Anyone looking for the perfect window must consider its frame as well. Whether you want durability, functionality, or aesthetics, a window frame can make or break the ideal.

The design and structure of a window heavily rely upon its frame. The frame is what holds the glass panes together. This is why nothing compares to the importance of a well-built window frame in a building.

Here we will discuss all the things one needs to know to make a window frame.

What Is A Window Frame?

In simple terms, a window frame is a structure that supports the glass panes in a window. It is made up of various studs with different functions. This provides strength to a window, allows it to fit in a wall easily, and helps give whatever shape or design is required to the window.

Support studs and those in window sills provide support to the window from the bottom. King studs, also known as jack or trimmer studs, offer the same support from the sides, and header studs, along with other vertical supports, work as supports for the window’s top side.

It is essential to ensure the frame is not too loose or too tight. A loose window frame will allow moisture to enter the wall, whereas a tight frame can contract with the passage of time and break the glass.

Elements Of A Window Frame

Several elements make up a window frame. To build a window frame efficiently, it is advisable to assemble it by laying it flat on the ground. It should then be raised to the vacant space in the wall. The elements of a window frame include:

Top And Bottom Plates: These two types of plates extend across the length of the house at the top and bottom of the house, respectively. The bottom plate runs across the house’s flooring, which is why they are also called sole plates.

Window Header: A window header is a horizontal beam that stretches throughout the window’s width. It provides the window structure and maintains the wall's strength. It usually comprises two boards that span the window placed on the edges, and a third one is attached to the inside.

The typical size measurement for it is two-by-four.

Short Support Studs: These vertical studs are usually used at the top side of the window frame. They run across the length between the top plate of the window and the header.

King Studs: Also known as regular studs are used in a pair. They run along the distance between the top and bottom plates. This provides structural support on the sides of the windows.

Jack Stud: Otherwise known as a trimmer stud, jack studs are used in a pair in a vertically upward direction. Starting from the sole plate, it touches the window header and is placed against the king studs.

Sill Plate: Sill plates are horizontal studs that rest on the short support studs at the bottom. They are placed across jack studs.

Short Support Studs: These studs are vertical and placed between the bottom and sill plates.

What You'll Need

Next, we will look at what tools and materials are required to make and assemble a window frame.


What makes up a standard window frame is:

• 2 two-by-six boards

• 6 two-by-four boards

• Some 16d nails

Equipment and Tools:

The tools required to assemble these boards and studs are:

• Hammer

• Power drill

• Tape measure

• Speed square

• Pencil for markings

• Safety glasses


The construction of a window frame can be divided into the following steps:

1- Measurement

Several necessary measurements are needed here. The height and width of the window opening should be measured using a tape measure. Then you need to add 1 to 2 inches to the measurements of all the sides of the window to get the measurements for your window frame.

2- Building The Header

Take the 2 two-by-six boards and cut them according to the window’s width, adding three more inches to it.

After every 16 inches across the board, hammer a nail on both sides to attach the two pieces. Cut one of the two-by-four boards using the exact measurements as the two-by-six board and nail it together with the lower part of the above two boards.

Depending on the width of the window and the wall structure above it, the dimensions may need to be changed. Hence this should be checked with an engineer as well.

3- Adding The Kind Studs

The king studs are to be placed between the top and bottom plates. The window header should be used to reference the measurements for the king studs.

4- Adding The Jack Studs

Arrange the header and king studs in their required positions without nailing them first. Use this assembly to find the length needed for the jack studs. These are to be made out of 2 two-by-four boards. Ensuring that the jack studs reach just above the sole plate, use a hammer to nail them into the king studs.

5- Installing Vertical Supports At The Bottom

For the vertical supports, cut 4 boards of two-by-four each to a length three inches less than the width of the window sill. Attach two of these supports next to the jack studs and two at the approximate center of the window.

6- Installing Window Sill Plate

Cut 2 two-by-four boards to fit between the jack studs. Attach these two boards to form a window sill plate. Then use nails to fix it above the vertical supports at the bottom.

7- Installing The Window Header

Take the window header built in step two and nail it above the jack studs for installation.

8- Installing Top Support Studs

Take three pieces of boards of size two-by-four and cut them to the length starting from just above the window header down to the lower end of the top sill plate. Attach these pieces vertically with the help of nails as the last step of making the window frame.

That is all that is needed to know about the use and construction of the perfect window frame. Remember these steps to build a window frame with ease.

March 05, 2023 — Della Wang