Windows in Thick Walls
Thick-wall assemblies offer better comfort and energy efficiency, but installing windows presents a challenge for builders.
Synopsis: Design/build contractor Michael Maines explains the difficulty of installing windows in thick, highly insulated walls. With a series of detailed illustrations he presents a number of options for installation, including recessed windows with extension jambs as the only exterior trim, recessed windows with traditional casing, recessed windows with shingled returns, windows curbed to the exterior, and curbed windows with ThermalBuck, a product premade for the situation.
Thick, highly insulated walls are great for lowering energy bills and creating a more comfortable interior environment for occupants, but they present some unique challenges for builders when it comes to installing windows and doors.
I’ve designed and/or built homes with many different types of thick walls, including 2×4 walls wrapped with continuous exterior insulation, cross-strapped 2×6 walls (aka “Mooney walls”), 12-in. double-stud walls, and 18-in.-plus panelized walls—and that’s not all of the different types of thick walls out there. In this…