Building And Installing French Windows

French windows add a beautiful country feel to a eat-in nook, dining room, or living room. These types of windows are much like a French door, but on a smaller scale.

Materials Needed

•New French Window
•Pry Bar
•Reciprocating saw
•Measuring Tape

Step One - Remove Old Window

The first step to installation of French windows is to remove the old window. Remove the trim from the window with the pry bar. Have someone, or use 2x4 braces, to hold the window up while you take out the screws holding the window casing to the outer window frame. With the flat end of the pry bar, pry loose the window from any caulking that is around the window. Lift the window out and dispose of it in a safe area.

Step Two - Prepare Window Frame

After you remove the old window, you will need clean the window frame of any remaining caulking, debris, or insulation. Use the flat end of the pry bar or use a scraper.

Your French window may not be the same size as the existing window frame. If the window is larger than the frame, then you will need to prepare the hole by resizing it. Take the measurements from the French window and transfer them to the window frame. Using a reciprocating saw, cut the hole to match the size of the window casement. You do not have to worry about a window frame as the French windows will be pre-hung in a complete frame and casement.

It may also be that your window is smaller than the existing window frame. If this is the case, close in the opening by using 2x4 studs and plywood. Frame it in as you would any wall.

Step Three - Install Window

Lay down a weather barrier around the opening of the frame. Make sure it is flush with the edge of the window opening and wraps around the frame. Lay down a bead of weather proof silicone caulking all the way around the frame and slip the window in. Lay the bottom of the window on the sill and lift up the top until it is set in the frame. Temporary tack in some nails to the outside of the frame to keep the window from sliding out.

Step Four - Secure Window

Once you have the window in the opening, center it so that there is the same amount of opening on both sides. Slide in shims anywhere you need to make an adjustment to make it plumb and level. Cut off the edges of the shims so that they are flush with the window casing. You may have to add shims on the outside and the inside to get the window perfectly seated. Screw in the screws to secure the window and recheck to level and plumb. Add some insulation to any gaps there might be in between the window casing and the window frame. Once the insulation is tucked in the gaps, reinstall the trim around the window, both inside and out.