Framing an Attic Window

Tips for Framing Attic Windows

By Mark J. Donovan

When finishing an attic many homeowners like to include additional natural lighting in their plans. This generally translates into having to frame an attic window.

Normally the attic window is installed on the gable end of the house, unless attic dormers are also part of the attic conversion plans.

When I frame in an attic window I prefer to install the framing first before cutting out the hole for the window.

This limits the time the interior of the home is exposed to the elements and allows for an easier job of cutting out the window frame opening.

Tools and Materials Required

Tools required include a hammer, or nail gun, a Sawzall, drill with 1” drill bit, and a caulking gun. Materials required include an attic window, 2x4s and/or 2x6s or 2x8s, 16 penny nails or the equivalent for the nail gun, flashing, and caulk.

How to Frame an Attic Window

To frame in an attic window start by marking on the inside wall the rough location of the attic window.

Next, depending upon the size of your attic window you most likely will need to remove a section of wall stud. 

Framing an attic window

If it is a large window, more than one stud may need to be cut.

Before cutting any studs, however, check with your local building inspector to make sure you are not cutting a load bearing wall.

Once you have removed the section of wall stud, you can begin to frame in the attic window. Start first by framing in the vertical stud members known as king studs. These studs run the length of the wall.

Next frame in short jack studs and a window sill plate to create the bottom cripple wall for the attic window to rest on.

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Related Information

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