Reframing window and cutting studs in existing Balloon framing construction

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by Lev, Aug 5, 2014.

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  1. Aug 5, 2014 #1

    Lev

    Lev

    Lev

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    Good day all and thanks for reading,

    I am completely redoing my bedroom in a balloon framed house.
    Directly below this room is a bedroom, and above this room is 1/2 a story, "in law" style bedroom.

    One of the walls has 3 windows with widths in this order: half width - full width - half width. (see panoramic pictures. The pics are distorted because I'm new at taking panoramic pictures). Between the windows are studs. Consistent with Balloon Framing, those studs go from foundation all the way up.

    The wall and window(s) in question:
    http://tinyurl.com/k8n226d

    Top of the inside room walls:
    http://tinyurl.com/la8luxg

    The wall of the above window from outside the house (front of the house):
    http://tinyurl.com/nztzned

    I would like to replace these 3 windows with one large window. In order to do that I need to cut the studs and create a large window framing. The framing part in itself I'm comfortable with. The cutting of the studs is what I want to ask about.

    The ceiling joists, floor joists etc, are all running from side to side, parallel to the wall in question, so don't appear to be leaning on that wall.
    Above the bedroom is a half floor, and then a shingled gable roof.

    My guess looking at inside and outside, that there's not much leaning on these studs. But I wanted to ask here and see what opinions people might have.

    Appreciate any advice and opinion you might have.

    Thanks,
    Lev
     
  2. Aug 5, 2014 #2

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    It doesn’t look like there is much in the way of a header above the window now. On that end of the house with how the roof and floor and ceiling joists are running I would say most of the roof load is going down the wall on the side of the room.

    You should be able to brace that opening without much trouble and cut out what you need and reframe around it. Normally I think you add in studs equal to what you take out but there is no plate to set them on. I would still add in some studs sistered to the ones left.

    I’m not a pro but the pro’s will be along shortly.
     
  3. Aug 5, 2014 #3

    beachguy005

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    Your question aside....I'm wondering if you have fire blocking in all the stud bays and between floors. Another issue would be your siding...is it asbestos?
     
  4. Aug 5, 2014 #4

    mako1

    mako1

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    Those studs going all the way up are carrying your gable end and the roof..What do you think will happen when you but the center out of them? I guarantee it won't be good.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2014 #5

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    If those studs are running all the way to the basement and carrying weight they will be running right in front of the French Window below. You should be able to stick something down that stud bay and see what’s above the French window in the way of a beam that the studs now are resting on.
     
  6. Aug 5, 2014 #6

    Jungle

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    A lot of the wood looks rotten. Looks like major work reframe that. Has the house had water damage?
     
  7. Aug 5, 2014 #7

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    As far down as you have it stripped I think I would take the base board off also and give you a little more room to work below the window.
    Once you know what’s below if you see any concern for the weight of the gable maybe a face beam the whole length of the room above the window and screwed into every stud a couple places and braced at the ends as a temp.

    Fire blocking is important and quite a few of these framed houses have some but not all stud bays. My old house I found a couple drops running the whole way. Great for wires not so great in a fire. Look into the best way to correct that as you find areas that need it. I wouldn’t get to excited about the siding whatever it is.

    I don’t see any rotten wood looks like 200 year old yellow pine that’s been baking inside those walls for 100 years and good for 100 more.
     
  8. Aug 5, 2014 #8

    Jungle

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    Look like they painted the inside of the walls black. Kinda cool!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Aug 5, 2014 #9

    nealtw

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    There is no roof load on the gable except for the overhang. Unless they cheated on the rafter over the wall and they did cheat sometimes, so you can't trust it.
    I would still install a header, 2 2x10s nailed together, on balloon framing you notch out a stud on each side of the window, which will make your header longer than you would normally need. Sister another length of 2x4 on the outside of the notched stud to tie it all together. Run your lower sill all the way out to the notched studs. Then put 2 2x4 jacks on each side of the window opening, then install the top sill betwen those doubles. Your rough opening should be a standard size and the window should be 1/2" smaller hight and width.

    This the latest code for window install. [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2VOrk1MuWY[/ame]
     
  10. Aug 6, 2014 #10

    Lev

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    Thanks everyone for the responses, especially bud16415 and nealtw.
    Good advice, I'll check what the studs are resting on below this floor to get a sense of the load.

    I'm trying to understand your suggestion, bud16415, for face plate above the window and nailing/screwing to as many possible studs, and bracing it at the end.
    So for example, take a long 2x4, maybe a couple, place above the window against the studs and nail them to the studs? And add a steel brace at the end to the studs that will remain? Assuming there's no meaningful load on the studs, they should hold?

    Agree that fire blocking is important. I'm thinking about a plastic conduit in the walls for wires, that would allow for wire movement, and then fire blocks and insulation. I'm going to remove the baseboard, just haven't gotten around to it.

    Agree that header on the window is important, and thanks for the window framing guide, nealtw.

    There's no water damage, nor anything is painted black. Thanks for the concern, Jungle. But if you have anything to say on the topic it would be most helpful.

