Biggest window size that's "safe"?

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dedou
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:25 am
Location: Central Vermont

    Hi Everyone,
    We're still plodding away on our toilet (installed a replacement)/floor/underneath insulation project and I need more projects like a hole in the head,but I keep
    seeing really, really nice windows on C.List and have a question for you all. What is the largest size of window that's ok to use in our walls? Reason I'm asking is
    there's an 8' shallow bay window on our local C.List and it would bring in much needed light. That's probably way too heavy, right? If so, what's the maximum size you all would feel comfortable installing in your home? Thanks as usual :)
    Devon
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    1987Commodore
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    Location: Steuben County, NY

    Personal opinion - My concern would be potential cracking as the home flexes seasonally. It depends upon how large the individual glass panes are.
    I don't see a problem weight wise as long as you install a large enough header to support the roof load over the span of the window. You could also install perimeter blocking under the window.
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    Greg
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    If you properly "Engineer" the job, on paper you could have a window the entire wall. As Commodore said you need to properly support the window and in all likely hood add Perimeter blocking under the wall as well.

    Greg
    "If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
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    Greg S
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    Location: Kingston Ontario Canada

    Your local building inspector has all the answers to your questions and will tell you if a building permit is required.
    An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)
    Norm Frechette
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    Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:34 am
    Location: Norwich, CT

    i have a large bay window in my 2007 mobile home. no problems with it so far. similar to this 3 part slider

    Image

    you will have to reframe the opening as commodore suggests to support the additional weight of the window and redistribute the roof loads. its not a pop in installation
    dedou
    Posts: 60
    Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:25 am
    Location: Central Vermont

    :D Awesome, thanks folks! Since we have the lengthwise joists, and not much to support the outer walls, I am thinking the larger windows would be limited to maybe two, but was expecting to have to rebuild the wall anyway. These walls are mush under each current (metal) window, and are most likely made with strapping instead of studs. This home was built at that awful plant in PA, back in the 1980's. But, I'm encouraged that I can maybe enlarge what we've got. Our long sides face East/West, and it's pretty dark in here since our park is in a narrow valley. It would be nice to have more sun come in, and I don't trust skylights. Besides, then I'd have to see what's under that sketchy looking metal roof of ours! :shock:
    Devon
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    Greg S
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    What is the building inspectors advice regarding your proposed renovation.
    An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)
    dedou
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    Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:25 am
    Location: Central Vermont

    Greg S., no proposed renovation yet in the works - just "kickin the tires."
    Would you believe I didn't know you had to have a building inspector ok window replacement? Yes, you probably would :) But seriously, if I see a deal on a nice window too good to pass up, I may ask hubby if we can get it, store it and use it later. I don't think anyone around here in this park, anyway, has used a building inspector for anything other than buying the place. And the building inspector who "inspected" our place before we bought it missed many important and serious flaws. Didn't give me a lot of confidence in them. I am the type that will probably over-do the support, as I tend to be cautious. Here in Vermont, unless we are changing the footprint of our place, we can remodel without a permit, from what I understand, but will check with our Town Clerk's office when we get around to actually replacing walls and windows.
    Devon
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    Greg S
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    Better safe than sorry, the biggest headaches arise from neighbour complaints. There is always someone with a personal beef that calls in the inspector as soon as work begins plus if you do it wrong it may void your home insurance.
    Vermont would have to have very lax building codes to not need a permit to change the size of window openings. Openings are a major structural aspect of a building.
    An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)
    dedou
    Posts: 60
    Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:25 am
    Location: Central Vermont

    Good points! When we actually get some windows, I will ask at the Town Clerk's office if they can point me in the right direction. I think I misunderstood what you meant by building inspector. I was thinking of the so-called professional home inspector who works for the banks, making sure the place is worth the money we're lent.
    I'm now thinking you meant the inspector who makes sure your project complies with building safety regulations. And yes, we would be smart to ask about that before going ahead with the project/s involving making bigger framings for new-to-us windows.
    Devon
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    Greg
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    The Codes officer, Building inspector, zoning officer usually all the same guy hired by the town to check on building permits & violations. Some towns have super tight regulations (some will make you wait and measure the depth of a trench when putting underground wiring in) others will just hand you a permit and say "have a nice day".

    Some towns may not even require anything, but it's still too easy to check before you start rather than find out after.

    Greg
    "If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
    dedou
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    Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:25 am
    Location: Central Vermont

    Thanks, I certainly will!
    Devon
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