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Question DetailsAsked on 6/1/2011

How do I replace a casement window with a bow window?

Does it matter that the house is ~ 130 yrs old? I want the window space enlarged. I also need a skylight installed. Would I start w/a structural engineer? A contractor? A window company?

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    1 Answer


    Probably a good general contractor or siding/window contractor. It's possible that there is a structural issue with the "header", beam which carries the load and keeps the house from crushing the window. You can't just cut a bigger hole, without usually putting in a longer and often heftier header, because it's carrying a larger load. Be prepared to spend money on the window itself, and perhaps structural changes, exterior and interor repairs assocatiated with your choices. An architect is always helpful. Free lance architects work from home for $75 an hour or so, but assuming this old house is worth protecting, I would make sure whatever you do fits in. A structural engineer, if required, is usually only necessary if a permit is required to verify it's done to code. Usually structural modifications require a permit. A structural engineer would be handled through the architect, normally. Sorry, but it can be easy and cheap, or difficult and expensive. There's no shortcut to having a knowledgeable experienced contractor assess the situation.

    Answered 9 years ago by Mike from Seattle

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