Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

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ChrisPowers
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Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#1 Post by ChrisPowers » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:46 am

Hello,

I've posted this question before elsewhere, but now that I've found this site, I feel like you guys would be in the best position to provide an answer to my question, so here goes:

I need to replace ten casement windows in my condo due to leaks of long-standing duration. Because of water infiltration, I'm reluctant to do inserts and would prefer to do a full frame installation to make sure there isn't any water damage to the framing.

The apartment is a duplex occupying the top two floors (essentially the 5th and 6th), and is located in Bergen County, NJ. The exterior of the building is stucco. The current windows are the original Andersen builder grade windows from 1988.

I've only found two places so far that are willing to do the job: Tri-State Window and Siding Factory (Majestic aka Ideal Windows) and Lowes (Pella). Both places say they won't need to access the outside of the building to accomplish this.

The main question I have is: is it even possible to do a proper full frame window replacement entirely from the interior of the building? Others have suggested they might be able to access everything they need through the open windows themselves, but these are casements. I don't see how they'll be able to even reach at least one side of the window jamb since the open window glass blocks access, no?

My main concern is that they're going to do some hack job just to get my business, or not even do a proper full frame install and assume I won't be able to tell the difference. Am I being too skeptical for my own good?

Thanks,
Chris

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:01 am

How and where are the windows leaking? That is step 1.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#3 Post by ChrisPowers » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:35 am

Hey man,

I would agree with that, except that it is virtually impossible to find that out definitively in my situation. I have literally been trying since April. It's a long story that I intended not to bore the members of this forum with, but suffice it to say that numerous window installers have implicated the exterior walls (the HOA's responsibility) while the homeowner's association got one contractor to come out after months of ignoring us to insist that the windows are the source of the leaking (thus my responsibility). I have literally had half a dozen contractors come out, and all but one (the Renewal by Andersen salesman) have blamed the walls. I even had a plaster and stucco specialist take a look, and he was of the opinion that holes and cracks on the expansion joints between floors are the likely culprit. Chances are it's both. The problem is, guys don't want to come out to diagnose leaks that I am then not authorized to hire them to fix. The only person to actually spray water on it was the contractor the HOA hired, and he only did one window, which did result in water pouring in between the exterior stucco and interior drywall. It was never clear precisely where the water was coming in from, and they made no effort to determine that. They "didn't have time."

I have been reluctant to replace the windows until this was resolved with certainty, and I finally got the HOA to agree to repair the caulking on the joints, so I started the process of getting window replacement quotes, since I did not want to install new windows only to have them damaged by water again. The HOA then informed us weeks later that they changed their minds and would wait until "the spring" to fix the caulking. The water infiltration has held up our upstairs floor installation since May. It has held up the renovation and furnishing of our entire downstairs living room / dining room for the same reason, as there is almost certainly water damage and mold behind the walls surrounding these leaks, and I won't have my pregnant wife occupying a room that is hazardous to her health. Water mitigation won't touch it until there's assurance there is no mold. Mold removal won't touch it until the leaks are fixed. So, there you have it.

In a perfect world, I would sue the homeowner's association to do the fixes. In the real world, that will take years, and in the meantime, I have a child on the way and nowhere for it to sleep. We have not yet unpacked the boxes from our move in March. We had been sleeping on a box spring and mattress on concrete floors until two weeks ago, when--with the expectation that the leaking walls were to be fixed imminently--I finally bit the bullet and had floors installed so that we might start the business of moving in upstairs and just cross our fingers that the water doesn't destroy the hardwood in the interim. The HOA then just kept postponing the repair date until they finally just out and out canceled it. Now, the sooner I can get new windows in, the sooner there's at least one less potential source of leaking to destroy our new floors.

So, if you wouldn't mind, can you please answer the question I posed? I have no choice but to replace the windows and hope there isn't a storm bad enough to destroy them in the meantime. If there is, you can rest assured there will be legal repercussions for my despicable HOA.

