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getting straight trim to fit a sagging bay window

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Sep 21, 2013, 01:30 PM
getting straight trim to fit a sagging bay window
We have a couple of big bay windows we are replacing the trim on and we ran into an issue when we tried to fit the new top trim back in. It turns that over time the house has sagged over the bay window and the original trim bent with it. When we put the replacement trim back in place, it was too straight to fit without looking out of wack, either in the middle or the sides.

We attacked the first window, which is about 12 feet wide, a few months ago and we ended up getting a handyman/carpenter to help us get the top piece of trim in place. Unfortunately I was not here when he did it so I did not get to really observe his technique, but according to my wife he used an oval shim of some type that looked like a football with the ends cut off behind the trim to get it to bend somehow.

We are now attempting to replace the trim on the second, smaller bay window (about 9 feet wide) and the window and top piece of trim have the same issue -- sag over time has bent the top part of the window and the new trim is too straight to fit.

Unfortunately we cannot get in touch with the carpenter who solved this problem on the first window and so my question to the experts here is -- do you know anything about the technique or trick he might have used to get the trim to fit (using a shim)? I think it might have involved placing the shim behind the trim at the center, nailing the trim in at the center and then somehow bending the ends into place and nailing them, but this just doesn't seem like it would work...

Any help would be greatly appreciated. From what my wife said, the carpenter described it as a very simple trick and (she thinks) it did not involve any modifications or cuts to the trim to allow it to bend.

For reference, it is 1x3 select pine we are dealing with here.

Thanks in advance,

Sep 21, 2013, 03:32 PM
sagging is not good. much better to use levels or lasers and a measuring tape to see how much sag you have, then open the wall and put a proper header in there to carry the load. whoever framed in the bay window didn't carry the house load, and the proper fix is to correct the structural deficiency.

there is also probably more weight on the bay window than it's designed for in this situation, and one of these days, it's going to break due to the load.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?