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Old 05-08-2013, 09:05 AM   #1
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Full Frame or Pocket Replacement - What would you do?


New member here. Lots of great information in this forum... very valuable to a new homeowner like me.

We just bought a colonial in Connecticut. The exterior is painted shake siding that is in need of of a paint job. Though I like the look of shakes, I don't see myself getting out there to paint every 3-5 years; and in this area vinyl siding is seen as a plus due to the low maintenance.

So I'm thinking of having the shakes ripped off, have the house wrapped and vinyl sided a year from now. My problem right now is the windows and I'm looking at both options (pockets or new construction full frame replacements). The previous owner did about a handful of pocket replacements upstairs and downstairs, and the rest of the windows are still original from when the house was built in the 1960's. My concern is the condition of the existing sills and brickmould not being in the best condition. Here are some pictures of one of the windows...






This is about as bad as it gets. Some of the other windows are in better shape that would be fine with pocket replacements, but it's windows like this one that worry me. Am I just masking a problem and asking for worse by doing pocket replacements and cladding the existing old frames in aluminum before the vinyl siding goes up?

If I went full frame replacement, my concern is making sure the flashing is done right working around the existing shakes. I supposed I could remove the shakes immediately surrounding the window to do the flashing correctly, and tack them back up... since they're coming off next year anyway. That just takes up quite of bit of my DIY time versus pockets.

Anyone have experience with something like this?

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #2
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Full Frame or Pocket Replacement - What would you do?


that is from when wood was wood. it really does not look rotten just paint peeling. I've seen houses built 5 years ago with more window rot than you have, wood now that is used is soft wood that sponges up any water in the vicinity through hair line cracks. your easiest solution would be to add replacement windows and the vinyl guy will wrap out your brickmolds and window seals in aluminum.

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Old 05-08-2013, 10:56 AM   #3
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Full Frame or Pocket Replacement - What would you do?


Vinyl siding can really degrade the value of a home so be careful---especially if you go from real shakes to cheap and tacky siding on a colonial! I personally would keep the shakes, prep them and spot prime and paint or solid stain them (can match any paint color and go over new or painted surfaces) with a quality paint or stain product.

There are synthetic faux shakes. I have seen some projects done with them that look alright but not quite the same as the real thing.

Most of my clients had antique homes so would never consider synthetic products. In many instances, they were not allowed to even if they wanted to do so.

Are their any neighborhood association or landmark restrictions as to what you can do to your exterior? As mentioned many of my clients live in hoods where for the protection of property values, there are restrictions on what people can and cannot do with their exteriors. Some are even subject to color approvals. I know it sound draconian but their properties hold their value really well because of the ordinances and regulations.

As for the windows, I tend to agree at least from the photos you provided that the issue seems more peeling paint than window frame rot. You are closer and can see better what you have though.

Last edited by user1007; 05-08-2013 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:47 PM   #4
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Full Frame or Pocket Replacement - What would you do?


I know I know I'm still somewhat torn on keeping the shakes vs vinyl! In the historic part of down, there are those regulations like that in place, but that doesn't apply to my neighborhood. I'm in an area that has a mix between ranches and small colonials all built in the 60s, so there isn't much of an architectural 'wow' factor. More than half of the houses already have vinyl siding. My house has a soffit overhang from the 2nd level with a red brick veneer on the 1st level on the front of the house. I was thinking of covering the brick with stone veneer. Here's a photo...nothing extravagant about it. Certainly not a historic home by any means, and it seems most buyers in the northeast for this price range house prefer vinyl anyway. I could be wrong, but I guess I have time to decide if I can get away with pocket windows.

Last edited by Finally; 05-09-2013 at 07:47 AM.
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