How to Install Jeld-Wen Windows

Elizabeth Falwell

Jeld-Wen is an American-based manufacturer of windows and doors. The company's newest window line, the Tilt and Turn, is a European-style design featuring window panels that twist side to side or up and down to open.

An electric drill is one of the many tools you'll need for this task.

This wood-frame window follows the same installation instructions for all the company's wood-framed windows without an exterior nail fin. After you've framed out the window holes, you're ready to install your new Jeld-Wen windows.

  1. Remove one of your new Jeld-Wen windows from its packaging. Avoid using razor blades to cut through the packaging, which can damage or scratch the window. Once the window is free, examine it to make sure there's no damage to the unit. If there is, return the window to the point of purchase.

  2. Check the window opening and ensure it's no more than 5/8 inch larger for each dimension than the window itself. The window opening should also be level.

  3. Seal the window frame with building wrap to weatherproof the opening and guard it against leaks. Place the building wrap so it covers the inside edge of the window opening; the same piece of wrap should also cover a few inches on the exterior of the window opening. For best results, use one piece of wrapping per side; that means for a square or rectangular-shaped window, you would use four pieces: one on on each side, one on the top and one on the bottom of the window opening.

  4. Install a drain mat onto the window sill. This mat adds yet another layer of weather- and waterproofing protection. Cut the mat 6 inches longer than the bottom of the window opening (for example, if the window opening is 44 1/2 inches, cut the mat to 50 1/2 inches). Remove the adhesive-backing on the drain mat and place on the window sill; the mat should cover the entire length of the window opening as well as 3 inches up each side. The width of the mat should be on the sill; any remaining mat should be folded down onto the exterior of the building. Use a staple gun to staple this exterior portion of the mat to the building.

  5. Place shims on the base of the window sill, over the drain mat. The shims should be located 4 inches from the side of the window opening, then every 8 inches thereafter. Use shims that will not degrade nor compress under the weight of the window. Install with a hammer and nails. You may choose to cover the shims with a layer of sealant (this can be done either before or after installation) for further weather protection.

  6. Lift the window using two people. Place the bottom of the window onto the shims installed in Step 5, then tilt the rest of the window into place. Place shims along the top and sides of the window; the shims should be located 4 inches from each corner and every 8 inches thereafter, just as with the bottom shims installed in Step 5. Do not place the shims in so far that you can see them from the inside.

  7. Move to the inside of the building. Measure 4 inches up from the window sill on one side of the window (it doesn't matter which side). Use your electric drill to create a hole in the middle of the window's wooden frame. Seal the threads of a 3-inch screw and drill into the hole. Make sure the screw goes through the window frame and shim and into the building frame itself.

  8. Check that the window is still level on all sides. You should also take this opportunity to ensure all parts of the window work; have one person hold the window while you make these checks. If any part of the window isn't plumb, or the window doesn't work, remove the window and repeat Step 7.

  9. Measure 4 inches from each remaining corner, as with Step 7. Drill into the middle of the wood frame with your electric drill, then insert a 3-inch screw covered with sealant. Drill these 3-inch screws into every remaining shim until you secure the entire window frame.

  10. Install the exterior trim around the window. Jeld-Wen includes these pre-cut pieces with your window, so no extra measuring or cutting should be necessary. Square and rectangular-shaped windows come with four pieces of exterior trim, one for each side, top and bottom. Use a hammer and nails to secure the pieces to the exterior of the window frame.

  11. Cut a piece of drip cap (use one made of galvanized metal) 1/4 inch longer than the exterior trim on the top of the window. Apply a thin line of silicone to the top of the exterior trim, and place the drip cap on top of it. Further secure with nails or screws; ensure you use nails or screws short enough so that they won't poke through the exterior trim.

  12. Create a completely waterproof and airtight seal around the window frame. Apply low-expansion polyurethane foam to any gaps on the interior or exterior of the window, between the unit itself and the building.

  13. Tip

    Jeld Wen has nearly two dozen varieties of windows. Jeld Wen offers specific installation instructions for each variety inside its Resources section on its website (see Resources section). Work in at least a team of two to install Jeld-Wen windows. The process of lifting the windows and securing them into place is a job best done by two people.


    Check with your local building code inspector before installing windows. Jeld-Wen reminds do-it-yourselfers to observe local laws, even if they conflict with the company's installation instructions.

    Exercise caution if this project has you working at heights. If you need to use a ladder, ensure you have a third person to spot you.

    Always use protective eye gear and gloves when working with power tools.