Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Doors, Skylights and Windows
Reload this Page >

Replacing aluminum windows in aluminum sided house -- what would you do?

Replacing aluminum windows in aluminum sided house -- what would you do?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-12-03, 06:40 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
Replacing aluminum windows in aluminum sided house -- what would you do?

Well, now that I've exprienced the first winter in my 1949 cape cod, I've found that most of the aluminum windows held up with some stripping, but a few have to go this spring.

I'd prefer not to mess with the existing aluminum siding if possible. I'm currently pondering two options.

1) Pella Prolines slighly smaller than the existing opening. For example, I've got a double hung with an actual opening of 3'x4'5.5". The 3553 is 2'11"x4'5", with an RO of 2'11.75"x4'5.75". The old wooden window sill is a whopping 44.25" wide, so I will be taking out a fair amount of plaster on the inside. My thought is that with this large opening on the inside, I can nail the nail flanges to a wood frame, then attach the frame to the existing framing, all without touching the aluminum siding on the outside. Then I can add some flashing/caulk/etc to fill out the extra inch on the outisde.

2) Vinyl windows cut to fit the exact opening, leaving the existing windowsill in place. What brand(s) should I consider for this? Lowe's sells RB and HD sells American Craftsman. Can I get a cut to fit vinyl that would perform similarly to a Low-E Pella?

Oh, I'm also planning on replacing the double hungs with casements, I like doubling the amount of air flow.

I'd appreciate your thoughts here, I'm currenlty afraid of having to bring in a siding contractor when it's all done.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-12-03, 07:36 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
With the Pella's, you sure would be creating a lot of work for yourself.

Yes, you can find vinyl windows that will perform as well or better than the Pella's. Not only that, they will (probably) cost less, they will be installed faster and without all the mess. But do yourself a favor -- look beyond HD and Lowes!

There are literally thousands of window mfgrs. to choose from. Why limit your search to the 2 or 3 that they offer?? Check with local glass shops and in the Yellow Pages under windows to find contractors who retrofit windows. Compare brands, compare warranties, along with dealer reputation, etc.

Tell us what brands you are finding, and somebody in here will be more than happy to give you their opinion!
 
  #3  
Old 01-13-03, 06:41 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
Good grief is there a lot to read up on

I'm not so sure I'll be fully versed on this subject by April (when I wanted to install them). . . . . .

I'll probably get in touch with a Simonton or Allside rep this week and discuss budget pricing for the sizes I'm interested in. It would be way more convienent to just place an order at one of the big box stores and move on with life. . . . .

Regarding these "replacement" windows, is there a nail flange, or do they bolt right into the existing opening? Can they just be bolted to the existing mammoth sill?

How much larger will the opening be once the old aluminum window is gone?
 
  #4  
Old 01-13-03, 11:25 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
The Simington or Allside rep can explain all of the different options involved in retrofitting the windows. Retrofits don't have nail fins on them. They are sized to either slip right into the existing aluminum frames, or into the opening left if those frames are removed. They are then attached by screwing through the vinyl frame into the framing that forms the window opening.
 
  #5  
Old 01-14-03, 09:45 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
Okay, can you tell me about these brands

Here's the rundown of the brands I've looked into so far:

1) Pella Prolines, see above. Not a huge fan of the aluminum exteriors. Like everything else about them.
2) Anderson 400's, I like the fact that they're vinyl clad, but the sizes are far away from my existing opening(s) and would require some work on the aluminum siding. More expensive than the Pella Prolines.
3) Simonton Impressions -- will be viewing a showroom on Monday. They make a casement with LowE, which is what I'm looking for.
4) Simonton Reflections -- left a message with their distributor. Indianapolis has a different distributor for each type of Simonton, why?
5) Simonton Prism -- Indianapolis rep said they only sell to liscensed contractors. Is this line worth pursuing through a contract with an installer, or should I focus on the other Simontons?
6) Alside -- Will be viewing their showroom on Monday.
7) Reliabuilt through Lowe's -- Will obtain a competitive estimate for Simonton/Allside.

Although the Pella install does scare me a little, it's the only brand I have any experience/trust with. My parents have only used Pellas in their house, and I love how warm they are in the wintertime (Chicago area). Their recommendation is that I only use Pellas or Andersons, and allocate 2 days per window. One day to remove the old window, sill, and frame, and install the new window, and the second day for plaster work and trim.

I spent a while arguing with my parents yesterday that there have been advances in methods of window replacement since they did a lot of theirs and it's worth looking into. I appreciate the help this forum is providing so I can maximize both the thermal performance of the window and the ease of install.
 
