How to Frame & Install a New Window


Windows age more rapidly than the rest of your house. You can start to feel drafts coming in as the windows lose their square and insulation, making new windows seem very appealing. To put in new windows you will need to frame and install them properly. Framing refers to preparing the space where the window sits, the rough opening. Installation is simple once you have framed the rough opening.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil Reciprocating saw Aluminum tape Adhesive-backed tape Wooden shims Nails Hammer Insulation Insulation tape Wooden trim
  • Remove the sashes from your new windows to make them lighter to move around.

  • Hold the new window up to the rough opening and trace the shape onto the wall with a pencil.

  • Use a reciprocating saw to enlarge the rough opening to accommodate the new window if it doesn’t fit.

  • Apply aluminum tape to the exterior wall along the top of the rough opening. The tape should slide under the siding on your house right above the opening.

  • Place adhesive-backed metal tape to the bottom of the rough opening. Let the tape run up the sides a little way to make sure the corners are completely covered. You can snip the corners of tape to make them lie flat.

  • Place the empty window into the rough opening, replacing the sashes once the window is in the frame.

  • Wedge shims along the sides and top of the window until it fits tightly in the frame.

  • Drive nails through the window with a hammer along the inside of the window frame. You should put in three nails along both vertical sides.

  • Press insulation into the gaps between the rough opening and the window.

  • Seal the exterior edges of the rough opening with insulation tape to keep out any drafts.

  • Finish the interior and exterior walls with whatever finishes are on the surrounding area. You can also put up wooden trim to accent the window if you'd like.

Tips & Warnings

  • Look for energy efficient windows to help cut down on heating costs with their increased insulation properties.
  • Do not try to lift windows that are too heavy for you. You can hurt yourself and damage the windows.

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  • Photo Credit sommer window image by Veronika Weltmaier from
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