Thanks,
Chris
Last edited by ChrisPowers on Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#4 Post by masterext » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:55 pm

The Majestic is definitely the better window. The apartment is on the 5th floor, very high off the ground?
Is the exterior brick/ concrete?

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#5 Post by ChrisPowers » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:29 pm

masterext: the apartment is on what is essentially the 5th and 6th floors. I haven't measured it, but it's high enough up that many contractors, including Home Depot, won't even consider taking a look. The exterior of the building is stucco.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#6 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:28 am

Chris,

Post up some interior and exterior pictures of the windows and walls as well as a description of where the leaks are showing.

Thank you

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#7 Post by ChrisPowers » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:12 am

Looks like my controversial post finally made it past the censors! But not before my subsequent post was heavily redacted, of course. Nothing creepy and Orwellian about any of that.

Anyway, thanks for responding. I'll post what I have on my phone this afternoon and can snap a few more over the weekend if there's anything missing that you think would be especially helpful.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#8 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:29 pm

Chris,

I think the moderators, just like the pros here that are posters, do this in a strictly volunteer capacity. That said, you may note a 24 hour turn around time in post approvals.

If the posts are smaller (i.e. not as much text), the aren't flagged as a standard because of their likeness to some of the "spam" posts.

Feel free to post up your pictures and I am sure the pros here will be happy to lend an opinion on the source of the water.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#9 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:40 pm

FYI...I emailed the moderator and they said they only deleted your post inquiring about the post approval and the first part of your post that was referencing the approval.

They deleted it because they didn't think it would make sense to the casual reader.

Just thought I would bring you up to speed is all.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#10 Post by ChrisPowers » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:59 pm

Thanks, man. Believe me, I understand entirely what was going on. The Orwell reference was mostly tongue-in-cheek.

I collected a bunch of photos that should demonstrate the state of affairs pretty well. I'll start with some wide interior shots of the downstairs windows for reference, show some water damage to those windows, show what an investigation behind the walls revealed (including an upstairs window), and finally end with some shots of the exterior.

For reference, the windows in question are the living room and kitchen windows (both downstairs), and an upstairs bedroom window (directly above the living room window). Both triple-casement downstairs windows, in fact, are directly below double-casements upstairs, complicating matters somewhat.

The exterior shots are mostly of the expansion joints, since that's where I was focusing most of my efforts. Every person who looked, including those who implicated the windows, was unable to find any entry points for water directly on the window exteriors. The only place I've ever actually seen water enter in through the windows is through the top weatherstripping seal, which is pictured among the kitchen photos to follow. It does come in quite steadily through the upper seal on that particular window under the right conditions, I now recall.
Last edited by ChrisPowers on Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#11 Post by ChrisPowers » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:23 pm

Living room window (downstairs):

Living Room Window Wide Shot 01.jpg
(154.49 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Last edited by ChrisPowers on Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#12 Post by ChrisPowers » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:24 pm

Kitchen window (downstairs):

Kitchen Window Wide Shot 01.jpg
(172.99 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Last edited by ChrisPowers on Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ChrisPowers
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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#13 Post by ChrisPowers » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:26 pm

Living room window upper frame water damage:

Living Room Window Upper Frame Water Damage 02.jpg
(107.77 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Last edited by ChrisPowers on Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#14 Post by ChrisPowers » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:27 pm

Kitchen window water damage:

Kitchen Window Upper Frame Water Damage 01.jpg
(110.07 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Kitchen Top Frame Hinge 01.jpg
(80.18 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Kitchen Bottom Frame Water Damage 01.jpg
(181.22 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Last edited by ChrisPowers on Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Full Frame Window Replacement from Interior Only?

#15 Post by ChrisPowers » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:32 pm

Living room wall openings (above window):

Living Room Wall Opening Above Window 01.jpg
(101.65 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Living Room Wall Opening Above Window 02.jpg
Shows drip marks from above
(90.44 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Last edited by ChrisPowers on Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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