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by • April 2, 2012 • Windows & Doors & SkylightsComments (7)1826

Wood Windows Built Onsite

My company Risinger Homes recently completed a 1940’s remodel on a house in Central Austin with several large site built wood windows.  The architect on the project Nick Deaver detailed these with Oak sills that flush up with the Oak hardwood floors, then the jambs are made from African Mahogany, and finally the heads are painted Poplar.  It’s a stunning end product and it could only be accomplished by a crew of fine carpenters.  I’m incredibly blessed to have four of the finest finish carpenters in Texas on my staff, but I also have a tremendously talented framing sub-contractor crew.  These windows were a collaboration between my rough carpentry crew and my finish carpenters to execute these details.  If you want to fast forward to the end product you can see the finished windows starting at 8:17 on the video.  Matt Risinger, Risinger Homes, Austin, TX
Here’s the finished outside.  

 The sills of these windows are white oak and run flush into the flooring.


The jambs are made from African Mahogany, and the heads are Poplar.  It’s striking!  Great ideas/details from Nick Deaver, amazing execution from my carpentry team, and a beautiful house.  I love my job.

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  • Hi Matt, I saw this video over on fine homebuilding, these are beautiful. How to you address the water that runs down the outside face of the glass to the sill? Did you use a sealant between the sacrificial nosepiece and the glass? Thanks, –Oren

    • Thanks Oren, appreciate the kind words. Yes we used a Silicon sealant at the bottom to prevent water from getting between the glass and the wood. These windows are facing South which isn’t great for weather & sun, but they have a deep 2′ roof overhang above them which will help. I wouldn’t recommend doing these site built windows without a generous overhang or awning above them. You don’t want them constantly getting wet every time it rains. Thanks, Matt Risinger

  • Jon

    Hi Matt, This video is by far the most informative video on the web for site built windows. Thanks for it…

    A specific Austin question for you- did you know the specifications on the glass, or were they reused from another project? specifically the the R / U values for Energy audit. I am working through the details of doing similar windows, but the glass will be reused from a commercial project – and I don’t have the U ratings. I’m trying to look forward to solve any issues before inspection. Thanks

    • Jon, Really appreciate your kind words. Glad to help! Regarding the inspection question: I custom ordered glass from a local glass company, and I specified Cardinal Low E 366 glass with a SHGC of .25. I don’t believe the inspector asked for any backup to verify that these windows met prescriptive code, but they do had he asked. In general, a wood frame will meet code (it’s just like a wood stud) as it has some thermal value unlike a non-thermally broken Aluminum window that conducts heat inside quite well. If you are re-using glass it would be helpful to know the SHGC so you can prove it meets current code (I believe the 2012 IECC code for SHGC is .30 or lower). Hope this helps. Best, Matt

    • Jon

      Huge Thanks Matt – gives me a bit of hope on using my salvaged glass.

  • Marcus Nielson

    I watched the video and loved how the windows turned out! Great Job! I have been looking into doing this on our future home but have been having a hard time figuring out where you purchase the glass. Any information about where to get just the insulated glass for site built windows? Thanks.

    • Matt Risinger

      Thanks! A local glass company can order the custom sized glass in Low E366 Double Pane insulated. In Austin that’s Binswanger, Anchor Ventana, or Marble Falls Glass. There is a local company near you I’m certain. Best, Matt