replacing aluminum windows

have googled around for some articles that would explain how-to-DIY replace aluminum windows
house is in s.florida and the windows are of the 25-30 year old 3-panel variety (they crank open sideways to the outside)
is this standard replacement material from home depot or lowes or are there some special considerations, tips or gotchas to be aware of?
I do understand that I have to remove a small layer of stucco on the outside to be able to get access to the aluminum frame and to unscrew the window from the opening - that's no problem and I know how to re-stucco and repair the area
what's best in humid climates? are there any special tips on going with vinyl vs. wood frames or stay with another metal frame?
I do know that I need new energy efficiency rated windows and would appreciate any tips on specific brand names that were used/installed by others and any comments or hints on the do-it-yourself aspect
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Be sure you get the right wind code window and you install it properrly to maintain that rating. The trick is finding one with the right rough opening. These things are far from standard sizes. You also need to figure out what the masonry opening is and how the window is bucked. You can probably remove a side screw and probe the hole to find the masonry.
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