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New Home Window Installation Tips

By Evan Nasseri Subscribe to RSS | May 10th 2012 | Views:

Manufacturers are making it very easy for anyone to install a window in a framed opening.

Vinyl or aluminium clad windows, and most new construction windows come with a nailing fin to guide the installer. The nailing fin is made of either vinyl or metal with nail holes about 1 and 1/2 inches wide at every 4 to 6 inches. Nailing fins have replaced brick moulding, which is still found on primed wooden windows.

Nailing fins make installation much easier, and they also provide a better seal to protect against water and air. These windows can be flashed to enhance sealing but often this is not necessary. The absence of the soffit or porch roof may necessitate a flashing or a drip edge above it.

In preparing to install a window, the first step is to ensure that the sheathing is not hanging in the rough opening as this can hamper the size of the opening and make it difficult for the window to fit in. It would be better to measure the rough opening ensure that the window is big enough for the opening, and this will avoid futile effort at a later stage. Rough openings are usually constructed 1" wider and 1/2" taller than the anticipated window unit and based on the approximate specifications, given by the manufacturer.

The window size will decide whether 2 or 3 people may be required to install it. One person should be on the inside and the other two outside. After measuring, to ensure that the window’s dimensions are correct place it in the opening from the outside by setting it on the sill and pushing it into the opening. Stop when its nail fins hit the wall and then check that they are properly in place and that the fins have not folded back into the opening, particularly at the bottom. The next step is for the person on the inside to centre the window in its opening. A level is used to check the window for plumb, level and square. Shims are applied where needed perfectly to align the window. Although a closed window should be square, checking will only help to ensure that the window will open and close smoothly, after it is installed. After you are satisfied that the window is properly set, you can now nail it in. Roofing nails are preferred by most builders but 8d nails or cap nails will work as well.

A standard jamb (4 9/16) should not run more than 1/2 inches past the rough framing. Check for the smooth operation of the window.

To help keep the wind and rain can be retained outside by sealing the perimeter of the opening with self-adhering waterproof membrane, strips of metal flashing, and an ample amount of caulk. With these layers in place, anything that gets by one will be stopped by another. Once the watertight feature has been ensured, and the window set plumb and square, the gap between the window and the framing should be filled with foam insulation.

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