How to Install a Window on Your Own

From adding a statement piece to providing natural light, windows are known for both their beauty and functionality. Adding a new feature in your home can be an exciting venture, but only if done properly. Rather than searching Google for an overpriced installation company, add ‘installing windows’ to your own resume by doing it yourself. 

Maybe you’re building your dream home, or maybe it is just time for a change. Regardless, Sans Soucie has hundreds of sophisticated window designs sure to meet everyone’s style. To begin this process, decide on what window will work best in the new space. San Soucie’s unique, textured designs provide endless options from Abstract Hills to more intricate designs like Hibiscus. These etched, carved, and painted glass windows are the safest on the market, with tempered glass and dual-pane options for exterior windows. Similarly, they come in a variety of finishes and dimensions offering levels of privateness and durability. Each technique used by San Soucie results in optimum art providing that wow-factor.  

After finding the beautiful feature that speaks to your classy or dramatic taste, it is time to attack the window installation. Follow along to learn how to cut costs and securely install a customized window unit, yourself. 

Tip: Take a peek at the helpful terms list below before getting started. 

Helpful Terms:

Pocket Opening- The space where the old window once was. Before installation this opening must be in pristine condition, and can be built-up with shims, insulation, and any other fastening allowances.

Waterproof Shims- Thin, tapered, wooden wedges used to fit between a window frame and jamb. Provide support, a level surface, or better fit. 

Caulk Gun- Tool involving a tube of silicone. Used to seal up and adhere cracks or gaps around the window.

Window Sash- Part of the window that holds both the glass and the framework together. 

Window Jambs- Vertical part of the window opening forming the sides of the window frame.

Window Stop- Part of the framing before a window is placed. Sits horizontal along the sill and stops the window from falling out. 

Materials and Tools Recommended:

  1. New Window + Hardware
  2. Caulk Gun
  3. Wood Putty
  4. Wood Trim [as needed]
  5. Insulation 
  6. Excess Paint [to match home]
  7. Waterproof Shims
  8. Safety Glasses
  9. Gloves [worn as needed]
  10. Tape Measure
  11. Hammer
  12. Power Drill/Screwdriver
  13. Level
  14. Crowbar
Time Allotted: 4-6 hours per window, depending on the type of window

Step 1: Measure Existing Window

No matter what function this new window is serving, ensure you measure the existing window before placing an order.

  • Measure the pocket opening between the side jambs at the top of the window, middle, and bottom. 
  • Next, measure the height from the sill to the top jamb on either side of the window and the middle. 
  • Record the smallest numbers to use when ordering. 

Another way this can be done is by measuring ¼” larger than the new window, although sometimes this method may not be as accurate.  

Step 2: Remove Old Window

Use a crowbar to pry the jamb extension and any remaining window trim from the old area. Whether there are multiple window sashes or just one, ensure careful removal of the old window to eliminate broken glass. To do this, simply unscrew the physical window from the jamb. If the previous window has more than one sash, it is recommended to remove one at a time to create untroubled cleanup. 

Tip: Ensure you are wearing proper gloves and eye protection. Cover any shards of glass or cracks with painter’s tape to hold them in place during deconstruction. 

Step 3: Prepare New Window Opening

Before installing the new window, it is crucial to inspect the window opening for any damages.

  • Start by visually looking for any rotting in the jambs or potential cracks in the previous window seal. 
  • Inspect the window stop to ensure it is serviceable.

Installing the new accent window, after removing the old one, should be a seamless process. If any complications are discovered, take priority to resolve them by replacing or repairing these parts as soon as possible.

Tip: Dry fit the replacement window to ensure zero fitment issues before the next steps. This may take several attempts until you are completely satisfied with the snug fit of the window in the opening.  

Step 4: New Window Installation

Now that the window opening is prepared and ready for the addition, it is time for the window installation.

  • Apply a bead of caulk on the inside of the window stop before sliding the unit into place and pressing securely. 
  • Center it in the opening with wood blocks and shims placed below the horizontal jambs, between the window screw holes, and vertical jambs for support.
  • Ensure the window is level, adjusting the shims as needed.
  • Caulk around the window moulding. 
  • Take the hardware packet (typically provided with the window) and drill the allotted screws through the unit to the shims as instructed by the manufacturer. Typically there will be two screws on the top, on either side of the window, and two near the bottom. 
  • Check once more for a level window and sashes. 

Tip: After any adjustments to the shims are made, ensure the window is level again. 

Step 5: Add Insulation 

Once you have triple checked that the new window is level, the excess shims can be cut. Secure shims with flashing tape and screws. If there are any gaps between the jambs and window framing, fill that with fiberglass insulation. Any larger gaps between the previous frame and wall studs need to be filled as well. Rolled insulation or expanding foam may be used. 

Step 6: Add the Finishing Touches

If there is no trim around your window, find a style that matches the rest of your home and add that around your new window. However, if there is currently trim around the window, paint the visible calk to match the color of the trim and window sill. Finally, fill any unwanted nail holes with wood putty, and add touch up paint where needed.

Don’t worry if you haven’t found that perfect window replacement for your bathroom or entryway. Browse all the possibilities for any home upgrade and use our easy to navigate Door Designer to get started today!