How to Replace Old Aluminum Windows With Vinyl


Replacing your old aluminum windows with modern double-paned vinyl windows can help improve the appearance of your home, cut down noise levels, and lower your heating and cooling costs. Replacing those old windows involves first removing them. The window frames inside the window opening should then be inspected and, if necessary, repaired. Finally, a replacement vinyl window can be fitted in place of the old aluminum one.

Things You'll Need

  • Pry bar
  • Utility knife
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Wooden shims
  • Level
  • Polyurethane caulking
  • Hammer
  • Corrosion-resistant nails or screws
  • Window trim
  • Miter box saw

Removing Old Aluminum Windows and Preparing the Frame

  • Pry up and remove any window trim from around the outside of the old windows. Use a utility knife to cut away any caulk that might be holding the trim in place. Take care when prying up the trim pieces so that you don't damage the exterior walls behind.

  • Cut away caulk from around the window.

  • Use a flathead screwdriver and pry bar to lift and pull the nails holding the aluminum window in place within the window opening. With all the nails removed, lift the old window out of the opening and set it aside.

  • Inspect and, if necessary, repair the wooden window frame inside the window opening. Pull any loose or exposed nails from along the window frame. Use a scraper to scrape away any residual caulk. Look for rot and damage. Remove any badly rotted or damaged boards from the window frames and replace them with new material.

Installing New Windows

  • Position the replacement window in the window opening. Use wooden shims to level the window within the opening. Tack the shims in place and remove the window. Set the window aside.

  • Run a generous bead of polyurethane caulking along the edges of the window frame.

  • Position the new window inside the window frame; the polyurethane caulking will create a tight seal around the new window. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions regarding the size and type of fastener recommended for the particular window you are installing. Fasten the window in place with nails or screws driven through the prefabricated nail slots along the nail fin.

  • Trim the finished window. Cut the trim using a miter saw and fasten it to the wooden window frame with finish nails. Caulk and paint the trim to create a water-resistant shell around the window opening.

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