Cutting an Opening and Installing a Window
In my daughter’s room, there was only one window which housed her air conditioning unit and since the tree incident, we really needed to add a second window for egress. Our chances for another disaster were pretty slim but we’d already tempted fate once and didn’t want to try it again. We decided the best course of action would be cutting an opening and installing another window in her room. What an awesome difference this made to not only our peace of mind but it also added extra light to the room!
Seek the Advice of a Professional
If you are in doubt, DO NOT attempt to cut through the wall of your home to install a window. Consult a professional. It’s not as easy as just cutting a hole and putting a window there – framing to support the wall and window have to be built and properly installed before cutting away the exterior sheathing and siding, especially since there may be no opening in that wall to begin with! Also, make sure proper permits are in place and consult an inspector!
Egress and the Escape Plan
Egress is the action of leaving a place. In case of an emergency, having a second window in that room would be extremely beneficial plus MY mind would be at peace knowing my daughter could still get out even if the doorway were blocked.
We had to get a bit fancy with the framing because of the spacing of the studs but it actually worked in our favor! We were able to frame the area how it needed to be without a lot of effort.
Cutting the Opening
In order to make it easier on ourselves, once the framing was installed, we drilled a series of holes through the sheathing and siding so that it could be cut away from the outside. It was quick and easy!
Reuse & Recycle
We were able to reuse the window taken out of another room to make way for a door. This window, of course, matched the existing window perfectly and we were able to reuse the stops, sill and trim. This saved us time (because windows generally have to be special ordered) and money!
Get the Kids Involved
My daughter, not exactly a “kid” but close enough, was schooled on the necessary steps to install and insulate a window. She was tasked with spraying the expanding foam between the opening and the frame, and she did a great job!
Cutting an opening and installing another window in that room was definitely the best option for us. It was easy to do, the framing is safe and to code, and I know my daughter will be able to escape to safety if another emergency occurs!