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Replacing wood framed windows with aluminium framed

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  1. #1
    "PHIL 'L FIXIT" ptrott's Avatar
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    Default Replacing wood framed windows with aluminium framed

    My wood framed window frames are rotted beyond repair, so I need to replace them.
    Aluminium is the choice.
    The situation is 100 X 50 wood stud wall, fibre cement clad o/side, plasterboard i/side.

    The replacement windows will be Dowell (Boral) which are designed, I think, to be fitted by using ali angle (like angle iron) on the inside, and frame flush to the outside edge of the stud. Frame gets pop riveted to the angle iron?

    The existing wood windows are substantially smaller than the opening into which they are fitted, and are spaced with bits of wood where they are nailed to the studs, to roughly centre and square them in the openings.

    Question 1. Should I fix the ali angle iron directly to the studs, or build a more precise wood frame, which would then be fitted in the opening, creating hopefully a true rectangle opening of dressed timber, into which an appropriate sized ali window can be fitted?

    Question 2. If I fit directly to the studs, should I order the windows a bit bigger than the existing ones to reduce the substantial gaps (15-20mm) around the edges?

    Question 3. The outside bottom edge of the bottom (sill?) of the ali frame has to sit on the timber, which means that rain will run onto the timber. There will also be a gap of some sort between the bottom of the ali frame and the wooden opening (may be 10mm or so), and I cannot see a simple solution to making it watertight, unless I use a flashing of some sort, in which case there seems no way to cover it without impeding the water flow.

    Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
    Mr Sexy Beast dazzler's Avatar
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    May the timber gods descend upon you for being such a heathen.

    Replacing timber with filth.... I will bid you gooday.
    I just love sheepies!

  3. #3
    1K Club Member Master Splinter's Avatar
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    Question 1. No. Windows are generally fixed to the wall frames with nails through the reveals.

    Question 2. No. Gaps of 15-20mm from the reveal to the frame aren't unusual. It gives some wiggle room for aligning things, and it means if the studs deflect slightly under load, they are not going to push on the sides of the window causing the glass to crack.

    Question 3. The outside part of the window should be sized to fit the opening in the outside (*edit - add 'of the') wall. The external aluminium frame is usually finished with an aluminium trimmer at the sides, metal flashing at the top (coming from underneath the weatherboard) and a ledge at the bottom which sits over the weatherboard. Details on the Boral site.

    The normal stud width is 90mm; if your studs are wider than this, you'll need to order larger reveals so that they come all the way to the inside.
    DIY electrical wiring to AS/NZS3000 - details here - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

  4. #4
    "PHIL 'L FIXIT" ptrott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazzler View Post
    May the timber gods descend upon you for being such a heathen.

    Replacing timber with filth.... I will bid you gooday.
    Heheh, funny, but if we were staying here, it WOULD be WOOD, however, we are selling so we can move to ..........TASSIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    "PHIL 'L FIXIT" ptrott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Splinter View Post

    Question 3. The outside part of the window should be sized to fit the opening in the outside wall. The external aluminium frame is usually finished with an aluminium trimmer at the sides, metal flashing at the top (coming from underneath the weatherboard) and a ledge at the bottom which sits over the weatherboard. Details on the Boral site.

    The normal stud width is 90mm; if your studs are wider than this, you'll need to order larger reveals so that they come all the way to the inside.
    In W.A. most of the old timber framed homes are made from 4" X 2" (100 X 50).

    I am going to try to paint a picture with words
    I have an opening which is surrounded by 4" X 2" timber.
    The wall cladding on the inside & the outside comes to roughly half of the full width of the timbers. This means the opening where the window goes is say 2000 by 1400, and the cladding is set back roughly 25mm from that, so the cladding opening is 2050 by 1450. I am not sure what that has to do with it, but you mentioned the opening in the outside wall. There is only one wall, so I guess you mean the outside cladding?
    The ali window frame will slip into the 2000 by 1400 opening as a vary loose fit.
    The ali frame is 35mm wide at the top and sides, AND at the bottom. There is no lip sticking out to put over any cladding. The bottom extrusion is a different profile, but not wider than the side profile.
    If the bottom is out as far as the cladding, then the sides and top are out there in space too.
    Is that the way it is supposed to be? If so, there is nowhere for trimmings to go.
    There is a pic here http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=d...366ab4653c4e13




