pros and cons of ordering with nailing fin?

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Will91
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:35 pm

pros and cons of ordering with nailing fin?

#1 Post by Will91 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:09 am

Hello experts:

Last night I had a Gorell dealer to my home here in Colorado. We began discussing installation specifics and I asked if he could order the Gorell 5100 window with a nailing fin. (My situation is that I am going to have my exterior cedar trim around the windows removed and also have new James Hardie siding installed.) FYI, I currently have 1990 style fibrous-based Masonite style horizontal siding with cedar trim around windows and half rounds. Since my trim needs to be removed for the siding anyways, I saw no reason why the window installer couldn't remove the trim before putting in the window. Windows would go in and then the siders come next. In light of this, I could only see positive aspects of using a window with a nailing fin, rather than without. With the nailing fin, I would be able to have ice and water shield (protecto-wrap) installed plus whatever additional flashing, etc. The siders would then apply their Tyvek DrainWrap before putting on the new siding and trim. However, the Gorell dealer said he saw no real sense to doing this approach. Specifically, he said that with a nailing fin, it would be very difficult for him to insert his foam gun straw behind the fin and properly spray in the foam. I could see how this might be difficult so I asked him about using stuffed fiberglass insulation instead and he said he does not like fiberglass because (1) it is not meant to be stuffed; (2) it is not waterproof like his foam and caulk.

What do you experts think about this. Both the Milgard dealer and Simonton dealer did not seem to have any issues with ordering the windows with the nailing fin - nor did they mention any problems with getting the foam gun inserted behind the fin. I liked the Gorell 5100 somewhat better than the Simonton but am somewhat at a loss what to think about the installation approach. In the end, he said he would we willing to order with nailing fins, try to get the foam injected, use the protecto-wrap etc. but of course now I have to wonder what IS the proper technique?

Thanks for any input.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: pros and cons of ordering with nailing fin?

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:27 pm

Your logic is correct. Always install with a nailing fin and flash and wrap. This will provide you with a much better seal and installation than a typical retrofit installation. You could always remove the interior stop and inject the foam from the inside and re install the stop.

The foam is not designed to be a water barrier. True, a closed cell foam will not absorb the water, however, that is a secondary benefit and not the intended purpose.

Will91
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:35 pm

Re: pros and cons of ordering with nailing fin?

#3 Post by Will91 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:23 pm

Thank you Windows on Washington:

After I posted this, I called the supplier here in Colorado for Gorell. I talked with an old-timer there. He said you could go either way, but, if it were his house, he would not go with a nailing fin for the following reasons:
1) The nailing fin will not enable the installer to move the window backwards or forwards into the opening for the best fit and appearance. With the nailing fin, the position will be fixed by the nailing fin flange.
2) He says that usually windows with nailing fins are somewhat undersized compared to a true replacement window without the nailing fin. Without the nailing fin, I was told the window can be up to 1/8" shy of the opening on either side allowing for a tight fit with minimal amount of foam required. With a nailing fin, he says they will typically be sized smaller and hence more foam will be used.

I wrote to Gorell and was told a nailing fin is not typically used for installation of replacement windows and that even with removal of trim and siding, the suggestion is to go with a replacement window installation over new construction based on how the window will "operate and perform against air and water, etc.".

Gorell has told me their windows come with optional snap-on nailing fins. If I go with the Gorell, should I order the snap on fins and just make sure the windows are sized as tight as possible? Then, perhaps the installer and I can make the call to use the fins or not once they arrive on site?? Can't something like protecto-wrap still be used even with the fins?

I'm not sure what you mean about the interior stop. I assume this is a piece of the window. FYI, my openings inside the house have what I've been told is a "drywall return" which I want to leave intact. The windows will not be trimmed out with wood afterwards to retain the contemporary look of the home with the drywall.

Thanks for any input.

shamu
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Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:20 pm

Re: pros and cons of ordering with nailing fin?

#4 Post by shamu » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:49 pm

The nailing fin application will work. You may have to remove some of the drywall return to accomodate the new window depending on the setback from the nail fin to the inside face of the window frame. Any insulating around the frame can be done from the inside. You may also want to consider some type of trim inside, 1/4rd.etc., to give a more finished look.

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