How to Put in a Garden or Greenhouse Window

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

Well, this ought to be a pretty good trip.  I’m headed to Laguna Beach, California to visit Jenny Kemp.
[SOUND CUT]
RON HAZELTON:
Jenny has asked my help in installing a garden window in her kitchen. These box-shaped windows not only provide an ideal place for indoor gardening, they also make rooms feel larger. The first step is to remove the old window sliding glass panel.

This is simple enough to do. I just have to lift it up and then pull the bottom outward. Jenny removes the screen the same way. To get the fixed panel out, she uses a hammer and a pry bar to loosen and remove a center brace. With it gone, the fixed panel lifts out the same as the first.

Our next step is to remove the exterior trim.

What I'd like you to do first of all, is take this utility knife and right in here where these two meet, just go ahead and cut the paint away. The reason I want to do that is that this is fairly heavy paint and it actually could be acting a little bit like glue. So that will help this break away. That's perfect and drive it right in there.

After Jenny scores the rest of the trim, we go to work prying it off.

Pull it, pull it in this direc -- other, other way. There you go. Wiggle it around till it comes --
[MUSIC]
With all the trim gone, we have access to the old aluminum window frame. That's next to go.

Okay, now this is kind of caulked in place here. So what I'm going to do is give this a whack from the inside here. If you can kind of pull from the outside, Jenny --
JENNY:
Right.
RON HAZELTON:
-- but keep your balance because this could let go any -- you know, any time, it might come slowly. I really don't know. [HAMMERING] Good, let's go -- let me get the block up here at the top.
JENNY:
Okay.
RON HAZELTON:
Great. Free? Oh, that's good, that's good. Just see if you can pull it completely out now.
[BOTH SPEAK AT ONCE]
JENNY:
Got it.
RON HAZELTON:
Excellent. What's left in here right now is the original window frame the original wooden windows were in. It's got to come out for the window that we're putting in today. It's held in place right now by nails. There are pairs of them, some here and here and all the way around.

I showed Jenny how to use a nail remover. We drive the dual prongs up under the nail head with a hammer.

Then we just push down the handle here and it begins to pull the nail out. Then we can flip it over to the other side and then rock this right out. Okay Jenny, I think we've got all the nails out here.
JENNY:
Okay.
RON HAZELTON:
Just pull the sill at the top, there we go. Very nice. Now we've got to do two things to get this opening ready for our new window. The first thing is that we have to finish off this wood right here and right down here, because it's going to be seen from the inside. So that work is mostly cosmetic.

But we've also got to make an adjustment on the outside of the building here. Let me show you what I mean.

Our new garden window has what's called a nailing flange, that's actually what's going to hold it against the house right here. It attaches to this 2 x 4, actually the front edge of it. But in order for that to happen, we're going to have to cut away a strip of this siding, about 2 and a half inches wide.

Okay, Jenny, what we're going to do is start building up this bottom sill here 'cause it's a little bit low right now. I'm going to pull it out, okay. So we're going to nail this in place -- well, we could use a hammer and nail.
JENNY:
Great.
RON HAZELTON:
Nah, We’re not going to do that.
JENNY:
No?
RON HAZELTON:
I believe in nail guns, okay.
JENNY:
Oh, man -- oh, my God.
RON HAZELTON:
So here's how you use this.

After a quick lesson on using a butane power nail gun, Jenny has forsaken hammer and nails and gets to work.

Okay, set that gun right over there. I'm going to give you a, a little bit smaller gun, right here, same idea and we're going to start putting some pieces on the top now. This is a piece of shim actually, just a spacer.

Jenny nails the shim in place and then we add a trim piece.
RON HAZELTON:
Okay.

Now we're ready to begin cutting away the siding. This small hand-held cordless power saw is lightweight and easy to handle.

Now it's just a matter of following that line.

Jenny finishes off the cut and the siding is easily removed. Now to make sure that our new garden window is watertight, we'll be using two materials -- caulking, which we'll be putting on later and this. This is waterproof flashing paper.

I've insert that behind the sheathing up here and made sure that each section overlaps.

