Follow these instructions to learn the basics of how to frame a window. Typically done when framing the rest of the house during the construction phase, this how-to tutorial will show you how to use 2x4s and some basic tools to frame your windows. The style of windows will differ from house to house, but these same rules will apply and the general process will remain the same.
Step 1 - Measure
Take the measurements of your windows and record the figures. Do not include the lip that extends around the window that holds the predrilled screw holes. This part of the window frame will be screwed to the wooden frame out the outside of the building.
Step 2 - Cut
Using your saw, cut the 2x4 studs to the measurements you recorded in Step 1. These will run from the top of the wall plate to the bottom plate. These are the king studs and will sit parallel to your window’s opening with one on each side.
Step 3 - Nail
Nail the king studs in place at the outside edge of the opening, using three nails in the studs through the top plate and three nails in the bottom.
Step 4 - Measure Again
Measure the distance between the wall studs and the king studs. Cut the blocking to sit between the two studs on each side from 2x4s.
Step 5 - Install Cripple Studs
Measure the space between the bottom wall plate and the bottom window’s opening. Cut three 2x4s according to this height to make the cripple studs. Nail two of them to the insides of the king studs. Nail through the cripple studs into the king studs at the bottom, center, and top. Nail the third cripple stud in the center of the opening to the bottom plate.
Step 6 - Cut the Sill
Cut a 2x4 piece to sit on top of the cripple studs at the bottom of the window frame to make the sill. Measure and cut 2x4s to fit next to the kind studs both on top of the window sill and below where the header will sit. These are called the trimmer studs and should be nailed at an angle to the king studs.
Step 7 - Add a Header
Create a header by measuring and cutting a 2x8 to the width of the area between the two king studs. Nail this header on top of the trimmer studs through both the king studs and the sides of the header.
Step 8 - Mount Blocks
Place three small blocks to sit between the header and the top wall plate with one on each side of the king studs and one in the center of the header. Nail them to the surrounding studs and plate.