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.

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Handle Wood Windows with Kid Gloves

  1. 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.
  2. The window opening should be 1" wider and 1/2" higher than new window frames.
  3. Read the manufacturer's instructions! They may vary a bit from these.
  4. 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.
  5. Prep the opening with sandpaper, exterior grade wood putty, and primer paint. Fill voids with low-pressure window foam. Sand smooth.
  6. Wrap the opening, from the bottom up, with 12" felt. Research online at www.marvin.com for very precise instructions.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Place a 2" screw in the upper left inside jamb (or where directed) just tightly enough for the window to operate.
  10. Level, shim, center, and then finish nailing.
  11. 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.

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