I am thinking about replacing the aluminum framed windows in our 45 year old brick veneer house. Should I look at window companies and have them do the job, or is it better to have a contractor replace the windows?
I’m concerned about compromising the bricks around the windows when the windows are removed because they were nailed to the house structure BEFORE the bricks were installed, and if the windows are pulled out I can envision lots of damage. How do you remove that aluminum lip that is under the bricks without damaging the bricks?
Your question is a wise one to ask, because window installer vs. general contractor depends on the level of service you need to do the job right. Always remember that a window is only as good as its installation; the best window money can buy will fail if installed improperly, while a fairly inexpensive window can work like a champ if installed properly.
When it’s a relatively basic case of replacing old windows with new windows in the same size opening, an experienced window installation company is a good choice. Do your research to ensure the company has a good workmanship warranty and will be there to handle any future problems should they arise. Learn more about how to choose new windows.
In the case of original aluminum windows embedded in the wall structure of your home, you are correct to worry about the brick damage that could ensue, and this is why you’re better off choosing an experienced remodeling contractor to handle all aspects of this job.
As to how to remove the aluminum window frames with minimal brick damage, we’ve had much success with collapsing the frames inward towards the center of the opening after removing the sashes. Usually the aluminum will tear at the nail holes and can be torn out. It takes some muscle and patience but is usually possible.
If that does not work or proves too difficult, a reciprocating saw can cut out the frame of the window leaving the fins buried in the wall. With either method, it takes a fair amount of banging, vibration and the intuitive thinking of an experienced carpenter to get them out. If your brick is in good shape it should survive very well, needing only very minor repairs to loose mortar.
Keep in mind that a good carpenter can install a window, while a window installer may not always be experienced in handling special cases. You can save some time and money by having a general contractor manage your window replacement.
If you need help with this project, we’d be happy to help as window and door replacement is one of our services. Please call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here.