Installing a Window In a Wood Shed
In addition to cutting a hole in the siding and putting in a window, you'll need framing to support the window; and if the window is more than about 14 inches wide, you'll need headers and framing to replace the studs you'll have to cut out of the way. The key to installing a window is making sure that it sits level and square in the opening. Because it is so important to get it right, standard practice is to build an oversize opening, called a rough opening, and shim the window to get it where you want it. Because windows are in exterior walls, which are always load bearing, they have built-up headers consisting of 2x4s or 2x6s sandwiched around a piece of 1/2 inch plywood and 2x4 rough sills to hold the bottom of the window. They are supported by cripple studs, which hold the frame of the window in place and help support the weight of the roof.
- Measure for new studs
- Toenail the king studs in place
- Nail cripple studs to the king studs
- Install the rough sill and header
- Cut an opening for the window
Measure for new studs
The opening for a window is always slightly larger that the window and is called the rough opening, which will be noted in the directions that come with the window. You will need to remove at least one existing stud and cut at least one or two new studs depending on the location of the window. Measure between the soleplate and the top place and cut the new studs (called king studs) to fit between them.
Toenail the king studs in place
Put the king studs between the soleplate and top plate, spacing them so that the inside surfaces are separated by the width of the rough opening. Plumb them and double-check the distance between them. Toenail them in place. Mark the studs to show where the top and bottom of the window will be and make a second set of marks showing the top and bottom rough opening.
Nail cripple studs to the king studs
Cut three supports 3 1/2-inches shorter than the distance between the rough opening and the top plate and nail them to the king studs. Cut two more supports, each 1 1/2-inches shorter that the distance between the rough opening and the soleplate. Cut any studs that fall between either set of supports to the same length. Toenail the cripple studs in place.
Install the rough sill and header
Cut three 2x4s to fit between the king studs. Nail one in place as the rough sill. Put 1/2 inch plywood between the other two. Nail the sandwich together and nail it in place as a header across the top of the opening. Cut a 2x4 to fit on each side of the opening and nail them in place.
Cut an opening for the window
Working from the inside of the shed, drill 1/2-inch diameter holes at the four corners of the rough opening. Working from the outside, cut between the holes with a jigsaw to remove siding and create a hole for the window. Slide the window into the rough opening. Put shims underneath to level the window in the opening and above the window to fill in the space. Shim to the sides of the window to hold it in place. Check to make sure the window operates and is square. Reshim as needed.
Nail the window in place
Drive 6d nails into the window frame, through the shims, and into the framing, leaving a bit of the nail exposed so you can remove it if necessary. Verify that the window works and remove the nails and reshim if needed. Nail the flange to the framing per the window manufacturer's instructions. Cut a 1x4 to fit around the window and to cover the nailing flange. Nail the 1x4 pieces in place. Caulk, taking special care to fill any voids created by the siding.
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Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 3 hours
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- ½ inch Plywood
- 8d Finishing Nails
- 8d Common Nails
- 6d nails
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