Replacing steel windows from 1952

cal_dreamerDecember 11, 2011

Hi - I'm going to need some advice.

My daughter just purchased a small 1952 tract home that still has the original steel windows. Many of them are stuck shut, painted over, and are drafty. They also are almost flush with the inside of the room so there is no windowsill inside. (There is a wood frame and sloped sill outside and some thin wood trim inside)

We're looking for white vinyl single-hung replacements. Price is definitely an issue, but we don't want "too cheap" since energy efficiency and security are important.

One dealer in town sells Simonton and Ply-Gem, another carries Miglard. Any recommendations or brand we should avoid?

Will the walls need to be opened to get the old windows out? We're just trying to make the house safe and warm at this time, not a major remodel.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

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They look OK from a distance, up close they are a mess!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 1:07PM
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What type of construction is the house?

Masonry? (multiple layers of brick exterior walls)

Brick veneer over a wood frame? (bricks one layer thick)

Straight wood framed? (what type of siding)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 1:28PM
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It's wood frame with stucco, the brick in front is below window level. This is the only picture I have of the outside, but the windows are set in a wood frame with a sloped exterior sill. The windows are set in about 3 inches in from the front - it would be nice if there was some of that windowsill on the inside to hang blinds.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 8:43PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

You should be able to do what is referred to as a pocket style replacement without disturbing the stucco provided that all the wood is intact and not rotted out or creating structural issues.

The brands you mentioned are pretty good. Anlin seems to be well regarded on the West coast as well.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 9:28AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Disregard what I said previously. Somehow I missed the steel window part. coffee yet.

That being said, a close up picture of the window from both the inside and outside would help with making proper recommendations.

Stucco window removals can be a trick bag. Many contractors go with what is referred to as a stucco flange or frame jump.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 9:53AM
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I'll try to get some close-up pictures this weekend. I'm half tempted to pull off trim from the inside to see if they can be removed that way. (Since they seem to be more on the inside of the house.)

Any information I can get prior to meeting a salesperson would be great!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 9:22PM
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You often have to destroy steel window frames to get the out with minimal damage.

Even in wood frame installations they may have a large solid nailing flange between the stucco and the framing.

Cutting the frame at the top near the middle, then prying down from the inside (or at the bottom and pry upwards).

The flange will buckle but can usually be pulled out far enough to finish cutting through it without any other damage.

Each side is them pried inwards and the opposite side from the start pried cut and pried out partly, cut, then removed the rest of the way.

There are not usually all that many nails holding the flanfe since it is usualy stronger than the thin flanges we use no.

Some nails may be cut by slipping the blade between the flange and the framing.
Avoid any cutting between the window and the stucco.
There is a much larger chance of popping stucco loose.
If it cannot be avoided, use as short a blade as you can (one reason to save broken blades that still have sharp teeth at the attachment end) and work carefully.
Just tilting the sawzall in or out can damage the stucco.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 12:49PM
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