    Last edited by ptrott; 15th May 2010 at 01:26 AM. Reason: Pic url didn't attach

  6. #6
    1K Club Member Master Splinter's Avatar
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    My suggestion would be:

    Attach plastic damp proof course as indicated by the red squiggle to water/wind seal the opening.
    Flash the top of the window in a similar sort of way.
    Screw a reveal to the inside of the window - width to match the inside face of the wall.
    Use a timber frame to hide the gap on the external wall.

    (my bits shown in colour on your pic)

    Option two - as per second pic.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails window-edit.jpg   window-suggestion-two.jpg  
    DIY electrical wiring to AS/NZS3000 - details here - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

  7. #7
    "PHIL 'L FIXIT" ptrott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Splinter View Post
    My suggestion would be:

    Attach plastic damp proof course as indicated by the red squiggle to water/wind seal the opening.
    Flash the top of the window in a similar sort of way.
    Screw a reveal to the inside of the window - width to match the inside face of the wall.
    Use a timber frame to hide the gap on the external wall.
    (my bits shown in colour on your pic)
    Option two - as per second pic.

    Drawing one I could manage, drawing two would mean replacing many sheets of Fibre cement, (no weatherboards on this house). Drawing two, no good for that reason.

    The top gets a little more interesting though. The Boral drawings show the window frame going right up to the eaves. Mine do not, and on the weather side of the house, I will need good weatherproofing.
    If I run flashing from under the top f/cement sheet, don over the ali frame, I am left with an unsightly looking mess. If I fit a wooden architrave, it will have to somehow allow water to pass behind it, or should I seal the architrave to the wall sheeting, as a primary seal, and the flashing becomes secondary, which would still require a way for water on the flashing (behind the architrave) to escape from under the architrave, should the primary seal fail.

  8. #8
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    You could make your own timber frames fairly easily if it is a double-hung sash. I did one, and have two more to go. The quote from the joinery was $2500 per window. The first one (which included a botched measurement and thus new material) cost $200. Easy peasy I have to say.

  9. #9
    "PHIL 'L FIXIT" ptrott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Cat View Post
    You could make your own timber frames fairly easily...... Easy peasy I have to say.
    Mmm, it sounds too easy) Mine is three section, fixed pane in the middle. 2320 wide & 1420 high, pretty big job I would have thought?
    Have you got any pics?
    Did you do your own glazing?
    Did you make the sil with a slope outwards like the old ones usually are?
    What timber did you use? etc. etc. )

  10. #10
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    Getting the right timber dimensions was a bit of a challenge, as you say, the old sills slope outwards and are pretty thick. My solution was to get a block of timber the right dimensions for the sill, run it over the table saw to get the slope, and once again to provide a drip-line (singularly absent on the original). Then there was the problem of the chunk of timber the window actually rests on (75x65mm) so I bought a verandah post and milled a piece from that, then cut the shallower slope that the window rests on into the resultant piece. Those two bits were primed all round, then glued and dowelled together to make a single piece of sill (and an off-cut from the post was shaped to form the internal sill which has yet to be attached). Rebate had to be cut to receive the two uprights, so this was done while it was still in two pieces for ease of access.

    The uprights had a rebate along their length for the parting bead that sits between the two panes of the sash, so I roughed that out on the tablesaw and finished it off with a chisel (it is only shallow so prone to lifting off the blade as you cut). At the top of these two pieces there are a pair of holes for inserting the pulleys, so I marked their position using the old bit of rotten timber as a template, cut out a rectangle and shaped them from there using the pulley mechanism as a guide. The top bit was just a bit of 100x19mm hardwood with shallow rebates to receive the uprights.

    I did a dry-fit before fastening it all together and then attached the sill to the side bits by drilling guide-holes and nailing up from the bottom. Likewise, at the top, I drilled and screwed into the side bits.



