How to Install a Picture Window

How to Install a Picture Window. Replacing a worn window or installing a picture window where there wasn't one previously will add tremendous value to your home and make everyday living more enjoyable. A room with light and a pretty view is as soothing to the soul as it is an asset to the equity. Follow these basic instructions and you will soon enjoy for yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Duct tape
  • Cat's claw or small pry bar
  • Utility knife
  • Eye protection
  • Hand protection
  • New picture window
  • Flashing
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Level
  • Shims
  • Insulation
  • Caulk
  • Gloves

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Remove an Old Window

Criss-cross the panes of glass with duct tape. This will help avoid them breaking and causing injury during the removal process.

Pry off all trim work, taking care not to destroy it as it can be reinstalled.

Cut along the edge of the window with a utility knife to break the seal of caulk or paint.

Go outside and carefully remove any siding in the way of the windows.

Work your way up from the bottom. Expose the nails and pull out, setting the siding aside. Again, cause as little damage as possible as you will reinstall the siding.

Take a cat's claw and remove the nails securing the window into place.

Carefully remove the old window from the wall.

Installing a Picture Window

Verify the new picture window will fit in the existing opening. Place the window in the opening, making sure the window will fit when squared.

Cut any enlargements needed to fit window.

Install metal flashing in top corners to prevent moisture from entering.

Insert window into opening and check to make sure it sits level, plumb and square. This is critical for the window to function properly. Slide shims as needed to bring the window to the correct position.

Screw or nail the window into place temporarily.

Secure shims in place to hold window in proper position.

Stuff remaining gaps with fiberglass insulation on all sides of window. This will insure your windows are energy efficient.

Reattach trim on the interior of the home.

Reattach siding on exterior of home. Caulk around the exterior of the window with an exterior caulk.

Tips & Warnings

  • Removing and installing picture windows is not a one-person job. Always use help to avoid serious injury.
  • Always protect your eyes with goggles and wear gloves to avoid cuts.
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