Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

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SethPetryJohnson
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Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#1 Post by SethPetryJohnson » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:12 pm

I've been lurking and researching a bunch lately.

I've talked to 5 salespeople so far and I'm getting somewhat conflicting information re: full-frame replacement and I'm hoping someone can help me make sense of this.

I have 14 windows to replace. At least two of them have noticeably rotted wood in the exterior sill, but there's no evidence of any water damage on the inside. (No water spots in drywall, etc) None of the sales people have indicated that I need to do full replacement.

However, I'm still considering it because I'm replacing wood windows in a nice neighborhood and I want to keep as slim a profile as possible.

My questions are:

1) Other than to maximize glass space, are there other benefits from insisting on a full-frame replacement if the salesperson doesn't think it's necessary?

2) Approximately how much glass will I lose w/ pocket install? I read somewhere the difference was around 1.5" horizontally and 3" vertically; if those numbers are correct/standard, is that total, or 1.5" and 3" per side?

3) What questions do I ask of the installer to validate their installation method? Should I be asking them to go "down to the studs"? Are there certain phrases I should look for to indicate that they are/are not going to do it right?

4) I've read that full-frame installation could add up to $250 per window. 1 of my installers quoted me installation costs of $859 (for 12 full-frame replacements) and another quoted $1480. Both are significantly less than $250/window. Reasonable or too good to be true?

5) Aesthetically speaking, would you ever mix installation types on the same side of the house? For example, my lower level looks like this: ---[ ]----- / -----[][]--. There's an office window to the left of the front door, and two living room windows to the right of the front door. I want to maximize glass in the living room but don't really care about the office; how noticeable would the difference be, and is it something you generally recommend against doing?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#2 Post by masterext » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:14 pm

Having 2 or 3 rotted sills should not be the sole reason to go with a full frame install, thats an easy fix. I only recommend a full frame/ new construction install if there is uniquitous wood rot. There a a few other situations but for the most part a standard replacement with spray foam insulation does the job quite well.
Last edited by masterext on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#3 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:32 am

+1.

A few rotted sills is no reason to scrap all the interior trim and take on the extra labor/work that is required.

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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:58 pm

There are typically to groups of window replacement companies with their particular bend/orientation.
There are those that do inserts replacement.
There are those that do do full frame.
You can usually tell which is which by how they propagandize their orientation.
Benefits of full frame:
Visible glass retention. On average, because I have done the math, you will lose 1 sq ft of visible glass with an insert.
All exposed wood whether rotting or not is elimenated.
You get all new interior trim. So you can upgrade the style or size.
the window sill will be deeper.
You can insulated between the stud and window frame.
Down side to full frame:
Cost
Takes more time
Does not include all the cost, particularly painting of the new trim, sill and JE.
Full frame would be down to the studs.
For us the average full frame does add $250. average insert 800Dx $600., average full frame $ 850.
Do not mix on the same elevation. In your case I would suggest doing only full frame if you can get your head around all the details.
I am an odd ball in that we do either method just as readily. Today I finished a house where we did full frame AW. Tonight I sold a house of 30 vinyl insert units.
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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:54 am

What is different about what wood is exposed in the case of a full tear vs. insert?

At the end of the day, assuming you are running a window that is not pre-clad, the trim is still clad on the exterior just as it would be in the case of a full tear out.

There certainly are situation in which a full tear out is preferable, I just don't think that a few rotted sills (a commonplace occurrence with the poor wood quality these days) is reason enough to change the work scope on all the units.

We probably could get into a bit of a technical discussion in the contractor's forum, but there are some folks that think a full tear out without the benefit of a nailing flange is actually a liability in some cases.

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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#6 Post by TheWindowNerd » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:06 am

My response to the OP was comparing a vinyl insert replacement compared to a vinyl full frame( which can be done with or with out a fin). Thus the wood on the outside is completely done away with.

The OP asked for a understanding about the two different types of installs, I feel I gave the most through and objective answer. Both in the upside and downside and in experience.

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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#7 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:22 am

Okay.

Nailing Flange, full tear out is usually something that I refer to as a different class of full tear out. Certainly the most comprehensive of the options in this case, but doesn't quite represent the full scope of most full tear outs like those behind brick or an otherwise immovable cladding.

In those other cases, there will almost always be some required cladding to cover either a trim detail or some portion of a sill.

Obviously you know all of this, but this is sometimes lost on the OP to be able to visualize.

I still think that 2-3 rotted sills can be pretty easily repaired here prior to setting the windows without having to necessitate the full replacement of the trim.

Opinions do vary though.

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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#8 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:55 am

Eric,
No issues from me.
I esteem you highly.
theWindowNerd

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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#9 Post by Windows on Washington » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:30 am

Wayne,

No sweat partner. You know this place needs a good dust up every once and a while.

Hope you and the family are well and I assure the feeling is mutual.

Eric

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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#10 Post by SethPetryJohnson » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:52 pm

Thanks for the replies. "Dust up" or not, the discussion was informative and helpful and I appreciate the responses!

WindowNerd mentioned that a full tear-out involves all-new interior trim. One contractor quoted me a "down to the studs" replacement for 12 openings at $1480, or $123/window, but didn't say anything about interior trim. Another said he'd be around $300/window and explicitly mentioned it included all-new trim.

I haven't asked the 1st guy yet, but it seems logical that to get down to $123/window he's leaving all the trim up to me. I had assumed that the interior trim would be re-used, but I guess if you're redoing the entire opening it's likely that the old trim wouldn't fit perfectly any longer.

As much as I hate to lose the glass space, I think I'm better off sinking that extra $3500 into the best thin-frame windows I can find and saving myself the extra headache the woodwork would entail.

Thanks!

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Re: Do I need full-frame replacement, and how do I vet the quote?

#11 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:17 am

Should be easy enough to clarify, but I can't imagine that $123 included trim and the trim can almost never be reused effectively. You spend more time messing with it than just cutting it out and re-doing it.

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