If the wall is a
weight-bearing wall, make sure you brace up the ceiling first before removing
any of the existing studs. You can usually do this with a few 2x4s fashioned
into a T configuration.
Trace out the
approximate window frame location on the wall using a pencil or marker.
Site Demolition for Framing Rough Window Opening
Next, using a
carpenters knife score the sheetrock. Make sure you penetrate all the way
through the sheetrock. Note that you will have to remove a section of sheet rock
that goes floor to ceiling.
Now remove the
sheetrock with a hammer and claw. It is best to immediately dispose of the
sheetrock to keep the jobsite clean.
Remove Required Studs and Sole Plate Section
Next, mark on the
top plate and bottom sole plate the rough opening locations for the window.
Note, that the rough window opening should be about 2 inches wider and taller
than the window itself. Also allow for an additional 3 inches to account for the
width of 2 studs on each side of the window (King Stud and Jack/Trimmer Studs).
Now remove the
stud(s) that lie within the marked rough window opening.
Framing Rough Window Opening
Next install the
King studs. A King stud should sit on each side of the rough window opening and
should connect the top plate and sole plate together. Toe nail them into
position, and use a level to make sure they are plumb.
sure that when you install the King studs you have also accounted for the width
of the Jack/Trimmer studs. It is the spacing between the trimmer studs that
should be approximately 2 inches wider than the actual window.
Next install Jack
studs up against the two King studs. The Jack studs should be placed to the
inside of the window opening and should have a height that is equal to the
height of the base of the window opening.
The Jack studs
should be both toe nailed and nailed to the king jacks.
Now install a sill
plate that will rest on top of the Jack studs. The new window will eventually
sit on this sill plate. The sill plate is constructed using either a 2”x4” or
2”x6”, pending the exterior wall construction, and laid on its flat side on top
of the Jack studs. Nail the sill plate to the Jack studs and King studs.
additional center Jack studs (as required) underneath the sill plate. The center
Jack studs should be located on 16 inch centers between the edge Jack studs.
With the sill plate
installed, it is now time to install trimmer studs that rest on top of the sill
plate and sit flush up against the King studs. The trimmer studs should be of a
length that is approximately 2 inches higher than then the actual height of the
window. The trimmer studs should be nailed flush to the King studs.
Now install a
Header that will rest on top of the Trimmer studs. The header should consist of
two 2x6s, 2x8’s, etc. (pending local code requirements) sections married/nailed
together and laid on their edge on top of the trimmer studs. Note that spacers
may be required between the Header boards, pending the width of the framing used
on the exterior wall (e.g. if the walls were framed with 2”x6”s then spacers
will be required between the two header boards).
The Header should
be nailed into the King studs.
Finally add cripple
studs over the header. Cripple studs should be installed on both the left and
right side of the header and be nailed into the King studs. They should also be
toe nailed into the top plate and header.
studs should also be installed (on 16” centers) between the edge Cripple studs.
The center Cripple
studs should be toe nailed into the Header and the top plate.
If framed correctly
the rough window opening should be complete and about 2 inches taller and wider
than the window itself.
You have now
completed the framing of rough window frame and are ready for installing the
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