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Old 02-20-07, 04:52PM   #1
PMDRACER
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Default House - Replacement windows

We're looking to replace most if not all the windows in our house. The house was built in 1959, and it seems all the sizes are considered "custom". We have two choices:
1. The standard nail-in type that will require stucco repair, repainting the exterior, etc.
2. A different version that basically you remove the glass panes, etc from the old rails, and the new windows and framing attaches to the old rails, with no work needed to the stucco, etc. These windows cost on average about $75 more than the nail-in type.

Anybody have any experience with the version #2? Opinions? We want to paint the house too, but don't know of a timetable of that, and we already have a neighborhood gestapo that reports this kind of thing to the city (long story).

Thanks
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Old 02-20-07, 05:05PM   #2
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Don't have any experience with either one, but If #2 would seal properly it sounds like the way to go.


I would think your neighborhood gestapo would be happy that you're making improvements/upgrades.
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Old 02-20-07, 05:13PM   #3
78TA
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I did version 2 on my old house. all you are doing is reusing the frame. everything else is new. I loved them
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Old 02-20-07, 06:54PM   #4
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We sell replacement windows (version 2) all the time, as well as new construction (version 1). Replacement windows are your best bet. You will need to consider time and labor, as well as the time and labor to do the stucco work with the new construction ones. When you do this, do not go for cheap contractor grade windows. Spend the money here, and you'll be satisfied with what you get. We also sell a cheaper brand of window that usually goes in spec houses. They are constantly needing replacement sashes.
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Old 02-20-07, 08:39PM   #5
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We replaced the windows in our house in 2000. Complete units and much larger than the originals. Went triple pane. Sure notice the difference from the tiny originals.
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Old 02-21-07, 01:58AM   #6
pack69gto
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Up here i did my last house with replacement windows, We waited for summer if you dont want to damage outside and in by going bigger. I think they called them casement windows, but the thing was 2 bye 4 or six, so what i found was to remove complete window cover hole and then you could get a really good measurement of in and out casement, then slide new window in and screw from inner casment instead of outer. I went through all weather windows and i am sure they are alot more companys out your way. And i did it it all my self, anyways how ever you go once done you will be happy. In my case it was about 600 a window, but worth it.
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Old 02-21-07, 03:17AM   #7
sprint250
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Default Replacement Windows

I have done replacement windows two ways .Once helping a friend that was showing me "how".He chose to use standard new construction windows with the nailing fins. We had to cut back the stucco ,peel the stucco wire back and or remove siding back far enough to remove the old window frame and fin and have room to re-flash.Since he did not custom order his window sizes(to save money?) he was stuck with off the shelf stock sizes. This required re-framing the window openings in some cases.
Now there is stucco wire to install ,stucco to patch and interior dry wall work and painting.I don't care how good a guy is ,you cannot patch back stucco around window cut outs and not see it .No matter how well you try and fade it in to the original surface.The only good way to hide it would be to refinish the whole exterior in a heavy skip trowel or knock down finish after all the windows were done.

After helping this poor cat out I said to myself "this ain't the way to go".
Far too much labor and time involved.


Retrofit style windows are the only way to go on an existing home.You may pay more up front for them but the time and labor savings is astounding.
I buy mine from a local company whose only business is windows and doors.
I bought windows as I made the money to do the project.It took longer to do it this way ,out of pocket, but I cut the contractor out of the loop and saved anywhere fron 5 to 10 thousand dollars plus the interest on a home equity loan I did not have to incur.

You can go two ways with the retrofits:
1- on aluminum frame sliders order them to fit inside your existing aluminum window frame and caullk in and fake the gaps with(more money & labor) snap in or self adhesive trimmable moldings . You lose some of your window opening this way and on smaller windows this starts to,IMO,look dopey.
(Double hung "box" windows are a direct fit and go in the opening the old sash style windows came out of. No exterior stucco retrofit flange required.)

The retrofit contractors like the above method because it goes quickly for them and they use the old frame to fasten the new window to.They just dispose of the old panes and screens. not a lot of cutting and dust.A lot of times they can be done in a day.
They can charge you $10k to $15k or more to retrofit an average sized single story home. Actual average cost of the windows is about 5 grand unless you are buying the absolute Caddilac brand stuff with a lot of extra bells and whistles.

When ordering custom window sizes yourself expect to wait 2 weeks to a month to recieve them and pay a little more for them than stock sizes.
If stock sizes will work you are money ahead .Any extras like colored frames, patterns,borders or hardware will up the price per window as well.

2:When I decided to do my own I went with retrofit windows and custom ordered them to the interior finish opening of my existing windows minus 1/2" to 3/4" on the overall dimensions so they would slide right in without binding.

I did it this way because I did not want to leave behind the grungy old aluminum window frames and also have to fool with moldings on the inside of the openings. This takes a little more effort to do than the contractor method but is still less work than cutting stucco out, framing, patching and painting etc.

If you decide to do it this way it is a dusty process so seal off the window opening on the inside with plastic sheeting . Wear a 1/2 mask cartridge type resirator, face shield , ear plugs,gloves, full covrage clothing and hat.

The demo work will be done from the outside.
To be on the safe side the glass panes should already be out of the old frame.

To remove the old frame I run a skill saw with a diamond blade on it around the outside perimeter of the old window frame. Set the depth deep enough togo through the stucco and contact the nailing fin.Then puncture the corners of the fins with a sharp screwdriver enough to start a slot big enough th get a coarse metal cutting sawzall blade started in. Using a sawzall run the blade around the perimeter of the frame cutting it loose from the fins.
I prefer to do this with the glass out of the window.
When done the old frame will lift right out.

On the bigger windows have someone there to help you.Even with the sliding panels removed they are HEAVY and awkward.If you drop one and break it you will be out anywhere between 2 to 5 hunskies.Patio doors start at about 600 and go to 1.5K or more depending on size and style.

Vacuum out the opening and try fit your new window.
Shim where required to even things out and make level.
Pull the window back out.
Use GE XST paintable caulking. 6 to 8 ????? should do a standard size window.
Then caulk the beejesus out of the opening and apply caulking liberally to the new window's box frame ,sides ,top ,bottom & the retrofit flange that seals up against the exterior surface. Shove the window into place and have some one hold it in position while you anchor it on the inside of the frame with screws top bottom and sides.
2.5 to 3" long #10 plated pan or round head phillips screws will grab.
DO NOT OVER DRIVE THE SCREWS! Doing so can pull and distort the vinyl frame .Just run 'em down 'til the head contacts the frame and stop.

Run a bead of caulking around the edge of the new window's stucco flange.
Go inside and caulk the gap between the window opening and the new frame.
Vacuum up your mess.
Yer done! go get a beer.
I'm gettin' one.
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Last edited by sprint250 : 02-21-07 at 03:41AM.
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Old 02-21-07, 10:14PM   #8
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Wow!
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Old 02-21-07, 10:49PM   #9
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He gets pretty detailed, doesn't he! lol!
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Old 02-21-07, 11:40PM   #10
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That Sprint250 is a regular dang Bob Villa and Norm Abram in one!
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Old 02-23-07, 03:33AM   #11
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He shore do go on sometimes don't he?
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