Whether you are building it during the construction of a new home, removing an older window frame, or simply building a new one in a solid wall, there are a few main elements and steps you need to know about how to frame a window. It is a simple process, that necessitates a few tools, materials and some useful information. Even if we are talking about different windows styles, varying from house to house, installing a new window usually requires demolition and framing. The steps below describe the window framing process.
Step 1 – Measure the Rough Frame
Measure the vertical and horizontal sides of the opening for the rough frame, and take care to set its dimensions 2 inches wider and taller than the window you want to install. Measure another 3 inches on each side for the king studs and jack and trimmer studs. King studs are the main vertical posts that run from the bottom to top of window on both sides. Jack studs are vertical posts on both sides of the lower section window panel. Trimmer studs are vertical posts on both sides of middle section window panel. Cripple studs are vertical posts on both sides of top section window panel.
Step 2 – Cut, Fit and Nail the King Studs
Cut the king studs, so they connect the top plate with the sole plate, and fit the on the outer edge of the opening. Nail them to the top plate and the sole plate. The top plate, usually a double top plate, is the horizontal beam where the wall meets the ceiling that forms part of the framing. The sole plate is the horizontal beam at the bottom, where the wall meets the floor. Use 2 nails for each end. Check if they are plumb with a level.
Step 3 – Place the Jack Studs
Cut the jack studs, making sure their height is equal to the base of the window opening. Place them inside of the window opening. Mount the jack studs by nailing them to the king studs on both sides of window.
Step 4 – Nail the Window Sill
Cut the sill plate to the length equal to the width of the window opening, and nail it on the top of the Jack studs that you have previously mounted. Also toenail it to the King studs.
Step 5 - Nail the Trimmer Studs
Cut the trimmers studs, and nail them next to the King studs on the top of the window sill. Their length should be 2 inches higher than the length of the window.
Step 6 –Cut and Fit the Header
Measure, cut and nail together 2 sections of 2x4 lumber, and position them on the top of the trimmer studs. Toenail the header into the king studs. The header is the horizontal beam of the top section of the window panel.
Step 7 – Make the Cripple Studs
Cut 3 pieces of 2x4, according to the distance between the bottom of the sill plate and the sole plate. Fit 2 cripple studs to the inside part of the Kings studs and the third in the center of the sole plate. Use 3 nails for each of them.
Step 8 – Finish the Window Frame
Use 3 pieces of 2x4, between the header and the top wall plate. Mount them as you did the bottom cripples, using nails to the studs, plate and header, and this is the last step in how to frame a window.