If you want to increase the energy efficiency in your brick house, replace old windows with vinyl windows. Vinyl windows insulate your home better at a lower cost, and they are easier to maintain than wood. Replacing windows in brick houses poses some challenges, but it can be done, even by a person with few DIY skills. Here are some tips to install vinyl replacement windows in brick houses.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • safety glasses
  • work gloves
  • measuring tape
  • cloth
  • pry bar
  • utility knife
  • caulk and caulk gun
  • screwdriver or drill
  • wood shims
  • galvanized screws
  • oil-based paint (optional)
  • spray foam
  • hammer
  • vinyl windows 

To measure for windows on a brick house, measure vertically in the middle, bottom, and top from the outside. Deduct ¼ inch from the narrowest number, and use this figure in your order for length. Measure horizontally at the right side, left side, and middle. Subtract ¼ from this measurement, and use the shortest figure for the height in your order.

Detach Old Window

Wearing safety glasses and work gloves, remove the interior trim and exterior trim with a pry bar, which will reveal whether the window is attached to the casement by screws or nails. Don't use too much force with the pry bar, or you could damage the brick. If the window is attached by nails, carefully pry the nails on one side of the frame with a hammer.

If it is attached by screws, loosen them with a screwdriver on the top and bottom. For screws that are hard to remove, use a drill. Pry the bottom sash, then cut the ropes to loosen the upper sash. Cut through old caulk with the knife.

Lift the old window out from the outside to avoid dust getting inside. Wipe the window casement clean from the outside to ensure easier installation. If desired, paint the casement with oil-based paint, and let dry.

Install New Window

Caulk around the outer edges of the casement, then slide the window in place. It is important to use a good sealant with brick walls, since they absorb a great deal of moisture, which will damage an unsealed window. If there are gaps, fill them with wood shims.

Screws should be a sufficient length to penetrate the frame. Insert the screws in the pre-drilled holes on the flange, tighten them with a screwdriver, then reinstall the trim. Caulk around outer edges of trim to prevent leaks, and spray the window with spray foam to insulate.

Your vinyl windows will pay for themselves over time while adding beauty and value to your brick home. If you don't feel competent enough to do this yourself, hire a professional window replacement company, like Solar Shield Windows.