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2 Ways to Frame Window Rough Openings (animation)

March 23, 2020

The window sill can either interrupt the jack stud or not

In the first basic Framing video, We covered layout. Marking rough opening centers first all the way down the wall. You can pre-build these rough openings too, while you’re waiting for the wall layouts.

The rough opening determines the space between the jack studs, which support the header. So the header needs to be the rough opening plus three inches, the width of two jack studs.

Headers usually have plate stock above and below them for full bearing on the jack studs.

Step by step:

  • Begin by nailing the jack studs to the king studs. The height should be specified in the plans. If t is not, push the header all the way to the top plate and fir down when they figure it out later.
  • Make sure the bottoms of the studs are flush and nail them together. Now the header can plop into the pocket and you’ve got the basics of a window opening.
  • You can also install the bottom sill here because the bottoms will be flushed again, but wait on the cripple studs under the sill until the bottom plate is attached.

A slight variation on this is to use the jack stud to support both the header and the window sill, by cutting the jack stud. This means less lumber and less thermal bridging at each window opening, but it may mean slightly more compressive movement in the framing lumber

Either way, make sure the RO is big enough for the window, or you might find yourself out of a job in no time.

—This Basic Framing video was inspired by a framing project in Scarborough, Maine with Ben Bogie of Kolbert Building.

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