There's an old cinderblock outbuilding on the property I'm under contract for, probably built in the 1960s. It had many doors and Windows, but most of them were covered when the previous owner of the property "renovated" the outbuildings by replacing their roofs and throwing siding up over the exterior.

What tools and processes should I use to turn these into functioning doors and windows again?

For example:

  • Can I just cut a hole through the metal and wood bits, or do I need to take down the siding entirely and start anew?
  • If I am to cut a hole, what tools and processes would I need to cut the hole?
  • If I am to cut a hole, do I need to finish the edges of the cut hole with some kind of sills or trim?
  • If I am to cut a hole, how can I make sure water doesn't come in through the doors and windows?

Door with siding over it from interior Door with siding over it from interior

  • 2
    What kind of problems are you having exactly? Remove the siding and... uh, they become functioning already. If you need a new door, then get a new door. If you need to replace the windows, then you install a new window. – Nelson Jul 7 at 7:32
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    This is a very broad question. Obviously you have to cut out the steel siding. What specific questions do you have? Part of the answer depends on what trim components you have available and what type of windows you'll install. Please revise to add detail and clarify your questions. – isherwood Jul 7 at 13:54
  • I did not notice the metal frame windows at first. These may need to be removed to make normal looking openings like the doors, but you may be able to just cut and put a trim piece to the wall, not sure how that would look. – Ed Beal Jul 7 at 14:10
  • @isherwood I don't think it's a broad question at all. I did not find it obvious that I had to cut out the steel siding (maybe I'd have to remove and relpace it?) I was not sure that was even possible -- there are wooden sticks across it too, will I need to cut those? If so am I damaging any structure? – Kerrick Jul 7 at 18:02
  • The siding appears to be Panels, similar to metal roofing panels. ( Do some YouTube research ) They should be screwed on not nailed, if so you can remove just the panels around the openings, cut the wood battens, cut the panels to the appropriate size and reinstall, you will need J-channel flashing to go around each opening to cover the cut edges ( sharp metal ), you should be able to match it to the siding. Try a siding supplier. If you reword you question to be more focused and specific it can be re-opened. – Alaska Man Jul 7 at 22:05

Marking the edges of the siding and use a circular saw with a high tooth count carbide blade. I have cut hundreds of feet of metal both ferrous and aluminum with a circular saw. The hard part here will be extending your openings and making wider looking walls but it can be done. Best to pull all the trim so you have the max opening and make 1 cut, put new trim (jambs and sills) then a finish piece around to cover.

A tip, once I pull the trim inside, I drill holes at the corners then I cut the opening 1/2” wider than the holes. The trim fits easily in the hole and the exterior trim around covers the small gap.

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