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As a homeowner, whether you’ve been living in your home for a while or if you’re new to the entire idea, you’ve heard about window framing before. You may have never really put a lot of thought into it up until this point.

However, if you're someone who likes to give your residence or commercial property upgrades, there will come a time when the windows must be changed. Window framing is one way to do that.

What is Window Framing?

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The first question is what exactly is window framing? It is the part of the window that provides the structural support for the glass portion to be put in to. There are three main components of every window frame including:

  • The top – head side
  • The bottom – sill side
  • The sides – jambs

Just like you can replace your windows to provide more insulation, a different appearance, or a higher quality glass, you can also replace the window framing. It allows for the opportunity of a more modern and functional look than what was initially installed.

Why Do You Want Window Framing Done?

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You may have never even considered the thought of having your window frames done. You could be thinking, what’s the point of that? There are several reasons why homeowners and builders complete window framing projects.

First of all, older homes weren’t built in the same manner as they are today. You could be losing a lot of energy through inefficient window frames. Many people will have window framing done to get a better enclosure for their windows. Windows framing costs a bit up front to have the project completed. It pays for itself in a short amount of time though with the amount of money saved on heating and cooling bills.

Others will do window framing jobs just because they want to create a different look for their property. With all the different styles that are available, the possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to what your final result will be. Use your imagination or allow a quality window framing contractor to come in and do the job for you.

Materials Needed for Window Framing

Window framing projects can be taken on by a do-it-yourselfer that has some competence when it comes to building. It may not be for everyone, but the task isn’t impossible to do on your own. Before you even think about getting started on the process of window framing, you have to ensure you have or can get all the materials needed. What you’re going to require is:

  • Router
  • Circular saw
  • Framing nailer
  • Hammer
  • Rafter square
  • Measuring tape
  • Caulk

Not only do you have to have each of these pieces of equipment at your disposal, but you also should have a grasp on how each one works and what you’re going to need to do with them throughout the process of the job.

The Process of Window Framing

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While the process of window installation sounds like a daunting one, it can be completed relatively easily in just five steps. Follow them carefully to have a new window frame done in less than a day. This guide is given with the assumption there is an existing window, and you aren’t adding a brand new one.

  1. Remove the trim and save any pieces you may want to reuse. Get rid of any trim that is covering nails that are keeping the window in place. From the inside of the house, use a reciprocating saw to cut through the nails. Get assistance from another person to hold the exiting window so it doesn’t fall.
  2. Taking a chisel and hammer, remove the old window sill. Make a mark in the center for the placement of the new window.
  3. Nail in the new sill with your framing nailer. Use a tape measure and square for markings of the new window.
  4. Take measurements and cut your window framing material to fit. Nail the new pieces in.
  5. In between the seams of the old frame and the new ones squeeze in caulk for more stability. Ensure every piece of material is securely nailed down. You may have to shim some areas to make the window frame level. Now it’s ready for the window installation.

Styles of Window Framing

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There are several different styles of window framing materials that you can choose from when completing this at-home project. Each has their own specific appearance, cost, and purpose.

  • Wood – Wood is the most classic of all window framing material. It gives you a nice energy efficient aspect, and it looks warm and traditional. The wood is easy to customize so that it can fit into any space. There is some serious maintenance that comes with wooden window framing. It is susceptible to rotting and infestation by insects, so it has to be scraped and painted regularly. Wood is one of the more expensive options as well.
  • Vinyl – Vinyl is the opposite of wood in the fact that it is basically maintenance free. The PVC material is water-resistant, so there is no need for painting. It’s reasonably priced and provides energy efficiency. Vinyl is known to swell and shrink with the temperature, so it can cause the seals to deteriorate and the windows to shift making openings for drafts. Expect to be re-caulking vinyl regularly.
  • Fiberglass – Fiberglass can be filled with insulation giving it an even better seal and energy efficiency than wood. Fiberglass window framing materials come in limited sizes and options, so it is most commonly used in commercial properties and not often found in residential homes.
  • Composite – Composite is a mixture of wood and plastic materials. Its purpose is to provide something that is as strong as wood but doesn’t require the maintenance. Composite is still energy efficient, but it can be one of the more expensive options.
  • Metal – Metal window framing seems to have it all. It’s affordable, durable yet lightweight, and maintenance free. The problem with metal is that it isn’t a very effective insulator. It can quickly capture heat and warm up. That issue can be reduced if you install thermal stripping between the sash and the frame.

Tips for Quality Window Framing Completion

You want your window framing project to go as seamlessly as possible. For that to happen, follow these professional tips to get the job done as effortlessly as possible.

  • Prepare your area. Make sure that it’s ready to be worked on by cleaning up the area, removing old nails, and having all your materials and tools nearby.
  • Get your measurements. Have all of your measurements taken and recorded ahead of time. You may have to retake them during the job to be sure they are accurate, but having them completed before starting saves time.
  • If you are framing out several windows of the same size, cut out multiples of your material all at the same time instead of doing them individually.
  • Use professional quality tools to get the best results and for the quickest completion of the job. You don’t want to be fussing around with equipment that isn’t working correctly right in the middle of your project. Test everything out to be confident it is working order before getting started.

Selecting a Window Framing Contractor

Your windows are an essential part of your home, so you don’t want to trust the job to just anyone. Before you select someone to complete your home renovation project, take into consideration the following factors for finding a superior contractor.

  • Ask your friends and family members who they would recommend. It is ideal to pick someone that is local so that you can get a clear picture of who they are and the work they do based on these word-of-mouth referrals. You also don’t have to worry about them showing up late because they were stuck in traffic hours away.
  • Research your selections thoroughly. Just because someone recommended them, it doesn’t mean they are the best one for the job. You can visit the Better Business Bureau online and check around the internet for reviews on a particular company.
  • Check to ensure that they have insurance. If something goes wrong on your property, you don’t want to be responsible for it.
  • Talk with your contractor about the quality of tools, equipment, and materials that they use. Be confident they aren’t skimping on quality to save a few bucks.
  • Finally, discuss any warranties that come along with their work. If you aren’t happy with the final results, see if they offer any repairs or additional services and find out for how long that option is available.

Wells Custom Framers LLC can provide you with superior window frame services you are looking for at a reasonable price. With over 20 years of experience to handle the job anywhere in the Massachusetts or Connecticut areas, Wells Custom Framers are your go-to window framing experts. Give us a call today to find out more!