Framing Counter Height Windows

toddimtJune 6, 2011

I am looking to frame out casement windows that will sit on the counter. They will be boxed out so that the counter extends into the window area.

My current house construction is 2x4 walls. I was looking to project the window out 6". I have seen pics with house framing that was 2x6 but I want to make sure that it would be the same with 2x4. There also is a soffit above the window area.

I want the windows to project out 6" so the plan would be to use 2x10's to picture frame the window. Install bottom piece then sides then top.

Assuming that is correct, I want to box out more of the exterior up to the soffit and around the window for trim and insulation.

This would give me room to add trim , as well as extra insulation around the window itself. I have only seen finished pics not ones during the framing stage so not sure how the outside framing was done around the picture framed 2x10's.

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Epiarch Designs

It depends on the size of your window, both length and height. Also the overal weight. I would consider using a double 2x10 at the sill framing, and single 2x10s boxing it out. The header continues in the wall plane as shows above. Using long screws to attach the 2x10 to the cripple studs below to resist rotation. Then nail the 2nd with strong nailing pattern (sets of 3 6-8" oc.)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:36AM
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Watch out for kitchen counter receptacle spacing.

No place on the counter can be more than24 inches along th ewall from a receptacle.

The space for the sink and installed items like stoves and refrigerators does not count.

It is going to take a lot of work wo sink a box into the stack of wood under the window in your picture.

Putting a larger board and than short cripples (even every 12 inches) under the window to support a smaller lower plate for the window leaves some room for wiring and receptacles.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:45AM
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I think I worked out the particulars last night. I have 8' ceilings. Plan would be for a triple Casement Andersen Window. Window width would be 5' 11 7/8". Height would be 48". Plus R/O which is min 1/2".

Going from the Floor up to the ceiling, my measurements are as follows:

34.5" - 2x10 making up the bottom sill of the 2x10 (Top 2x10 if doubled - i.e. cabinet height).
3/8" - R/O
48" = Window Height
3/8" R/O
1.5" - 2x10 that makes up the top of the window frame.
11.25" - Doubled 2x12 Header

Assuming that this is all correct. I know the 2x12's are oversized for this span but puts it closer to my slider, although that is 14.24".

Question then is what is the best way to do the framing on the outside of the window to give it the height and the width.

In the pic above it appears that they have the king stud and 4 2x6 studs as jack studs. I needed 3 for a 11' header I put in for my 4 panel slider. Not sure if these 2x's were put in for blocking for support to build out the exterior framing as well.


The photo's above are not mine. They are of another posters window that ended up being higher than counter height. My counter will extend right to the window bottom and will not be higher than counter height as in the pic above. I understand the outlet placement issue. I will also talk with the town's electrical inspector since others that I have seen have had the outlet issue waived. If not I will plan for that as well.

I am not understanding what you mean in the last two sentences though. Maybe it was mistyped.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:45PM
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Epiarch Designs

your number seem ok. Consider your countertop/window joint connection. I would think you want to account for the shim space and make the counter cover most of that area, overlapping the window frame 1/8-1/4" or so to allow for a good caulk joint. This will keep your window reveal about the same around the entire opening.
Without knowing your roof load, you may want to consider using a single 2x12 or possibly an LVL (depending on load) and then adding 1.5" of XPS foam sheathing on the exterior of it under your house sheathing to make the 3". THis will at least give you an r 7.5 in that area vs nothing at all.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 11:08PM
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"I am not understanding what you mean in the last two sentences though. Maybe it was mistyped. "

You move the structural support lower than the bottom of the window and then frame back up to the desired height.
It will not apply to you if the counter and window sill are at the same height.

I have many clients that put in MORE than the minimum outlets at even closer spacing.

Even if you can get the AHJ to waive off the requirement it is going to created questions down the road for any sale.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:29AM
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if I figure this correctly, I should just make it in the backsplash area. The window is 6'. The sink is 3' so that leaves 18" on either side of the window. Add 3 - 2x material (1 piece for the side frame of the window box, jack stud, king stud) that is 4.5" + .5" max for the R/O. If I then mount the outlet to the side of the king stud I should be OK.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:56PM
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