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askwhy22 06-15-2008 07:57 AM

Installing New Window in Brick Wall
I am planning on installing a relatively small awning style window in the wall as part of a bathroom remodeling project. The house has exterior brick walls so I'll need to cut through the brick. Can anyone direct me to some good How-to resources for this project?


ChrWright 06-18-2008 09:14 PM

The job you're describing is a difficult one to DIY. Hopefully you've done some masonry work before.

You'll need a 4" angle grinder with a diamond blade. Start by framing the opening from the inside, and hammer drill location holes through the brick at the four corners.

With the location now seen on the outside, you can grind out the mortar joints where you need to remove bricks (WEAR A MASK) and smack them out with a hammer. Try your best to save as many hole as possible to reuse to finish out the edges. As long as you grind through at least half the depth of the brick, they should come out in one piece.

I'm sure you have an existing detail to match from the other windows, which will likely require you to cut a good number of bricks down to lace in. This is best done with a brick saw, which you can probably rent.

You could probably hire a mason to do this for around $400-500, and it would taken them only a few hours. If you've not done this before, you could easily spend an entire weekend.

Hope that helps.

SPISurfer 10-27-2008 08:49 AM

Help Needed in Hurricane House
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We cut the brick & made a rough frame for a small picture/fixed window. The light just floods that side of the house, which it desperately needed. We pooped out over the weekend because of some framing issues in the attic.

Problem - we have never done masonary work. We want the window to be finished out correctly. We have half wood and half brick. The brick is not smooth. We think we should take out another row of bricks and install half bricks for the sill.

We are unsure about the sides. I have attached pictures of an adjecent window with its brick sill and pictures of the new opening. Any and all suggestions welcomed.

spaz2965 10-27-2008 12:54 PM

you have 3 different variations there, block, stone vernier, and wood and trying to look back and forth from pic to pic is that the same block under the window that is finished? If it is then yes I would take out that row under new window and replace with a brick sill I would also give it a little slant so water doesn't run back into your window. From the looks of it it looks like stone then and I would try and get stone for corners and that will finish that part . Then you have the wood. Let me ponder on that as I will come up with something.

SPISurfer 10-28-2008 07:22 AM

Local Window Installation Observations & Taping Issues
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There's no stone just wavey brick, mortar, wood framing, flashing tape, cedar wood siding. In the previous post, I included a picture #4 of an existing window to show how it was finished out, but it doesn't have the cedar wood siding around it - hence the challenge.

I've been checking out remodeled buildings around here. They do create a slanted brick sill. Some brick the sides with mini bricks and some just put wood all the way around and use caulk/construction adhesive to fill in the gaps around the boards.

We are just trying to perfect our style before installing the 35"X76" picture window. That one will be bricked all the way around.

I a picture of new construction house which doesn't have a slanted brick sill and has wood look around the opening. I couldn't attach the picture, but the website is:
It's the red brick one story before picture and not the after.

Our house has a large overhang, many trees, and the wind doesn't normally come from that direction (except for a hurricane when all bets are off).

We're still trying to think it through. What do you think?

Today I'm picking up some of the green lid joint compound you suggested and going after the bubbled up taped and feathering out 8". I'm also attaching a picture of the patched job on the ceiling where we took out a wall. It needs a lot of work.

spaz2965 10-28-2008 08:16 AM

slice the center of the bubble and get some mud behind, and things will work out for you. If you do decide to wrap with wood then you will also have to wrap that with aluminum and you should be able to go to a home improvement store, that sells siding, windows and doors and they can bend the metal for you, unless you would have a friend that has a break, you also may find a contractor that would come to your house and wrap the window for you. If I lived closer to you I would be willing to bend the metal for you, if you go and have it bent for you make the measurements long so that it will be flashed properly, what I mean by this is the bottom would be done first then the sides and top last. Your bottom you would cut in on bend so that it bends up the sides and there is no way water would get in. sides are done the same way that the tops are cut on bend and bent in on top this is also a good place to nail and when side and top would go on then they would hide the nails.Then I would also apply a thin bead of caulk. If you go with a brick sill you would also caulk along window and then I would probably do the sides in wood and wrap with aluminum. I would also bend what is called a drip cap for the top, I wish I had some pictures to show but never really thought about taking these kind of pictures but the next time I do some windows I will so that if anyone else has this problem I would have them. Let me know how you make out and the route you might take and if the price seems high for someone to wrap this for you I would check and see what it might cost to send the bent pieces to you. I enjoy helping friends out around here. Good Luck


spaz2965 10-28-2008 08:31 AM

another thought would be to cut the outside and wrap the whole window with brick, you would need a steel lintel to go across the top of the window and then jut a drip cap on top of the brick and the tucked up under the wood siding, the steel lintel would sit on bricks coming up the sides and then bricks would sit on top of lintel, just another thought, you would only cut the stone up the sides by 4" and the same with the wood at the top. That little bit of brick work wouldn't be that hard for you to do either. A trial and a striker would be what you would need. Hope that some of this helps. Also a flt steel trial you might get the texture to match on ceiling.


inspectorD 10-28-2008 05:43 PM

What you have there looks like a great big thinkin project.:)
In reality ,you really only need to worry about how the window is flashed to the wood framed opening, just as you would with any siding material.
This is the most important area because water will usually get behind the brick, brick absorbs water over time. Make sure all you flashings run over the one below in a mechanical manner, try not to rely on caulk for a fix for stopping or diverting water.
Try this site for detailed explanations of bricks and windows.
Then work on keeping the water from the brick siding out as best you can with the suggestions and ideas for a slope you already have. This will keep out the majority of the water.
I think you need to remove some more brick to gain good access to the framing and water intrusion barrier. Then trim out as you can to match the existing openings.

SPISurfer 11-03-2008 09:31 AM

One Down One to Go
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So the little picture window is in. Here are the pictures - cutting brick and the outside of windoe. The outside trim work still remains. Thank you for all the advice.

We looked around our town and asked about window installations in brick. Oh the sites we saw! Some of the masons merely put little bricks - brickets -all around the window. Some of the windows had completely different bricks around them. The one that were rebricked nicely had a huge contrast with the mortar. We asked the people how old the new windows were - 8 years. We did notice that the picture windows were mainly framed with wood and didn't have a slanted wooden sill. The one that sealed the deal was actually the out-laws - I mean in-laws. They have a 100 year old stucco house. In 1972 they added massive picture windows.

Staring at all the mortar made us realize our house needs to repointed. Next years project has just presented itself. We may settle for tuck pointing, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Joe you were right about the bending the metal etc... Lowes actually had them all bent and we just need to cut it. The out-laws window had the metal bent down under the flat window sill.

Inspector, we were able to get the flashing tape to extend quit a bit beyond the brick and upper wooden siding around the window. We appreciate you helping us do our projects the most correct way.

Our house is a product of years of shoddy workmenship. It was abandoned for 2 years because it wouldn't pass inspection for most people who needed to get a loan. We were tired of paying rent while looking for the right house down here. This was supposed to be a transitional house. Hopefully we do right by the house and improve it a little as we make hurricane repairs.

inspectorD 11-03-2008 06:43 PM

Looks good
Glad to be of some help. We all are.:D

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