Properly designed and installed, a bay window is a gorgeous feature that can add light and character to your home. Bay windows also create snug and versatile nook spaces that are perfect for reading or eating breakfast.
“Sold,” you might say, after considering these benefits, “time for me to tackle my next ambitious DIY home improvement project!” Before you arrive at that conclusion, though, you might want to read on. Bay windows are notoriously tricky to design and install correctly, and a botched installation can lead to serious safety hazards and compromise the structural integrity of your home.
What Could Go Wrong with DIY Bay Window Construction?
Bay windows cover a considerable span and are constructed outward from the side of a home. These key factors open you up to all kinds of risks and design challenges:
When all is said and done, a bay window represents a significant amount of added weight to the profile of your home. What’s more, that weight is jutting out over thin air and the structure has to support even more weight (think potted plants or a couple people). This makes proper framing absolutely essential. Mistakes here could lead to poor or uneven support, putting harmful strain on your home over time.
Vulnerability to the Elements
The addition of a bay window introduces a new set of seams and joints to the exterior of your home, each of which is an opportunity for water or air to get in. To prevent possible water damage and insulation problems, the window must be expertly installed and trimmed.
Finally, a patchy DIY installation can lead to serious safety hazards to humans and pets alike. Bay windows are designed to bear weight. Their very design encourages you to sit and relax. Structural issues or problems with sizing and trimming can create the potential for collapse or glass breakage.
How to Install a Bay Window
Different homes and bay window designs require different steps and materials, but here are the general steps a professional might take when installing a bay window:
- Remove old window and trim.
- Create level, sturdy surface for the new window.
- Flash the window opening.
- Position the bay window in the opening.
- Level the bay window.
- Install and tighten cable supports to the header above the window.
- Secure and fasten the window in place, shimming as needed to maintain level and plumb.
- Construct the roof cap for the bay window.
- Insulate and waterproof above and below.
- Install the roof cap.
- Trim and finish the exterior.
- Insulate the interior space between the frame and the wall.
- Trim and finish the interior.
Ready to Hire a Bay Window Construction Pro?
Starting to get serious about putting in that bay window you’ve been daydreaming about? Want to discuss your options with an expert? Call (833) 501-3692 or request an estimate, online.
Just like DIY bay window construction, DIY siding installation isn’t a task for your average homeowner. Learn more about siding replacement from Mr. Handyman. Like Glass Doctor, Mr. Handyman is part of the Neighborly™ family of trusted home services professionals