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Old 02-15-2010, 01:37 PM   #1
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replace old windows


I'm going to replace my original windows. eventually,all of 'em as money allows. going to start with the two in the dining room. Marvin or Andersen look good.
the question I've got for you guys is whether I can put these in myself or whether I should get them installed by a pro.
those original Alenco windows gotta go. they're over 30 years old and they're leaking gas so much it's like looking through a fog
yes,I realize that when the old windows are removed,there might be some damage to the window opening that has to be fixed,but I guess my "assistant" and I can handle that,after all,we just successfully repaired the deck and stairs out back.(which killed my back but that's another story)
I figure we could take care of the windows that are close to the ground and get some installation for the higher ones.
so what do you guys think,should I tackle this or leave it to the pros?

tnx,

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Old 02-15-2010, 02:12 PM   #2
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You can definitely take this on. Random thoughts:
  1. Don't start in your living room or dining room. The ideal trial run candidate is small, not prominent, not in a room that get's a lot of use, is on the ground floor, and exposed to the least amount of heavy weather.
  2. Start early on a dry day.
  3. Closely read the install guide and search Fine Home Building for how-to articles.
  4. Don't skimp. Buy all the materials that are called for, and buy all of the materials that you might possibly need before you start. Plan on a trip to return un-used materials. It's a lot easier than driving to the store 3 times during your project.
Curious: replacements or "new construction" windows?

Have fun with it.

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Old 02-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #3
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you must have read my mind Rory. I was thinking of starting with a smaller bathroom window around the side of the house.

tnx.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:44 PM   #4
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Rory,
through some searching on the web,I just realized what you meant by "new construction" or "replacement windows".
"replacement windows" appear to be the kind of windows where you keep the old frame and just pop in new sashes.
I want completely new everything (everything is removed and an entirely new window is installed) so "new construction" is the way to go,right?
anyone know anything about Simonton windows? my "assistant" wants vinyl.

tnx,
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:15 PM   #5
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Simonton is a fine choice. Better vinyl options: Great Lakes/Plygem, Sunrise, Gorell, Okna, Softlite. I don't want to direct you away from this site, but you will get a lot of opinions here from people who don't know their a$$ from a hole in the ground when it comes to windows(in addition to many that do, but it can sometimes be hard to discern). Just do a search for replacement window forums and you"ll find a wealth of info on both products and installation....At least that way you can cross-reference the info that you've picked up here.
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Last edited by HomeSealed; 02-16-2010 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:38 AM   #6
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Analog,

I haven't used them, but there are a lot of brands out there. The vendor can play a big role too. A reliable, service oriented, building material supplier is a better bet than someone running a contest at the hardware store.

"New Construction" installations are more involved, but, if you have the time and money, they let you create a better system around the window. You also end up with bigger glass. However, they do involve more dis-assembly, and you are committing to doing more "right." Windows not installed "right" are not good.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:04 AM   #7
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Do the old windows have sash weights, or did older windows at some point ?

My biggest energy savings came from insulating the empty pockets on each side of the window
In many cases I put in a wider window to take up that space
Something to check before you measure & order windows
I did windows on my East side 1st...most wind, plus I was residing with wood shingles
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rory Read View Post
  1. Don't skimp. Buy all the materials that are called for, and buy all of the materials that you might possibly need before you start. Plan on a trip to return un-used materials. It's a lot easier than driving to the store 3 times during your project.
Curious: replacements or "new construction" windows?

Have fun with it.
What are all the materials required for installing new construction windows? I have the window, some protecto-wrap window flashing, caulk, screws and shims. Anything else?

Whoever built my house did not put trim around the windows, so I have to remove sections of the fiber-concrete-asbestos siding. A royal PITA as the pieces are very brittle. I do have non-asbestos containing replacements called GAF Weatherside, so at least I don't have to put the old ones back on if they are damaged.

The actual window replacement guys that I had over to look said they would saw through it. No thanks, that would create a lot of airborne asbestos! (Friable asbestos, as the experts say)
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Do the old windows have sash weights, or did older windows at some point ?

My biggest energy savings came from insulating the empty pockets on each side of the window
In many cases I put in a wider window to take up that space
Something to check before you measure & order windows
I did windows on my East side 1st...most wind, plus I was residing with wood shingles
nah...sash weights is REAL old stuff! my windows are just your plain old windows with springs in 'em. (new ones have springs,right?)
I'm going to start with a smaller window in the back of the house on ground level then if all works out well,I'll do the rest on ground level then have a contractor do the higher ones. the house has 15 or so windows so I won't run out of stuff to do anytime soon. (or pay for )

