Casement windows are not your typical windows. They don’t slide up and down in their frames like the kind you see in the typical, modern home.
Casement windows swing open like a pair of saloon doors but they are powered by a little hand crank.
The idea of constructing a frame for a casement window may seem like a tall task, however, it’s not. Building out an entire casement frame and window is generally a pretty easy task, as it takes only a general understanding of woodworking.
Of course, you’ll need to have all of your materials and tools handy and in good order before you get started. As far as the tools you will need, the following will do the trick:
- Putty Knife
- Circle Saw
- Glazing Tool
Materials Needed For Wooden Casement Windows
The materials needed are not extensive but if you’re not too familiar with carpentry, it may seem overwhelming or it may suggest that the job is going to be complicated.
Don’t worry, it’s not that difficult of a job to do.
- ½” by ½” wooden beading
- Wood Glue
- Protractor and Pencil
- Tape Measure
- 2×4 lumber
- Window Putty
- Window Furniture
- Glass that’s already cut to size
- Glazing Points
- Window Putty
- Eight 3” nails
- Several 1” nails
Since the casement window swings open, you’ll be installing concealment hinges rather than installing the frame inside a cutout and sealing it all the way around.
However, as you would for any other window installation, you’ll need to do plenty of measuring to ensure that your casement window frame is the right fit.
The Casement Window Frame
Step 1: Measuring and Cutting
The first thing you’ll need to do is take three vertical measurements and three horizontal measurements of the window frame cut-out in which you will be installing the casement windows.
Make it three, straight vertical measurements, with one on the left end, one in the middle, and one on the right. Do the same with your three horizontal measurements.
When you’re done, take the shortest measurement from the three verticals and the shortest measurement from the three horizontals.
You will use the shortest measurement from each to properly fit your completed window casement. Measure out your 2x4s to get the exact measurement that matches your shortest measurement from the cutout.
You want two vertical pieces and two horizontal pieces, cut straight on each end with your circular saw. On each end of all four pieces, draw a line at 45° to cut out a mitered corner for each piece.
Step 2: Glue and More Cutting
Use wood glue to put together each corner. If you have some good C-clamps or several vice grips, use them to press your pieces together with a nice, solid grip.
Leave your pieces glued together and pressed for 24-hours.
When you’re ready to take them out of the clamps or vice grips, take your 3” nails and hammer them into each corner, two nails per corner.
Now you want to measure the inside of your casement frame, height, and width, to determine the length of your beading.
Once you have your measurements, cut your beading to the length and width of the inside of your frame.
Use your wood glue again and apply it to the length of each bead and glue it to the inside of your frame, ¾” from the edge, all the way around. Use your 1” nails to secure the beads once your wood glue has hardened.
Step 3: Router and Putty
Your beading should have been set ¾” in from what will be the outside edge of your casement window’s edge.
Now you’ll need to take your router and channel/gouge—a ¼” trail along the outside edge of your beading.
You’re basically gouging a channel around the bottom, sides, and top right along the edge of the beading on the outside-facing side of the casement window.
This will keep water from infiltrating between the window and the casement.
Now you’re going to take your putty and draw a ⅛” bead along the bead and casement, right where they meet. Do not exceed ⅛” if you can help it.
Once you’re done, take your glass and press it firmly into the putty, all of the edges matching up flush against the beading.
Step 4: Glazing Points and More Putty
Now insert your glazing points along the length of the frame’s edges, 8” apart and all the way around. You can use your glazing tool to go from point to point and tap them gently into place.
You don’t want to tap the glass so you need to slide your glazing tool into place behind each point and gently tap it in.
The last thing you want is to shatter your glass or end up scratching or gouging the surface since you’ve already secured it with the putty.
Now you’ll run another bead of putty all the way around, between the frame of the casement and the glass.
You can use your fingers to press and flatten the putty into place, however, it may be easier to use a small scraper—after you’ve pressed it in—to smooth it all out and minimize its appearance.
Crank Arm, Latch, And Hinges
Of course, the frame and sash for your casement windows aren’t complete without a crank arm to open the window, the latch to secure it closed, and the hinges.
Casement Hinges are typically concealed and easy to install, despite not resembling your traditional, butterfly-type hinges. There are a lot of parts that make up a casement window hinge.
- Hinge Track and Operator
- Sash Bracket
- Track Shoe
- Hinge and Hinge Clip
- Split and Straight Arm
It sounds complicated but it’s a fairly straightforward installation project. The track shoe and sash bracket are installed on the window itself, while the hinge track and operator are installed on the frame.
The split and straight arms are the moving parts between the track shoe and sash that are installed on the window and the operator and hinge track that are installed on the frame.
The connection point is a single hinge clip that keeps the arms stationary as they travel up and down the hinge track and the track shoe.
When installing, you simply have to measure out the arms at their maximum point before screwing in the track, operator, shoe, and bracket.
Casement Window Crank Arm
Casement windows are opened with a crank arm and it’s not an expensive piece of hardware. The crank arm also happens to be easy to install.
The casement crank arm is a mechanism with two gears with the teeth necessary to pull or push the arm in one direction in response to the cranking motion from the arm. It attaches to the arm that runs directly to the window.
It’s a simple mechanism and prior to enclosing it with a cover and attaching the arm, you screw it down on the window sill, close to the lip edge of the casement window so that you have plenty of reach from the crank arm to a fully extended window.
Casement Window Latch
There are several types of casement windows and a few different types of latches.
The latch can either be a single-piece receiver that captures the edge of the sash when it closes or it is embedded in the rim of the sash and catches onto a mechanism installed on the frame.
Each sash should be fitted with a single-window latch, even if you have multiple sashes that open and shut within a single frame.
Benefits Of Casement Windows
First and foremost, casement windows offer a level of aesthetic distinction from most other window types. They truly have their own, unique look and are aided by their ease-of-installation.
They allow for an excellent level of airflow when you need it and that level of airflow is controllable depending upon how much you want to open it with the crank arm.
They’re also far easier to secure than other window types. Someone attempting to bypass a casement window can only access it from the side that opens.
It’s very difficult to attack a casement window from different angles.
Casement windows are also supposed to improve energy efficiency. The way they close, with a snug seal against the beading, keeps the outside air out when you need it to.
A major cause of heating in cooling bills is the outside air’s ability to trickle in through the windows.
Lastly, they’re highly customizable. Casement windows are designed to swing outwards yet their aesthetic level of creativity doesn’t change from any other window. A casement window can look just like a slide-up window if that’s what you’re going for.
While you do have to have some basic hardware tools, such as a circle saw and a router, constructing a casement window easily falls into a category that’s accessible to the DIY crowd.
The ease through which you can install them yourself makes casement windows popular for both the creative homeowners and the ardent do-it-yourselfers.
Either way, constructing the frame and sash is a fairly simple project that can add value and positive aesthetics to your home.