpark prices and particular nationwide brands in the Home > Window and Doors link in Browse Projects, at lower left.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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your beliieves are wrong. unless you dont mind your roof being in your basement. start off with an architecht, get plans and permits approved befor you waste the time of any contractors.

Answered 2 years ago by the new window man

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NewWindowMan brings up a good point - I work in an area where the practice, and building code compliance, generally allows (not quite to code) carpenters and window companies to take out 1-2 studs and put in a header to install new windows, and rule-of-thumb charts for structural support of walls and roofs and for deck design are allowed. He operates, as I recall, in NYC area - where you can't wash windows without a permit, and where touching framing members requires a design by an architect or structural engineer.


Generally, unless under a concentrated load like a major column on the floor above, or doing this in a tall building or under heavy snow load, taking out a stud or two and putting a header in over a couple of hour period is not going to collapse the house even without temproary support for the overlying load, but his point is valid - temporary support (usually 4x4 props under 2x6 or 2x8 load-spreading cap and foot pieces almost against the inside of the wall) is important to be on the safe side and avoid drywall or adjacent window cracking. So - if in a serious code enforcement area and you don't start with a design from an architect or engineer, be sure the scope of work includes the contractor getting any required structural design and permit and passing inspections and that HE gets the structural design for the header and trim studs and blocking and such. (Most general contractors and some specailty ones have a go-to structural engineer who they go to for this type of consultation and so-called "letter design" or "code sketch" - the minimum required to get a permit and to build from. Commonly hand-drawn sketch rather than a blueprint or computer-drawn design if something simple like a window support, but in code enforcement areas still has tob e stamped and signed by the architect or engineer.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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