Replacing cheap windows of odd size

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  #1  
Old 08-10-15, 04:22 PM
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Replacing cheap windows of odd size

Hi all,

I'm looking to switch out a broken window. They're very cheap and aluminum framed. I'm not experienced at this, but my guess is that the aluminum frame is simply nailed into the wood frame. I can see where the aluminum frame sits against the wood and then there's caulk on top that. No siding or anything.

The measurements for the entire opening is 70" wide and 70.5" height, wood to wood. I'm having trouble finding those window sizes, most are within an inch, but not dead on. I think I need to get two window frame sets and use some kind of rail in the middle to connect them as one.

Any advice for me?

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-10-15, 04:29 PM
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My advice would be to take off any interior trim and measure the rough opening size that you have to work with on the inside of the window. Aluminum windows sometimes are stapled to a wood jamb so its possible your rough opening is 72x72. (Stud to stud)

If that is already what you have done, then sorry.

You can get a vinyl window made for whatever size you desire. If you are looking for a better window than that we can look for some options.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 10:14 PM
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I'm not 100%, but it looks like it's just nailed/stapled to the wood without a proper jamb. Is anyone able to confirm off this picture? (Sorry it's dirty, lol!)
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Old 08-11-15, 12:24 AM
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You said no siding or anything? No exterior sheathing? Not even stucco?
 
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Old 08-12-15, 03:44 PM
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I'll attach an outside picture. The metal frame of the window seems to be the "siding" covering it.
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I'm not confident what's behind the aluminum frame, but as narrow as it is and that it's flush with the drywall inside, I tend to think that it's stapled or screwed in without a surrounding jamb.
 
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Old 08-12-15, 04:37 PM
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In places like Texas where they have aluminum windows in masonry openings, they usually leave the aluminum frame in place and do what is called a flush fin installation. The glass and guts (vertical dividers) of the aluminum window are removed with a sawzall or grinder, and the new window is sized to fit right inside the old aluminum frame. The fin on the outside is trimmed to fit the exterior opening closely, while the inside gets trimmed out as needed... sometimes using a flat vinyl product like Trimquick.

So if you go that route, you would figure out what parts of the frame will stay, which will go, and measure the replacement window to fit inside, minus 1/4" for a little wiggle room.
 
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Old 08-12-15, 10:22 PM
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How are the aluminum frames attached to the structure? I was looking at swapping out the whole thing for a double paned window to help with noise and heat.

My guess is that the aluminum frame is stuck to the drywall or brick via screws or just caulk. I'd really like to see what's underneath, but... not wanting to tear out a window during the summer and not be able to put a new one in right away
 
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Old 08-12-15, 10:25 PM
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Is this probably how it looks?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QSc40-bf-w

if there is a small wooden ledge like in the video, I should measure the outside of the frame to get the dimensions
 
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Old 08-12-15, 10:25 PM
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its fastened with a fin behind the brick. Window went in first, then brick covered up the fin. Super pain in the a$$ to get it out, which is why they often use the method described.

Is your house wood framed, or concrete block?
 
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Old 08-12-15, 10:30 PM
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Yeah... doesn't come out quite as easy as they show. But that's one way to do it. You usually need a larger wrecking bar. And you can damage the brick with the prybar if you aren't careful... some brick is very brittle or the mortar is weak. They also didn't insulate the window, which probably isn't a big deal if you live somewhere warm. Most of us don't.

As far as measuring is concerned, you want to compare outside dimensions with inside. You know the drywall is probably 1/2" per side, so measure drywall to drywall then compare that with brick to brick.

You don't get the window the exact width the brick opening is or it won't fit. Brick is irregular and not very forgiving. I will generally err to the side of caution and get the window 1/4" narrower so that you're sure it fits and you can just caulk the edges.
 
  #11  
Old 08-14-15, 09:12 PM
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Wood-framed.

I'll look up what a "fin" is, I only understand it as the metal strips that separate the windows. I'm guessing the fin is a metal strip that is screwed down, then the glass rests on top of that
 
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Old 08-14-15, 09:36 PM
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No, the fin is around the outside of the frame and what attaches the window to the structure underneath. Even new construction wood aluminum/vinyl clad windows have a nailing fin. It's the standard install for new windows.

Think of a sharks dorsal fin running all around its body...

On some windows the fin folds so it can be used or not. On others it slides into a slot in the frame. On some it is an integral part but can be cut off if desired.

The parts that join 2 individual windows to fill a larger space (for instance) are called mullions (not to be confused with muntins).

I's suggest checking with a supplier (not a big box) in your area and show them the pics. If it's a common construction method they will know how to advise you. On stucco homes here, replacement windows have a large flange that overlaps the exterior opening and trim strips that cover the old frame on the inside. Takes about 15 min per window.
 
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