When it comes to home renovations people typically think the kitchen and bathroom, perhaps building out the basement or putting a bedroom in the attic. What doesn’t come up a lot is window enlargement. But enlarging the windows can make a lot of sense from an aesthetic point of view. Bigger windows mean more light and increased natural light has become a staple of much contemporary interior design. The problem is that enlarging the windows on your Toronto home is not a simple task and if done poorly could result in the need for expensive repairs. Below we’ll take you through the process of enlarging existing vinyl windows.
How to Increase the Size of Your Vinyl Windows
First off it should be said that window enlargement is not a DIY project. It requires professionals with serious carpentry skills. That said we’ll take you through the process so you have a better idea of what’s involved in case you’re contemplating having your vinyl windows enlarged.
- Plan: Determine ahead of time exactly how large you want the new opening to be. While you’re at it decide which style of window you want. Different styles of window open differently and require different amounts of space to do so. Simply playing things by ear could lead to the creation of a larger opening than you’ll ultimately need. Blending this extra space into the rest of the wall after the fact will be devilishly difficult to do and will likely leave a visible area around the window as testament to the poor planning.
- Prepare the area: Before the window opening can be enlarged you need to prepare the work area. Trim on both the interior and exterior of the wall will need to be completely removed to expose the rough framing in which the window sits. Care needs to be taken to constrain the work area by not allowing damage to extend outward into adjoining wood or aluminum siding or interior drywall. Once the framing is exposed it needs to be inspected for any damage that may have been caused during the process.
- Enlarge the frame: The carpenter will now mark the outside dimensions of the new window on the existing framework. Using double studs composed of two 2x4s the carpenter will install the expanded frame boundaries. Once the new frame boundaries are in place it’s time to cut away the existing framework along with the old sill plate and header. If the new opening is considerably larger than the old, temporary bracing should be installed under the new top plate to keep it from buckling.
- Install new header and sill: A new header should then be created using two 2x6s. A level point of reference needs to be established and the new header set level to that point of reference. The header is then attached to the double studs of the new frame using framing nails. A new sill is then created again using two 2x4s which are attached to the new framework and leveled. Jack studs are then cut to the appropriate length and used to replace the existing ones above and below the new opening.
- Install the new window: Once the new framework is in place the new, larger vinyl windows can be set into it and the trim replaced.
Larger windows can open up the interior of your home in ways you might never have imagined but enlarging a window is an exacting process that should only be performed by qualified framing carpenters. If you are interested in enlarging your vinyl windows give the pros at Toronto Doors and Windows a call on 647-932-3667.