How to Install a Bay Window: Part 1
Build the roof first to make the installation go smoother.
Synopsis: The addition of a bay window can make a room or house seem like an entirely new place. In this first of a two-part article, veteran builder Rick Arnold outlines his process for installing a bay window in an existing house. For Arnold, the key to a smooth process is building the roof first. The roof is then installed in one piece on top of the bay window. The procedure for building the roof proceeds through several steps. First, make a template for the roof base. Then, create a rafter nailer from the template. After the rafter nailer is done, lay out and fasten the common rafter, then lay out and fasten the hip rafters. After the hip rafters are in place, the jack rafters go in. The final construction step before the roof is installed is the laying out and cutting of the sheathing. This article includes sidebars on choosing a bay window and using a construction calculator to figure dimensions. The article also includes a variety of technical drawings that illustrate how to determine the cuts for the template and the sheathing.
Part two of this article is available here.
Magazine extra: Watch this video series for Rick Arnold’s method of building a bay-window roof.
I recently helped my mom and stepdad move into a small ranch house so that they’d be free of stairs and have an easier time getting around. The small house was in decent shape and livable, but the north-facing bedroom’s lack of light made the space grim. With my stepdad’s increasing mobility issues, it seemed likely that he’d be spending more and more time in there, so I decided to make the room more inviting by swapping the existing window for a projecting bay window.