+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    11

    Unhappy Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    I live in an 1889 brick rowhouse in Capitol Hill (Washington DC). As part of a large renovation, we had our front windows replaced with Jeld Wen aluminum-clad wood, double hung, two by two windows. When they measured for the new windows they measured from the exterior (which I've been told is standard). At my request, they actually measured from some beautiful old exterior trim (not brick to brick), since we wanted to save the trim. Once the windows were installed we discovered that our exterior and interior rough openings are not the same. The exterior opening (brick to brick) is 34.5". The interior is 37.5". Because they measured from the trim, the difference is more like 8". So while the new windows look great from the outside, they are much too narrow on the inside. To compensate, the installers built wooden frames (about 4" wide) on either side of the wooden window on the interior. The windows look awful from the inside and they let in way less light than our old windows. We did not save any of the old windows to examine how they were constructed and are trying to find a solution that gives us back our light and beautiful windows. The total rough opening is about 15" deep, and I'm wondering if we could measure and install from the inside? Is there another brand of window we should be using? Has anyone encountered this kind of staggered rough opening before? (we've been told it's very rare around here). I'm hoping somebody out there might have some ideas for us and would appreciate any advice. Apologies for the lack of correct terminology in my post--I don't know much about this stuff.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    its pretty standard when replacing old windows to take a brick to brick measurement so to eliminate re framing the r.o. the new window will pretty much slip right into the space within the siding. the only issue may be the window may not go in level as the house more than likely has settled and is no longer level. with the new materials used in modern windows the inside dimension will be smaller. but 8" seems like an awful lot. 1" i can see happening

    now you mention the 4" width. do you mean the jamb extensions are 4" deep from the face of the drywall/plaster to the window itself.

    the 15" you mention sounds like its the width of the window not the depth. the only way you'd have a 15" deep window opening is if its in the foundation.

    going with another window manufacturer wont solve anything as most companys make their windows with the same process. the only 2 things that can be done are to eliminate the brick to brick measurement and take a actual r.o measurement then get the window to fit 1" less than the opening and also go without a brick mold which the installer can later install trim to fit the empty space outside. or make window jamb extensions that taper out getting wider at the face of the drywall which can give the illusion of a bigger window

    just for a better idea you should post a picture or email me one, just see my contact info via my bio page
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,501

    Default Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    Can you go next door and look at how their original winders were installed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,620

    Default Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    Fenster, the problem was created by your request to measure trim to trim. The proper request should have been to get a window that fit brick to brick and have the outside trim reinstalled on the new windows.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    It is better if you address this problem as soon as possible. Search in the internet for experts who have a good knowledge regarding doors and windows.They will surely help you to sort out this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    on this note, dont order through home depot get a window installation company or a reputable contractor to come out and measure then order teh window.

    i dont know how many horror stories ive heard dealing with custom orders through big box stores. i know locally the guys on the evil orange order desk dont know their left hand from their right let lone windows
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,001

    Default Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    It's a stepped jamb. Not unheard of in old houses. Not unheard of to reproduce it, either. I built one for a 1817 house two years ago.
    The other thing is, the extra room may have housed the weight pocket, too.
    To duplicate, the builder ideally would have a surviving example or very clear, detailed pics. The more info, the better the result.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sombreuil_mongrel View Post
    It's a stepped jamb. Not unheard of in old houses. Not unheard of to reproduce it, either. I built one for a 1817 house two years ago.
    The other thing is, the extra room may have housed the weight pocket, too.
    To duplicate, the builder ideally would have a surviving example or very clear, detailed pics. The more info, the better the result.
    Casey
    Good call Casey,thats what I was thinking also reading thru the thread.

    @Fenster can you post some pictures somewhere so we can see more detail ? I dont think you can post pics directly to the forum until you have enough post. Maybe pm attachments to the moderators and they can post them.
    Gizmo

    Cut it 3 times & it's still to short.
    Inventor of the Miter Master Plus.

    Hidden Content
    Hidden Content

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    Thank you all for so many helpful replies and for taking an interest in my problem. I had never heard of a stepped jamb so now I can at least do some research on that!! I am a new poster and the system is not letting me post photos so I will send via PM to --staff if I can figure out who they are and ask them to forward my message to --several of you who requested them. I also tracked down a "before" picture which was useful to remind me that even before we had a lot of trim on the interior (more than I remembered having). THe main reason we measured trim to trim is my contractor told me he could not save my outside trim, especially the scrollwork above the window if he removed it. But I did not understand the consequence of my choice! THe interior jamb extensions still look awful to me and we've lost a lot of light, but maybe they could be prettified with trim?
    Last edited by Fenster; 06-15-2011 at 09:24 PM. Reason: just realized I can't use PM til I have 15 posts!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,620

    Default Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

    Fenster,
    You can PM or e-mail the pictures to me and I will post them for you.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •