How to install French windows

French windows are much like French doors only smaller. They are a beautiful addition to the home.

What you will need:

  • New French window
  • Measuring tape
  • Pry bar
  • Drill
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Insulation
  • Caulking

First you need to remove the old window and its trim using a pry bar.

You must take out the screws holding the window casing to the outer window frame. To make it easier, use 2×4 braces to hold the window up while you work on it. Pry loose the window from any caulking that might be around the window using the flat end of the pry bar. After that, lift the window up and dispose of it.

Using a scraper or the flat end of the pry bar, clean the window frame of any caulking, debris or insulation. The size of the existing window frame might not the same as the size of the French window so prepare to make modifications. If the French window is larger, measure it and then, using a reciprocating saw cut the hole that matches the window casement. The French window will be already hung in a complete frame and casement. If the window frame is larger than the new window, close the opening with 2×4 studs and plywood then frame it.

Around the opening of the frame, you must lay down a weather barrier using weather proof silicone caulking then slip the window in.  Make sure it sets in the frame on all sides. You can also tack in some nails to the outside of the frame to keep the window form sliding out.

The window must the centered and have the same amount of opening on both sides. Make adjustments so that it is plumb and leveled. To get the window perfectly seated you must add shims to the inside and outside of the window, then cut the edges of the shims to align them with the window casing. Insulate the gaps that might exist between the window casing and frame, secure the window with screws and recheck the level and plumb. After that, reinstall the trim around the window on the inside and outside.

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