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 Post subject: Install method choice?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:05 am
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Background:
Replacing 40 year old Andersen Narrowline windows (21 total). The sills are vinyl clad, but Andersen left the end faces exposed (about 1" square area). Not sure why?

Business 1 says the Andersen sills are fine as they are (will save me some $) but will clean them up and caulk over the exposed ends. They pack loose insulation between frame and window instead of expandable foam citing it is often messy and expands beyond intended area. Business 1 uses their own in-house installers and is a well established firm with 5 year install warranty. They sell the Okna 500/800 and Seaway Encore/Ovation lines.

Business 2 says they will recap the sills including the end faces. Business 2 uses a dedicated subcontractor team who has been with them about two years (wish it was longer) and is a well established firm with 10 year install warranty. They use expandable foam insulation between the frame and window. They sell the Okna 400/800 lines.

Both businesses have good Angie's list and Yelp reviews, and BBB A+ ratings with no complaints.

In-home appointments are forthcoming for ProVia Endure/Ovation business and Sunrise business. As of this posting I have no install method feedback for either of them yet but am anxious to compare methods. Window choice will be double glaze Energy Star qualified for North region.

Question:
As best I can tell from knocking on the sills they are solid with just a few having some minimal area of shallow sponginess on those end faces. Majority are weathered looking but I believe structurally sound. One or two have a shallow but noticeable crown to the sill. In light of that, any concerns or comments with the proposed methods mentioned previously? Are both of these methods acceptable best practices within the industry?


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 Post subject: Re: Install method choice?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:05 am
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Here are some images of the Andersen Narrowlines showing the exposed ends of the sill cladding. On a few of the ground level windows on the north side I was able to insert an unfolded paper clip about 3" into the exposed end. If I knock on the sills from the inside they still sound hard and solid. Should they be replaced?


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 Post subject: Re: Install method choice?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
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Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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The 30-year plus run of those PVC cladded Andersen Narrowline windows is one of the most common windows that we run into in regards to window replacement. Personally, even though it is common practice amongst mostly do-it-yourselfers, a simple retrofit and not re-capping over the Andersen PVC exteriors produces very poor cosmetic results. With really good capping work an installer can take the frowned crown and hide it with a level sill cap. I pack out either with foam or scrap PVC, a slight projected nose as I think it makes them look better in terms of more common exterior dimensioning of window casings.

The old PVC cladded frames will have endured many years of UV fading along with all kinds of spots and stains that will rarely ever come completely off. Unless the sill is completely rotted wouldn't provide a solid base to set the window upon and possible have more issues such as water intrusion to the rough sill, sheathing, and framing, I wouldn't replace it as cutting it out would weaken the frame unit as a whole. It typically requires remove of the stool and apron too. If the exposed treated wood ends are decaying we just kind of get that nastiness out and fill with a little foam and cap the sill.

Capping of a Andersen 200 NL sill with a brick opening might be performed with tucking the capping into the face accessory groove of the replacement window which would give about anywhere from a 1 3/4" to 2" face nose profile. If we are dealing with vinyl or aluminum I will typically run the sill cap back under the window tucked under spray foam so that I wind up with about a 1 1/4" sill nose profile.

On my Andersen retrofits, the capping makes the exterior of the opening helps give the exterior of the opening a completely fresh new appearance. The "caulk and walk" type of retrofits that I've seen done in my area tend to look not nearly as nice in my opinion. Of course all of this depends upon the sill set and workmanship of which the capping and caulking is performed.

Most of us pros much prefer spray foam to fiberglass insulation 99% of the time. However, on your project if the window is measured tightly to the jambs and head on an Andersen retrofit the exterior stop will stay in place, thus an extra weather barrier as opposed to exterior stop removal type of window tear outs. Not such a deal breaking detail with your project. I do prefer foam under the sill and rarely do I go old school back to the 90's with fiberglass there.

The OKNA product lines will serve you will married with a good installation.


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 Post subject: Re: Install method choice?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:18 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:05 am
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Thank you for your reply DM. I follow you except for paragraph 3 as my experience is limited so I can't quite follow those details but would like to understand if possible. Any pics or renderings to help explain? You've answered the more critical aspects of my questions - that's the main thing.

I had Business 3 at my home today. They use their own in-house installers and are also a well established firm with 10 year install warranty. They sell the ProVia Endure line.
This time I asked more questions to better understand the installation process (I'm learning). They use low expansion foam and recap all the sills. The rep recommends I replace two of the four sills on the north side of my house. They are the ones I pushed an unfolded paper clip into. He also showed me how he could squeeze/compress the outermost portion of the sill that overhangs (nose??) because of the rot. If I recall he said the sill is screwed in and can be replaced w/o too much trouble. He said all the other sills were solid. About $125 upcharge/sill replace. Initial sense is they are more expensive overall than B1 and B2 but again waiting on formal proposal numbers.

I've contacted B1 to discuss capping all sills and the two soft sills mentioned previously. Waiting for response.

If someone can explain to me how to embed some images I will do so. Tried previously but was unsuccessful. I don't use any web based photo sharing sites. Looked at the FAQs but couldn't figure it out. Tried to find a contact on the forum to ask for help but couldn't figure that out either (sorry this is my first forum experience).


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 Post subject: Re: Install method choice?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
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Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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I've never figured out how to directly post up pictures myself and have a single Andersen retrofit gallery sitting in a Yahoo photo bucket account that I've not used or logged in for like 5-years. I will try to update that account and post the link so you can view my method.

I've seen those PVC cladded Andersen sills so rotted that the only thing holding any wood together is the actual PVC acting as a shell. One can grab and squeeze the sill and it will compress if it's that far gone. Visual frowned centers are a symptom. Replacement of the sills sounds like a good idea. Even though vinyl windows are kind of hung with some weight baring aspects to the interior bottom of the master frame as it meets the sill, a sill replacement in your case will allow you and the installers to examine the condition of the rough sill and surrounding area in case things are worse than expected. We like the fact that spray foaming under the sill helps support any shimming for level of the window.

The ProVia Endure series is gaining quite a bit of talk these days. I am getting ready to order a sample myself as I believe it to be a pretty nice window. The nicest results that I've had with Andersen retrofits is with the Sunrise Vanguards, OKNA 800s', and Soft-Lite Elements as far as vinyl is concerned.


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 Post subject: Re: Install method choice?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
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Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/windowpro42/

Not sure if this will work but hope so? It's a gallery of Vanguards retrofitted into Andersen Narrowlines.


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 Post subject: Re: Install method choice?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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My choice would be the 800DX and B2. Like their install practices.
theWindowNerd


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