Framing a garage window in existing wall
Recently, I framed a door in the side of my garage. The convenience factor in entering was great! Immediately I knew a window would not be far behind. Framing a garage window became a high priority as I spend a significant amount of time in the garage. This while the kids are playing in the yard. While they are plenty loud enough to hear if the garage doors are open, I like to keep an eye on them. My new window solved the problem. This is how I went about installing and framing a garage window.
Father’s day was upon us this last weekend, so I headed to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, where they have mostly donated building materials, Light Fixtures, Tools and hardware at cheap (and negotiable) prices. I found a window that looked to be the color of my siding on the garage. It is a 35″x41″ wood framed window. It was marked at $4.00 so I brought it to the front desk to ring it up. I found out that a price tag was tucked away down one side of the window, and that the $4.00 price was from a garage sale or something to that effect. The actual price was $30.00. I didn’t really know if I wanted to spend $30.00 on framing a garage window right then, and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore attendant could tell this, and he offered me the window for $20.00! I pulled the trigger and brought it home. I like the idea of using salvaged parts to improve my garage.
Related: This Old House Salvage-Style Projects: 22 Ideas for Turning Old House Parts Into New Treasures for Your Home
Since I had installed a garage side door in recent weeks, the prep work on the wall went more quickly this time around. I chose a location for the window on the east side of my garage, facing the center on the yard. This affords me the best view of my kids at play, and faces the house directly. I cut some 2″x6″ wood at a size 1/4″ larger than my window frame and made a box that would house the window. I test fitted the window in the box to be sure of the fit I wanted.
The window being 35″ wide; I had to cut out a stud from the wall. The box I made for framing a garage window was 44 1/4″ tall, so I cut out a section of a stud in that size. I then did a loose fit of the window frame box that I made, and marked the outside edge of it with a pencil. I put the window frame as far to the left as possible, making it almost centered between my door and the corner of the garage. I didn’t want to cut multiple studs, so I settled for slightly off center.
Once the outer edge of the frame was marked, I removed the box, and grabbed my circular saw. I set it to 3/4″ depth, the depth of the old wood siding that serves as a base for the vinyl siding on the exterior. I cut on the line that I just marked. This made a rough opening for framing a garage window that was to be installed next.
I placed the window frame box in the opening I just made and screwed it to the left stud after checking it for level. I also screwed it to the remaining stud on the top and bottom in the place where I removed a section of stud. Lastly, since there was a 7″ gap between the right side of the window frame and next stud, I made some spacers from some scrap 4×6’s that I had, and secured the right side of the window frame with those.
The last step before putting the window into the frame was to cut the vinyl siding. I wanted the siding to butt up against the newly framed garage window snugly. Taking a Stanley knife from the inside of the garage I cut through the vinyl siding on the inner part of the frame. Once I had the cut started, I moved outside to cut the rest of the opening. I used a Stanley knife for the middle sections of the siding, and a hacksaw blade for the joints where two pieces of siding connect. I did this all the way around the window frame until I had an even opening.
The tricky part was inserting the window into this rough opening. My window has a metal flange on three sides, with no flange on the bottom. Since I’m left handed, I slid the right side and top flanges in behind the siding first, so I could push with my dominant hand. The left flange was now ready to go in, but the siding was in the way, so I bent the flange back, and pulled the siding forward just enough to the the flange past. Once the flanges were behind the siding, the window, which I had pre-fit into the frame while it was on the ground, slid fairly easily into the frame. I screwed the window to the wall by the holes in the flange from the exterior, and then adjusted the siding to finish the job.
Framing a garage window in my existing garage wall took me about 4 hours by myself.
Tools for framing a garage window:
- Drill with drill bits and driver bits
- Circular Saw
- Stanley Knife
- Hacksaw (blade)
- Step Ladder
Materials for framing a garage window:
- A window, pre-hung
- 2×4’s for framing
- 3″ screws
SOME WHAT CONFUSING.
should have put "cripple" studs on both sides, and a header across the removed stud.
I agree that what you’re saying is the “normal” way to do it. I also think that it would have been overkill for my puny little garage.