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Bricky1
New Construction Window Trim Problem
Bricky1

My daughter and her husband are building a new home. The problem we are having is with interior window trim. The windows are made by Quaker Windows. They are made to a depth of 4 9/16" from the nailing flange on the exterior to the inside of the window were the trim is supposed to be applied. There are no extension jambs the windows are supposed to fit this wall thickness dimension. The problem is that the General Contractor likes to go way to fast and has no eye for detail. The windows were installed and not all of the nailing flanges were tight to the wall. That along with bowed sill plates and bowed studs and headers not set in plain with the wall the wall thickness is now over 4 9/16" and the interior of the window does not come out to the face of the drywall in all places. Some parts of the window may but in others it doesn't. Now we are going to have a problem attaching the trim to the window. GC says to attach the trim to the wall and caulk the gap which is totally not acceptable. I have brick up half way up the windows and not sure if they can be removed at this time without removing the brick. Any ideas on how to fix?

Mastercarpentry
Re: New Construction Window Trim Problem
Mastercarpentry

The correct fix is to ram the contractors head into the brick repeatedly until they understand how critical it is to do things right at openings where flange-mounted windows and doors go. Unfortunately that is not a viable option, but this is:

Cut the trim to fit and tack it lightly into position. draw a line around it's outside all round. Remove it then cut away the outside paper layer of the sheetrock and part of the core from about 1/2" inside the line toward the center so the trim will not hit anything between both inner and outer edges. Alternately you can bash this part in with a hammer. Install trim, caulk, putty, prime, and paint. Since this isn't going to be a consistent dimension all round any one window or door, don't even think about extension jambs; you'll go nuts trying to make them work.

If you're OCD you can make compound cuts where the joints are, and that will be required for stain-grade work, because with them no longer flat there will not be a good joint fit anymore. You have to figure those cut angles yourself as each will be a little different, but it can be done. Swing the miter lower in 1/4 degree increments on both sides of the joint till it fits tight, then go to the next joint. If the edges are too open you may have to overcut the bevel by 1 to 1 1/2 degrees. These angles are approximate and will vary. It takes practice to get close on the first re-cut, and lots of experience to nail it on the first shot most of the time; you'll never get it right first shot every time. Since you are removing wood the trim is now shorter so lessen the reveal equally on all sides to compensate. If you run too short on reveal start over. As a trim carpenter, patience is your friend, the framers and sheetrock crew your worst enemies. They can kill you with sloppy work and they usually do.

If it's any consolation I've had to do this very thing on numerous multi-million dollar homes because nowadays nobody takes the time to do anything right if they think they can get away with it, and the contractors are not going to redo a half-finished house just to make the trim carpenter's job easy. Being the last guy adding a piece there, he gets stuck with making it work somehow no matter how crappy what he has to work with is, he's not getting paid extra for dealing with that nor are they giving him any extra time to do it in. And it has to look perfect when he's done; nothing less is acceptable. Welcome to my world, now what was it that you were saying about my attitude?

Phil

dj1
Re: New Construction Window Trim Problem
dj1

"The problem is that the General Contractor likes to go way to fast and has no eye for detail."

I would not assault the general contractor, as Phil suggested.

Just fire him for under performing, cutting corners and causing damages.

There is nothing wrong with going fast, as long as everything is Kosher and to code.

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