Installing a Vinyl Window into an Earthbag Arch Opening

The appeal of vinyl is its low cost, compatibility with mud, efficient seal, thermopane glass, and fitted screen! Secure the window in the rough opening with shims, making sure to check for level and plumb. Trim the exterior flange on the pre-manufactured window if it is too wide (hand pruning shears work great for this). Install a sloped two-by-four sill on top of the window. Add a stop along the top of this sill to rest the half-round glass flush against (Fig. 8.6 & 8.7).

Mud it into place, leaving the shims imbedded in the mud until cured. Once it is cured, remove the shims and fill the gaps with more mud. Congratulations! You now have a beautifully installed, operable, finished window (Fig. 8.8).

Simple, homemade, operable windows can be made with a minimum of materials. Consider plastering in a piece of fixed glass (with a hose gasket seal) on top of a small, operable wooden door or awning for ventilation (Fig. 8.10a & b). Glass bottles mortared with mud into an opening are another way to let light into a building (Fig. 8.11). Another innovative

8.8 (left): Install the half-round pane of glass up against the stop that was installed previously on top of the vinyl window. Plumb with a level and secure with shims.

8.10a (above): Cabinet style wood doors

8.10b (below): Fixed glass with awning-style vented wood opening

Earthbag Arch

window idea is to install a car windshield (under a lintel) into the wall. Windshields are strongly built and many have the added advantage of being pre-curved for custom fitting into a round wall. As in the other examples, seal it with a hose gasket and mud it into place with cob (Fig. 8.12).

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