We fold the flashing paper back over the siding and tape it down to make way for the fin around the edge of the window. Next, Jenny spreads a heavy bead of silicone caulk around the edge of the opening. This will give us a good seal between the window fin and the framing. At last, we're ready for the garden window. It's quite heavy. So Jenny's next door neighbor, Gary, helps me lift it into place.
JENNY:
It looks fantastic.
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah?
JENNY:
It makes the kitchen look so much bigger.
RON HAZELTON:
I secure the window by driving rust-resistant screws through the fin and into the framing of the house. Jenny adds another bead of caulk. Then we remove the tape and fold the flashing paper on top of the fin and trim off the excess with a utility knife.

On top of the paper, we place strips of wood, filler strips that will provide a nailing surface for the new trim. A final bead of caulk, four pieces of trim and our garden window installation is complete.

You like your window, huh?
CHILD:
Yep.
RON HAZELTON:
Oh, good.
JENNY:
Thank you so much.
RON HAZELTON:
High quality garden windows like this have dual pane glass to provide good insulation from cold and heat. They allow you to have your flowers and herbs literally at arm's length, provide ample natural light and make any room feel larger.

Put Part of Your Garden at Arm's Length and Improve the View by Installing a Greenhouse Window in Your Kitchen

Put up a quality box-shaped garden window, also known as a greenhouse window, to bring in more natural light, make the room feel larger, and bring part of your garden within arm's reach in the kitchen. This model boasts dual-paned glass to maintain your heating and cooling comfort and dollars and makes the ideal setting for indoor herbs and plants.

Remove the Sliding Glass Panel in the Old Window
Step 1

Remove the Sliding Glass Panel in the Old Window

Remove the sliding glass panel in the old window, grasping it with both hands, lifting it up and pulling the bottom outward off the old window track. Remove the screens the same way.

Lift out the Center Brace and Fixed Window Panel
Step 2

Lift out the Center Brace and Fixed Window Panel

Remove the center brace and remaining fixed panel as part of the greenhouse window project. Use a hammer and small pry bar to loosen the center brace. Lift the fixed panel off its track as you did for the sliding portion.

Remove the Exterior Trim around the Opening for the Greenhouse Window
Step 3

Remove the Exterior Trim around the Opening for the Greenhouse Window

Loosen the exterior trim around the garden window opening, first scoring the heavy paint sealing the trim before levering the trim with the pry bar. The trim on the top, bottom, and both sides must be removed.

Score the Caulking and Remove the Old Aluminum Window Frame
Step 4

Score the Caulking and Remove the Old Aluminum Window Frame

Pre-cut the caulk that seals the aluminum window frame. Tap with a wood block and hammer from the inside to break the seal and loosen the window frame for removal. It will not be used in the greenhouse window installation.

Use a Nail Remover to Free the Wooden Window Frames
Step 5

Use a Nail Remover to Free the Wooden Window Frames

Drive the small prongs of a nail remover under the nails holding the old wooden window frames. Lever the heads until the nails can be extracted with the larger prongs. Remove the frames which are not required for the greenhouse.

Dress the Edge of the Opening for the Greenhouse Window
Step 6

Dress the Edge of the Opening for the Greenhouse Window

Build up and finish the interior edge of the window opening that will be visible through the new greenhouse window. Nail up spacers/shims to level and then add a two-by-four to the bottom and trim along the top and sides.

Expose the Front Edge of Perimeter Two-by-fours
Step 7

Expose the Front Edge of Perimeter Two-by-fours

Cut away the wooden siding to expose the front edge of two-by-fours at the window's perimeter. The nailing flange of the new greenhouse window will be secured to the front edge of the two-by-fours.

Waterproof the Window Opening with Flashing Paper and Caulk
Step 8

Waterproof the Window Opening with Flashing Paper and Caulk

Waterproof the greenhouse window opening with flashing paper and caulk, inserting the flashing paper behind the sheathing, folding the edge back over the siding and taping it temporarily. Caulk generously along the wooden edge of the opening.

Position and Secure the Greenhouse Window in Place
Step 9

Position and Secure the Greenhouse Window in Place

Insert the garden window into the opening and secure it with rust-proof screws driven through the nailing flange into the two-by-four framing beneath. Caulk the edges. Remove the tape and fold the flashing paper over the nailing flange.

Dress the Edges of the Greenhouse Window
Step 10

Dress the Edges of the Greenhouse Window

Finish the edges of the greenhouse window, nailing filler strips over the nailing strip to provide a nailing surface for the new trim. Caulk the backs of the trim and secure them in place. Paint to match.