Replacing Aluminum Windows

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-16-02, 11:42 AM
LearningMan
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Replacing Aluminum Windows

Hello,
This is my first time using this board, so hopefully someone can help. I have a house that was built in the mid 70's and has single pane aluminum windows. The inside is sheetrocked of course and the outside of the house is brick. OK, I would like to go to Home Depot or Lowes and get some double pane insulated windows, energy star rated and install. I have done many other things to the house, but never windows. I was told by one person that all I had to do was take a Saz-all and cut around the edge of the window from the inside to cut the fins off that were nailed to the 2x4's when it was built. Then pull out from inside and install new accordingly and caulk etc. Is this true? Are there other ways. Obvioulsy I don't want to take apart the brick. LOL I have read a couple other places that talk about the wood framed windows where they leave the window frame in place and then size the new one to fit there and secure and recaulk. Can this be done with the aluminum typw windows I have? Well any help would be appreciated. Thanks

Dwayne
Gulfport, Mississippi
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-16-02, 12:05 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
These are buuggers to replace

To remove: Take all the glass/sashes out, any way you can get them out. Sometimes you have to bend or cut the frame to get them out. Sometimes the upper glass is fixed and held in with aluminum or vinyl strips + caulk...do what you have to, but get all the glass out first.

Then from the outside, start prying between the aluminum frame and the brick with a small pry bar, then switch to a big crowbar. Use a pc of plywood between the bar and brick so you don't scuff the brick...also watch for loose brick or whole sections of brick as you pry. With enough pressure, the frame will tear loose from the nails on the nailing flange back between the back of the brick and the stud wall outside. Once you get one side or the bottom pried up good, you may want to cut thru it with a sawzall, but trying to cut the frame away from the nailing fin won't work....you'll make a mess of your sheetrock returns inside and bend a LOT of blades trying to do this.
 
  #3  
Old 01-16-02, 12:25 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
part 2:

Once you have the entire aluminum frame removed, by prying, cutting, and a few choice words, you're ready to install new.

The new windows, which you should have ordered several weeks ahead, are measured as follows:

Sizes are always Width first and height second. You need to make GOOD, accurate measurement inside you existing windows.The sheetrock returns will vary up to an inch inside even though it's the same size aluminum window. The new vinly replacement window is 3 1/4" deep or thick, and will go in the opening over the top of your sill and sheetrock about 1-2 inches....you can set it anywhere you want in the opening.

When you order your windows, order EXACT size or they will often cut your measurement down 1/2 to 3/4" each way, and you will have to put up trim to cover this gap inside. If you have 12 windows, you may well have 12 slightly different sizes....keep a good list for install day so you don't get 'em mixed up.
 
  #4  
Old 01-16-02, 12:30 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
anna3

To install, set in the hole where you want...I usually line the outside up with the old caulk line on the brick, the use the four screws that come with the window in the pre-drilled holes in the top/bottom of the side jambs ( may be a cover over the inside top..remove to see hole)...make sure the screws hit wood framing, not just go betweent the sheathing and brick.

The new window will be small than the brick opening generally, and I make some trim out of vinyl coated aluminum trim coil to cover that gap. stuff insulation around the new window first, then trim. You can also use wood trim, but then that sorta defeats the maintenance free aspect... Run bead of caulk around the window frame inside and you're in bizness.
 
  #5  
Old 01-16-02, 01:55 PM
Lucky13
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
To get the glass out of the top fixed sash, after removing the glazing bead, heating the glass at the edges with a hand-held propane torch will help to loosen the backbedding compound for easier glass removal. Also follow TN...ANDY's advice about the caulk. Do not use expanding foam as it may interfere with the operation of the sash after the window is installed.
 
  #6  
Old 01-16-02, 09:56 PM
LearningMan
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Sizing New window

OK I think I understand everything. All the way up to measuring the new ones. No, I don't have any trim on the inside like a lot of people do. Just the sheetrock and how it looks like it fits seemlesly around the window. So I can see why you pry the frame from the outside. OK, so when I get the old window out, I then have the opening. So do I just measure the opening from the inside sheetrock side to side and top to bottom since from what you are saying, the new window I'm guessing will not have the nail on flanges or they will be removed and the window just sits inside the opening and up against the old caulk and secured through the holes in the frame and through the sheetrock and into the framing??? If measured that way and the window fits well against the rock, then I wouldnt need to use the non expanding foam, but just secure and caulk around the outside and inside again. Am I on the right track here? Ok thanks a lot. You have been a great help.

