Installing windows in your house

Installing windows in new construction.

Installing windows is not a terribly complex operation, but, as in all things construction, it pays to do it carefully, and hence, once.

For lack of other information we'll assume that we are going to install a standard, good quality double hung window in new construction, in which case one starts by hoping that the guys who did the framing managed to get all the sills and header heights uniform. You want this so that when the final siding is applied, again making the assumption that it is clapboard or shingles, the rows as they cross the headers are consistent. You also want to have a rough opening that allows about a half inch of clearance on each side of the window. You do not want to be forcing the window into the rough opening as this may well affect the ease with which the window will open and close for ever after if it is too tight.

Most windows ordered for new construction have a nailing flange on the outside of the window frame, so that all you have to do is pick up the window, put it in place, and drive a couple of roofing nails through the flange into the side of the house, thus anchoring the window in place.

Before you do that, however you will want to have checked that your header heights on all the rough openings for the windows on the side you are working on are at the same elevation. You will want to have wrapped the rough opening with the barrier material you have used for this project, be it Tyvek, or one of the other one way vapor permeable wraps on the market, or the old standby, tarpaper. (although that is seldom used in new construction these days.)

Place the window in the opening, shim it in place so that it is level and plumb, and tack it in place with your nails. If you have previously cut strips of Grace Ice and Water shield, (a self sealing material originally designed for low pitched roofs) you may then want to put a strip, about six inches wide, across the header and down each side, covering your nails, up to the edge of the window, over the nailing flange. There are some other products with the same self sealing properties now marketed in rolls, that you don't have to cut into strips that will also suffice. The point of these strips is that they seal around the nails, and provide a seal between the vapor barrier and window, thus allowing no air, or water, infiltration.

If the window is to be trimmed with a 1x4 type of trim, either pine or one of the many plastic/poly substitutes now out being used for exterior trim, this would then be the next item to be installed, your siding then butting up to the trim. If the siding is to run to the window edge, you are done until the siding takes place.

If you happen to have a stucco exterior you don't have a shingle line to tell tales if the windows are not perfectly aligned at the header, but you still want to keep them even, as much variation will stand out.

This is not a terribly complex operation, though it does help to have two people, in my experience, one on the outside, one on the inside to level and shim.

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Comments 2 comments

guidebaba profile image

guidebaba 8 years ago from India

Hi ! Thanks for Answering my Request. Actually the Request was - " How to Install Windows" (Operating System), But this is not bad. These Windows need to be installed too.


jonsailr profile image

jonsailr 8 years ago from Scituate, MA Author

There's an old saying, when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail :)

I first read your comment, and thought, "Operating system??? Huh, he must have casement windows.... :)

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