Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Managing an uneven window rough opening?
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Fenster
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.

jkirk
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

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

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

JLMCDANIEL
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

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.

jkirk
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

Sombreuil_mongrel
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

Gizmo
Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?
Sombreuil_mongrel wrote:

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.

Fenster
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?

JLMCDANIEL
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

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Managing an uneven window rough opening?

This is a window with a stepped jamb. There is an inner casing against the sash, then another along the plaster, with a 2" step between.

Casey

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