Trimming Out Double-Hung Windows

Project: Vermont Farmhouse, Episode 6, Part 3

Bob tours the interior, looking at the finished drywall and insulation. In the living room, a new Shaw pre-finished hardwood floor is being put down. David LaFosse (from LaFosse & Co.) is on hand to talk to Bob about the process. In the kitchen Ryley and Pat Cloutier are busy putting up trim around the windows.
Part 1: Drywall Installation
Part 2: Hard Maple Flooring Installation
Part 3: Trimming Out Double-Hung Windows
Bob Ryley and carpenter Pat Cloutier trim out the two banks of four double-hung windows in the sunny dining area. Each bank of windows is treated as if it were one window unit. Then, they'll put a mullion strip where they all meet.

They start with the sill, then move on to the header piece. With such a long run of windows, it's more reliable to attach the horizontal pieces first. They measure and cut each vertical individually to fit. The job goes more smoothly when you have one person to measure and another to make the cuts.

Bob Vila:  Bob Riley is here to give Pat Cloutier a hand with some of the interior finish work. This is probably one of the most unusual situations in the whole house. You've got a bank of four double‑hung windows, going all the way to a corner, and another four on this side that meet. How do you trim them out? What's the answer to that Riley? Bob Riley:  Bob, you always want to start with the window sill. That's our first part. Bob:  We're really treating them as if they were one window unit. Riley:  As far as we're concerned, it's one. Where they all meet, we'll be putting a mullion strip in. I've already forty‑fived these. You can see it's open a little bit on the top. I'll just slip that out and back it off. Let me get this other one. Bob:  That little bit of backing off will make it meet precisely. Riley:  Right. On the top. Bob:  You don't see the bottom. Riley:  That looks good right there. Bob:  What size nails are we shooting? Riley:  These are eights. We'll get that. Good. Right there. We'll work it down the length of the wall. Bob:  This has just been ripped from a 1x8. Riley:  Right. We ripped it down to 1 ¾". That's got to go down just a little bit. Right there. That's good. Bob:  Now we'll do it on this side. The next step is to go from the bottom up. Then we're going to look at the header piece. Right? Riley:  Right. That's exactly right. Bob:  A little dry fitting. Riley:  We're going to leave about 1/8" reveal on the jam. Bob:  That means right here, we'll see about 1/8" of the wood. Riley:  We want to see how this casing is going to fit up against the jam. Bob:  Is it bowed out against the plastic? Riley:  It's a little bit. All we have to do is take that out and just clean out some of the sheetrock. That can all come right out, because that's going to be hidden by the casing. Bob:  Sometimes it's the insulation that forces it out. Riley:  Yeah, or even some bent over nails or something in those headers. I'll get that. That's better. Bob:  Is that good enough? Riley:  Yep. That's good here. How are you liking it? Pat Cloutier:  Yeah. Looks good down here. Riley:  All right. You don't want to go too far to the end. It'll split the wood. Riley:  Unless you can give that a whack towards me. Pat:  I didn't get much area to get in there, go ahead and make a little scribe there. Riley:  Now we'll just take that off. Pat:  How's that? Riley:  Yeah. It looks good here. Bob:  With such a long run of windows, it's more reliable to attach the horizontal pieces first, then do the verticals. We'll measure and cut each vertical individually to fit. Riley:  These look like they're pretty uniform. They're going to be 6 ¾". We'll take that written down on the table saw, then run them once through the jointer. Bob:  These will be the mullions. Riley:  That's right. Bob:  The jointer basically takes the edge that the saw blade has ripped and dresses it up just like a factory edge. Let's see how this fits. That's got a knot in it. Let's face it up this way. Got it? Riley:  Good. Riley:  I'm going to give you a couple here. All right? Next one is going to be 62 3/8". After that go to 62 5/16". 62 5/16". Bob:  It certainly makes the job easier when you have one person to measure and another one to make the cuts. Pat:  How does that one fit? Riley:  Perfect. Pat:  Here's your last one. There you are. Bob:  This is going to be a great feature for this dining room when it's complete. We'll really be able to appreciate the view.
The wooded New England setting, with quaint towns and covered bridges, provides the perfect backdrop for building a traditional Vermont-style farmhouse.

Bob works with the Quechee Lakes Development Company to build a residence that hearkens back to the past yet satisfies the needs of a family in the new millennium.