Replacement Windows for Brick House?

My house in El Paso, TExas is a brick veneer with casement windows, built in 1959. I'd love to replace those drafty single-pane windows with good energy-efficient double panes. I could probably do the job myself "IF" I knew how the present windows were installed. And "IF" I don't have to take bricks loose on the outside of the house
In that era, were the windows usually installed from the inside, with large screws going through the sides and into the framing of the window opening, which was then hidden by the drywall in the window opening? Or were they installed from the outside and secured with a nailing flange on the outside of the framing, which was then covered with one row of bricks?
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snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

They probably have a nailing fin, but with a pry bar and some elbow grease you can remove them without taking out bricks. First remove the slider and tape the glass in the fixed side. Take out the fixed panes if you can by removing any glazing of flanges. Remove all of the inside moldings and brickmould. Working from the middle, collapse the aluminum frame inward and just pull the flanges loose. It will be messy and there will be sharp metal and broken glass so wear gloves, goggles and a heavy shirt.
The openings need to be framed (sill, drip edge, etc.) and flashed properly, so if you've never done this, hire a carpenter to install the bigger ones and do the rest yourself after you see what's involved.
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This just a guess based on how it was done in the early 50's.
Mostly the windows are held in place by nails through the brick mold into the jack studs. I doubt there are any nails through the side jambs. The era of aluminum and vinyl was the start of the nailing flange which is then covered by siding or brick.
BTW, most replacement windows are mounted inside the existing side jambs for DH windows. Never done it with casements.
Colbyt
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I just removed to double hung windows from my 1957 vintage house in NY. The "brick" molding were nailed into the jack studs. That and a couple of nails through the sill where what was holding them in place. These were on a part of the house that had siding, so your mileage may vary. Pick one where you don't mind replacing the interior molding and do some measuring. Take off the interior molding so you can see where are the studs. Then do some carefull measuring to see if the brick moldings on the outside are covering the studs. If they are, then it's likely they are held in by the brick moldings.
Just be aware that they new window won't be the same size as the current brick molding. Have a plan for how to fill that space with new moldings to keep the exterior water tight.
Bernie

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snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote on 02 Dec 2005:

The good news is that you don't have to take bricks loose. The bad news is that removing the old windows is the worst part of the replacement job.
As Tim said, those (steel) casements likely had fins. The fins were nailed or screwed to the studs from the exterior. Then the brick veneer went up.
If you have nails holding the casement in, you may be able to pry it out easily. If you have screws (as we do here) you'll need to cut the window apart before prying.
You start by removing the moveable panes from the windows at the hinges. Then you take a sawzall and start cutting up the frame, removing any bars dividing the window. They need to go so you'll have some flex in the frame. Once you have only the frame and the steel pan (sill) left, you can start cutting this into pieces and prying them out individually. A good window guy can do a large window in about an hour.
It's worth noting that many vinyl window installers will leave the outer frame and pan in place, setting the new window on top of them--because it's such a difficult job to take them out. Big mistake. Uninsulated pan and frame will sweat and be very cold!
For replacement windows, you'll want to use windows without fins. Depending how the window will sit, you may use clips provided by the manufacturer to hold the new windows in, or you may nail through with window frame. Outside trim may be brickmold, or the manufacturer may provide matching aluminum or vinyl trim (depending on how the exterior wood of the window is covered).
As one of the other posters suggested, it's a lot easier to do if you can watch it done a few times first.
--
Doug Boulter

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