How to make a simple window?


11 Years
Sep 23, 2008
Austin TX
I'm building a chicken coop, but I don't know what in the world I'm doing.

I need to add a small window to provide light and air. I don't how to go about this.

I was thinking of cutting a hole about 6" x 15", attaching hardware cloth to the inside. The wall is 1/2" plywood. I need to be able to leave the window open during Texas heat waves, but have it close draft-free for the cooler season.

My carpentry skills are pretty lame. So is my budget, at the moment. I have some scraps of clear corrugated Palruf and plywood, and small strips of lumber.

Can someone provide me a detailed photo of a simple window or explain window-making like I'm twelve-years-old?

Many thanks,



11 Years
Jun 27, 2008
I think there is some sort of channel stuff you can buy and attach a strip above and below the hole in your wall, and then buy a piece of plexiglass that you can slide in sidways to cover the hole. Maybe its better to already have the plexiglass so you can be sure you nail in the channel strips at the right distance apart. I hope someone here will tell us what those channel pieces are - and where to find them, and how best to attach them!!


11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
Centre Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada
If you're nervous about DIY, you could buy a 'shed window' at a hardware store (usually sliders) or go to a recycling depot and get a used window the right size. Some community landfills will save usable windows and doors for you, for free.


11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
South of KCMO
We cut a hole 12x24 attached hardwire on the inside for summer, during the winter we will take a piece of playwood and screw it over the opening


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Easiest is to scrounge an existing window. Some people even use heavier-built picture frames, although most are unlikely to hold up as well over time as a 'real' window intended for outdoor use.

If you are going to make it yourself from scratch, though:

The palruf will be harder to make a window with unless you also have strips left over of the contoured 'filler strip' stuff. If you don't, see if you can scrounge something *flat*, like a scrap of plexiglas or a piece of plexiglas-type plastic used instead of glass on a thrift-store or garage-sale framed picture. In a pinch you can even use the stuff they sell to put over fluorescent light ceiling fixtures -- you know, the sheets of translucent (not transparent) sort of krinkly-finished plastic. If you use the latter, be careful, it is very brittle if you try to cut or drill it.

Basically you need to make a square frame with all the pieces of wood in the same plane (not overlapped so different pieces are at different levels, if you know what I mean). You can do this by cutting a great big hole in a piece of scrap 1/2-3/4" plywood; or by using pieces of 1x2 or 2x2 and setting them onto the edges of your plexiglas so that the plexiglas itself braces the joints; or by using 1x2 or 2x2 and making lap-joint corners. Or anything else you can think of

Screw the plexiglas (or whatever) onto the frame, drilling very very gently and carefully b/c some of these plastic materials are quite brittle. Don't drill too near the edge or corner.

Then either hinge it onto the coop (hinges at the top work well, you can rig a chain or prop to hold the flap open to variable degrees and it'll help keep out rain) or make sliding channels out of some more scrap wood.

Have fun,



11 Years
May 14, 2008
Hi Judith. Maybe you could get the help of an adult to cut the square out of the sheet of plywood you have. Then you could simply staple the hardware cloth over that opening.

Good luck


Yoga...The Chicken Pose
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
Fuquay Varina, NC
Here's an opinion...

I posted on Craigslist I want FREE STUFF to build a coop....

wood, windows, plywood, siding, roofing...ect

I had 4 people offer me windows, I only needed one. I had 3 offers for wood, I only need 1/3 of what we picked up from 1 person! We got roofing, short like 3 pieces from what we needed.... and so on it went. There were some really great people locally who had everything we needed for free.

Try posting for a window over there, I'm sure you'll get one that opens and closes when you need it to. Even if someone offers it to you real cheap if not free.



11 Years
May 7, 2008
Hi Judith,
It depends: do you want the material that covers the opening to be clear for light or would you use plywood? If you use wood, you can just cut it a bit bigger than your opening and screw it on to one side with exterior hinges, and put an eye-hook on the other side.

If you want it to be clear, I think the easiest method is to buy a piece of thick plexiglass just bigger than your opening, nail pieces of square dowel just below and above the opening onto your plywood and set the plexiglass between them. Finally, take two small pieces of wood and screw them onto the plywood loosely, so that you can twist them up to hold the plexiglass into place.

If you have good drill bits and thick plexiglass you can also hinge it directly to the plywood without a frame, but it sometimes cracks.


Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
My Coop
I used an small old single hung window and screwed hardware cloth where the screen should be. I'll try to post a picture.

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