  #6  
Old 01-14-03, 02:48 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I would definitely consider the Simintons over the Pella.....thermal performance won't be that much different ( especially for the price difference) and the fact the vinyl guys will build to fit an opening is a BIG advantage....so unless you just have to have the wood interior of the Pella ( I'm guessing the series you're looking at has), I'd go vinyl. Pella and Andersen are great new construction window, but they REALLY just don't care about the replacement market IMHO.

There is no real difference in the Reflections and Prizm....the only reason "I" think they make the two is so some dealers like Norandex here can sell the Prizm to "contractors only", whereas the place I buy my Reflections will sell to any Tom/Dick/Harry ( or Curly, Larry, Moe ) I've installed both and can't tell a dime's worth of difference in them....both very good.



I've got a question or two....

WHAT is that big wood sill you're refering too.....never seen that on an aluminum window....Is it possible these windows were replacements for the original windows ?

What is the ballpark of the frame thickness on the existing windows...Most aluminum windows are NOT as thick as the wall and have something to run from the window back to the wall plane.... does the plaster/sheetrock turn the wall edge on the inside and wrap to the window ? oh, a pic here would be SO nice...... or does it have a wood extension jamb from the window out to the wall plane and wood casing then....and is this big sill just here on the inside and not outside ????

What kind of trim is outside or does the aluminum J channel butt right to the edge of the aluminum window ?

What does the inside opening appear to measure compared to the outside J channel to J channel opening measure....are they the same ???

Give me this info and I can give you some more specific install info.
 
  #7  
Old 01-14-03, 05:03 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Andy, I'm guessing, as you probably are, that mrchris has replacement windows in the house already. It's a 1949 Cape Cod, with 3-0/4-6 windows. Aluminum windows existed in 1949, but wood was still more common. At those dimensions, the original windows were probably wood single or double hungs. That would explain the "big wood sill" he is referring to. (And, I got the hint -- I'll e-mail Robert and see if we can't get the HTML and vB turned back on so we can do pictures. ((Lord, some people are SO pushy!! (Hee Hee!!))

Mrchris, I too would go with the Simingtons. Like I said in my original post, the Pellas sure would creating a lot of work for you. I agree with Andy. The performance difference between the two will be virtually nothing. The Simingtons can be made to fit your openings and will slide right in.
 
  #8  
Old 01-14-03, 05:16 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Yeah.....I'm kinda thinking they were wood too....and somebody added the aluminum siding like sometime in the 60-70s and maybe redid the windows at the same time......

In lieu of a posted pic, I'll settle for a plane ticket and per diem and will report back
 
  #9  
Old 01-14-03, 09:41 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Andy, If I buy you a plane ticket anyplace pal, it's gonna be to Redding so you can buy ME dinner!! Hmmm... that still doesn't sound right...

Robert has been e-mailed.
 
  #10  
Old 01-15-03, 05:40 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
Can I email you guys pictures of the window in question?

Andy, plane tickets to Indy are mighty cheap right now, but it's not quite at my price point. Yet.

There are two wood windows in the upstairs of the house that open in the center, not so sure I can call them a casement. Everything else is aluminum. If they did replace them back in the 60's or 70's, they were pretty consistent and they left every sill.

There is a wood trim piece that is plastered/painted over that angles from the sill to the window. That's the best I can explain. If you guys can PM me an email address or turn the pic options on, I'll send pictures of the inside and outisde, as well as the interior trim & sill, with all the relevant measurements I've made so far.

Since I get MLK day off, I'll be visiting dealers for Simonton Impressions and Allside's on Monday. Is there a major difference between the Impression and Reflection?

It was 6 degrees this morning, seven below zero wind chill. Bet you guys can guess how it felt near my windows. . . . .

Seriously, you guys rock. Appreciate the help here.
 
  #11  
Old 01-15-03, 08:37 AM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Shoot man, I just post mine right out in the open for all the spammers to see......I REALLY appreciate getting 50 or so new emails each and every time I open my email....and my wife is STILL trying to get me interested in that one where they offer to Enlarge Your U-KNOW-WHAT-BODYPART .....I keep telling her it's just like the work I do.....It's quality, not quantity

send it to [email protected]

.......Soon to have a wireless internet connection @ 600,000 bps instead of this 2 tins cans and a string deal I'm on now !

