How to Install Single-Hung Windows

October 11, 2010

If you have a flair for carpentry, installing single-hung windows can save money and provide satisfaction. The following tutorial explains how to install single-hung windows assuming the opening has been previously prepared:

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Single-Hung Windows Installation by the Numbers

1. Measure the opening horizontally and vertically at the edges and in the middle. For the new windows, leave 1/4" around the top three sides and 1/2" at the bottom to accommodate a sill and shims.

2. Insert the new window assembly into the opening to make sure it fits and that the extra space shows. Remove.

3. Apply 8" flashing tape that extends 2" to the outside around the whole opening. Cut the corners diagonally for good fit and accommodate the excess underneath the siding. Tape should stop just short of the inside of the opening.

4. Fasten horseshoe shims at the bottom and adjust until they're level. This trues up the base of the sill.

5. Apply a bead of caulking over the nailing fin and its holes plus a bead all the way around the opening on the outside of the house.

6. Place assembly into the opening starting at the sill and push the rest into place. Center it well and nail down one upper corner.

7. Insert shims at the sides and using a carpenter's level, make sure the assembly is level and plumb. When the bubbles are centered, tighten screws and nail down the rest.

8. Apply flashing tape all the way around the exterior covering the nailing fins and the lower layer of tape.

9. On the inside, stuff insulation into any open spaces; put on inside trim.

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