A Detailed Guide to Installation of Windows and Doors: Passive and Standard Solution

Looking to give your house a new makeover? Want to boost its aesthetic appeal? Well, look no further. If you are that enthusiastic homeowner looking to be guided through the windows and doors installation process, all you have to do is go through our elaborate guide.Windows and doors connect your house to the outside world. So, you must get it right and we can help you with it. In this article, we are going to discuss the passive and standard solution of installation. We recommend you pay attention.

But, first, let’s get to know about passive house windows before we move on to the installation windows and doors process.

Passive House Windows and Doors: An Explanation

If you are looking for energy-efficient windows and doors, a passive solution is your best bet. They are available in two different kinds-

  • For Cooling: The goal of cooler passive windows and doors is to keep the house cool. So, it is popular in regions with hotter climates, such as the southern border of the United States.
  • For Heating: In case of heating passive windows and doors the main target is to use energy to heat the house. It is a solution that proves to be highly useful if you are from a colder climatic region, such as Canada.

Passive house windows come with the finest level of solar heat gain coefficient. A heating passive house’s windows and doors have a higher solar gain coefficient. But for cooling passive properties, the main aim is to prevent it from being overheated by the sun. With passive house windows, it is easier to optimize energy consumption.

Passive house windows or doors have a glass unit with an R-value of 8-11 or more. Also, the total energy rating has to be over R5-R6. For warm climate passive house windows, a low solar coefficient is ideal.

Basic Tools You Need

Before you start with installation windows and doors – passive or standard solution, you need to make sure you have the basic tools. So, here are the tools you might need.

  • A Tape Measure
  • Heavy-duty gloves and safety goggles
  • A handsaw
  • Screwdrivers
  • A Spirit Level
  • A small hacksaw
  • A heavy-duty hammer
  • An orbital sander
  • A bolster chisel or crowbar
  • A circular saw
  • Shims or spacers
  • A planner
  • A Utility Knife
  • Drill bits and drill
  • Expanding foam

Passive Windows and Doors Installation Process

When you are building a passive house, air tightness, moisture management, and air management are critical. Windows and doors can easily turn out to be weak links. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that they have been installed properly.

Here is a step-by-step guide to installing passive windows and doors.


Firstly, make sure that you are installing the windows in the center for optimal insulation, and the air-tight area of the window should be pulled into the rough opening.

Now, you have to prepare the rough opening by shimming the window at the top sides and ensuring it is vertical in the opening. The windows should be about ½ inch smaller than the rough opening to make space for insulation. The inside frame of the window frame has to be 6-inches in from the framing. Do this by shimming the window at the bottom.

The installation screws should 2-foot at the center. However, the first screw shouldn’t be more than 6-inch further from the corners. So, mark the first screw position and space the rest of the remaining screws in between. Install them using a drill.


Now, it is time for sash removal. Pull the tilt lever until you hear it clicking. Hold the lever up until the sash latches are clearing the frame when titling. Slowly ease the bottom sash’s top edge towards you, in a horizontal position. For tilting top sash, lower the sash halfway and pull the tilt latches at the same time until the unit frame is cleared while tilting. Ease the window’s top sash horizontally towards you.

Remove the sash by tilting the bottom sash. If the sash is in a horizontal position, lift both sides of the sash upwards by 2-3 inches. Rotate the sash up until pivot spin clear the jambs and take out the bottom sash.

Tilt the window’s top sash and as soon as it is in the horizontal position, lift both sides by 2-3 inches. Ultimately, rotate the sash up until pivot pins clear the jambs and take out the top sash.


To install the sash, hold the top part of the sash and place it horizontally. The pivot pins should be 2-3 inches above the clutch assemblies when you relocate in the jamb carrier tracks. Pivot a side of the sash to make the pivot pins clear up the jamb carrier assemblies while aligning the sash, pivot sash into a horizontal position. Now, lower the pivot pins into clutch cams.

Tilt the sash and check the nose of each tilt latch to make sure they are properly engaged.


To create the interior air seal, you have to fill the insulation gap. You can use PU foam for air-tight sealing. A backer rod can also be a good air sealant. Make sure you are using the right tool to apply the sealant.

You can use another layer of sealant for the outer portion but ensure there are some drainage holes at the bottom.


To over-insulate, you can install a piece of foam on the outside of the window frame. This has to be done before installing the windows.

Installation of passive doors and windows makes be difficult for a layman. So, if you don’t have the right tools and are not sure how to proceed with it, leave it to the professionals.

