If you've decided you want to give your home's windows a facelift, the best place to start is with new window frames. In fact, for the budding home improvement enthusiast, installing your own window finishing can be an exciting project. The best part about doing the work on your own is having the freedom to truly personalize it so it reflects your personality. Here are some tips to help you frame your home's windows like a pro.
Strip the Existing Frame Away
The first step in the process is to create a blank canvas to work from. To do this, you'll have to remove the existing frame material. Start by using a screwdriver or drill bit to remove any visible screws holding the trim in place. Then, use a small, thin pry bar under one edge of the trim and loosen it. Work your way around the trim, loosening the edges as you go. Once you've loosened it around the entire perimeter of the window, you can pull the trim away and discard it.
Trimming the Drywall
When you're dealing with existing windows with framing, you might not have to do this part, but it's essential if you're dealing with new construction or you're installing windows shaped differently than the one there in the past, you will have to trim the drywall to make it fit. Score the drywall along the edges of the window, making extra effort to get into the corners, too. Use a utility knife or other small blade, because the compact size and sharp blade will make the task easier.
After you score the edges of the drywall, you need to break it loose. Use a putty knife to scrape the drywall away from the window. Approach it carefully, though. Gentle handling with the putty knife will ensure you don't damage the remaining edge of the drywall. Work your way around the window until you can see the metal strip along the edge of the window frame. Then, remove the nails securing the metal strip in place and lift the strip away.
Building Your Frame Template
Before you can cut the window trim to fit, you'll need to have a template that's the proper size. This is the best way to ensure the pieces fit. You can use any kind of material for this, but the more heavy-duty it is, the easier it will be to work with. Cardboard is often considered the most versatile for these types of templates.
Measure from the outside edge of the window glass to the drywall edge beside it. Then, create a template to fit that space by marking the open dimensions on the cardboard. Cut out the shapes once you've measured it. Check each of the template pieces against the proper window side once you've cut it so you can be sure it fits.
Creating the Stool
Stool is the term used to refer to the base of the window frame. It's the place where the water hits first when rain comes in your window. Keep this in mind when you're choosing the material you want to use for this piece. Sealed wood and PVC are two ideal materials for this section of the window frame because they are durable and can hold up to the weather.
Place your template onto the stool material and trace around it. Cut the shape out using an appropriate cutting tool for the material you've chosen. Then, test fit the piece against the base of the window opening before you even sand it down. Once you're sure it's going to fit, you can sand the rough-cut edges by hand with sandpaper.
If you're going to seal it, apply the sealant and let it cure according to the product directions before you put it into place. Then, place the stool flat against the base of the window opening. Secure it to the wall against the window opening using wood glue and nails if you opted for wood, or adhesive if you're using PVC.
Drive the nails straight down if you're installing a wood stool. That puts the nails right into the wall structure supporting the window frame. If you're gluing it, put glue on the edge resting against the window, as well as the edge that meets the wall, that way you have sufficient support to keep it in place.
Cut the Apron
The apron is the section of the molding you place beneath the stool. Whatever material you choose for this, you'll want to use it for the trim around the other three sides of the window, too. That provides consistency in the material, style and appearance. Cut the apron in the shape you prefer, whether you want something with a rounded edge or a sharp slope. Install the apron directly beneath the stool so it is flat against the wall and the top edge rests against the bottom surface of the stool, then secure it to the wall with nails or glue. If you use nails, fill the nail holes as well.
Finish the Trim
Once the apron is in place, cut the trim pieces for each of the sides and the top of the window frame according to the templates you created for them. Then, after you test fit them, sand the edges as you did with the other pieces. If you're going to stain them, do so before you put them into place. Then, secure them in place using the same nails or glue, depending on the material you chose.
There's no need to deal with those worn, damaged or unsightly window frames. Instead, use these tips and create your own window repair frames.Share
12 March 2015
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