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Old 04-25-2011, 11:38 AM   #1
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What is "backing support" for vinyl window installation?


Searched the forum a bit and was surprised I couldn't find an answer to this - so I'm making my first post: Just got in a shipment of Jeld-Wen triple pane vinyl windows for my new construction. The house was wrapped very late last fall and otherwise sealed-up, and I sheathed right over the window openings, figuring to wait until spring (which has not yet really arrived in this part of Wisconsin). Reading through the manufacturer's install instructions, I find this preface for window placements into open-stud construction:

"The wall framing must be covered by backing support before the window can be installed. The window will be mounted with the nailing fin / exterior trim flush against the applied backing support. This backing support should be a non water-degradable, thin (max. 1/8" thick) sheet material such as vinyl sheeting. Completely surround the rough opening with he backing support. Backing support must be applied before building wrap."

Of course, as I said, the house is already wrapped, and before wrapping I had never heard this exact term "backing support" applied to windows. In fact, searching the whole web I cannot find these nebulous words associated with windows anywhere except in Jeld-Wen's own instructions and a couple of documents obviously pirated from those same (lots of hits on quilting and art-framing sites, though). This "backing" is not related to the drain mat or normal flashing, and I have no clue how it is to be applied or even exactly where - though from context I assume it goes directly over the exterior sheathing. Wierdest of all, a page later the step-by-step portion of the instructions begins with "cutting back the house-wrap"... Exactly where I thought I had to begin anyway.

Help! Does anybody know what the heck they are talking about?

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Old 04-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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What is "backing support" for vinyl window installation?


I have professionally installed thousands of windows in new home construction and have no clue what that means. I have been to 5 or 6 window seminars where we go over installation techniques and never saw it there either. I would contact Jeld Wen and see what they have to say.

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Brennus (04-25-2011)
Old 04-25-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
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What is "backing support" for vinyl window installation?


Do all a favor and come back with what they meant by that please.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:52 PM   #4
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What is "backing support" for vinyl window installation?


Sounds like they want a flashing membrane behind the window.
Just look at their website.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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What is "backing support" for vinyl window installation?


Did finally get hold of the Jeld-Wen rep - one of two who wrote the instructions - and clarified this:

The "pre-instruction instructions" appear to be contrasting prep for install into a "masonry-wall-with-buck" against an "open-stud-type" install... but in fact, they're meant to contrast both against an unmentioned "normal" install (i.e. sheath-over-stud construction, the type most of us are familiar with).

The ten-thousand dollar word here is that "open" in "open stud construction" - Apparently there are places in the country (southern California) where it's common to build with no sheathing between the studs and wrap - just stud > wrap > siding. That's when the backing is required. The rep admits the directions are confusing, because these various prefaces to the install instructions are added out of context, by a different group of people than the ones composing the rest of the document.

Hey, at least now I know what "open stud construction" really means...
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:11 PM   #6
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What is "backing support" for vinyl window installation?


Thanks for the update. Know we all know.

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