I have old aluminum frame windows in my bedroom and wanted to replace them with
double humg vinyl
windows to keep more sound out of the nearby road. I didnt want to start taking
off the siding so I
went for replacements. My aluminum frame looked like it was just glued around
the inside window
frame so I started prying it out. Hours later, and not getting too far, I
realized that this things
is nailed into the frame of the house, under tha original asbestos shingles,
which are under the
vinyl siding. I mangles the bottom of the frame and had to hacksaw it out. Now I
am screwed. I
wanted to remove the entire aluminum track but it doesnt look like I can. When I
push my replacement
window against the aluminum frame, using that as a stop, it looks fine from the
inside but the
outside is missing wood. Is there anything that can be done to repair this other
than buying new
construction windows? I paid $500 for two windows from Home Depot and they are
custom sized and I
cannot return them.
If I originally installed these against the aluminum frams, would they have been
thought aluminum carries sound. Also, there is a small 1/16 raised line of
aluminum that runs down
the center of the left and right frame that would cause the window to not be
flush with the entire
frame. I really made a mess of this window. I am trying to do damage control. Is
there a way to do
this? Please refrain from the "why did you even try this yourself?" posts. I
know I messed up. I
learned the hard way. I didnt think it would be this hard but as usual, a big
can of worms fly open.
I attached a picture although I am not sure if you can see it. If not, I can
email a picture to you.
Here is the mess I got myself into. I bought two windows for the same room. They
are identical other
than the size. The are right next to eachother. One is on the perpendicular
wall. The way I see it,
I can install the one I didnt ruin and use the aluminum frame as the stop. I
just dont know if I can
salvage the one I f'd up. I guess I can get the new installation version of it
but it probably will
look different than the replacement window that will be next to it.
You made some work yourself, but it looks fixable to me.
If the rest of the window is tight to weather, you just have to fit in
a correctly sloped sill, and maybe cover the aluminum to dress it up.
White would probably do.
I would undercut the old sill a bit and make it level as possible.
Small belt sander and/or chisel.
Screw the new sill piece in. Long drill bits to countersink holes.
Plenty of caulk.
Some saw work needed to fit.
It's hard to tell the cosmetics from pictures, but you'll know what
Might be some plastics would work as well or better than wood.
The main thing is getting it all weather tight.
DIY or modified sash replacement kit! I'm not being nasty or
critical. Time for some "damage control", kindly said.
Is there any way you can easily/conveniently remove the bottom vinyl
(window frame) exterior face molding piece, such that it can be
easily, reasonably, replaced? If so....
Re - Your first pic: The bottom fin (of your new sash) is butted
against raw wood (the old sill?). I can't see/identify the sash's
side fins, to see how they are seated. Pull the bottom of the
(window) sash out, a bit, and slide some kind of moisture barrier
(felt, rubberized wrap) between the fin and that raw wood. Push the
sash back against the sill/wood. Extend the moisture barrier
exteriorly (toward the outside of the house). Your new, extended sill
should butt against the fin and butt under the sash's sill. As Vic
has said, good caulking at the new/old sill/fin junction is
recommended. In this above described process, if you are/were able to
remove the bottom exterior vinyl face molding, you will want to extend
the moisture barrier beyond the vinyl siding.... I'm not sure how
this is going to work out, as I can't quite see exactly what is there.
Prior to extending the moisture barrier and installing the new
extended sill: Is there any significant gap between the original
exterior wall and the vinyl siding? If so, you need to fill that gap,
so that the vinyl siding is/can be butted and attached securely
against the exterior wall, all along (left to right) the window span.
This security will facilitate the moisture barrier stability and the
new sill extension, beyond the vinyl siding.
If you are able to install a moisture barrier along the sides of the
sash, shielding any raw wood, do so. I understand the vinyl siding,
face molding and/or the aluminum frame may interfere with this
installation. If I understand correctly, though, the aluminum framing/
jams are still in place along the sides, hence, no raw wood exposure
and negating installation of a moisture barrier, here. I am supposing
you understand the need/concept to shunt water/moisture beyond the
vinyl siding. I hope you can easily/convenietly install a moisture
barrier, in adddition to the new sill/framework.
If you have to add any wood or rebuild something, use treated lumber
or a composite material, if possible.
Are you located near Lafayette, La.? I'd come over and give you a
Thanks for the detailed reply. Hey Sonny, is Long Island close enough to La? I
am going to go
outside and take a look closerat what the heck is going on there. I now know
that there is asbestos
shingles under my siding. I had no idea before I did this.
