Installing Windows in a Pole Barn

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  • 4-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 75-400
What You'll Need
Timber to create the window frame (for a 24-inch square frame, you will need 2 pieces of 26 inches x 4 inches x 1 inch and 2 pieces of 24 inches x 4 inches x 1 inch)
Timber for a flange (using 1-inch square timber, you will need 4 pieces 28 inches long and 4 pieces 26 inches long)
Jigsaw to cut the window opening
Waterproofing mastic gun

A traditional pole barn is a roof supported on telegraph poles (hence the name) and is often used for storing hay. Pole barns used for animals and machinery also have walls of corrugated iron or timber sheeting.

Step 1 – Select Your Window

Rather than install a reclaimed window, purchase one especially for the job. Old windows are often subject to unknown stresses and have been known to shatter unexpectedly. Double-glazed windows are too heavy.

Step 2 – Decide the Window’s Location

Decide the best location for the window and mark it out. Try for a location where you can attach the window to one of the horizontal members of the barn framework. If the window is able to be opened, ensure that nothing will prevent its opening when you have finally fitted the window.

Step 3 – Build the Frame

Build the frame that the window fits into. If the window is 24 inches square, the opening in the frame should also be 24 inches square. You should make the frame with wood at least 1 inch thick and treated with a good waterproofer. Pole barn walls are thin, so the frame will project from both sides of the wall. A flange will help to hold it in place.

Step 4 – Cut the Opening for the Window

Hold the frame against the barn wall where you will install it. Draw round the outside of the frame. Drill a hole in each corner of the frame outline, and use a jigsaw to cut the opening along the lines.

Step 5 – Clean Up

Clean up the cut edges with coarse sandpaper.

Step 6 – Fit the Window Frame

Fit the window frame into the opening and nail it to the horizontal member and to the ends of horizontal members that were cut in the creation of the opening. Apply a bead of mastic around the frame against the siding–both inside and out. Fit the wooden flanges to both sides of the frame. You may nail them to the frame and siding. This will help prevent water penetration and make the frame more secure.

Step 7 – Fit the Window

Install the window into the frame and use the connection points in the window to screw it into place. Make sure screws do not interfere with the movement of an opening window. Install the window so it opens inwardly.

Step 8 – Apply Mastic

Apply a bead of mastic around the window in the frame to prevent water penetration.

Step 9 – Test the Window

Allow the mastic to set and then test the window to make sure it opens properly. You have now fitted your pole barn with a window that will provide both light and ventilation.