Dwayne
 
  #7  
Old 01-17-02, 04:03 AM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
You're on the right track :

The window IS measured like I told you, but don't wait until you get it out to do it !! Measure and order ahead.

There is no nailing flange on a replacement window normally.

The new window takes more "depth" in the hole than your old one....to keep it about the same point outside means it will come inside farther, past the old caulkline....which is good, because a lot of times the aluminum window has sweated and rotted some of the sheetrock and this lets you cover that damage with thenew window.

The window will fit tight to the sheetrock inside ( if you measure and order as I told you), but the outside WILL NOT fit tight to the brick like the old one did..because you measured to fit tight to the sheetrock, a smaller opening, you will have to make some trim. You can normally rent brakes from a rentall if you want to do it like the pro's.
 
  #8  
Old 01-19-02, 06:44 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 116
This is for Tn...Andy.

I follow your explanation regarding removal of aluminum window frames using "bull force" to rip the nails out of the wood structure (when the nailing flange is behind the brick).

I have some windows which are surface mounted onto wood that protrudes beyond the shingle siding. These should be a snap to remove since I can see the mounting screws which go through the nailing flange. However, I also have some windows which are mounted with the nailing flange behind brick.

I wonder if a guy could use a rotary saw - like a Rotozip, or equivelent - to cut thru the aluminum frame from the outside. These tools cut thin aluminum easily & they are very small & easy to operate in tight places. You could even use a 1/8"
solid carbide tile cutting bit - which can also cut brick & mortar.

What do you think?

Best regards, Dick
 
  #9  
Old 01-19-02, 02:42 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Dick;

Might could, but there is usually a part of the extrusion that sticks staight out from the nailing flange that the brick is butted up against....in fact that is what you stick something under to start prying...I think you would have a hard time getting something like a rotozip bit back under this to the depth of the nailing flange to do your cutting. Plus you have the diameter of the tool holding you off the brick, so you have to go in at an angle, making it more awkward.....but there is more than one way to skin a cat, so try it

The "bruteforce" method isn't that bad, espcially the larger the window....I can usually get one out in just a few minutes after you figure out how to remove the glass.
 
  #10  
Old 01-19-02, 04:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 116
Tn...Andy,

You're thinking about using a rotozip is sound but there may be ways to work around the problems you mentioned.

If you take the support ring off of the tool - & tip it a bit - you can get the collet within 1/2" of the brick. Also, I think you could possibly drill a starting hole in the aluminum (and brick if necessary) to get the bit past the stop you mentioned. Once the rotozip is through the aluminum, you could turn it on & cut away.

Could you please describe the stop & nailing flange configuration in more detail so I can better visualize what I may be dealing with?

I haven't tried it of course, but it seems possible to use the rotozip. Also, after checking closer, I find that I only have two windows where the nailing flange is behind the brick. Even if I have to resort to the brute force method it shouldn't be too bad.

By the way, my wife & I really love the Smokies. Are you anywhere near them?

Best regards, Dick
 
  #11  
Old 01-20-02, 05:01 AM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Dick;

"Could you please describe the stop & nailing flange configuration in more detail so I can better visualize what I may be dealing with? "

You can see what I'm talking about if you'll stick a screw driver under the aluminum where it meets your brick sill...raise the aluminum up a little ( just don't bend it too much at this point until you're actually going to take it out) and you can see the nailing flange back there. The nailing flange is generally like an inch back from the lip of the extrusion that meets the brick. Just don't think you can get a zip bit back there to do the job, but I haven't seen every aluminum window ever made....yours might !

I've got a Rotozip, but haven't been too impressed with it. Great for cutting drywall, but that's about all. I think the force method would have these windows out before you could cut half of one with the zip tool.

