To insert, or not to insert?

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IvoryGirl73
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To insert, or not to insert?

#1 Post by IvoryGirl73 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:07 am

Hi. I have just started looking into replacing windows for my home and am overwhelmed by the many options out there. I believe the windows are original 1967 double hung windows. Some of the window sills are very soft and we have a few chunks missing in the brick moulding. The vinyl replacement salesman are telling us that they can just cut out the soft pieces of the moulding and sill and then replace the glass with an insert. As you can tell, I am wary of this option. It seems like it would just be patched together and would work for a while. But is this a long term solution? Would we better off paying the extra money for full replacement windows?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:16 am

That type of application is done all the time.

The sills can be repaired in many cases as well as the brick mould.

What you mention does not necessitate a full tear out application.

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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#3 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:11 pm

There are many advantages to full frame replacement:
All the rot prone wood is removed.
You maintain or increase visible glass.
You can foam the RO space.
You end up with new interior trim.
I like this method the best, though insert method is valid for many people.

thwWindowNerd...

IvoryGirl73
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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#4 Post by IvoryGirl73 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:20 pm

Yes, I also like the advantages of full replacement, and the vinyl inserts seem to be all over the map with pricing. I have had quotes ranging from $7900 (Preservation Windows), similar price for Atrium windows and then up to 14,000 for Renewal Andersen. Some neighbors used Clear
Choice Vinyl full replacement windows and paid only $1900 for a similar number of windows. Why so many price points?

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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#5 Post by masterext » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:35 pm

If you have alot of wood rot, then i would opt for a " full tear out". That said, if there are just a few rotted sills and the casing is in good condition, we replace the rotted portion of the sill, insulate the perimeter, seal with a polymer, and cap the existing exterior trim.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#6 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:51 am

Prices will be all over the place for several reasons.

- Totally different product
- Different cost of doing business (i.e. higher priced labor, customer service, warranty/service personnel)
- Lead generation costs
- Financing options
- Production quality
- etc., etc., etc.

Can you snap some pictures of the windows in question? You will loose a bit of glass with an insert but how much depends on the frame profile on the insert.

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HomeSealed
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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#7 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:43 am

Good advice above. There are pros and cons to insert vs full tear-out, but ultimately the choice comes down to whether or not the added costs outweigh the benefits in your mind. Some rotted sill and brickmold is no big deal. That can be cut-out and replaced and it will be good as new. The lower priced insert guys would probably just cover over it, and that is something that I don't recommend. Other than that, everything else (efficiency, seal, quality, etc) can be done on an insert just as it can on a full-tear, so it really comes down to glass loss if all else is equal. Most folks that I run into will take $200 per window savings even if it costs them a little bit of glass area.

IvoryGirl73
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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#8 Post by IvoryGirl73 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:25 pm

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Windows on Washington
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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#9 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:28 pm

I would do an insert here.

You only have a bit of brick mold rot there and doing a full tear out would really require a siding cut back to be done properly (i.e. with nailing flange and flashing).

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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#10 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:17 pm

Windows on Washington wrote:I would do an insert here.

You only have a bit of brick mold rot there and doing a full tear out would really require a siding cut back to be done properly (i.e. with nailing flange and flashing).
+1. That brickmold is essentially the exterior equivalent of your interior woodwork. It is not structural. This is pretty common for insert installs. As I mentioned earlier, you'll just want to make sure that those sections are actually chopped out and replaced to prevent spread of the wood rot.

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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#11 Post by Delaware Mike » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:51 pm

Your project looks EXACTLY like an insert project that I just finished last week. Even the colors are the same. Their exterior was asbestos with fresh paint on them with about a tube of caulk every 2ft against the return of the brick molding.

Out of 24 windows we had about 8 of them with rotted brick mold bottoms. However, it was only the bottom 4" to 6". Removing the whole brick mold leg wasn't really possible with all of the painted caulking. We simply took our cordless Mulitmaster type tools (Makita and Milwaukee) and performed a precision horizontal cut and removed them. I keep primed brick molding in my trailer so we just cut an exact duplicate of the bad piece and anchored it into a wet bed of exterior sealant. It's a good idea to inject some spray foam into all areas in which the nozzle can penetrate too. My favorite anchors for this are #1 square head corse thread exterior deck screws as they really grab and don't require pre-drilling.

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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#12 Post by TheWindowNerd » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:19 pm

Besides the benefits that I previously outlined. It would be interesting for you to see homes similar to your done as inserts and full frame. Some people can tolerate the glass loss and shrinking of the windows, some can not.
In my market a great vinyl DH( u<.28, AI <.05) as an insert cost $550 to $780 a window, to do the same window as a full frame adds $225 per window.

theWindowNerd.com

IvoryGirl73
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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#13 Post by IvoryGirl73 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:52 pm

Hey, window nerd - I am not so worried about the loss of glass size in the double hung windows, as I would be in our two large bow windows that will probably need to be replaced in a few years also.

Thanks for have this website. I have learned from you and the other contractors that an insert is still possible in my current windows. I am also trying to learn from your wisdom about brands to stay away from. It seems from reading other posts that most contractors do not like Silver Line or Jeld Wen. Soft lite seems to be well liked, but not a common brand in central Iowa!

Do any of you contractors have any other words of wisdom to part with? Thanks!

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Re: To insert, or not to insert?

#14 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:27 am

Bay and Bow window replacements (if they are monolithic units and night bay and bow structures with windows in them) are replaced as full tear outs and back to the jack studs of the opening.

I think the consistent advice that you will hear the pros give is to do some crash course self-education. This will allow you to more critically evaluate the window bids and performance numbers as a consumer.

Look for:
- Good U-Factor (preferably under 0.28 from a double pane)
- Good air tightness numbers (look for 0.05 and under air infiltration number)
- Narrow profiles (maximize glass)
- Solid warranty (installation and product)

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