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We recently bought a house that was in the midst of a remodel. The PO had replaced 80% of the windows but had not gotten to the trim. The issue I have is the jam does not match with the drywall. In some places it is even but mostly it is 1/4-1/2" below the drywall grade. I can build and install jam extensions but on 1/2" of the windows, the grade varies from being even to 1/2 below from top-to-bottom of the window.

Do any contractors have any tricks to fixing this? What would you do?

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6  
Please tell me that 80 is a typo. –  Mike Powell Oct 25 '10 at 15:24
    
If 80 isn't supposed to be 80%, is "trip" supposed to be "trim"? –  Steve Armstrong Oct 25 '10 at 17:58
    
Yes, both typos and fixed, thanks. –  Matt Dowell Oct 26 '10 at 17:56
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A buddy of mine does trim work for a living. In the place we re-modeled, he did much of our trim work, and like the OP, we had many jams that were not parallel nor flush with the walls. What he ended up doing is to extend the jam in order to split the difference (i.e.- at maximum the jam was 1/8" past the DW, at minimum, 1/8" behind). Then he had a few tricks to get the trim installed-

For areas where the jam was slightly short, he would take a razor blade, and score the drywall about 1/4" in from the edge of where the trim would sit, then take a hammer, and punch down the DW even with the jam. So the outside edge of the trim would be on intact DW, but under the bulk of the trim the DW was smashed down.

In areas where the jam was sticking out too far, he would do one of two things- in most of our rooms we were painting the trim, so he would use a paintable caulk behind the trim to seal it against the wall, then use a piece of square wood dipped in some soapy water to make the caulk flush with the trim. After painting over it, you can't see where the trim stops and caulk starts.

For the one room with stained maple trim, he shimmed behind the trim when cutting the miters, and played with the thickness of shim until the trim would "rock back" against the drywall but still meet up with the trim it was mitered against. This seemed much more an art than a science.

Overall, the process is not easy, and I doubt I would be able to duplicate the quality of his joints, for the exposed wood trim with jams extending past the drywall.

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I went with this solutions and it worked well. Where I had a 1/2" to 3/4" inch I split the difference and extended the jam. Got 1 window left! –  Matt Dowell Nov 23 '10 at 20:21
    
Glad to hear it worked out for you! –  MarkD Nov 23 '10 at 20:58
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Is there any possibility you can adjust the window installation to bring the jambs flush with the drywall, or at least parallel to it so that the extensions will be easier to make?

If not, I think your best option is going to be to build the extensions proud of the wall and then bring them down flush with a power planer or belt sander. If you have (or want to purchase) a biscuit jointer they do a nice job of keeping your extensions sturdy and lined up with the jambs.

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+1. I've had the opposite problem from the OP since resurfacing my home office walls, and I've been wondering how to fix them. –  Niall C. Oct 25 '10 at 16:19
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