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Replacing inaccessible picture window from the inside

Replacing inaccessible picture window from the inside

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  #1  
Old 04-22-17, 07:50 AM
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Replacing inaccessible picture window from the inside

I have several picture windows that cannot be reached from the outside without scaffolding; these windows are 40+ feet from the ground. I've read in general about replacement windows, but don't know if they can be used in my case.

My windows are 'modern' style, aluminum frame, double-pane. Only about 1" of window frame is visible from inside, at all 4 edges. On the outside, there's a similar situation with just a narrow angled 'insert' around the entire window. Simple 2" trim is applied around the outside of the opening.

So does anyone know of a product or technique that would work in this situation? My thought is, I would break the glass, and then remove the exterior trim from the outside, and 'push out' the existing frame, then somehow install a replacement.

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First picture shows a sample window from the inside. Second picture shows a different sample window from outside.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-22-17, 08:15 AM
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Why do you want to replace them?

If you replace them with a double hung unit with removable sash, then it probably is feasible to do a replacement from the inside, working through the opening to weather seal the exterior. But if you want an all glass non-operable window I think you will need access from the outside to weather seal it properly. An all terrain bucket lift might be easier than scaffolding.
 
  #3  
Old 04-22-17, 08:19 AM
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Your windows look somewhat like commercial storefront windows. Without a closeup of the frame (inside/out) it's hard to tell which side has the removable stop. Generally it is on the outside... and you are dreaming if you think this can be done from the inside only.
 
  #4  
Old 04-22-17, 08:40 AM
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I want to replace them with open-able windows.
The 'why' is two-fold:
1) The current windows cannot be cleaned. I've tried hanging over the edge of the roof, 50+ feet from the ground, with a hose and/or a pole, but not only is that scary/dangerous, it's not very effective.
2) there are some external 'features' near the outside of the window that I need to access. If I could simply open these windows, I could do various repairs / touch-ups on these external elements.

This picture shows more details about the windows. This is from the inside, looking out. There happens to be another window to the left, and you can also see the external wood trim of that window through the glass. These windows are definitely 'minimalist', 'modern', etc. From the late 80s. I'm not clear on all the terminology, but I'd say these are definitely larger on the outside, and thus, the removable stops are on the outside. I would guess that if I removed that wood trim I'd see more of the frame on the outside.
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  #5  
Old 04-22-17, 09:02 AM
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If the outside stops are wood, it's likely that someone just built their own windows. While I wouldn't advise breaking out the glass, I guess that's one way to do it. You will likely have glass all over your lawn even if you put down drop cloths. Its probably tempered if it's got an etching or mark in the corner.

You could probably figure out a way to put a casement in, if you remove the sash... install, trim, caulk... then put the sash back in. Working while hanging out a window wouldn't be my idea of an easy install. Look into pump jacks.
 
  #6  
Old 04-22-17, 09:22 AM
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An all terrain bucket lift might be easier than scaffolding
.
How high can such a bucket lift go, and how bad can the terrain be? my home is on a roughly 30% slope, and there's no obvious way to get any wheeled vehicle near the property on the side in question (it's a hillside home, with the road access on the 'other' side - upslope).

If a bucket lift can get up 40', how far can such a device reach, horizontally? Scaffolding for my house is a $20k+ proposition (have the quotes).

Look into pump jacks.
What's the max height a pump jack can go? The window in question is 40+ feet from the ground. Looks like California codes restrict pump jacks to 30' ... https://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/1655.html
 
  #7  
Old 04-22-17, 10:48 AM
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Bucket lifts are available that can easily go up 40 feet and more. The reach is usually at least 20 feet but longer is available. 30 degrees might be doable as the units have hydraulic outriggers that self level the boom base. But you'd have to look into that to be sure. And they make tracked versions for really rugged terrain (although it will mess up the ground a bit). You won't find such a thing at consumer rental places you would have to talk to an industrial boom lift rental place.
 
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