Vinyl Window Retrofit


Old 04-28-00, 09:40 PM
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I live in Southern California and recently hired acompany to remove existing aluminum windows and frame and install vinyl windows - CertainTeed approved.

My question is: How close should the measuring tolerances be for fitting the windows in the wooden frame of my house? 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch -- is 1" aceptable?

Additionally, the contractor sealed some rather large gaps and all of them around the vinyl window with an "expanding foam" -- is this correct? Will it damage the vinyl? Will it warp the vinyl?

CertainTeed says 1/4"gap (recommended)and is optimum. (use furring strips if you have to and calk.

The contractor says that 1/2" all the way around is "acceptable." For whom? They also say that using expanding foam is what they choose to do.

Is this contractor,that has supposedly won awards reputable? Have I been duped?

Thanks for the help

[This message has been edited by n2fire (edited April 29, 2000).]
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Old 04-29-00, 04:10 AM
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Your contractor is absolutely correct. He did it right. Insulating foam is used all over by contractors. It saves the home owner money, does not hurt the vinyl, and is better then regular insulation. 1/2" is just fine. The 1/4" comes from the fact that the windows are made 1/4 smaller on all sides then the window opening. If the window were 3/4" gap on each side, I would say the window was not measured properly. But it will work.

Jack the Contractor
Old 04-29-00, 03:13 PM
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Most manufacturers of replacement windows allow 1/4" to 3/8" in width and 1/2" in height with a top expander. The width should be shimmed to prevent the frame from spreading.
Old 04-30-00, 08:05 AM
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Chances are that if the contractor would have measured all your windows to the 1/4", then you would have had to special order windows. You saved lots of money by having stock sizes over special order.

The expanding foam is a great seal. It is better than wood when it is solid. It would have warped during installation if it were going to happen at all. Once the foam is solid it does not shrink or swell.

If your windows open and shut without binding, are solidly mounted, and trimmed out well, you should have no worries or complaints.

MTAC - Van Buren,MO
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