original design for the barn called for seven clerestory windows along
the upper edge of one of the walls. Because of the way the barn
ended up situated on my property, I essentially "flipped" the
walls; that is, the right wall from the plan (image to the right) became
the left wall in reality.
For a time, I debated how
many--or if indeed any--windows I would install in the barn at this
time. Duh. Of course, I ended up deciding that I needed to
install all seven clerestory windows, in part because the two end
openings had been partially cut open while the walls were raised with
the crane. Because I wanted to retain the consistent look of the
full row of windows, this more or less forced my hand into installing
all seven; I had been considering doing five.
No worry, though, as the
windows I had chosen previously (so that the rough openings could be
properly framed) were inexpensive enough that I could splurge on a large
number of them. And in the end, the windows will make the barn,
both from an appearance standpoint outside, as well as from a
functionality standpoint inside.
Itching to do something on the barn myself, after weeks of anticipation
and waiting through site work, slab, framing, and other details, I
decided to cut the openings out one Sunday shortly after the walls were
raised. That way, I would be ready to install the actual windows
as soon as the roof was complete, with minimal work at that
moment. To assist in the myriad tasks that I intended to complete
on the barn myself, I had earlier purchased a nice 12' commercial
fiberglass stepladder; which is the perfect height for doing work inside
the barn (with 16' ceilings). This ladder worked well for cutting
the window openings, which were located near the top of the sidewall as
however, I needed to mark the openings so I'd know where to cut.
From the inside, I drilled a small hole at each corner of the seven
windows, keeping the long bit tightly into the corner of the rough
opening framing. Thusly marked, it was easy to climb the ladder
outside and, using a straightedge, connect the four points with a
With each window marked,
I cut out the plywood sheathing/siding with my small circular saw, with
the blade set to just over 3/4" in depth. (The siding is
3/4".) Then, I plunged the blade into the siding and cut out
the openings, one at a time, until all seven were complete. My
blade, the only one I had on hand, was dull to begin with, but was
really dull by the time I reached the last opening.
Needless to say, I was glad to be done with it!
new openings instantly transformed the space, as well as the outside
appearance of the south wall. The 63 ft2 of window
space located at the top of the wall would provide great and useful
light, as well as some ventilation (since the windows to be installed
I installed the windows
several days later. Bob had his aluminum jack staging set up on
the south wall, and I couldn't pass up such a convenient
opportunity. The windows I chose are simple sliding vinyl windows,
3' x 3', with a nailing flange that makes installation a breeze.
was quite simple. First, I checked each opening for level--they
were, so that meant that I didn't have to bother leveling each window as
long as I ensured that the sill was properly resting on the bottom of
the rough opening. Then, for each window, I caulked the bottom of
the rough opening, placed the window in, and nailed in place all around
the nailing flange with 2" roofing nails. I had to trim a
couple of the rough openings just a touch in order to get the windows to
fit, but the installation went smoothly. Later, I'll trim out the
windows with some flat pine trim to match the rest of the building,
which should finish off the look quite nicely.
West Wall Windows
I couldn't resist
installing all five of the planned windows in the back wall. I had
entertained the idea of adding a couple, or waiting altogether until
another time. However, after seeing the difference the clerestory
windows made, I threw the budget out the window and bought five more of
the same windows for the back wall. Easy come, easy go.
I followed the same
installation procedure as detailed above, although it was significantly
easier this time because the windows were much closer to the ground--and
I used a different saw with a good blade, powered with a short cord from
the barn outlets.
Oh, how nice the windows
were. I was instantly glad I installed them. The barn is
located in the corner of the property nearest our back neighbor, which
happens to be an attractive cape style with a pond right on the property
line. Interestingly enough, the barn now commands the best views
on our property, with pleasing glances of the pond and stream through
the new back windows.
Door (North Wall)
Along with a large
delivery of insulation, lumber, and sliding door tracks, the standard
entry door finally arrived, and I installed it the same day. With
a newly-framed rough opening that was basically plumb and level,
installation was quite simple and trouble-free. In short order, I
had the door installed, shimmed, and securely nailed and screwed in
place as called for. I installed the supplied door hardware, and
the job was complete.