Monday, March 9, 2009

Knox Hill Project: Front Square Bay Window Build

One of the biggest changes to the front facade of our house, other than restoring the period details and a new front porch, is the square projecting bay which will house a large picture window and stained glass transom.

So most of the weekend was devoted to the framing of this project. Needless to say after lugging around a huge 12 foot stepladder, building walls and framing, I am a tired puppy today, but all things considered we made considerable progress, AND, we got the last of the old 40's siding off the front facade!

Building a projecting bay required a certain amount of engineering. The flooring for the bay must be tied into the structure of the house in such a way that the cantilevered section is properly supported while maintaining the structural load of the exterior wall. This was accomplished by taking the sides of the floor extension deep into the house and attaching them to the floor joists running east west. These "load bearing sides of the bay were attached and anchored to the floor joist with both screws and metal brackets so the load can be distributed. A Header beam ins installed at the top of the bay window on the inside to carry the weight load of the roof above it. This is tied to new posts that are hidden in the wall and carry the distributed weight down to the foundation.

With new floor for bay built we then need to construct the framing of the bay window. Standard framing techniques are used here Great care was taken to make sure the window opening are true and square.
You may note the old window seen in the background was hardly "square" in the wall opening due to shoddy installation. In fact they had simply covered rotted window frames with aluminum . Not the correct way to "fix' a problem.
After the framing was done we sheathed the outside and the shape of the unit taken place. You may ask why I used conventional builders felt rather than Tyvek? With an old house you have to strike a balance. While we all want to be as energy efficient as possible, in so doing it is possible to make Older homes "too tight". The problem with "over efficiency" is that the house can no longer "breath" properly and this caused moisture buildup in an old house and Black Mold. The black felt paper provides a moisture barrier yet will allows the house to breath. We will of course be insulating the walls and that combined with the high efficiency window. Ultimately a bit of a trace off as we are putting a single pane stained glass window in the transom above which will have a storm window as well.

Next time we will cover the roof construction and the "trim out" of the bay and hopefully we can install the stained glass transom that goes above the picture window!

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