Author Topic: Assist/advice on DIY window replacement  (Read 2600 times)

Blatant

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Assist/advice on DIY window replacement
« on: August 27, 2015, 10:24:02 PM »
Hi, all: I live in a single-story detached 2000-sf house in Scottsdale, AZ. The home was built in the early 1990s and, as such, has 1990s builder-grade single-pane windows. As you might imagine, it's really HOT here and our windows are a major energy suck.

We recently had our great room slider doors replaced with energy-efficient dual pane sliders and that one change has made a significant impact on our electricity bills. I'd like to start replacing the major offenders (our house is unfortunately oriented east-west). After watching the slider replacement, I feel like I can do the windows myself.

The stock windows are metal frames in a stucco exterior. I did some research and it appears I can buy aftermarket replacement dual-panes that slide into the existing frames. However, these windows have a vinyl exterior (which I'm OK with) that overlaps the existing frames. Problem is the bay-style window illustrated in the photos below.

image by dbozman1173, on Flickr

image by dbozman1173, on Flickr

image by dbozman1173, on Flickr

As you can see, construction was a little shaky on window cutout/placement. The smaller angled window on the right in the first photo (and standalone in the third photo) doesn't have the space for the window overlap before the wall bends. Thoughts or tips on how to proceed?

Thank you.

Seeking the Brass Ring

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Re: Assist/advice on DIY window replacement
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 06:23:32 AM »
You might be able to trim the flange on the new window on one side to fit those windows.  Thinking along another track, have you thought about putting awnings or some other exterior fixture to shade your existing windows?  Dollar for dollar that might be a faster return and accomplish the same thing.  Lots of houses in Australia have sun shades or trellises outside the house to reduce the heat on the windows.

Check this page: http://www.builditsolar.com/References/SunChartRS.htm for a lot of reference information. 

Blatant

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Re: Assist/advice on DIY window replacement
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 08:36:04 AM »
As you can see from the photo, the right window is placed off center; the angle bend to the flat surface of the wall is literally right there. I don't THINK trimming the flange would work and might make the mistake more noticeable. To be honest, we've lived here almost 10 years and had never noticed it was off center until I went to measure.

As for awnings, that's actually my rear patio, so there's a patio roof that extends about 8-9 feet back overhead.

Blatant

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Re: Assist/advice on DIY window replacement
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 08:56:22 PM »
Anyone?

Papa bear

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Re: Assist/advice on DIY window replacement
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2015, 10:45:08 PM »
Buy different windows. 

I've been replacing very similar in my house.  They most likely are flange installed and then stucco over top.   You can buy regular vinyl replacement windows and install those to fit. 

Removing the old window can be problematic.  I was told yesterday that the professionals get a diamond blade for a circular saw and cut through the stucco and the metal flange to pull the window out.  I used an old carbide blade to cut the stucco out beyond the flange.  Pulled out the old window, rebuilt a sill, and then had to trim out the exterior to cover over the stucco cut out.

Good luck with whatever you do.  It's a messy job


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paddedhat

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Re: Assist/advice on DIY window replacement
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2015, 07:45:11 AM »
Buy different windows. 

I've been replacing very similar in my house.  They most likely are flange installed and then stucco over top.   You can buy regular vinyl replacement windows and install those to fit. 

Removing the old window can be problematic.  I was told yesterday that the professionals get a diamond blade for a circular saw and cut through the stucco and the metal flange to pull the window out.  I used an old carbide blade to cut the stucco out beyond the flange.  Pulled out the old window, rebuilt a sill, and then had to trim out the exterior to cover over the stucco cut out.

Good luck with whatever you do.  It's a messy job


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Wow, that sounds like it sucks, big time. I have done a few dozen replacements, here on the east coast, where stuccoed flanges are nearly non-existent. One thing you might want to give a try, is grabbing a cheap 4" angle grinder and a diamond blade. You can actually use a small strip of wood as a guide, and ride a diamond blade down the side of it, to get a surprisingly straight and clean cut in situations like this. It is a lot less brutal than using a carbide blade in a circular saw, and far less dangerous. When carbide blades are abused like that, they tend to send the carbide bits flying, as they shear off the blade. It would suck to end up in the ER, getting one pulled out of your face. Good luck, and don't forget to wear a high quality mask, or respirator. There is a reason why many retired masons die young, that silica dust in hell on your lungs. 

Blatant

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Re: Assist/advice on DIY window replacement
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2015, 09:35:12 AM »
I have an angle grinder and whatnot, but was really, really hoping to get by with removing the stock panes and leaving the metal frames intact in the stucco. Amazing how that one window can be so off-center in the space.

Papa bear

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Re: Assist/advice on DIY window replacement
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2015, 03:39:48 PM »
Yes.  A good respirator and some fantastic safety glasses, long sleeve jacket and pants was crucial for my project.  Only 1 window left to...  Not looking forward to doing this ever again.


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