I'm now installing 2 large patio door sliders that require the frame heightened. When I resize the framing opening, is it possible to have the door/window fit perfectly on all four sides with no gap? There will be no insulation, and I can make it square, strong, and level.
The reason I ask, is besides extensive shimming for securing the window in, there's even more complicated shimming required for the inside. Bit hard to explain, but there's basically plastic trim on the aluminum window frame that has to fit exactly to within maybe +/-3 millimeters on pre-routered 1x4s and 2x4s that act as the inside sill sides and top etc.
If the shims are strong and secure, wouldn't they similarly have the power to bend the frame if the house shifts?
The inside casing or windowsill ( not sure the terminology, the 4 pieces you see on the inside when it's done - 3 in the case of the sliding door as it ends up flush with the flooring) fit 1x4s perfectly on the sides and 2x4s on the top /bottom. They need to be shimmed very strong as people will be leaning on them and hitting them whatever, and the tolerances are very tight as it has to screw into that plastic track I mention that's attached to the inside of the window frame. Attaching it to the rough buck opening directly is way stronger and easier than having to make tons of shims that are required to be screwed into the frame and get the correct clearances.
I'll also end up with the window frame screws and these 'trim' screws very close to each other and risk splitting the shim in half. Additionally, the nail on flange is quite close to the edge of the frame and there's is not much for the nails to bite into. Having a tight fit in the frame would solve all these problems in one step.
Photos of Windows with similar shimming: http://s22.photobucket.com/user/excipio/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_17.jpeg.html http://s22.photobucket.com/user/excipio/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_16.jpeg.html
Regarding shims, the frame has five predrilled holes on each side and four on the top, with specially designed screws for that purpose. With a gap of 15 mm, only about half of that screw actually be in the rough buck. I'm also still not clear on how 14 strong secure shims tight in the window would not damage the frame if The house shifted, while a smaller gap with smaller shims (say 5mm, or even none ) would. Zero shams and having it very strong seemed more appealing than 14 shims.
Additionally, the base of the window has to be exactly flush with the non-existent flooring. The subfloor isn't even in yet, just the old cedar planks and framing which themselves are not level.
Everything has to be calculated just so, and none of it's working out perfectly, or else flang nails and flooring start missing their mark. I realize everyone does it the Larg gap way, i'll do it that way to get it done. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best way to do it.
In this case, for a couple of reasons, I ended up installing them straight in with largish shims all the way around. One of the flange nails on one of the windows missed the frame, but it was unavoidable. Got it done and they look great and are pretty strong. Something that's been bugging me during this reform is how to make sure things are plum, level, and straight. I've used a string with a weight on it, a small right angle Square, a small bubble level, a straight piece of metal, etc. these all work to a point where they break down, and I end up using my sense of perception to get it pretty close. For example, on these sliding door frames: The bottom of the rough opening was bulging slightly in the top, and the front; The sides were slanted on the inside from front to back; and the top of the frame was warping up and slanting from the front to the back. None of my tools could indicate all of these problems and how to correct them when I was installing the frame. Worse still, as I was installing it the frame would warp to accommodate the different angles, throwing other elements off. There was no way to tell other than by Eye roughly, and I ended up just trying to average things out, and settle for pretty close. And I missing anything, is there some magic tool that makes it easy to install everything perfectly level straight and shimmed properly?