Natural light helps a home feel brighter, airier, larger, and provides much-needed sunlight during winter months when outdoor activities are not feasible, especially in a country like Canada. Unfortunately, sometimes builders can miss prime spots to place windows, leaving some rooms dark and dingy and a room where no one in the family wants to be. Luckily, there are options that allow homeowners to add new windows to their houses.

Ecoline Windows is a Canadian-based company with locations across the country, providing window replacements and additions as well as doors and patio doors. The company provides a variety of window and door types, all of which are locally manufactured in Ontario. Comprised of a team of specialists, the company shares a few different steps that are important to consider when planning a new window installation.

Step 1: Research

The first and most important step is to gather all the information needed regarding window installation. From looking up building code requirements to speaking with a building inspector about permits, it is important that all rules and regulations are met. Personal research such as where you’d like the window placed and what works both from an exterior and interior point of view are important. Things to take into consideration include sun exposure, furniture placement, and the type of window you’ll be having installed. It’s also important to make sure that no ductwork, wiring, or plumbing run through the area you plan to have the window placed, and if they do, then the proper professional (plumber, electrician, HVAC specialist) will also need to be involved.

Step 2: Materials and Tools

The next step is to gather all the materials and tools that will be needed for the installation. Tools can be purchased or rented and it is important to keep in mind that they may be needed for longer than a few days. A sample material list can be found on the Ecoline Windows website, but some important materials include the header beam, window casing, nails and staples, and tools include circular saw, handsaw, reciprocating saw, drill and drill bits, and hammer.

Step 3: Measure Twice, Cut Once

The second most crucial step is to make sure that all the measurements are correct before initiating any cutting. This step can be tedious, but is extremely important as even the smallest amount of error can lead to the entire project having to be scrapped or even costing an additional hundreds or thousands of dollars. Depending on the room you are adding the window to, there are general rules about the level at which the window should be added. For a kitchen, it will generally be 42 inches from the floor, accounting for backsplash, counter and cabinets, and for living rooms or bedrooms, they can be placed 12-36 inches from the floor. Measuring out the window includes taking into account the header, sill plate, and trimmers. Once all measurements have been noted, the window can be ordered. If the window to be installed is larger than three feet wide, a professional installer should be consulted, as structural support needs to be considered.

Step 4: Making the Cut

After the delivery of the window, you can begin to mark and make the cut for its placement. Ecoline Windows suggests cutting the opening larger than the rough opening, noting that this will help to accommodate the header and supporting frame. While there will be more drywall to fill in later, it will be easier to get the window in place this way. Ecoline Windows suggests leaving aside an entire day to cut and also to place drop cloths to make cleanup easier. Cutting will be easiest by making markings at measured points from the floor and ceiling and drawing them on the wall. Once marked, you can cut through the drywall, insulation, and vapour barriers. Studs in the window opening can also be cut out at this point.

Step 5: Frame the Window

This step is important in making sure that the window is structurally secure, and will not fall or drop overtime. This includes adding lower wall stud cripples to support the windowsill, installing it at an approximately one-inch angle to allow for water drainage and adding a window trimmer and header. Metal angled brackets can be used to connect the windowsill to the trimmer.

Step 6: Finish Opening

Once all the framing is in place from the inside, you can finish opening up the wall from the outside. This is easiest done by drilling pilot holes from the inside using a 12-inch drill bit. Draw a straight line to connect the holes, and use a circular saw to cut the opening.

Step 7: Place the Window

Newer windows are easily installed using a nailing fin or integral flange, easily anchored through the frame. It is important to make sure that water and moisture barriers are applied to the framing to prevent any damage to the window or internal framing. A full step-by-step guide can be found on the Ecoline Windows website, but important steps include using spray adhesive on wood surfaces around the window and applying adhesive-backed membrane and installing it flush all along the bottom of the window opening, which helps prevent moisture and the wood from rotting. After all the steps have been finished, the window can be put in place and nailed in using the flange. It is important to add the barrier membranes, and to use galvanized nails to help prevent moisture and rust. Trimming can be added in on the interior as the last step.

Final Thoughts from Ecoline Windows

When you’re planning any type of home renovation, it can be difficult to know where to start, especially if you don’t have experience in this area. Ecoline Windows suggests seeking the help of a professional before starting any renovations yourself. It will save you time and money in the long run.