07 May 2013

Adding Casing to Drywall Return Windows

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Still waiting for the insurance adjuster and the roofing contractor to come to terms with what they're going to do to fix my roof. I wish they would hurry up, can't go forward with those back rooms until the roof is fixed.

So I decided to get some work done on my living room windows. I have a large window that contains 3 separate windows in the center of one wall. There is another window on either side of it on adjoining walls.

All of these windows, plus all the other windows in my house, have these rather ugly vertical blinds on them. I can appreciate that they are pricey to buy and they do a decent job of keeping the hot sun out, but they got to go.

Here is a shot of the windows and blinds. Please excuse the clutter. This was taken before the new baseboards too.

It is hard to tell from this picture but these windows have drywall surrounding the opening and they have a wood stool. And you can see the ugly blinds, both open and closed. One other thing to point out is that this set of three windows doesn't have any framing between them.

The plan is to build up a frame between the windows, put casing around the window and between the three windows, replace the stool and add an apron. Then I will be making Roman shades for each window.

Here is a picture after the blinds were removed.

Part one consists of removing the old stool. 

Use a cutting tool to cut the caulking around the old stool. We had caulk top and bottom. Once that is done, use a hammer to tap the stool until it is free. You might have to use a pry bar and/or nail puller. Be careful if you use the pry bar to not pry against the wall, use a block of wood to pry against instead.

The new stool extends on the outside to accommodate the width of the casing plus a 1/4" reveal on each side and an extra one inch on each side. I had to measure the inside length and depth then add the extension on to each side and make a cut out. We also used a router to make a nice finished edge.

Then we attached the stool. Use a level to make sure the new stool is level both front to back and side to side. I had to use shims under the stool to level it up.

For the apron we just used a matching piece of casing. We put a 22.5° miter on each end then tacked it up under the stool. Here you can see the routed edge.

Next comes the outside casing. I've seen it where people put a wood jamb on the inside of the window first and then overlay the casing onto it, but I don't see the point of doing that. And there isn't any room for it anyway, so we kept the drywall return. 

We mitered the upper corners and butted the lower ends to the stool. We also left a 1/4" reveal.

The framing between the windows will have to wait until later this week. I did fill the nail holes and give it all a first coat of paint. And I had to tack up a couple blankets for privacy and to keep the sun at bay. I can't wait until I can get my Roman shades made and hung.

One step closer! Today we made the center frame pieces.

We ripped a length of 1 by down to the same depth as the side framing. We used two pieces between each window, toe nailed them in. Also used a small block between them for a little more stability. We put this block at both the top and bottom and then one in the center. After doing this I figure a few more of those blocks wouldn't have hurt, but this I don't foresee a problem.

Then we put a piece of mullion to cover the opening, leaving almost a 1/4" reveal on either side. The mullion was cut to go up over the existing frame and meet up with the new window casing. It is thicker than the bottom edge of the window casing so we had to bevel the end at the top a little to match it up.

There is a bit of a gap on the side piece, but caulk will take care of it. Also, the center window space (between the new framing) is slightly more narrow than the space between the new framing and the outer edge of the other two windows. I don't think anyone will notice that though and since I'm making my own Roman shades, I will allow for that difference.

I used wood putty on the nail holes already and will sand them in a bit then start caulking, priming and painting. The stool needs another coat too. Then on to making the Roman shades. Can't wait!

I'll be back! Before I go though, I would like to give a very special thank you to my brother-in-law, Sam, for his tremendous work on this window. I love it!

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