     
  11. Aug 6, 2014 #11

    nealtw

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    If you have watched house movers, to add temp. structure to questionable walls like garages the apply a 2x10 across the studs with lots of screws. And you could do that above the height of the header to help support thing while you cut out studs, but you likely won't have room for it. It usaully take some or lots of time for things to settle so if you have a good plan and prep the lumber first. You should be able to do the cut and replace in a few minutes, no harm.
     
  12. Aug 6, 2014 #12

    CallMeVilla

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    Neal is polite ... let me be blunt: The header is REQUIRED, not just a good suggestion. The 2x10 dimension should be adequate for your project. By running it outside the rough in dimensions, you beef up the entire area. Same goes for the new jack and king studs. Yes, I would do a temporary support on the wall while you cut the studs to finish the demolition and reframing.

    Fire blocks raise a big question. Since you have one floor below you and a habitable space above you, fire blocks would be a good idea in any wall you demolish. Unfortunately, this will improve only a portion of your entire structure. As to plastic conduit my question would be why add the trouble. ROMEX, properly run through appropriate holes in the framing is cheaper, faster, and fully code.

    WINDOW 1.png
     
  13. Aug 6, 2014 #13

    nealtw

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    Not sure what the purpose of the double bottom sill but if you want to nail drywall up you need a sill under the header.
     
  14. Aug 6, 2014 #14

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Neal did a good job of explaining what I wasn't so clear on. I wouldn't nail any of it. I would use long deck grade screws. Not long drywall type screws. The temp beam at the top is good for a couple reasons. One it will tie the wall together when working on it and two it will hold it together for sawing and such. Those old studs and square nails have a way of working loose when you are banging them around. Two deck screws per stud on the temp beam should work.

    Neal's point was the temp beam can't be so big it gets in the way of the header beam. Looks like you could get a 2x8 up by ceiling and have room. If you feel that's not enough screw another to it.

    Will you try and keep the new window within the size of the three now. Doing that you won't get into siding issues. And trimming it out should be easy. That's what I would do unless you want something much larger.

    Depends on the design you are going for. I most likely would have done three replacement windows. To match the bay window below. But don't know what look you want.

    Hope you post pics as you go. And good luck.


    Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair
     
  15. Aug 8, 2014 #15

    Lev

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    Thanks again so much guys.

    I have removed the baseboard, and discovered that all those studs I'm looking to cut are just nailed to the exterior boards and otherwise are cut off long before they would even lean on something below. Bud you were right - as it turns out, there's no beam above the french window below that floor.

    I started putting up a face plate. It's really not that much work, but looks like there's no weight at all on any of those. Doesn't seem like there's a point in doing that.

    If possible, should I also add a beam under the window and have the beam rest on studs that extend all the way down to the foundation?

    Otherwise the window itself will ultimately rest on floating "studs" that are nailed only to the exterior boards.
     
  16. Aug 8, 2014 #16

    Lev

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    I'm going to try to keep the window the size of the 3 - slightly smaller because I want to put in a new construction window... and don't want to mess with siding.
     
  17. Aug 8, 2014 #17

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    That's what's great about these old gems. You never know what you will find. What they lacked in logic sometimes they made up by over designing everything else. The walls been working holding the windows that way for 100 years. But I would still try and tie it in to something below for the new window. The sheathing on these houses have a lot of strength. If you don't strap the studs together just work careful not to pull the sheathing nails loose.


    Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair
     
  18. Aug 8, 2014 #18

    beachguy005

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    A couple potential issues I see. If you "don't want to mess with siding" but want to cut the studs and put in a header for a new window, how will you reattach the 1x boards that they used for the sheathing to the new construction?
    Also, I don't know what you're using for a new window but how are you planning on making it weather tight on the outside one installed?.................. As an added thought, and this is just my opinion. While it's nice to have a large window, why even do what you want to do instead of just replacing the 3 windows with "replacement windows" of the same size and not change the architecture of your house. Save you from reframing also.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  19. Aug 8, 2014 #19

    Lev

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    Beachguy, thanks for the comments -
    The studs I'm cutting are being held up by the sheathing and nothing else, it seems. So gently removing the studs shouldn't make much difference, right?

    I'm going to build the new rough opening slightly smaller than the combined dimension of the 3 windows- so it will stick out. That way I'll weather proof the window and tuck the ends behind the existing siding. I don't want to mess with the siding but I'll do the necessary.

    Appreciate your opinion about the replacement windows. I don't do this for a living, so this whole project is actually therapeutic :) I don't need to save myself work. But more importantly, this type of arrangement of windows I think is not very modern. I'd like a modern window. I'm happy to do the work, and I'm happy to do it right. I don't presume to know everything but I use common building sense and get advice from good people who have the same spirit. I've done this stuff before. It ends up being not too bad. Thanks again.

     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  20. Aug 9, 2014 #20

    beachguy005

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    You can remove the studs but when you re-frame and add a header, which I assume will be above the original window, you need to re-nail the sheathing to the studs and header. You shouldn't just let the sheathing float over the new framing which I guess will be 6 to 8 feet wide.
    The other point was from an esthetic perspective. You have a 3 window bay on the 1st floor, your existing on the 2nd floor match. Putting 1 large window over the three will change the look of the house. I'm not sure I would do that....even as therapy.
     
    nealtw likes this.

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