How Do You Install a Hopper Window?

Hopper windowWhen using a basement as a functional space it is important to know how to install a hopper window for natural light into the space. Whether the issue is installing a replacement window or creating a new window, following these easy to understand steps will have a new window to the world in your basement in a couple of hours.


Before any project can begin, it is necessary to gather all tools and materials needed for a smooth completion of the job. When learning how to install a hopper window the following tools will be needed:

  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Cold chisel
  • Caulking gun
  • Drill/driver
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Whisk Broom
  • Caulk

To get this project underway after the tools have been acquired it is necessary to have all of the materials on hand as well. There are items that will need to be purchased such as:

  • Basement window
  • Butyl caulk
  • Expanding urethane foam
  • Wood shims
  • 2 1/2″ decking screws
  • Exterior paint and primer

With all of the tools and materials on hand it is time to exercise how to install a hopper window instructions. Follow these simple to understand and easy to navigate steps to install a new basement hopper window, according to This Old House.


According to Perfect Man Cave, Installing a basement window is a relatively simple job as long as the replacement window is the same size as the existing opening. There are occasions where the homeowner may desire a larger window or a window where one did not exist previously. This may require a permit before construction. Consult the local authorities for proper permits.

Remove the Old


To begin this job it is necessary to remove the old window from the opening. Remove the entire window and sash. Take care not to break the existing glass. Place masking tape in an “x” on the glass. In the event of an accidental breakage, the tape will help to hold the broken pieces of glass in place, rather than causing a safety risk by falling out of the frame.

Window Frame

The frame that remains after removing the window should be cut with the reciprocating saw. This will allow for easy removal of the frame from the window opening.

Prepare Opening

It is important to remove any debris and mortar that may be in the window opening. This is done by using the hammer and cold chisel. When learning how to install a hopper window, it is important to exercise caution. Lightly hammer the end of the chisel to remove any debris while exercising the most extreme safety measures while using the extremely sharp chisel.

Fit in Window

After following any manufacturer recommended preparation of the window it can be set into the opening. Provided the window is not larger than the opening, the window should fit snugly, but not completely tight. This will allow for the slight expansion and contraction of the wood without shifting or bending the window frame.

Install Shims

It may be necessary to use shims to center and level the window into the opening. Space the shims around the frame equally to achieve getting the hopper window in the center.

Secure Window

Using the drill and screws, secure the window into place by screwing into the mudsill by penetrating up through the frame. Continue securing the window in place by repeating this action around the remaining perimeter of the hopper window. It is important to continue to check the level of the window throughout this process when learning how to install a hopper window.



Using the caulk and caulk gun, seal the perimeter of the exterior of the installed window. The caulk should cover the entire exterior areas where weather and water may be able to penetrate the window. Clean any excess caulk from the window surface or frame.


Fill in the gaps between the window and the framing with the expandable foam sealant. Following manufacturers instructions, spray this foam along the inside of the window under the window sill. This highly effective energy saver will completely fill in any areas that may allow a draft as well as help to cut energy costs. This foam may be sprayed around the entire perimeter of the window if the owner desires.


Finish off the window with a coat of paint on all wood surfaces of the hopper window. A primer coat and two topcoats of paint are recommended for this type of application.

A basement window is a great addition when it comes to enhancing the beauty and function of a home. Installing or replacing a basement hopper window can be done quickly and easily when following these instructions on how to install a hopper window.

Related Resource: Install a Dormer Window