Kitchen and Dining

Kitchen + Dining

Kitchen + Dining

Garden Window Installation

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 193 Projects

Although often found in kitchens, a garden window is an attractive option for nearly any room in your home. Projecting out from the wall 16" to 24", garden windows add space to a room, making it feel larger. The glass roof and box-like design make them ideal growing environments for plants or display areas for collectibles. Garden windows also typically include front- or side-opening windows. These allow for ventilation and are usually available in either awning or casement style.

Home stores often stock garden windows in several common sizes. However, it may be difficult to locate a stock window that will fit in your existing window rough opening. In cases like this you must rebuild the rough opening to the proper size. It may be worth the added expense to custom-order your garden window to fit into the existing rough opening.

The large amount of glass in a garden window has a direct effect on the window’s energy efficiency. When purchasing a garden window, as a minimum, look for double-pane glass with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings. More expensive super-efficient types of glass are available for severely cold climates.

Installation methods for garden windows vary by manufacturer. Some units include a nailing flange that attaches to the framing and holds the window against the house. Other models hang on a separate mounting frame that attaches to the outside of the house. In this project, the garden window has a built-in mounting sleeve that slides into the rough opening and is attached directly to the rough framing.

A garden window’s glass roof makes it an ideal sunspot for houseplants, and it can also help a room feel larger.


How to Install a Garden Window

  1. RN0772097A

    Prepare the project site and remove the interior and exterior trim, then remove the existing window.

  2. RN0772097B

    Check the rough opening measurements to verify the correct window sizing. The rough opening should be about 1⁄2" larger than the window height and width. If necessary, attach wood strips to the rough framing as spacers to bring the opening to the required size. 

  3. RN0772097C

    Use a level to check that the sill of the rough opening is level and the side jambs are plumb. Use a framing square to make sure each corner is square. The rough framing must be in good condition in order to support the weight of the garden window. If the framing is severely deteriorated or out of plumb or square, you may need to reframe the rough opening.

  4. RN0772097D

    Use a level to check that the sill of the rough opening is level and the side jambs are plumb. Use a framing square to make sure each corner is square. The rough framing must be in good condition in order to support the weight of the garden window. If the framing is severely deteriorated or out of plumb or square, you may need to reframe the rough opening.

  5. RN0772098A

    Position the inside edge of the window sleeve to be flush with the interior wall surface. Check the sill of the garden window for level. Shim beneath the lower side of the sill, if necessary, to make it level

  6. RN0772098B

    Make sure the garden window is level, then hold a piece of window trim in place along the exterior of the window and trace the outline onto the siding. Remove the window. Cut the siding down to the sheathing using a circular saw. 

  7. RN0772098C

    Install strips of building paper between the siding and the sheathing. Wrap them around the framing and staple them in place. On the sides, work from the bottom up so each piece overlaps the piece below. Reposition the window and reshim. Make sure the space between the window and the siding is equal to the width of the trim on all sides.

  8. RN0772099A

    Drill countersunk pilot holes every 12" to 16" through the window sleeve into the rough header, jack studs, and sill. 

  9. Insert shims between the window sleeve and the rough frame at each hole location along the top and the sides to prevent bowing of the window frame. Fasten the window to the framing using 3" screws. Continue checking for level, plumb, and square as the screws are tightened.

  10. RN0772099B

    Locate and mark the studs nearest the edges of the window using a stud finder. Cut two pieces of siding to fit behind the brackets, and tack them in place over the marked studs with 4d siding nails. Position the support brackets with the shorter side against the siding and the longer side beneath the window. Fasten the brackets to the window and the studs using the included screws.

  11. RN0772099C

    Cut a piece of drip edge to length, apply construction adhesive to its top flange, and slide it under the siding above the window. Cut each trim piece to size. Position the trim and attach it using 8d galvanized casing nails driven through pilot holes. Seal the edges of the trim with a bead of paintable silicone caulk approximately 3⁄8" wide.

  12. RN0772099D

    Cut all protruding shims flush with the framing using a utility knife or handsaw. Insulate or caulk the gaps between the window sleeve and the wall.  Finish the installation by reinstalling the existing interior trim or installing new trim. 

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