    Actually installing it was a two-person job as all the weight is at the bottom, but the top has a mind of its own. But here it is fitted back in place and ready to protect me from the winter gales (oh, I also fixed up the sashes while I had them out of the frame).



    The paint job will be waiting for next summer when those weatherboards get replaced and the whole lot can be painted in one go. It is a south-facing wall so too late in the season to start painting now.

    Materials? Sill is baltic pine (to match the original materials of the house), the veranda post was some sort of pine also, but not baltic (some SE Asian rainforest species, no doubt) and the uprights were hardwood (tas oak).

  11. #11
    "PHIL 'L FIXIT" ptrott's Avatar
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    Wow, great job Black Cat!!!! I can see why you chose to give it a go,...$2.5K fir one window is astonishing! I would have thought $1K would have been a bit steep.

    I am now thinking that I at least have an alternative, in that I can probably salvage some of the timbers and basically do a restoration. I was put off by a couple of things, firstly the glazing. The top & bottom sashes are all split in half, i.e two panes, and the centre fixed section is in four, so I have twelve panes of glass to try to remove and re-putty in.
    Looking at yours, I am thinking I might be able to remove the dividing bars and reglaze with a single pane in each sash half, and a single in the centre, five in total. Far less daunting.
    Second off-putting thing was the bottom timber (Sill) as it is 2.4 metres long, and is a very large section to try to recreate on a Triton.
    I will investigate the old frames a bit more closely today & see if it is do-able.
    Thanks for the pics and details. Very helpful.
    We are looking forward very much to moving over your way next year, although I will miss the real hardwoods we have here, like Jarrah & Wandoo. Compared to Tassie Oak (which I really do like) I recon I could arc weld Wandoo if I could just get the rods from somewhere

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    You will probably find the glazing bars have been morticed in, so a bit of builder's bog will be useful. I have been luck and found several bits of window lying around so have so far only had to craft one bit of sash from scratch, and while it was a fairly complicated shape, it at least did not need the moulding that seems to be on three sides of the sash frame only.

    I have two more frames to build (and probably at least one sash from scratch) but it is all good fun, and I have now learned my lesson and will build the frame before I remove the window so I don't spend another six months with a sheet of perspex in the hole, lol!

  13. #13
    "PHIL 'L FIXIT" ptrott's Avatar
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    Due to your inspirational power, I have begun restoration of the smaller double window. If that works out, I will tackle the bigger one. On close inspection, I think I can cut the front off the rotted sill, and make a new section that I can then biscuit joint to the old sill.
    We will be living with a boarded up hole for a while, hopefully not 6 months though, lol!

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    Lol, good to hear - you will find that when it comes time to sell that the effort was well-worth it. Aluminimum windows shoved into houses that were supposed to have timber frames devalue the place and make it harder to sell. Am planning on getting a biscuit joiner myself - for all those kitchen benchtops and such that I have yet to build.

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    Oh, and if I had not been building an extension, being brickie's labourer, plumbers labourer, electrician's side-kick, trying to recover an overgrown wilderness for gardening purposes, and doing a lot of the other stuff myself, it would not have taken so long, but i had to drop my 'own' projects to get stuff done in preparation for the tradies - digging trenches really takes it out of you, lol

  16. #16
    "PHIL 'L FIXIT" ptrott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Cat View Post
    ............ Am planning on getting a biscuit joiner myself - for all those kitchen benchtops and such that I have yet to build.
    Take a quick look at our jarrah benchtops. The GMC biscuit jointer paid for itself on this job alone.
    ourcastle
    then go down to the kitchen & click on "HERE"

  17. #17
    "PHIL 'L FIXIT" ptrott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Cat View Post
    Oh, and if I had not been building an extension, being brickie's labourer, plumbers labourer, electrician's side-kick, trying to recover an overgrown wilderness for gardening purposes, and doing a lot of the other stuff myself, it would not have taken so long, but i had to drop my 'own' projects to get stuff done in preparation for the tradies - digging trenches really takes it out of you, lol
    Excuses, excuses.


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