How to Install Architectural Windows

October 11, 2010

Installing your own windows can be a great way to save a little money, and you receive the gratification that often comes from working on your own home. Some windows are a little more difficult to install than others, and architectural windows often fall into that category. Architectural windows are usually fixed panels that don't require adjusting for operation, but because you can't reach through an opening they often require two people to set it in place.

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How to Install Architectural Windows in your Home

  1. Measure the height and width of your window opening and purchase an architectural window about 1/2 inch smaller on all sides.
  2. Line the opening with 8-inch wide strips of roofing felt allowing the excess to extend to the exterior; fasten the felt with staples or felt nails.
  3. Apply a bead of caulk on the exterior of the home where it will be covered by the window's nailing flange for a good seal.
  4. Center the architectural window in the opening. This step may require someone to hold the window in the opening from the outside while an inside helper checks that the window is centered and uses cedar shims to hold it in place. Fixed panel windows have a top and bottom; make sure the drain holes are at the bottom.
  5. Nail or screw one upper corner of the window.
  6. The inside helper should use a level to plumb and level the window.
  7. Nail or screw the other three corners of the window.
  8. If the window happens to be one that operates, check that the window operates properly.
  9. Finish nailing and screwing the window in place.
  10. Apply rubber membrane waterproofing sheets over the nailing flanges and the excess felt from step 2.

You now know how to install architectural windows; make sure to follow any specific instructions included by the window manufacturer.

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