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Old 05-24-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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Replacement vs New Construction Windows


We are considering replacing the windows in our vacation home in Northern California. The home was built in 1963 with single pane aluminum frame windows. Im trying to decide if I should remove the picture frame type window trim (3/4 x 3), cut the siding back (3/4 T1-11) approximately 1 so I can remove the entire existing window and then trim back the drywall and wood sill to accommodate the increased depth of the new window. I could then install a new construction (nailing fin) window.

The other options would be; 1) Block frame style, but this appears to require almost as much work as the complete replacement above or Z-Bar however I do not want the integral window trim to sit on top of the picture frame trim (or is there another option Im missing). I guess I could remove the picture frame trim, install a Z-Bar window and then replace the picture frame trim, mitering the backside of the trim to accommodate the integral window trim.

What is the best option? Simplest Option?

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Old 05-24-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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We are considering replacing the windows in our vacation home in Northern California. The home was built in 1963 with single pane aluminum frame windows. I’m trying to decide if I should remove the picture frame type window trim (3/4 x 3), cut the siding back (3/4 T1-11) approximately 1” so I can remove the entire existing window and then trim back the drywall and wood sill to accommodate the increased depth of the new window. I could then install a “new construction (nailing fin)” window.

The other options would be; 1) “Block frame” style, but this appears to require almost as much work as the complete replacement above or “Z-Bar” however I do not want the integral window trim to sit on top of the picture frame trim (or is there another option I’m missing). I guess I could remove the picture frame trim, install a “Z-Bar” window and then replace the picture frame trim, mitering the backside of the trim to accommodate the integral window trim.

What is the best option? Simplest Option?
Welcome to the forum skrider.

In your particular situation option "A" (with the fin) is the only way imo.

The "only" time I do "no fin" is when it's an old wood sash/sill situation and preserving the look is key.

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Old 05-24-2012, 11:26 PM   #3
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Replacement vs New Construction Windows


Always go with the nailing fin if at all possible.

It shouldn't be too difficult for you. Are you sure you can't just remove the brick moulding and that will allow you to remove the existing window and install a new one with a nailing fin?

That is the beauty of the brick moulding. You can install your window and put up new brick moulding and your postdecessor can do the same in 20 years.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:58 AM   #4
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Thanks guys I appreciate the feedback.

I will need to trim the siding back about 1" to clear the nailing fin for removal. I'm concerned about damaging the building paper during frame removal. I guess a heavy bead of caulking will take care of any damage.

Any body have experience with a tool called "Xtractor" which grabs the frame and uses a lever action to rip the frame out without damaging the siding?
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
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To avoid cutting the wrap I set the saw a little short, tear out the wood then clean up splinters with a sharp chisel and/or a razor knife.

As far as the "window ripper" it's just a fast, hack way if doing it imo. If you're removing a window with a fin then it should be replaced with the same.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #6
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If you can get your new windows in the opening without cutting the siding, and you can get the nails out of the old fins, then just remove the sashes, and cut through the head, sill and jambs near the middle.

This will allow you to remove the window frame with minimal collateral damage.

Of course if you'll have to cut the siding back to get the new window anyway, this might not be as helpful. Or maybe it will be because the window frame will be gone and you can get a circular saw up close without the saw guide getting hung up on the window frame...
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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Thank you to all for the recommendations. I will cut back the siding, remove the existing windows and install new windows with nailing fin. This will avoid the problem of replacement windows, decreasing the size of the viewing area.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Thank you to all for the recommendations. I will cut back the siding, remove the existing windows and install new windows with nailing fin. This will avoid the problem of replacement windows, decreasing the size of the viewing area.
Solid approach.

I have used the Xtractor but it does not have any application in this approach.

Good luck and be sure to flash the sills, jambs, and heads.

Post up some pictures.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:18 PM   #9
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Not sure about California, but any house here built in the 60's will most likely not have any paper behind T 1-11. Most of them would have the siding directly applied to the studs.

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