tnx,
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:47 PM   #10
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I'd thoroughly understand the flashing and sealing exterior detail before I pulled out any windows. Failure to do this will cause water to infiltrate the space and cause damage to walls and floors next to and below the window. I've seen damage from a second floor unit reach all the way to the sill plate with little showing into the interior, warning the owners.
You should also realize that the new construction window will require you to rip out the interior millwork and depending on your exterior, siding or exterior trim.
Before you order any windows, be sure you know the rough opening of the space you'll put the window into. This will require you to remove the casing to see where the framing is located.
Windows are not a difficult job, but it requires a complete understanding of all the issues involved to be successful.
Ron
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:50 PM   #11
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The reason I mention it my "old" replacement windows had springs
But when they installed them they did not remove the sash weights from the original windows
So even tho my house had windows installed 15-20 years ago the sash weights & un-insulated pockets still existed from years ago
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
I'd thoroughly understand the flashing and sealing exterior detail before I pulled out any windows. Failure to do this will cause water to infiltrate the space and cause damage to walls and floors next to and below the window. I've seen damage from a second floor unit reach all the way to the sill plate with little showing into the interior, warning the owners.
You should also realize that the new construction window will require you to rip out the interior millwork and depending on your exterior, siding or exterior trim.
Before you order any windows, be sure you know the rough opening of the space you'll put the window into. This will require you to remove the casing to see where the framing is located.
Windows are not a difficult job, but it requires a complete understanding of all the issues involved to be successful.
Ron
Very well said.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:36 PM   #13
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brons2,

Just to answer your question, as it sounds like you are on your way:
  1. You may need some new dimensional lumber if any of the framing has gone, and I often (as noted by the other respondents) need to install new exterior and interior trim, and all the associated fasteners, primer and paint.
  2. Insulation, batt or spray foam.
  3. I had a bad day with protecto-wrap. Maybe it was the weather, but I prefer either Vycorp or Fortiflash in wider roles. So maybe a can on spray adhesive for the wrap. As with self adhering flashing, there is a range of quality in caulks and fasteners. High quality exterior caulk/sealants truly outperform cheaper ones.
  4. I am huge fan of pre formed rigid plastic or metal sill pans. I know many pros scoff, but I think they are easier to install and so more reliable.
  5. Make sure your drip edge fits your window trim.
  6. Window one may be annoying. Window two will be much smoother. By window three you will be doing production work.
Good luck,
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeSealed View Post
Simonton is a fine choice. Better vinyl options: Great Lakes/Plygem, Sunrise, Gorell, Okna, Softlite. I don't want to direct you away from this site, but you will get a lot of opinions here from people who don't know their a$$ from a hole in the ground when it comes to windows(in addition to many that do, but it can sometimes be hard to discern). Just do a search for replacement window forums and you"ll find a wealth of info on both products and installation....At least that way you can cross-reference the info that you've picked up here.

well said also
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:21 AM   #15
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replace old windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rory Read View Post
brons2,

Just to answer your question, as it sounds like you are on your way:
  1. You may need some new dimensional lumber if any of the framing has gone, and I often (as noted by the other respondents) need to install new exterior and interior trim, and all the associated fasteners, primer and paint.
  2. Insulation, batt or spray foam.
  3. I had a bad day with protecto-wrap. Maybe it was the weather, but I prefer either Vycorp or Fortiflash in wider roles. So maybe a can on spray adhesive for the wrap. As with self adhering flashing, there is a range of quality in caulks and fasteners. High quality exterior caulk/sealants truly outperform cheaper ones.
  4. I am huge fan of pre formed rigid plastic or metal sill pans. I know many pros scoff, but I think they are easier to install and so more reliable.
  5. Make sure your drip edge fits your window trim.
  6. Window one may be annoying. Window two will be much smoother. By window three you will be doing production work.
Good luck,
Hum. Windows are but one part of the overall project. These aren't being installed into a house that is otherwise undisturbed. Maybe that's why there's a few things I don't understand.

1. there was no exterior trim at all, believe it or not, the fiber concrete asbestos siding butts right up to the windows. I plan on rectifying that situation as part of the window install. And the inside of the house is gutted so all the trim pieces are long gone, I will of course put some new trim pieces on when the time comes for finish work.

2. what's the insulation for? I already removed all the insulation from the gutted part of the house. Insulation, that comes in later after plumbing and electric. I do understand the need for caulk, and non-expanding spray foam to fill in the gaps between the sill and the window itself once the fin is nailed down.

3. OK, thanks. There is a primer spray for protecto-wrap so I will try that. I for sure won't be doing this on a rainy day though, as I'm sure you have many in Portland, as I am originally from Corvallis.

4. Sill pans? That seems a bit over the top assuming the flashing is done correctly. The windows are new construction types with nail fins, not replacement types, so to me they look to have sort of an integrated sill pan. However, I can see why you'd think they offer an additional layer of protection in a wet climate like you live in up there. It certainly can't hurt as extra insurance at any rate. If i were to procure such an item, where would I get it at? McCoy's? And any brands that you recommend? A Google search brought up lots of hits. Suresill and Jamsill seem to pop up a lot.

5. Drip edge? I know what you are talking about, but, I rarely see houses around here installed with it. Maybe I'm just not paying close enough attention? If I am to install it, I stick it to the sheathing and then install the trim over it? Or install it on top of the trim and underneath the siding, making it slightly wider than the trim? (this looks like the more likely solution from looking at pictures of it, looks like L shaped metal with the side pointing out then folded down).

6. I hope you are right! Cause I'm fixin to find out!

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