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x106 04-13-2011 07:36 AM

Replacing Windows
I bought a modular/manufactured home in October and I liked most everything about the area and the home itself. However, I'm getting ready to replace windows and looking for a bit of advise.

The home has 6 inch outer walls and the windows are basically two storm windows. One flush on the inside and another flush on the outside. I haven't seen anything like it in the past but basically there is a very thin wood paneling between the two storm windows to make it look ok.

After the window is removed and the paneling your left basically with a rough opening. There isn't really any kind of frame. It's an extremely thin aluminum frame. I didn't take any pictures yet but it's something like this outer window on both sides except for that the window is flush rather than protruding.

My plan involves removing the existing windows and framing in new ones that are a couple inches smaller in each direction in the rough opening. I'm going to be putting in new drywall and fixing the siding to adjust to the new window size.

They used a textured drywall with seams between the joints so I plan on replacing it all.

What are your opinions/suggestions?

DangerMouse 04-13-2011 07:47 AM

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Photos of YOUR home, (the areas you have questions about,) would help.


x106 04-13-2011 08:02 AM

I'll get a picture when I get home.

Basically There is a rectangular rough opening without any trim at all. The windows are something extremely cheap like what you would see in a storm door or screen door.

Between the inside window and the outside window you would see the rough opening if it wasn't for the wood paneling.

x106 04-13-2011 08:13 AM

I realized I might have a picture from my home inspection, I know it's pretty horrible but here it is.

Sorry the arrows are for the inspection and unrelated to the post.

You can barely see there is an inch overlap of aluminum frame on the wall itself. That frame is just tack nailed in place. It isn't something that calls attention to me but it isn't very pretty.

Just Bill 04-14-2011 06:50 AM

Am I missing something in the pic??? It looks like an aluminum storm over a standard single glazed wood double hung window??? You say there is also an interior storm??? From what I see, you could leave the existing frame in place and do replacement windows. There are several options available, sash replacement kits that replace the sashes; replacement windows in either wood or vinyl that fit inside the existing frame. None of these require removing the old frame.

x106 04-14-2011 07:14 AM

Appearances can be deceiving. I'm having my wife take a picture of the window because I forgot about it yesterday. I'll have a better picture hopefully today.

Both the interior and exterior windows are exactly the same. They try to cover up that fact with the cross design on the outside but that is just material on top of the same window.

It's a window like this

Something you see in a screen door/storm door. Single pane of glass that uses two clips at the bottom so you can slide it up and lock it up. Depending on which window my wife takes a picture of it may have a screen in the outer set. There are 3 of our 13 windows that have one.

x106 04-14-2011 07:38 AM

Ok, my wife took a picture of the worst window we have but it will do.

Hopefully this helps. One way or the other I'm going to replace these with a more standard window. I have several sizes of these windows but they are all exactly like this.

I haven't found a company that comes out my way so I'm either doing it myself with a friend of mine who is an electrician who's employer just shut down or using an Amish contractor.

gotogregg 04-14-2011 08:07 AM

Hey x106,

That is weird. Haha. Is that your 2x4 framing in middle of the two panes of glass? It looks like it might be and they installed storm windows on the inside and outside instead of a real window. I would measure your rough opening and order new windows that you can pop in and throw those storms away. What is around the windows on the outside? Brickmould? J-channel?

x106 04-14-2011 08:23 AM

I'm definitely not familiar with the lingo, I just know what I have is about the cheapest thing anyone could do. I really think that is just wood paneling over whatever they used to frame it. The outside is covered up well enough with vinyl siding that I can't see exactly what might be around the windows. I haven't measured the wood paneling they used between the windows but I'm guessing it is about 5 inches. They are 2x6 walls. I'm guessing to install windows in 6 inch walls it's more expensive so they cut corners this way.

I want to do things better but still on the cheap. I want to frame in slightly smaller windows.

DangerMouse 04-14-2011 08:32 AM

That's not an uncommon way to achieve a "double paned windows" effect though, I did the same thing..... in the chicken coop.
In a home though, that's pretty unusual....


x106 04-14-2011 11:44 AM

I want to install windows that are roughly 2-3 inches smaller both height and width (discounted windows). Since I'm doing drywall at the same time I think I can make it all look pretty nice.

What are your recommendations for framing in smaller windows?

It looks like the only custom window option I have local to me is an Amish company that will make custom windows. Good prices for windows I think, 190-230 per window. I still want to save money by buying at a bargain outlet for 110ish per window, just have to frame them in because they are smaller.

DangerMouse 04-14-2011 11:54 AM

Since you're willing to sacrifice viewing area an inch or two and shim it in yourself, here's a cheaper possibility!
I got 14 of my new windows from the 'back rooms' of different window sellers and builder's stores.
Simply stop in and ask them what sizes they have out back that got returned as 'mis-measured'.
I got brand new windows for bargain bin prices. Nailing fins, built-in J-channels, double hung, double pane, low E, etc.
I just framed the openings to fit the windows! It went pretty fast.
You should have no trouble smoothing it all in to look good.


x106 04-14-2011 12:34 PM

What is the best process for framing in the smaller window and keeping insulation value high?

x106 04-15-2011 09:36 AM

I think I got really lucky, 8 of my windows (14 total) are the same size and I was able to find double hung, new construction, low-e windows for $115 each. I could just barely fit them all in my car :)

I have a trailer but I don't have the lights on yet or the wiring harness in my car.

The best part about it I think is that they are the exact height and the width will only be smaller by an inch on each side.

The other windows will be much harder to shop for because they are various sizes...

Also yesterday just to be sure I removed the strips in between the storm windows just to be sure and yes, there is just wood paneling in between them. Underneath the wood paneling is just the 2x6's for the rough opening. No insulation.

DangerMouse 04-15-2011 09:48 AM

Cool! The remaining you need could be in those back rooms though! It's absolutely in your best interest to call around for mis-measures. I paid roughly between $10.00 and $40.00 each for ALL of my windows except the 2 6'x6' picture windows. (I paid $100.00 each for those!) So make those calls and save yourself hundreds! They're happy to get rid of them!! One place I looked had over 100 returned brand new windows to look through!!! (I guess they're measuring guys were not so good?) :laughing:


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