I'm in northeast TN in the Appalachian chain....as pretty as the Smokies with far less tourists
 
  #12  
Old 01-21-02, 08:10 AM
LearningMan
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Originally posted by Tn...Andy

The window will fit tight to the sheetrock inside ( if you measure and order as I told you), but the outside WILL NOT fit tight to the brick like the old one did..because you measured to fit tight to the sheetrock, a smaller opening, you will have to make some trim. You can normally rent brakes from a rentall if you want to do it like the pro's. [/B]

Andy,

I got the replacement windows picked out and on order. I thought that I would start with the small bathroom window first and see how that comes out before I go to the larger ones. I'm not going to be keeping the older windows so instead of trying to heat the glaze and stuff up to get the glass out. Cant I just put something up and break it out and be done with it? LOL

The only thing I still dont really understand is trimming the outside out where the gap will be from the new window frame to the brick. Insulating and that I got. But what is a brake that you mention that you can rent? Is there something that I can get from somewhere like Home Depot or Lowes that is made just for covering up this gap? OK well thanks for the advice. Can't wait to get started.

Dwayne
 
  #13  
Old 01-21-02, 12:43 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Dwayne;

You can just break them out, but try doing what I said first, remove the strip on the outside that is holding them in and see if they don't just pop out of the sash with a little pressure. Often the caulk is old and already loose once you get the keeper strip out.

I've also done what Lucky said with the propane torch to loosen the caulk....just don't overheat the glass,it will pop in your face.

I generally only break glass as a very LAST resort, because no matter how careful you are, it goes every where. Tape both sides of the glass with duct tape, wear goggles, gloves and be careful if you go this route. If I could show you some pics of the scars on my hands, you might rethink this route !!!!
 
  #14  
Old 01-21-02, 12:44 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
anna2 ( anna I really HATE this software)


A "brake" is something you'd have to get from a rentall, never seen them at Lowes.etc. It is a tool for bending aluminum trim coil to shape trim pcs around your windows. Trim coil comes in painted and vinyl coated rolls of 24"x50' in about any color you want. If you have no idea how to use one, I suggest you watch for somebody putting up vinyl siding somewhere and go watch them a little while. Tell the installer what you're going to do and I'd bet they will give you a 10 minute lesson in how one works that will be worth BIG BUCKS to you. Then be a nice guy and buy their lunch.

Post the private mail you sent me here about the nailing flanges and let me answer it here, as others might be interested in it also.
 
  #15  
Old 01-21-02, 01:36 PM
LearningMan
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Originally posted by Tn...Andy
anna2 ( anna I really HATE this software)

Post the private mail you sent me here about the nailing flanges and let me answer it here, as others might be interested in it also.
Sorry, I thought I posted to the group. OK I am confused on getting the windows now. Thought I knew and was ready to order but getting two differnet stories from the stores. I really didn't want to spend a bundle on the windows. Basically just wanted some good single hung energy star rated windows. I was looking at the Better Built brand at Home Depot and Lowes. They have a nail on flange around the window. Home Depot tells me that they dont recommend snapping the flange off and using it as a replacement since it may viod the warranty, plus I would have to drill my own screw holes. Lowes though tells me just the opposite on the exact same window. They told me to install just as I was told here, except to score and snap off the four flanges, predrill my holes and install making sure to shim accordingly if have to and being careful to not screw down too hard and warp the frame. I tried in vain to find a web site for these Better Buillt brand to call them, but could not locate one. What do I do??? Who is right? I am only planning on being in the house hopefully at most five years. So Im looking at a difference of at least $50 between actual replacement type windows and using the ones that have the flanges. Also, if I go with the replacement type they will be vinal. It's my understanding that they are very good, but i just really didnt want to spend the money since I'm also upgrading everything else in the house.

As for the "brake" yes I will just have to look around and see, maybe go to the rental store and take a look at what they have. I'm guessing though that the work, using the brake, is done last and after completely installing the window and securing?

Thanks

Dwayne
 
  #16  
Old 01-21-02, 02:57 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Dewayne:

Brake is used on the final trim outside. YOu can also used wood trim and paint.

Is the BetterBuilt an aluminum window ? You can trim off the nailing flange used on a "new construction" window and use as a replacement window, but will the sizes be right ????
I'd be surprised if they would work.


Most new construction windows are built to a standard size, and you make the hole fit. Replacement windows are made to fit an existing hole. That is one reason they cost a little more, they are custom built for the job, versus a mass made window for new use.

