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Thread: Replaced a Trio of Windows at My Place...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario

    Replaced a Trio of Windows at My Place...

    Here is a photo essay documenting a recent window replacement at my house. A good friend of mine is a builder and came over to "give me a hand" replacing three windows. (Really, he did most of it and I provided some "semi-skilled" labour...)

    This is a rather high-level look at the process. I will not be going into huge detail.

    This is the "eating nook" in our kitchen. The house dates from 1984 and the kitchen windows are original, as far as I know. As you can see, the centre window is quite large, but it has one enormous flaw. The horizontal board that divides the two parts of the window is almost exactly at eye level when you are sitting at the table.

    Outside view… My friend came by a few weeks ago and measured the windows. There are a few ways to measure and order windows. In this case, we measured the outside dimensions of the brickmold (the trim around the outside of the windows) and the manufacturer would make replacement windows to fit those dimensions, so that we would not have to make any changes to the outside siding of the house.

    Our original plan was to save and re-use the interior trim. This plan had to change, since the new windows were not quite the exact same size as the others. (The outside dimension were the same, but not the inside.)

    Using a pair of putty knives, I slowly worked the casing away from the wall. This is a slow process, to avoid damaging the walls. A lot of wiggling and gentle twisting produces the best results. Patience! Each time I might only pull the trim out 1/8-1/4", then move the knives and wedge in a different spot, then come back and work it looser.

    The end results -- all interior casing is removed from the windows. It was interesting to note how tight the fit was on these old windows. There was barely 1/4" gap all the way around these windows.

    I checked and verified that there were NO nails or screws through the window frames into the walls. This is quite common with new construction, I'm told. The windows came with the brickmold attached and were fastened to the studs with nails through the brickmold.

    The first step in the removal process is to take your utility knife and cut through all the caulking that surrounds the windows.

    Using a prybar, he worked on separating the brickmold from the window frame. He was careful here to always use twisting motions, more than prying. Always twist against the window frame itself -- watch out for the glass. Never pry from the outside, or we risk damaging the siding.

    The first window is out, and the opening cleaned up. We checked and were pleased to find that there was no evidence at all of water incursion. For all that we didn't like them, the original windows did do a good job.

    There's usually more than one way to do it... ........

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario

    New window is installed and insulated with spray foam.

    Each window was tipped into place and checked for fit. We actually did NOT use levels much. With a renovation job, my friend tells me he more relies on his eye -- you want the window to fit the opening, and look like it is square to the opening, and equidistant to the sides and top/bottom. Whether it is truly level or plumb is of secondary importance.

    Outside window installed and caulked. We were very pleased at how we did not have any damage to the surrounding siding. As well, we could just slip the new windows up and under the top flashing, so that was left as well. Everything was well caulked.

    Trim is installed and wood filler applied.

    And later after three coats of white paint and some touch up to the red…

    Regarding the casing, I used the method where the top piece is butt-joined to the side casing. On the ends of the top piece I cut pieces off at 45-degrees and then glued them back onto the ends, which makes it look like the trim turns into the wall, and gives it a very interesting finished look on the ends, rather than just a straight cut.

    The photo does not do justice to how gorgeous the large picture window is. As well, we are quite pleased with the white trim. This blends in with the lower wainscotting much better than the previous stained trim.

    And that is all…

    (a few more photos and verbiage on my website, if you’re curious!)
    There's usually more than one way to do it... ........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    Very worth wile project. Looks real nice.
    "We the People ......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    Looks GREAT.

    Wish my project would go that quick.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Nice job, and great photo essay. Thanks for posting it, Art.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Nice work, like the new trim inside too.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Wonderful home improvement project that would make me smile every time I saw them.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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