LESLIE: Otis in Texas has a window question. How can we help you?
OTIS: My problem is I have aluminum windows in a house that’s brick veneer …
OTIS: … and the nailing fan is attached to the wood under the brick veneer. I’ve read up on retrofit windows but my other problem is I can’t find a vendor that’ll make those windows and sell them to me.
OTIS: Because I don’t want to pay an installer to come out and install windows that I’m absolutely positive that I can do.
TOM: OK. Well, first of all, when you have aluminum windows, it’s very, very difficult to do a retrofit or to use a standard replacement-style window because you don’t have the same kind of jambs, the same sides. So, typically, you have to cut those out and you end up doing like sort of some saws awl surgery to kind of cut them all out and get them apart.
Now, installing the new windows, you can use a standard replacement window but you have to flash it between the brick and the wall, so the most important part of this whole process is measurement. And if you can measure the windows properly, you could order those from a home center. You don’t have to work with a window contractor. You can order those from a home center and you can order very good-quality ones from home centers today that are low-e glass, Energy Star rated. So you don’t have to deal with somebody who will only sell it to you with installation.
But, unfortunately, you can’t – I mean you can’t put a replacement in when you already have the aluminum window in place because it’s just not set up for that. Replacement windows are designed to work with wood windows, where you remove the operable sashes and then you can slide the new one next to it. In your case, the whole thing’s got to come out and a new window has to be slipped in and it’s got to be sealed and weatherstripped very carefully and if you do that, you’ll be able to enjoy them.
OTIS: OK, I’ll give it a shot. Thank you very much.
TOM: Otis, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
I doubt the window replacement increased the electric bill. More likely another change in use, or energy drain on the house.
Haveyou considered an home energy audit? That would help pindown the places you are wasting energy and help to prioritize repairs and improvements.