Standard Windows and Doors Installation Process


In case it is time to replace your window, use the tape measure for measuring the length and width of the window to know the right window size. Measure it twice to be sure it’s accurate.

When you are ready to go ahead with the window installation, put on your safety goggles and gloves when you are working.

1.     Prime the Space

The first step to the installation process, it is crucial that you prime the space. In some cases, it only involves removing the old hardware with the new one. However, at times you must gut the whole area to start from scratch.

2.     Prepare the New Window

Now, measure the window to ensure it will fit the space. Make sure there is a minimum of a 5mm gap around the frame. In case you are planning to increase the window size, add about 40mm to it with the help of frame extenders.

Fix the handles of the window by screwing them in place. Next, you have to adjust the outer sill’s size. To do this, you have to measure the outer wall’s depth and cut a notch into the sill to make it fit around the brickwork. Cut the sill using a hacksaw.

Screw the outer sill to the frame to attach it and slide the frame fixers down the side-tracks of the frame. Attach the ventilator grill to the frame’s internal portion and place the cover vent in its place.

3.     Installation of the Window

To make sure you don’t install the window in the wrong place, mark the points in the internal plasterwork. Place the new windows in the marked place and use shims to wedge the window in place.

Spirit level will help in ascertaining if the window is level. To make adjustments and level it up, use spacers.

Drill holes at each fixing point to insert plug walls and then screw the window frame in place, prior to taking measurements and cutting the interior sill. Again, check if it is level and use spacers if required. To fix the frame in place use masonry nails, screws, or proper adhesive.

There might be gaps on the exterior of your window. This has to be filled. Use expanding foam to do that. When it dries up, use a utility knife. In case there are smaller gaps, you can use frame sealant.

To get a more finished look, use a trim that can be stuck in place using a frame sealant. Open and close the window a few times to ascertain it is working smoothly. In case it doesn’t, check if the hinges are even. If the hinges are uneven, you can unscrew the hinges and then place them back in position.


Before you get a new door slab, measure. Make sure you are using the widest measurement. It is also crucial to measure the thickness and length. Start with the installation process by putting on your safety gear- goggles and gloves.

1.     Preparing the New Door

Check the new door’s fit by placing a slab in the frame. In case you have to hold it in place, use shims. Trim the new door as per your requirement. In case you are replacing the door, use the old one to get the right measurements for trimming. To orient the doors, you always have to trim them at the bottom.

Score the line using a utility knife and cut the new door slab using a circular saw. To smoothen the rough edges, you have to use the orbital sander.

Mark the places for the knob or handles and the hinges. Now, notch the areas using a hammer and chisel. The notches can be knocked off with a chisel.

Attach the hinges and use the screws that have been provided with the lockset. Drill a hole on both sides of the slab and then drill a hole for the latch on the side edge. Trace with a pencil to fit the latch, scoring the line using a utility knife. Thereafter, chisel it as you had done for the hinges.

2.     Hang the New Door

When you are done with the latch, take the door back to the frame. To ensure it is held it in place, use shims.

Screw one side of the hinges on the frame and hang the new door. Make sure it is fitting perfectly. In case it is not, mark the areas that have to be trimmed. Make the required adjustments and hang the door once again.

When it fits, continue with the lockset. After you have installed the lockset, attach the latch plate to the frame. Use screws and a screwdriver to fix it in place.

Useful Tips to Make Installation Easier

Before you dive in to install doors or windows, take a look at these tips. It will make the process a lot easier.

  • Make sure you have the right tools. Before you begin, decide what you need and it largely depends on the type of installation.
  • Self-adhesive weatherstripping helps in reducing the amount of time you are spending on window or door installation.
  • When you are priming the space for installation, check for rotting wood and signs of exposure to elements. Usually, discolored wood is an indication of rotting, while cracks in the frame are a sign of warping caused by exposure to high temperatures.
  • Placing a gasket at the bottom of the doors reduces drafts.
  • Hardware products, such as window pulls or doorknobs are finishing touches of the installation process. It provides an extensive range of personalization. If the hardware matches, you will get the best result. Hence, choose a style that works for you. Make sure you stick to it.

By using these tips and taking some time to prepare, you can ensure that the window and door installation process is hassle-free.

Bottom Line

Whether you want to improve the curb value of your property or just have to replace the windows and doors due to rotting wood or cracks, our window installation guide can help you through the process. We have discussed both passive and standard solution for your convenience. But if you think it is too much work for you, hire a professional to do it for you.

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