I have one more question about this.
This is looking at the left frame head on
This one is slightly looking left so that you can see the protrusion. It looks
like 1/16 - 1/8" out.
Here are two pics of the second aluminum window frame. Note the protruding piece
of aluminum that
runs in the middle of the frame. It is there for the entire length of the left
and right vertical
frame. The whole reason I caused this mess is that if I simply installe the
replacement against the
framee, it would only make contact with the protrusion and not the entire frame.
Since I was doing
this more for sound reduction (from my always noise, inconsiderate day and night
neighbors), I would
think there wouldnt be a good enough seal to accomplish that. If it would have
been ok to install it
that way, then I did all of this for nothing. . Please look at the following
I think I see what you are talking about. Many aluminum frames have
a, sometimes more than one, similar small lip, as that. I am
thinking: If there is just a small space between the sash and the
aluminum jam/frame, I would think some expanding foam would help seal
and shore up that contact area. If this is a reasonable option, make
sure all your alignments (level and square) are in place, before you
seal the sash with the expanding foam. If you are unsure about using
such a tight or secure (glue-like) foam seal, then "backer rods" may
be more comforting, for packing into that tight small spacing. Backer
rods are foam or foam-like rods (various diameter sizes, for packing
into small crevices, as that....1/16" or 1/8" is pretty small, not
sure if you can easily find a small backer rod for that size. I am
supposing the side and top fins are unable to be secured, as they
normally would be.
After reviewing all the pics again, and specifically the 3rd pic: I
had earlier mentioned removing the lower vinyl exterior face frame
molding. Maybe you have already removed the exterior molding, i.e.,
the aluminum one (the sill you cut out). Was there an exterior
aluminum lower face molding, similar to the vinyl one, that has been
removed OR was the sill, you cut out, also the lower molding (same
piece, 2 functions)? If so, then forget about removing the vinyl one
and consider proceeding, with the previous instructions regarding
moisture barrier installation. The new sill will have to have 2
functions, also, if applicable, relative to the position of the
previous aluminum sill (& face molding?). Does this correction
(backtracking) make sense? **If there is some confusion here, we may
need a picture of another intact aluminum window, with all the
exterior facings/sill in place, to see it's layout, especially the
sill, i.e., you mangled the bottom of the sill and had to hacksaw it
out, so we don't know, for sure, how the drip edge part, of the
previous sill, was positioned over (or in conjunction with) the
vinyl. Since we have to make a new sill, we may need to see an intact
window to get a perspective for a plan of fabrication and the
As long as you don't break those shingles into powder form (into a
dust form, able to be breathed in), you should be safe. If you have
to cut, trim, drill or otherwise break any of the shingles, spray
them, first and as you cut, with cheap hair spray (sticky stuff), to
prevent dust from flying. That kind of wetness (hair spray) won't
bother your wood, insulation, etc., nor your tools. Don't spray bare
I have not seen the pictures, but from my experience, having worked
for 2 window companies a few years back, what I would have done, and
it may not be too late yet, is install the windows with a "brick mold"
instead of a "fin". The fin can be removed, and a brick nmold kit
odered, from most vinyl window manufacturers. This brick mold seals
against the siding on the outside, most good installers today use a
thermoplastic caulk to seal it - and the window then fits in from the
outside. The inside jam is extended to the required depth to allow
interior trim to be installed. The space between the window frame and
the house framing is filled with low-expanding foam after the window
has been blocked into place, making sure it is totally plumb and
square, in all directions.. This makes it airtight and sound-tight,
and if installed in this way it will also be completely water and
Ideally the windoe will be ordered about half an inch smaller than the
"rough opening" - which needs to be established before ordering.
Usually not hard to determine by removing one or more pieces of
internal trim to measure the thickness of the jam, and removing double
the jam thickness from both vertical and horizontal measurements of
the "finished opening"
On Sun, 19 Jun 2011 15:34:36 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
Thanks everyone. I was able to return the replacement windows to Home Depot
minus 15% restocking fee
and went to Lowes and bought new construction windows. This is really the best
way to do it. Thanks
for the suggestions though. It seemed like it was going to be as difficult
making a modification
tothe frame than it would to just stick new ones in.
You bought new construction windows? Did you buy the whole window
unit, frame and all, OR just sashes? Be careful with terminology.
Sometimes it's confusing.
If you bought whole units (frame and all), you still need to consider
installing a moisture barrier between the new window frame and the
house's rough framing.
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