replacement windows

If you are new to this type of board please try out some of your test posts & replies here!
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:35 pm

replacement windows

#1 Post by dbatzel1 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:39 pm

i have a 15 year old house with builder windows installed they are vinyl and i want to replace can i install replacement windows without removing the frames ifso what type of window do i buy thanks

User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4483
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC

Re: replacement windows

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:05 pm

Not possible.

You could potentially replace the glass, if the manufacturer still exists, with newer high performance glass but this will not address what are the more normal complaints with builders grade windows (i.e. air leakage, poor operation, general failure of the material, etc.)

User avatar
Posts: 2453
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas

Re: replacement windows

#3 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:11 pm

+1... at least not without being the punchline in one of those "You might be a red-neck if-_____...." jokes. :mrgreen:

Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:20 pm

Re: replacement windows

#4 Post by MrRogersWindows » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:39 pm

No, you cannot replace just the sashes. They just don't make them. You're going to have to replace the whole window frame, so choose a quality custom-built replacement window.

Now, you can go to a big box store and ask for a new construction vinyl window with a nailing flange, but you can't put that in the opening without taking your siding off. You can do all that if you want, but that's an awful lot of trouble to go through for a window.

So, buy a new custom-built replacement window. Just make sure to “re-flash” it professionally when you install it because there is going to be a gap that will catch a lot of water over the years. It will have to be properly sealed, and the best way to do that is with three seals, not just one.

The first seal will be a water and ice shield around and behind the siding. You'll have to pull the vinyl siding back a little bit to do this, but you're not taking the siding all the way back either. You just need to overlap that old vinyl flange if you've cut that vinyl flange off. Or, if you have extracted the whole thing together, the vinyl flange and the old vinyl frame, then take that water and ice shield, seal it up to the sheeting, bend it like an L, and seal it against your new window frame.

The second seal is created from coil stock. Create a trim piece that connects the siding to the window. Bend it to a 90 degree angle (with a metal bender) and it will make a secondary cap that connects the window to the siding.

Your third seal will be industrial grade caulk. You will seal that piece of trim material to the siding and to the window.

You will need to insulate the gap on the inside too. Just remember when you insulate to use the low- or medium-expanding foam insulation, otherwise, with high expansion foam you risk bending the vinyl. Let the insulation dry, cut any excess off, and then run a nice fine bead of caulk around after the seal has dried.

By going through all of these sealing or “re-flashing” steps, you are effectively creating the best seal you can possibly have and you will really have a much better window than you started with. Goodbye builders' grade window!

User avatar
Delaware Mike
Posts: 868
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area

Re: replacement windows

#5 Post by Delaware Mike » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:31 am

MrRogers did a nice job of explaining things. There are a ton of new construction homes in Delaware that have failing vinyl windows, both mechanically and glass. Folks aren't financially prepared for what is involved with the correct and hopefully permanent solution to their problem. I've seen a lot contractors "cheat" this type of install just to get the job and it's going to be financially much worse in a few years when there is a ton of water damage and new windows are going to be purchased all over again. Most of us Pros don't like to come in behind a hack and clean up their mess.

Post Reply