You CAN use a new construction window in a replacement situation, but generally must go with a smaller window and do a fair amount of filling in, OR a fair amount of ripping out to use a larger one. The cost of the labor and materials doesn't match the price difference for a replacement type window.
 
  #17  
Old 01-21-02, 03:13 PM
LearningMan
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Andy,

When I checked the measurements on the construction windows, it gave two sizes. On the one window today it said 2/0 - 3/0 and then beside it it said an actual measurement. My opening for the replacement is 23.5" x 36" sheetrock to sheetrock. It was less than 36" top to bottom in actuality until I removed the bottom decorative board, whatever it is called, on the inside bottom of the window. I didn't write down the actual measurment of the particular window I looked at in the store, but it was within an 1/8 of an inch of what I needed side to side. I figure I could have a little more leeway on the bottom since I will be recutting and installing the 1 by 4 piece I removed. I guess what I need to do now that you have told me I can use the replacements, is go around and get all the measurements for each window and label. I remeber you saying that each one could be different. Then go back to the store and make sure that there is a reasonably small gap on the inside edges side to side. If its within an 1/8" would you say that it would be ok to go with the construction windows? And yes, the BetterBuilts are an aluminum window. Thanks

Dwayne
 
  #18  
Old 01-21-02, 03:15 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 116
Learning Man:

If you live in a larger metropolitan area, chances are good that you can find a small supplier of aluminum siding materials (mill house, not an installing contractor) or a sheet metal fabricating shop that has a brake.

I found a few here in the suburbs of Detroit that will custom brake window trim if you're buying the aluminum from them. Try calling some of them & ask if they do it or can refer you to some one that does.

Regards, Dick
 
  #19  
Old 01-21-02, 03:22 PM
LearningMan
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Dick,

Thanks for the advice. I was actually looking in the phone book earlier and thinking about calling a few places this week about prices and to inquire about that. It seems like it might be more work deciding on the type of windows and getting them then putting them in. LOL

Dwayne
 
  #20  
Old 01-21-02, 04:54 PM
Tn...Andy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Dewayne;

If you're within an 1/8", you're fine.....if you ordered replacements, they wouldn't build them any closer that that...and some companies wouldn't do that good.....some only build like 1/4 or 3/4 on widths and heights.....( I don't use them)

You could actually be less than that and run some quarter round moulding around the inside.


good luck with it
 
  #21  
Old 01-21-02, 04:59 PM
LearningMan
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Andy,

Just want to say thanks a lot for all the help! I will have to let you know how my first window replacement goes.

Thanks for your time and patience...

Dwayne
 
  #22  
Old 02-16-06, 09:30 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1
This is great information.

In the past hour I have received my new windows and removed the glass from one of my existing alum. windows and did indeed pry up the bottom and viewed the nail flange. This entire process was not without problems however. I first went to the local "major chain" home improvement store and quickly realized that all those replacement windows they have on display will never fit the average "older" home so my next problem was measuring the opening. Since I didn't want to custom order 10 windows only to find my rubber ruler worked against me I asked the folks at the local chain home improvement "if I order the windows from them is there a service to come and measure the windows". Long story short I paid 30 dollars and a craftsman came and measured the windows but would not supply me with the measurements. This was no problem because I was going to order them from the major chain anyway. When I went into the store they had my material list and quoted me the installation price. I said I did not want them installed I only wanted them professionally measured and ordered. They said they do not do that and the only way I could utilize the measurements was to have their installer put the windows in. This was NEVER my intention and was very explicit when talking with the window/door department individual.

Anyway enough about that, as soon as the weather breaks I will be installing my own windows and found the postings above MOST helpful. Like I always have said, give me a big enough hammer and a long enough bar and I can do anything!!!
 
  #23  
Old 02-16-06, 04:46 PM
LearningMan
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Beans, I had a similiar experience and thus decided to do it myself also. Mine were built to withing an 1/8th inch all the way around. The only prob I had was when I went to secure them using some screws through the side jam into the studs. The way the window dropped down you couldnt just put a screw there because it would hit the jam. (I went with vinyl in the end and not aluminum) Anyways no one told me that the window frame was two layers seperated by an air space. All I had to do was drill through the 1st layer a little bit bigger and then go though the opening with the screws and anchor the last layer to the studs. Caulked the inside and used some good grey outdoor silicone for the outside from frame to brick.
 
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