DIY Replacement Windows - in Vinyl siding

ajpdlaJuly 23, 2007

My wife and I are seriously thinking about replacing our aluminum framed windows with vinyl windows this summer -- and, get this, doing it ourselves. She has this funky notion that I, with no experience in windows whatsoever, can just go out there, remove one window at a time, and replace them with the new ones, zip, that's it. All done. LOL. Well, I am quite the handyman; but I really have no idea how to get this honey-do, well, honey-done.

Sure, I can just go out there, pop one out, and pop one back in. But...the biggest obstacle in my way is what to do with the vinyl siding and metal wrap around the existing window.

The existing window footprint is like, oh, I don't know, an inch to 2 inches wide. The new replacement window would be up to 4, possibly 4 1/2 to 5 inches wide. Where does that leave the metal wrap? It would have to be cut back at some point; right? Or does the window lie on it and just caulk around it?

Do I remove it and be stuck with whatever lies underneath: possibly bad wood which would look terrible unless it is sanded and reprimed and painted? I mean, why did the previous owners vinyl side and metal wrap anyway? I don't wanna know what's under there, not right yet.

So... does anyone know the answers here or can you point me in the direction of a good visual display of how to deal with replacement windows going into a vinyl sided, metal wrapped windowed house? My wife, I know, would surely appreciate this information.



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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

It's not that simple. A metal frame window will usually require a buckframe (wood framing, usually 3/4" lumber)to receive the new vinyl window. The exterior blind stops are then installed to secure the unit from the exterior, and the interior OG stops are then installed to secure the interior. That also gives it a finished look.

A metal clad casing, *only for the experienced fabricator* is then used to dress, waterproof and make the window weathertight.

Call a professional. That's my advice.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 10:37PM
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Post a picture or two of the windows. As stated in previous post, this is an atypical install. The vinyl replacement windows are made to drop into a known opening with standard setbacks you find in wood double hung windows. They can be worked into many openings, but it will require custom fitting and capping. And you need to order the correct size to take this custom refit into consideration. If the aluminum frame goes accross the bottom of the window, it will need to be modified/removed to fit the new window. You don't want to order a house full of windows you can't use.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 8:29AM
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I would recommend against doing these as a DIY project.

We had 10 out of 12 windows replaced by Home Depot Services. We were very happy with their work.

This year, we finally decided to replace the 2 remaining windows (we weren't sure if we were going to make the two windows into one large exterior door). Unfortunately, I incorrectly measured the openings and I'm stuck with windows that are too small for the openings (each window was $250). You need to be within a 1/4" on your measurements, or else! I have to find a way to make the openings narrower to properly receive the windows. A major pain!!!

Leave this one to the professionals. I wish I had...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 11:49PM
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We have vinyl siding and are DIY Marvin Replacement windows - they are actually very easy - we have some wood rot - we are heat gunning it - repairing it with wood filler/stop rot stuff, priming, painting it, and putting in the new windows and then triming the outside with their metal trim. We - husband and myself can do 2-3 easily in a day, taking our time - without trim work - getting them in solid (we are replacing all trim too at some point). It is that easy if you have talent and she is slightly willing to help and your measurements are good (getting the bevel made the difference for us vs. the first trial window we did). It is going so well, we didn't do a few windows and my husband wants to go ahead and probably finish out those (I'm tired and not so thrilled with the idea as we only have two of the 12 we ordered left which will go in this weekend).

We tried going through Lowes and we couldn't figure out how they got their measurements - had them have two subs come out and gave up - I found a Marvin to give me the contractor price, so we decided to spend more on a better window than the Pella and DIY with the savings... worth every penny but we just DIY'ed a kitchen too. I can't imagine the installers if they were Lowes or Marvin doing the prep work with the wood rot we are doing, which makes me feel better knowing we are doing it "right."

My advice is to try one window - if you get that one, then buy the rest. If you can't do it, have a backup plan - friend or handyman and pay for the rest of the install but it isn't rocket science like people make it out to be.

If you are a little short on your measurements it's ok as you want some give for easy install and you can redo your trim to hide it....easy fix. (we have good measurements but we are still redoing the trim as it's looking bad)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 12:10AM
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