DIY Home Projects
Framing a Window Opening
BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 125 Projects
Many windows must be custom-ordered several weeks in advance. To save time, you can complete the interior framing before the window unit arrives, but be sure you have the exact dimensions of the window unit before building the frame. Do not remove the outside wall surface until you have the window and accessories and are ready to install them. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications for rough opening size when framing for a window. The listed opening is usually 1" wider and 1⁄2" taller than the actual dimensions of the window unit. The following pages show techniques for wood-frame houses with platform framing. If your house has balloon framing where wall studs pass continuously from one floor to the next, use the method shown to install a header. Consult a professional to install a window on the second story of a balloon-framed house. If your house has masonry walls or if you are installing polymer-coated windows, you may want to attach your window using masonry clips instead of nails.