The sliding glass door in our kitchen had to go – it took up precious wall space for cabinets. It was also old and not energy efficient. When the sun shined through in the afternoon, the kitchen would get extremely warm. On cold winter days, a cold draft came in from around the broken seals.
While it sounds like a big project, removing this door really wasn’t that hard. After removing a pin, the door section lifted out of place. The other pane of glass then lifted out just as easily. A crowbar to the frame and everything was out in five minutes!
Then we had a giant six-foot by seven-foot-wide hole in our kitchen to the outside.
We were blessed by a friend who works in maintenance and offered to help us frame out the new wall for this space. My husband knew how to complete the framing, but we wanted to add a window and he had never installed a window before. It’s a little intimidating when you start reading all this warnings about voiding the warranty if the windows aren’t installed correctly, so it was nice to have someone with experience.
Framing is fairly straight forward: attach studs every 16 inches. For the window we used the rough opening guidlines on the window paperwork and created a wood frame. When we removed the sliding glass door, we left the header in the wall. This meant we didn’t have to worry about building a header for the window, since the weight is still supported by the original header.
We lifted the window in place and then used shims to level it. Then we nailed the window apron in place.
We installed plywood on the outside of the framing around the window. We insulated the walls with your standard fiberglass insulation and then used GREAT STUFF Window & Door 12 oz Insulating Foam Sealant (affiliate link). It is designed specifically for doors and windows and won’t expand as much as regular spray foam that could warp your window frame.
We then ran wiring for an outlet for the refrigerator and a seonce outlet above the counter.
We added a layer of foam board insulation on the inside of the house and then drywall. (NOTE: Typically, the foam board is installed on the exterior side of framing, but when we removed the sliding door, we found that our builders had put it on the inside. We followed the builder to make our wall uniform.)
That was it. It really wasn’t that difficult once we got into it. Most of it was done in a day. The drywall and taping took another day.