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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to replace the vinyl windows (eight in total) in my house. The windows are all vinyl, including the frames, sashes, etc. and are molded units. There is no molding holding the sashes in (They tilt in with a release) and no parting strips.

They are held in place by nailing flanges on the outside. There is no outside window trim ...... only the J-channel for the grey vinyl siding.

I assume I'll need to replace the windows with a new construction design, also attached by flanges. I'd like to use Andersen 400 Low-E double-hung windows with vinyl on the outside and clear pine on the inside.

I've done many drop-in replacement windows over the years in other houses but this presents me with different problems since removing the sashes leaves the molded-in sash guide/retainer elements in place.

I'm concerned about the siding. Is there a way to install new windows without seriously disturbing the siding? I'd probably need to replace the J-channel, of course, but is there a way of fastening the new windows without maneuvering flanges behind the siding, or is there another style of replacement window that could be used in my situation?

How do the pros do it? Do they detach the ends of the siding and hold them back to get the flanges in place for the new windows?

Are windows sizes uniform enough that there should be no extra gap between the outside window frames and the existing ends of the siding as long as I don't order custom-sized windows?

Maybe there's a thread I've missed on this topic?

Thanks for your thoughts on this.
 

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The Andersen installation manual describes how to retrofit windows in a brick house by removing the flanges. I think it would be a mistake in a vinyl sided house. Vinyl is a very easy siding to work with. Get a removal tool, remove the siding around each window, and do the job right. The siding can go back on just like it was. As you remove each piece, use a marker to label it on the back and the wall where it goes. Draw a line on the wall at the top of each panel before you remove them so you pull it up properly when putting it back on. The siding removal and installation adds an hour to each window, less if 2 windows are close together. Great choice of windows. I have Andersens from 1985 that still work like new and another house with Andersens from 1956 that are still in good shape.
 
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We always unhook the vinyl siding from the nail heads and number the pieces. It makes for a much easier installation. Remember, you will need to apply 6" window tape around the nailing flanges once the window is installed in the opening. Peeling back the vinyl just makes the day go so much longer and it gets in the way.

Once the window is in place and taped, you can reinstall the siding from the bottom up, cutting as needed to fit the window's j channel. The reason for unhooking it from the nail heads it so it will go back up in the same position as it came down.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your replies. I was hoping there was a trick or alternative fastening system I didn't know about, but I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and remove the portions of the siding that interfere with the nailing flange.
 

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Thanks for your replies. I was hoping there was a trick or alternative fastening system I didn't know about, but I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and remove the portions of the siding that interfere with the nailing flange.
Good approach, as today's flashing requirements are slightly different than 20 years ago.
You got to expose the rough opening to do it right and leak free.
 
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