Window replacement in structural brick wall

I am fixing up a brick rowhouse. All the exterior walls are structural brick - 2 layers of brick then plaster (no studs or insualtion). At some point a few windows had the counterweights replaced with spring-loaded inserts and they weren't done so well. That wall gets the most exposure to sun and wind. The frames are rotted out and the sashes (double-hung) sometimes fall into the room and also have some rotting.
I'm curious if it is unreasonable for me to take the original frame out completely down to the brick and install a new/replacement window from there. Would I attach some 1x6 or something with Tapcon screws to the brick to provide something to screw the window to? or should I leave as much of the original frame as I can?
I haven't taken the windows out yet and am weighing my options between repairing whats there, sash replacements, and completely new frames. I realize it is quite desirable to keep the originals (historically, aesthetically) however this project is more of a rehabilitation rather than a restoration. Also, I can see light around the outside of the frame at places and the inside has already been a bit mutilated through the house's many owners.
Any suggestions?
Thanks for your time, -Jeff Easter
-- http://feesta.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Check for regulatory requirements before doing anything. (In my area, for instance, there is a city architectural review board and two active historical preservation groups. Some folk have been forced to tear down construction considered to be out of character.)
Make sure that the masonry is solid and not shifting.
Record the trim and framing carefully for reference in reconstruction.
Don't decide on a method of repair until you have opened up the construction and know with certainty what is there and how it is arranged. There may be issues of structure or flashing or dampproofing not apparent from the surface.
Your description makes it sound like a rebuild is in order. Even if you repeat the present arrangements, you will want to solve the open passage of daylight around the frame.
TB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Some years ago when I lived in Philadelphia, I had a sideline business for replacement windows, doors, etc.
If the framing is in good shape, the easy way was to take out the sashes and put in new replacement windows. They were big sellers as they required no more painting, sealed well and moved much freer that a sash with 50 coats of paint and broken counter weights. If the original framing and stops are in good condition, this is a simple way to greatly improve your windows. You sound more involved than that though if the framing is rotted.
If that is the case, I'd remove everything down to the brick, install a new frame, then a new window. Hard to give exact recommendations as it has been years since I've done that kind of work
For appearance sake though, you want to framing to be close to the present materials in thickness. A 1 x 6 is going to look out of place unless the window itself is wide enough for a good appearance. Take some measurements of the brick opening and the wood that is there and head out to a good shop (not the typical big box store) and see what is available. Take a look at other houses on your street to see what looks good and what looks like crap.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.