Step 37: Installing Windows - Installing the Window

The first step is to permanently attach the frame to the concrete. Remove all the frame members, taking note of where they go.

Again, start with the bottom first. Lay a thick bead of construction adhesive around the perimeter of the wood on each of the sides facing concrete. Paste it down. Do the top next - hold it in place with one of the side pieces. Finally, glue down the side pieces, putting glue on the sides facing concrete and the top and bottom frame pieces.

As soon as everything is glued in place it should be screwed down. I used two screws for the side pieces and three for the bottom. I didn't put any screws in the top because there was very little to screw onto. Drill straight through the wood and into the concrete using a hammer drill, then drive in the Tapcon screws with a power drill.

Once the glue is dry you can install the windows. I used the same construction adhesive to glue the window in place as I used before. First, dry-fit the window to work out spacing. The fit should be close, but not tight. If the fit is too loose you can insert shims. If it's really loose then you can glue in a 1x6 to fill the gap.

The glue will be applied to the frame, and the window will be slid into place. Apply a double bead of glue all around the inside of the frame where the window will be. Hoist the window into place, ensuring that the inside of the window faces into the room (obvious, I know). Then, wiggle it around until it's positioned properly. Immediately wipe off any excess glue that got squished out with a damp rag.

The fit with my windows was so tight that I didn't need any shims. However, yours might. Using the shims in the same manner as you would for shimming in a door, center the window in the frame so that it is level and perfectly perpendicular. Use a small 12" level to help get it perfect.

Once the glue is dry, look for air gaps. Try to spot light shining through or feel for air movement. Any small gaps can be filled with adhesive, and larger gaps can be filled using a piece of foam backer rod.

The last step is to seal up everything with a bead of caulking. Apply the bead where the wood meets concrete, where wood meets wood, and where the window meets the frame. Do both inside the window and out. Use a damp finder to smooth out the caulking for a nice finish. When the caulking is dry, paint the wood frame with weatherproof paint.