Soon being as Soon as I get the tower built for the moutain top ! Yep, the info SUPER DUPER HIGHWAY is coming to a holler in east Tennessee. So WATCH OUT people.....my bandwidth will slay ya then
 
  #12  
Old 01-15-03, 08:57 AM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
LEFTY !!!!!!

My email shows up as something clickable......YOU DA MAN ! I am in awe of your power !!!!! Did you used to reside at the end of the Yellow Brick Road ??????

I'll have to figure out which way Redding is from here and bow in that direction......If I get it backwards, don't take it wrong.....ahahahahahaha
 
  #13  
Old 01-15-03, 08:59 AM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Now lets see if the "attach file" works....
 
  #14  
Old 01-15-03, 09:00 AM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Nope....got any MoJo left, Lefty ?

Maybe restrict the attachment feature to people that have posted 10-20 times.....that would eliminate someone just dropping in and posting a neckid pic of their momma.....
 
  #15  
Old 01-15-03, 09:27 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
Alright, I'll be sending out some pics tonight.

Andy, do yourself a favor and remove your email from plain sight. I've written it down.
 
  #16  
Old 01-15-03, 03:51 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Andy -- The part about getting the codes turned back on so we can post pictures is done. They are on. THAT was the easy part.

Now just need to figure out how to do it!!! I've got a plan for that, too. The guys in the Plumbing forum do it all the time. Between several of them, they SHOULD be able to teach me something. After all, they can get water to flow downhill!!
 
  #17  
Old 01-15-03, 05:46 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don't think we're talking about the same thing.....

In the VB Code, there is an "IMG" box.....I think you use that to call up an image you already have posted on a website somewhere....

But on down the reply section is "ATTACH FILE"....where you SHOULD be able to attach a jpeg file from your own computer....but next to the file size, it says MaxSize of 2 bytes.....which means this doesn't work.....
THAT is what needs some work I think.
 
  #18  
Old 01-15-03, 09:49 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Attach a file with 2 bytes max -- go figure. A colon ( -- now that is about 2 bytes. Man, I get tired of looking at colons!

Wait a minute -- where did that smile come from?? I put a : in there!!
 
  #19  
Old 01-16-03, 02:37 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
OK....after looking at Chris's pictures, here's what I think...

The windows ARE original.....they have sheetrock or plaster returns and no visible wood except a sill on the bottom that is just decorative....the 44" width he was talking about is where they just ran the sill a few inches to each side of the opening for decoration. Chris, it's just sitting there basically....nailed to the rough framing sill underneath and serves no function other than trim/decoration and isn't even attached to the window.

The windows appear to me to be the typical aluminum double hungs with a nailing flange on the sheathing that is now covered with the J channel and aluminum siding. There is small wood trim pc on the sides and tops that has a groove routed in it to hold a storm panel or screen...but in one pic, the left side of that is missing, so I think it will be easy to pop all of that off....the sill pc the same way.....

These are going to be a bit of a pill to get out without damaging the siding or inside plaster.....here's what I'd do....

I'd take off the screen/storm and the wood strip it mounts in. IF you happen to get lucky and can see where the nailing flange joins the window frame, you could sawsall the flange, leave it in the wall and just remove the window that way....but I kinda don't think you're gonna be that lucky.....

So, the "conventional" way I do this is take both sashes out...sometimes you have to take the glass out first, then **** the sash and just wreck the dang thing out....sometimes they will come out without doing this, I'd just have to be there to tell ya for sure, but you need to get down to where you just have a frame with NO sashes in the way. THen take a scrap of plywood, put against the plaster return and stick a small pry bar in the joint of the plaster and window frame and pry inward...You're going to damage the plaster right at that point, but the good news is the vinyl replacement is 3 1/4" deep vs the 2" or so of the existing aluminum frame, so the new window is going to cover most of this damage UNLESS you get real carried away.

Keep prying....change to a BIG dadgum crowbar when you can get it in the crack to get some leverage.....you're basically shearing the nailing flange off the nails holding it...if you're lucky, they didn't use ever 16p nail on the job to install them.....Keep working you way around the frame until you collapse it inward enough to get it out of the hole.....it's gonna be scrap metal when you get done for sure, but it's the only way....with the aluminum siding outside, you only have inside to work with....sorry....

The new window needs to be measured to fit that inside plaster opening size.....measure each opening, as they will often vary somewhat depending on the way the plaster/sheetrock was installed.....and keep a GOOD list so you don't have to RE-figure out what was what on install......When you order them, specify EXACT SIZE or they will automactically cut them 1/2 to 3/4" and that WILL foul you up....just make sure your sizes ARE right.....windows are given width first and height second.

