Learning how to install a window

Learning how to install a window is really easy. There are many choices of pre-hung doors and boxed windows that are very reasonably priced and are a dream to work with. You just slide them into place, adjust them slightly with shims, and screw them down.

install a window
types of windows

The double-hung and sliding windows are the most popular. Casement windows are usually more expensive. There are also a few of the fixed-frame varieties where the window doesn’t open at all. They are mostly used for stairway illumination, skylights and bathrooms. The easiest windows to install are those with a flange.

fasten windows

The windows attach directly to the rough opening from the outside. You will need to use shims on the inside so that you can be sure the window is perfectly centered. Tighten all the screws evenly to make sure the window stays centered while you're securing it.

installing vinyl windows

The shims can be broken off or removed once the window is fastened.

The rough opening needs to be perfectly square. If the window isn’t centered just right or if the rough opening isn’t exactly square, the trim that goes on the inside of the window during the finish work won’t fit well and the misalignment will be very obvious every time you look out the window. Once the window is centered, fasten it with screws.

Windows with wood frames attach with nails through the window casing. Be sure to hammer the nails in where there is a shim.

window shims

The windows will have about ¼ inch gap all the way around which will need to be filled with insulation. The trim that goes on the inside of the window is either hardwood or MDF. (Medium Density Fiberboard) The hardwood is expensive and used mostly for wood-cased windows.
mdf MDF is a tough type of particleboard. It comes in different widths. The wall thickness will determine the width to be used. It can be painted to match the inside wall color. MDF is easy to work with and really inexpensive.

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