How Do You Install a Bay Window?

bay windowMany homeowners wonder how to install a bay window. Some think it is not possible for someone who is not a trained contractor to do this job, but they are wrong. With the right instructions and materials, it is not a particularly difficult job for anyone to do.

The First Steps of the Job

The first and perhaps most important step of the job is to measure the window opening. Use the measuring tape carefully to ensure that the results are accurate. Once this has been completed, it is time to apply sealant to all of the joints that are attached to the masonry. This will prevent water from getting through. This is also the motivation for brushing liquid flashing over the place where the window jambs and head will be. The last step of the first phase is to install shims underneath the windowsill.

Time for the Second Phase

It’s now time for the second, more difficult part of the job. Those attempting to do this without the help of a professional are advised to get a second pair of hands. The help of another person will be invaluable when it comes time to install the window itself. The homeowner is also advised to follow instructions laid out by an expert, according to Ron Hazelton.┬áThe first step of the second process is to drill holes around the perimeter of the window opening. These holes will be used to attach the window. Use your measuring tape to ensure the holes are evenly spaced, and countersink the holes. Once this is done, move onto actually installing the window. This is the part you will need a second person for. Place the window on the sill. It should fit easily, but snugly. Once you have made sure the fit is optimal, nail a roofing nail into the corner of the window’s nailing fin. Refer to the diagram that came with the window if you are unsure which part is the nailing fin. This nail will hold the window in place while you continue the installation process.

Installing the Window in a Neat and Straight Manner

While installing the window is a challenge in and of itself, installing it properly is an additional challenge. If the window is not straight, it will let in the weather. What’s more, it will eventually cause the window to come loose. To this end, it is important to carefully line up the side jamb shims with the holes. This will allow the fasteners to penetrate the shims you installed earlier. Once you have done that, check the window to make sure it is level and perfectly square. Of course, you also need to check to make sure the window operates properly. It is tempting to call it quits at this point, but keep in mind that you are far from done with this job. The window, while attached, is not fully secured yet. Also, it is not entirely weatherproofed. The final and arguably most important step, bracing the window, cannot be completed until these previous steps are done correctly.

The Home Stretch

Secure the window’s seat board, jambs, and head by drilling screws into the pilot holes. The screws should go directly through the shims you installed earlier. Once this has been completed, the window is totally secured. However, the process is not quite over yet. The next step is to apply flashing to the wall. This flashing will provide an additional layer of weather protection. To install the flashing, first spray adhesive on the window frame and wall. Once this is done, use a roller to apply the flashing. Make sure it is smooth and even, with no bubbles or gaps. When you are done applying the flashing, double check to make sure everything is perfectly aligned. Even the smallest gap can let water through. After you are satisfied that there are no gaps, install a cable system to support the window’s weight. The method for installing these varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and can be found in the manual included with the cable system. Once the cable system is successfully installed, it is time for one last weatherproofing measure. Seal the window’s corners with a healthy amount of the sealant you used earlier. Add low expansion polyurethane between the window frame and the wall. This will create a final seal, and should prevent any moisture from getting in.

Now That You’ve Finished

Now that you’ve finished, it’s time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. Installing a bay window is a difficult task for anyone that is not a professional. Most people wouldn’t have had the confidence to attempt something like this. Know you know how to install a bay window.

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