On installing, you can basically set the window in the hole wherever you want in terms of depth.....It's gonna depend some on what you do to trim the outside.....I make trim pc out of aluminum coil stock, but you have to have a sheet metal brake to do that...You could make a wood trim pc....you'll need something, as the new window is going to be slightly smaller thant the J channel opening around the siding...so decide that on the first window, then figure where the window needs to sit in the opening to work with that trim, then you can set the rest of the windows to that depth. Install with screws supplied in the holes predrilled in the window sides....screws will go thru the plaster and into the wood behind.

Caulk the joint in the inside where the window meets the plaster and that wood sill ( the window is sitting up on top that sill now)...IF you had to mess up the plaster TOO much to get the windows out, you could make a wood extention jamb, butt it to the new window and out the plane of the wall,( looks like it would be a 2" or so wide pc after you get the window in ) then install wood casing trim lapping over the edge of the extension jamb.....it could sit on the "wings" of that existing sill and make a REAL nice trim out vs. that sorta cheapy looking plaster return.....

Outside, pack fiberglass insulation in any gaps, then add your trim pc, caulk the joint where it joins the J channel and the window. Paint as desired.

CLear as mud ?
 
  #20  
Old 01-16-03, 04:51 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Andy, you've seen the pictures -- I haven't. (Mrchris, if you want to e-mail them to me as well, mine is: [email protected] )

Anyway, you did a great job explaining to mrchris how to install new windows after pulling the frames. A question -- could he retrofit new ones into the existing frames? (Of course he COULD, but did any of the pictures show an outside view?) Does he have enough exposed frame outside to get a good seal on it if he just retrofitted the windows? It would be much simpler, and there would be no chance of damaging the interior sills and jambs. (Well, at least not as much of a chance. We ALL know how that is!) That was one thought.

OK Chris, your original question was about how to seal the drafts from these windows. I think Andy and I agree (and if we don't, I'm sure I'll hear about it!!) that trying to seal the drafts on your present windows is probably a waste of time. Replace or retrofit with some decent vinyls and be over it. Get them with Low E or Low E Squared glass, and your energy savings alone will pay for them in a few years. (OK, maybe as much as 8 or 10 years, but they WILL pay for themselves.) And the drafts WILL go away.

Feel free to continue this discussion. Pick what little brains we have left. (Andy and I were both involved in the same draft -- both got the same promises!!) And our offices look the same too. Push the papers out of the pickup seat and climb in!
 
  #21  
Old 01-16-03, 05:23 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
No, if he is going to use a vinyl window, the frame thickness is 3 1/4" and the windows he has in there now are like 2 1/4" or so.....even if they were the same, you wouldn't want to do that on an aluminum frame, because you'd be putting a nice, warm, multi-chambered vinyl frame against an ice cold aluminum frame...not good business...

The aluminum has to come out, except if he can shear it off the nailing flange, he could leave that in with no problem.....
 
  #22  
Old 01-17-03, 06:03 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
Wow.

You know, my "price point" for having a contractor do this went up after reading Andy's post. That was $100 a window. Now I'm thinking it should be more like $200. . . . .

Considering my baseboards are attached with 4" nails, I'd say it's likely there's a whole bunch of 16 penny nails holding the windows up.

It's 7 degrees in Indy right now. And I want all my windows other than the two wood ones gone. Now.

I've printed out Andy's post to show my father, who will likely glance at and say, "See, if you're going to make that big of a hole, you might as well put in the Pella like I told you in the first place." He prides himself on never using a vinly replacement window, always stock Pellas, for his BRICK house.
 
  #23  
Old 01-17-03, 06:35 AM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I'd SURE like to be your contractor ......I charge $60/window labor......my average time is about 45 minutes/window on these.....and I supply the caulk, insulation and trim coil for the outside wrap.....
 
  #24  
Old 01-17-03, 05:14 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Andy, $60 a hole in TN, with you suplying all of the stuff, works. Mrchris is in Indy, where they don't have the logs for you to sit on and contemplate the "next move". There, you would have to raise the price to at least $75 a hole. In THIS part of Ca, $75 a hole would work, but if we went to the Bay Area where all the dot commers are, or LA, where all the movie stars are, we could start at $250 a hole!!
 
  #25  
Old 01-17-03, 08:03 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
For $60 a window, you can do my whole house. Tommorow.

I wonder what a plane ticket from Tennnese to Indy is right now. Andy, I've heard as much as $300 a window from some contractors around here.

