My shower room does not have a window. One of its side is out facing, i.e. one side of the shower room happens to be part of the exterior wall of the house. I'd like to open a small window on it so air and sunlight can enter into the shower room. What should I know before starting the project?

House: regular singular-family house. There is nothing special about it.

Location: Chico, California

Exterior wall from what I can see is just regular vinyl siding wall. Interior is covered by ceramic tiles.

  • One good place to start is any location building inspection authority, that could give you details on installation, if permitting is required, etc. Often projects that alter the exterior appearance of a home in my area require a permit/plan/inspection process. What location is this? Aug 3 '16 at 16:57
  • Voting to close as too broad. You need to know the fundamentals of framing, insulation, and both interior and exterior trim for the types of finishes and siding you have.
    – isherwood
    Aug 3 '16 at 17:04
  • Pretty broad. This will be a large project to tackle as a DIY project. I would recommend simply adding a ceiling or above-tile-wall mounted exhaust fan to exhaust bathroom/shower stale air as a simpler solution. Maybe one with a light :-)
    – mikegreen
    Aug 3 '16 at 18:47
  • 1
    Keep the window high and as far away from the water spray as possible. Water that finds its way into the window mechanisms and the wall interior will both cause you grief in the future.
    – JS.
    Aug 3 '16 at 18:55
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    @qazwsx absolutely they work. If you find them not effective - there is a great chance the fan is actually not hooked up to an outside vent line. Many ranch and patio homes had fans in the ceiling thru the 50-70's that were never plumbed in - they simply recirculate bad air. You can calculate the CFM required to clear all the air in a timeframe with the size of your bathroom easily.
    – mikegreen
    Aug 3 '16 at 23:39

I have lived and worked in Northern California. There are obscure (frosted Windows) that are great for what you want to do. They are narrow 14" wide and do not require cutting the studs so no permit was required. The most important part of the job was to make sure there was no electrical in the space. Moving or modifying the electrical usually requires a permit. Many stud finders today have a warning that shows if there is wiring behind the Sheetrock. Since there is a very low possibility of electrical in the wall at a normal bathroom wall I would punch a hole and look. If there are no wires the hardest part of the install is cutting the vinyl siding. A top and bottom plate can be nailed or screwed in in place then a remodel window screwed to the studs. The last tough part is trim on the outside to make the opening look like the rest of the Windows. The inside is easy in comparison. A little mudd and trim it can easily look original from inside. Outside with older Vinyl can be tough to match but will look better in a few years.

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