How to Install Wood Windows
October 10, 2010
You'll save a chunk of money installing wood windows yourself, but the raw wood of uninstalled windows is susceptible to finger oils and dirt. Keep them clean and move them slowly. Here's a summary of the steps involved.
Handle Wood Windows with Kid Gloves
- Well, cotton gloves, actually. Absolutely no one should touch the wood with their fingers during storage and installation. Store windows in a dry, clean place, covered.
- The window opening should be 1" wider and 1/2" higher than new window frames.
- Read the manufacturer's instructions! They may vary a bit from these.
- Measure the windows--they must be square. Measure diagonally both ways to the corners of the outer flanges. No more than 1/8" difference between the two measurements is allowable.
- Prep the opening with sandpaper, exterior grade wood putty, and primer paint. Fill voids with low-pressure window foam. Sand smooth.
- Wrap the opening, from the bottom up, with 12" felt. Research online at www.marvin.com for very precise instructions.
- With a helper and gloves, center the window in the opening. Check with a 2' level and shim to keep the window centered and square in the opening.
- Windows with built-in flashing or nailing flanges must slip under a slice in the top exterior felt wrapping. Then tape the slice with duct tape.
- Place a 2" screw in the upper left inside jamb (or where directed) just tightly enough for the window to operate.
- Level, shim, center, and then finish nailing.
- On the outside, fill gaps with low-pressure caulk. Sand, then stain or prime and paint.
If these steps are within your capabilities, each additional window will be easier.