I'll probably be posting with the price comparisions between Pellas, Simontons, etc. sometime next week. The Simonton rep will be nice enough to quote me a price with and without installation.

My father is starting to scare me. "Oh, get one a little bigger than the existing opening, we can just take the siding off, cut it, and mount a new J-channel. That's how I put a larger exterior door on your grandfather's house."
 
  #26  
Old 01-18-03, 07:27 AM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Lefty,

Ya...I know they get a LOT more some places, but prices are a lot lower here too.......For instance, the property taxes on my 100 acres, with a pretty decent house,and a 35x75 shop building only run about $1000/yr....compared to what I've heard from other areas, that ain't bad......

Chris:

I'd be leary of getting into aluminum siding.....vinyl isn't too bad to work with, but aluminum is a little harder.....and when you get the prices on Pella, I think you'll find a custom size vinyl is the way to go

Good luck with it....


andy
 
  #27  
Old 01-19-03, 04:31 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Mrchris,

We sure seem to have taken the long way to get to this point (and covered a lot of topics on the way!!), but Andy and I are in total agreement on this one. Replace the windows, but don't let Dad and his tin snips get near the siding.

You mentioned Pella windows as being one option. Like Andy said (way back when), unless you really want something like the wood interior that Pella offers (and Simington doesn't), I see no real reason to spend the extra money on them. Get the Simington's with Low E or Low E squared glass (and argon, if you want to spend the extra money on it), and you have a good window with a decent warranty at a very fair price. Get them sized to fit your opening, and leave the siding alone.

(Why didn't I just say that in the first reply and same myself all of this typing??)
 
  #28  
Old 01-20-03, 03:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
Is this Simonton rep pulling my leg?

Okay, to summarize, here are the windows in question:

1) 36x55
2) 58x36 (two double hungs, looking to replace w/ LR casement)
3) 28x36

The Pella Proline 450's with Low E+, wood cladding, screens, etc. would be $870 from Lowe's. Costs of therapy after taking the siding off my house with my dad is not presently included.

Windows & Siding of Indianapolis, the only rep for Simonton Impressions in town, quoted me the following, along with the "I can only give you an installed price, we're a contractor, not a distributor,"

A) Double hungs for windows #1 and 3, slider for #2. Two panes, Low E Softcoat, $1731 installed.

B) Casements for all 3, Three panes, Low E Krypton, $2620 installed.

Is this a joke? Are the Impressions that high-class of a window? Assuming the Simonton's cost is close to Pella Prolines, we're talking $250-$400 a window for the install. I could fly Andy here for that kind of money.

Cameron Ashley, the only rep for Simonton Reflections, will be giving me a price this week, and a list of contractors they work with (they're distribution only.)

So the saga continues.
 
  #29  
Old 01-20-03, 03:53 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
And if you live near Indianapolis, I might just come....I need to get by Woodmizer and look at that new moulder and straight line ripsaw they have.......
 
  #30  
Old 01-20-03, 05:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
I'm in Indianapolis.

Seriously, is that a fair price for Simonton Impressions? I almost couldn't look the guy in the eyes.

I was hoping that the installed price for the Simontons wouldn't be that much more than the material price for the Pellas.
 
  #31  
Old 01-20-03, 06:07 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I don't know about the Impression series, but the prices on the Reflection here are

Window #1....about $200 with the LowE
#2....about 220
#3....about 170

Comes with 1/2 screen....add $15 for the other half

Plus sales tax.....

If it was just 3 windows, I'd probably charge a bit more as you're gonna screw up a day for me anyway and you're gonna pay for that, so say $250 labor.

If you'll ask at the place that just sells the windows, they should be able to give you the names of a couple of good installers....that's how i get a LOT of my business.
 
  #32  
Old 01-23-03, 12:24 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 137
The Envelope Please. . . .

Simonton Reflections Rep calls me back with the following prices for Low E squared softcoat casements (5500 series)

#1 -- $274
#2 -- $424
#3 -- $230

Total = $928. Um, that's actually more than the Pella Prolines, for something WITHOUT wood cladding and the over-inflated Pella name/reputation. Of course, there would be no nail flange, but I have a feeling the hole will be so big once the old window comes out, that a new construction window could go in relatively easy.

Andy & Lefty, my father has yet to be wrong about any other home improvment project he's recommended to me. I'll likely order the Pellas, then be posting back sometime in April with either "Success!" or "Does anybody know where I can get one little piece of almond colored aluminum siding?"

So, please place your "I told you so's" in the incubator for a few months.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes