Replacing metal frames

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  #1  
Old 05-21-03, 10:58 AM
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Replacing metal frames

Hi,
We recently bought a house - it looks like within the last few years the owner replaced the original windows with vinyl replacments, which is nice. However they left the original metal frames (would this be the sill, head & jambs?) where the windows fit it. The are old, some are rusted, multiple layers of paint, etc. - I just don't like it.

So I'm thinking about either stripping the frames & repainting, or ideally, replacing them with wood. I'd love to get input from you guys as to how difficult the job would be (I'm an average DIY'er, but do have a nice miter saw). Is this a task for a DIYer or should a professional be used? What to look for, what problems can occur? What type of wood to use, etc. The depth of the metal is 1" so in order to use the same windows (which is a must), I'd have to live within that constraint.

Any suggestions?
Bob
 
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  #2  
Old 05-21-03, 02:20 PM
Tn...Andy
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Treat me like Ricky and do some "hesplaining" Lucy ....

I'm having trouble picturing where the metal frame is in relation to the new window....were there metal windows there with a sheetrock return from the wall plane to the window, and now the vinyl window sits on the inside of that frame ? So like there is an inch of metal showing from the vinyl to the sheetrock return ??

Boy, would a pic be nice here....


andy
 
  #3  
Old 05-21-03, 02:50 PM
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Sorry about the confusion, part of the problem is I don't know the correct terminology for the whole set up. When I saw metal frame this is the 'box' that the windows sit in. My guess is that when the old windows were removed, the original metal frame that I am talking about (is it called a 'pan' or 'casement'?) was left in place. The vinyl replacement windows were then screwed into the frame and caulking was applied.

If I am looking straight at the window from indoors, I see this frame surrounding the whole opening - it's 1" thick and extends from the sheetrock (actually plaster) through the window opening and ends at the brick outside. It protrudes a bit in the house maybe 1/4". This frame must be attached to the brick/plaster & wall studs and surrounds all 4 sides.

So yes, looking at the window, I see 1" of the metal frame surrounding the window unit. The window unit is caulked to this frame. And the frame butts up against the sheetrock.

What I'm thinking is getting some 1"x and replacing it. Because I would probably have a less than perfect gap when I'm all done, I was thinking that I'd use my miter saw to trim them.

Hope this helps & thanks!

B
 
  #4  
Old 05-21-03, 04:04 PM
Tn...Andy
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OK...that helps.....sounds like somebody just took out the sashes and managed to get a replacement window back in that space....which makes me wonder how they hid that on the outside.....

Replacements generally are 3 1/4" "deep" because that is the thickness of 2 wood sashes, which is what replacements were "really" designed to replace.....and in wood windows you DO leave the old frame in place.

But metal windows are generally much less "thick"...usually like 2" or so.....so I wondering how they hid that extra depth, which they must have done on the outside, since you're seeing it about flush on the inside......I'm also wondering how they heck they secured it to anything, since the bulk of the new window is hanging out there in "free space" ????????? At least an inch from anything on the outside....or more....hmmmm....well, whatever....

What they "should" have done is pull the metal frame out also, and sized the replacement to go back right to the sheetrock/plaster. I normally set the new window to the old caulk line outside on brick, and pull the extra depth to the inside, covering the sheetrock/plaster point where it met the old window....

So, now measure Bob, from the edge of the wall where it corners going into the window opening area and the window....How much "depth" do you have from that edge to the metal frame and the new window ? AND do you have any type of wood around the openings now or is it just a sheetrock/plaster return ?
 
  #5  
Old 05-21-03, 10:44 PM
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Andy's on it -- they took out the sashes, knocked out any mullions that were in the way, and left the perimeter frame in place. The retrofit windows were sized to fit inside that frame. Been done millions of times around here, (done it thousands of times myself) but this is a warm climate. The outside trim is sealed directly to the aluminum. The new window then has fiberglass insulation put around it, and an inside trim is installed. Sounds to me like somebody just never installed the inside trim, and THAT is the metal you are seeing.

At this point, I don't think you want to remove the metal frame. That would increase the size of the opening to the point that your retrofit windows would be too small to fill.

Your options are to make a wood trim for the inside that will cover the aluminum, go to a glass shop and buy vinyl trim and install it (cuts really easily to width and length -- comes in 12 or 16 foot lengths), or use sheetrock to reduce the inside opening size of the windows.

Pictures WOULD be great! Can you get some, post them on a site like Yahoo or Angelfire, and give us the URL to the site??
 
  #6  
Old 05-22-03, 03:40 AM
Tn...Andy
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Hmm...this must be another one of those regional things.....because SOP here is to pull frame and all.....

Lefty...

What do you do in a situation where the window is not in a brick veneered house ? Doesn't seem like you'd have enough depth on the outside to mount the new window ? If you start from the metal frame and go out from there, the extra thickness of the vinyl frame would put you out past the plane of the old metal window by an inch or more....or at least in the case of most metal windows here.....the frame thickness of aluminum windows is usually like 2" or so.....

And what is the reason for not going ahead and pulling out the frame also ?? Why would you leave it in place ?
 
  #7  
Old 05-22-03, 07:22 AM
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Great stuff guys, I really appreciate it. I'll do some measuring tonight & take a couple of pictures & let you know. Again, thanks!

Bob
 
  #9  
Old 05-23-03, 03:57 AM
Tn...Andy
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Well, the winner today in the category "I ain't seen it all yet" are your windows, Bob.


I've never seen metal used as a jamb......curious how the old window was mounted in there....I kept picturing a thin frame extending perpendicular from the window opening an inch where just the sashes had been removed. It looks like the whole window WAS removed in this case...that metal may just be an extension jamb too, that doesn't run all the way under the vinyl window.... it probably has some kind of lip or flange under the plaster on the inside, so I don't think I'd try removing it to find out...you may end up with some major plaster repairing around the inside if you do.

But it doesn't matter. Here's what I would do....and just leave it in place for the easiest solution.

I'd make an extension jamb out of 3/4" lumber about 2" wide or whatever that distance from the window to the outside wall plane is, stained or painted as you prefer, and build a "box" that will fit just inside the old metal jambs.....that is, pre-nail your 4 pcs together, because the hard part might be attaching the box to the metal jamb......you might drill a few holes about the size of a 12p finish nail ( or a 13p Swedish one ) and in combo with some liquid nails, mount the box frame. Once you have that in place, you can mount ordinary casing on the wall overlapping the edge of the box by 3/8" or so.


If I email you a couple of pics of how I trim one out, will you post them on your website ?? ( I don't have a site )

andy
 
  #10  
Old 05-23-03, 06:27 AM
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Andy - sounds good. I'd be happy to post such pictures, just send them to me in an email!

Thanks,
Bob
 
  #11  
Old 05-23-03, 07:46 AM
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Like Andy, I have never seen a jamb like that either.

However, I HAVE seen windows (my house, and all the rest of them in this subdivision) that used metal like that for the sill. I agree with Andy -- you don't want to try removing it. It has a flange that is nailed to the 2" side of the framing members, then the plaster was put on the walls, covering that flange. Removal would just be opening a can of worms for you, and things could get ugly.

Andy came up with the same solution I did -- rip a 1X to the width from the vinyl window to the edge of the opening, install that, then use a 2-1/4" wide casing to "picture frame" it out.

A suggestion to install that 1X -- drill a 1/4" or larger hole in the metal, then use 2" or 2-1/2" screws to install the 1X. Put in the header and sill pieces (top and bottom) first, then the jambs (sides).

You can do this with a hardwood, (like oak, maple, cherry, etc.) and stain it, or use pine, poplar, birch, etc. and paint it. Your choice. (I used oak throughout my house because that is the look I wanted.)
 
  #12  
Old 05-25-03, 09:37 AM
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Andy's Handiwork

Here are a few pictures of some of Andy's handiwork:

http://home.earthlink.net/~memexweb/...es/andy_01.jpg

http://home.earthlink.net/~memexweb/...es/andy_02.jpg

http://home.earthlink.net/~memexweb/...es/andy_03.jpg

Andy - come over anytime you want - I've got a few challenges that have me stumped!!! Lefty - you're always welcome as well.

Anyhow, I like your solutions, the only problem is I am concerned about the 'lip' of the frame. Unfortunately, it is not flush with the interior wall - it sticks out maybe a 1/4" or so. So I suppose I could build that box out so it is the ticks out the same depth as the existing metal frame. Are there then problems with the casing not being on the same plane (i.e. it is higher next on the box than on the wall)?

Anyhow - as always, your input is greatly appreciated!!!
 
  #13  
Old 05-25-03, 12:40 PM
Tn...Andy
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Bob,

If you look at a pc of casing, you see the backside has a bit of "cove" cut out of it.....they use a "backout" knife on it leaving a high point on each edge. This is to make installing casing ( and also baseboard) a little easier in bridging over little imperfections on the sheetrock.....a flat pc of moulding will "roll" on any high point on the wall...this will work to your advantage also in crossing over that high point of metal.

If you made your own casing like I do you could backout as much material as needed to do this, but if storebought stuff doesn't have a deep enough backout, you could run it on a table saw with a dado blade and take a bit more out. By doing that, and setting your wood extension jamb back toward the window in the same plane as the wall, you could just cover over the metal and not even know it was there !

And thanks for posting the pics ! I just refered Terry down here because he is wanting info on how to do his this way. Too bad we can't upload pics directly here.....If Lefty hadn't uploaded those neckid pics of his ex-girlfriend, we wouldn't have had our priviledges cut off......ahahahahahaha......( that's a test to see how close Lefty is reading this )
 
  #14  
Old 05-25-03, 01:09 PM
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Andy - thanks for the enlightenment, I'll pick up some casing & see if it works. I'm just building up a tool inventory, alas, no tablesaw now but I have a friend with one.

Aso for the Pics, no problem. Are you sure it was his ex and not some farm animals?


So sorry Lefty - but as a fellow 'lefty', I know there's a funny bone in there someplace.
 
  #15  
Old 05-25-03, 05:54 PM
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Andy, that wasn't my ex-girlfriend, that was ...

I know, it was really a sad day when that clown decided he had to make life so difficult for us.

Actually I haven't had a chance to view the pics yet -- have some family in town and lots of things planned. I will get to them tomorrow when life starts returning to "normal", or at least gets back to it's usual hetic schedule. I just had a couple of minutes between 'engagements', and checked in here.

Bob md, just a thought on the trim -- if you made the 1X on the sill, the jambs, the header a bit (1/4" or so) wider than necessary, used the 2-1/4" casing or baseboard and added a strip of 1/4" stock along the outside edge so that it would float over the metal jamb pieces that are so ugly ...

The 2-1/4" would look more about 3/4" thick rather than the 1/2" it really is, but would still look fine. Trying to rip a relief in the side that is already thin if you use a 'store bought' casing ca certainly be done, as Andy suggested. Just be careful -- it could be a dangerous pain, and if you have to take out a 1/4", the stuff just might not be thick enough.

More tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the holiday.
 
  #16  
Old 05-26-03, 05:03 PM
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Finally got a look at Andy's pics. He and I cased out our windows essentially the same way, right down to using about the same color of stain on the red oak.

Bob md, that style of finishing out the windows will work for you as soon as you decide how to get the amount of relief you need behind the casing to clear the metal frames that you want to cover up.

I have finished windows the same way using a paint grade material, because that is the look the customer wanted. That looks good also. Jsut depends on your tastes and what fits with the rest of the house.
 
  #17  
Old 05-26-03, 06:57 PM
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Great tips guys. I was at a local hardware store and for testing purposes I bought a little casing, along with a 1/4" strip to see how that would work (as the casing doesn't have enough relief & it wouldn't be easy for me to get to a saw). Would you recommend gluing the 1/4" strip to the casing before attaching or do it after the casing is on? Also, what's the best way to make sure the extra width of the jambs, header & sill will be on the same plane as the 1/4" stock? Is it that critical or is eyeballing good enough?

Regardless, I'll start the process on one of the windows and report back (with pictures) soon. The first window I'll do is in the kitchen & will be painted, so I'll use stock pine. The rest of the house will probably be stained.

Thanks again,
Bob
 
  #18  
Old 05-26-03, 10:07 PM
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Getting things (1/4" strips on one side, and the jamb, sill and header pieces on the other) on the same plane is going to be pretty critical so that the mitered corners of the casings fit right. I don't see it as the type of project that you will want to rush through -- or, to put that another way, plan on spending some time with each window, and if you get TOO frustrated, put things down and go get on the computer for an hour!!

Starting with a painted window is a good idea. You can use little shims there to help you get everything lined up just right, and painter's caulk will hide any holidays or voids that may exist.

Hopefully when they put those metal casings in, they were mostly pretty close, and only a few of them have this 1/4" projection problem. (I know in my house, and the 1/2 dozen others around here I've replaced windows in, for the most part, the metal sills were fairly close to the same level as the finished wall.)

I would glue the 1/4" strips onto the casings rather than trying to fit them in afterwards. Well, I would for the first window anyway. But trial and error might prove that fitting them in after the fact is easier. You can always shave the strips to be a bit thinner with a razor knife. I think it's mostly going to be trial and error and see what works best for you.

One thing I know will help a lot would be a compressor and an inexpensive brad nailer. Trying to hand nail all of this stuff is going to be frustrating as hell. That might prove to be the best $300 you ever spent!
 
  #19  
Old 05-27-03, 01:46 AM
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Thumbs up Air nailer

Amen to that !!!
 
  #20  
Old 05-27-03, 07:38 PM
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Well, unfortunately, the protrusion is consistently 1/8" to 1/4" around all the windows, so I'll either build up the casing with the 1/4" strips or hollow them out more. Per your suggestion, I'll take my time, I'm in now huge hurry, but those damn things are ugly.

I've been toying with the idea of a nailer for some time. Any recommendations on the specs for a compressor? I know I want an oil type, but some of the recommendations for a 20 gallon capacity seem too much (in terms of size & weight). I'm not all that familiar with the terms - I am not a professional, however I will be doing a lot of trim, and building additions, roofing, etc. (I'm more of a weekend warrior). I realize the value of good tools (my basement is filling with PC, Milwaukee, etc.), but at the same time I don't need professional grade quality. So I guess what would I look for inl HP, PSI & CFMs?

My wife found a 10% off coupon at Lowes & told me (bless her), I don't want to go cheap on something as nice as an air compressor!
 
  #21  
Old 05-27-03, 09:02 PM
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I have 2 compressors. A 20 gal. Campbell-Hausfield that sits in the shop (never move it, so size and weight aren't an issue), and a portable Campbell-Hausfield with twin tanks. I think both are in the range of 5 or 6 CFM @ 90 PSI, and both will produce 125 max. PSI. Either will run every air tool I have just fine, but I do have to watch it when using the die grinder. That little thing uses a TON of air!!
 
  #22  
Old 05-28-03, 02:43 AM
Tn...Andy
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I have a 20 gal oil less Craftsman mounted up on the wall in the house garage.....all I ever use it for is inflating tires on cars, and it's a noisy pc of junk.

In the shop i have a big ole dog, 5hp w/80 gallon tank that feeds the shop.

For carry around, I had the twin tank Campbell Housefield, probably the same one as Lefty......Good compressor, unfortunately, some sorry SOB stole it out of a rent house I was building...I replaced it with an Emglo which I heard was "suposed" to be top dog, but the one I got seems to have a motor problem.....every time it starts, it sounds like the motor just ain't quite gonna start or the compressor has too much resistance, or like you have it on 90 volts, but then after a couple of seconds, it flys into high speed....I keep thinking it ain't gonna make it.....It's especially bad when the unit is dead cold.

That twin tank CH with the 1 1/2 or 2 hp motor was a good unit. It will probably do all you'll ever need.

For a brad nailer, I'd avoid Stanley Bostich. I had one and the cheap thing would bend the brad over about 1/2 the time.....even had it "rebuilt" and it still did it, so I have to think it was a design flaw......I switched to Senco and it's a good gun. One thing I REALLY like about the Senco that I didn't even know it did until I started using it was it will "stop" ....that is, the gun won't cycle, ....when the brads run out. The SB would just let you keep shooting....and if you didn't realize you were out of brads ( and the driver pin makes a hole just like it does WITH or WITHOUT a brad ), you could go on until whatever you THOUGHT you had nailed falls off !!

My SB angle finish nailer does the same thing......when it dies, ( or my ship comes in ), I'm going to Senco.
 

Last edited by Tn...Andy; 05-28-03 at 02:59 AM.
  #23  
Old 05-30-03, 07:45 AM
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Arrrrg....

Guys,

So this project pushed me to buy some new toys. Because I need to rip a bunch of 1x's, I just bought a table saw. Because I'm in the middle of building a shed, I have the window project & I'll be building an addition, I wanted something portable so I got a used Dewalt 744 (10") in good shape. Not leaving well enough alone, I just ordered some Dado blades (Freud) in case I want to carve out the back of the casing per Andy's suggestions.

Anyhow, I decided to look a little more closely at my windows last night & I found that the for several of the windows, things are not level. Here's Lefty's comments:

"Hopefully when they put those metal casings in, they were mostly pretty close, and only a few of them have this 1/4" projection problem. (I know in my house, and the 1/2 dozen others around here I've replaced windows in, for the most part, the metal sills were fairly close to the same level as the finished wall.) "

Well, taking a look at one of the worst windows, the metal casings went from 1/8" from the wall to 5/8". Unfortunately, the vinyl replacement windows that fit in these frames are squared to the frames, so they are not level to the wall (while I wasn't able to get a level on the full height, I'd guess I'm running at least 1/2" off on the worse one).

I have a piece of the first wood casing I found, while I could use a dado & carve more out of the back, I'd guess that I could go 3/16" deeper without severely damaging the integrity of the casing. If I do that & add a 1/4" strip, that would probably work, but it would be touch & go at a couple of spots (because the casing already has 3/32" cut out, I may just make it).

Questions:

1. Is the above approach the desired one?

2. Is there casing that is thicker (I'll go to the lumber center this weekend)?

3. Should I try to build out from the edge with a strip deeper than 1/4"? Do they make wider strips (again, I'll check)? If they don't, I'll have my new saw, sounds like I could do it (I've got an 80 tooth blade that would probably do the trick). Assuming I can buy or rip such a strip, would it look funky to have such a wide strip?

4. This is the big one, as I think I could rig one of the options above. Because the actual window is not on the same plane as the wall (at least on one of the windows, although I'd guess it would happen on others), how do I compensate for this? I imagine the best approach is to make the new 'box' compensate for this (deeper at one end, etc.), and make sure that the protruding end is actually on the same plane as the wall. If I don't make it on the same plane, I'd imagine I'd have a heck of a time with the mitered corners of the casing.

So (like most projects) things are not as simple, but such a challenge may fun, although for my fist table saw project it may be a bit dicey. However I am a patient guy so I'm willing to give it a whirl.

Also, I am buying a oil compressor - found a Hitachi EC12 for a great price - you guys must be reps for tool makers!

Bob
 
  #24  
Old 05-30-03, 09:03 AM
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And welcome to the world of remodel!!

Ain't nothin' gonna be square or plumb, and almost every one hour project takes all weekend to finish.

Of course, guys like Norm and Bob don't have these problems -- they do amazing things in 1/2 hour, and my wife doesn't seem to understand why I can't!!

Are we tool reps?? NO, we just do our thing to keep the tool reps and retailers employed and in business. "Our thing" -- wear them out!! (Or at least figure that we have to have the newest one with more bells and whistles!!)

Now, to your question:

1.) "Is the above approach the desired one?"

If it works, it sure is!!

2.) "Is there casing that is thicker?"

The answer is yes, but the question is does the lumber yard you are going to have it. It may be that you can find something else in their trim section that you can make work. (I used 1-5/8" beveled casings in my kitchen and dining room and 2-1/4" colonial throughout the rest of the house. If anybody has noticed, they haven't commented yet.)

3.) Yes, they have strips that thicker than 1/4". It shouldn't look bad to use a thicker one, as long as you do all of the windows in that particular room the same way. Here too, you may find a totally different matial to use as the casing for that room. They have a 3" by 3/4" casing that is fluted, and uses corner blocks rather than mitered corners. Something like that may work better, at least in spots.

4.) "This is the big one,..."

Since the window and the wall lean at different angles, you can rip a taper on the sill, jamb and header pieces as needed. (I think that's what you are talking about.)

Take your time and enjoy. And work safe, and keep your fingers away from the saw blade. (They don't need to strat looking like a couple of mine!!)
 
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