||10-23-2012 07:26 AM
Originally Posted by joecaption
If your there watching them, make sure they set a level on the bottom and the side to make sure it's all square.
Make sure there insulating any gaps before reinstalling any trim.
Replacements need a bead of caulking around the stop moulding that the windows are going to be sitting againt that keeps them from falling out of the opening.
Not trying to be argumentative, but this advice is somewhat questionable in terms of determining a "quality installation".
1) Most existing openings are out of square, so setting a level on the sill may not even get you the best looking installation. Getting the new window SQUARE is of paramount importance, and often the best install may be very slightly off level so as not to look "out of whack" with the existing opening, trim, etc. The best installers that I've ever met rarely pull out a level on window installs.
2) Caulking the stop moulding to "keep the window from falling out" is a procedure often referred to as a "caulk and walk" installation, and is the exact opposite of a quality install. In fact, it is precisely the procedure that gives vinyl replacement windows a bad name. The window should be installed square, properly shimmed as necessary and secured with screws (preferrably stainless), insulated with a low expansion, closed-cell foam (preferred over fiberglass), and then capped and caulked on the exterior. Interior caulking is optional for aesthetics.
Things to look for:
-Squareness: Open the upper and lower sash (on a dh) about 1/4" each, and check the reveal (gap). It should be reasonably consistent going all the way across. Also check the weatherstripping on the sides of the sashes to make sure that it is coming into solid contact with the frame (not too tight that it impedes operation though).
-Proper sizing : You should not see the edge of your window exposed past the interior stops.
- Exterior trim and caulk: The aluminum trim (if applicable) should be installed with clean, tight, seams, and have a nice clean bead of caulk throughout. If your existing windows had a drip cap/head flashing, it should lap OVER your new trim to preserve the water management system. Many guys will just wrap right over it so that it looks a little bit nice, thereby reducing the integrity of protection to that of the caulk's lifespan.