New Window Construction: How to Install New Windows Where None Existed

installing new windows

Installing a new window where there wasn't one before is a major remodeling project. The job is within the abilities of almost any homeowner with good carpentry skills, however.

Projects in Installing New Windows

Framing for a new window
Start by deciding the style and location of the window. A new window can enhance the appearance of a home's exterior as long as it complements the other windows. Sizing and properly placing windows call for making aesthetic and design decisions as well as some structural determinations. You may benefit by consulting a professional designer.

Preparing the opening in the wall for a new window is the toughest part of the job. Actually installing the window -- setting the unit in place, shimming it level and plumb, and attaching it to the wall -- is a relatively quick and easy job. An important part of planning is to determine whether wiring, plumbing, or ductwork runs through the new window location. If so you may need to hire a plumber, electrician, or heating expert to move the lines. Sometimes you will need to change the window location.

If the new window is wider than 3 feet, make plans to temporarily support the wall load until you install a header. Otherwise you might seriously damage your home's framing. You will cut through the interior wall surface to expose the framing. Once you have altered the framing to make an opening for the window, you can cut the opening in the outside wall.

Installing the window
Choose a method for sealing the opening that suits your area and take steps to ensure rainwater cannot infiltrate.

Finishing the exterior and interior walls can also take a good deal of time. If you order a simple window with jamb width that matches your wall thickness, it is usually a simple matter to complete the job by adding the casing and other trim. If the fit is not exact, you may need to custom-make trim to fit.

One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!