How to tip the window into position behind stool?

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How to tip the window into position behind stool?

#1 Post by MTA » Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:44 pm

I'm getting ready to replace our old double-hung wood windows with vinyl double-hungs. The "pocket" in our existing windows is 3-1/4", and there is a stool about 1" high above a sloped sill. By "pocket" I mean the space between the stool and the stop.

The vinyl window units I am looking at are 3-1/4" thick.

How is it possible to tip the new window into position? If you have a 3-1/4" thick window, and it has to tip into a 3-1/4" pocket behind the stool, that leaves no room for rotation of the unit as it goes into position. If there were no stool, it would be no problem ... you could just slide the window straight in. But with the stool, what to do?

Folks in the window stores have said "oh it's no problem." But I made a little cross-section mock-up with graph paper, and ... it definitely looks like a problem to me.

Of course, you can order the unit shorter than the opening, and that may help. But the stop across the top of the opening is only about 1/2", and the window needs to meet that stop, so that limits how much shorter the window can be to a small amount ... less than 1/2".

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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#2 Post by shamu » Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:12 pm

Typically the replacement window is made 1/4 to 3/8" shorter than the actual opening. This should be enough to set the window in behind the stool and tilt the window in at the top. You can actually order the window even shorter, as most manufacturers send a head expander to fit on top of the window to take up any gaps. If you have ordered the window too tall you can always chisel out the sill at the high point behind the stool to get a little more clearance in the height. This will be covered by the replacement frame and does not compromise the integrity of the existing frame.

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#3 Post by MTA » Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:49 pm

Thanks Shamu. What does a head expander look like?

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Windows on Washington
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#4 Post by Windows on Washington » Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:26 am

Looks like a U-shaped piece of vinyl that covers the top frame rail and allows for greater size accomodation.

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#5 Post by ANOTHER WINDOW GUY » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:27 am

MTA, a window ordered 1/4"- 3/8" in heigth less than the actual opening should fit without the head expander. You set the window into the opening with the bottom inside edge behind your stool and down on the existing sill and tip the window into place, if it's a little snug a pry bar at the top should take care of things. The head expander if used will mean your inside stops will not go back on perfectly because of the extra 1/8" overlap at the top of the window caused by the head expander, and the head expander does cause some concern about the cosmetics. We only use them when someone makes a mistake in the measuring process.

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