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Installing Replacement Windows: From inside or outside?

Installing Replacement Windows: From inside or outside?

Old 02-24-12, 06:08 PM
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Installing Replacement Windows: From inside or outside?

Hi everyone,

I know this is a DIY site, but I am just hoping for some installation advice.

I am having some vinyl replacement windows installed, and have a question. The contractor said they usually install from the inside, but can install from the outside. Exterior installation would require sawing-off of the exterior stops but leaving the heavily painted interior stops in tact during installation (i.e. not prying them off and re-nailing). Either way the windows will be wrapped in aluminum trim and there is no difference in price between the two installation methods. In your opinion, do you think the removal of the exterior stop compromises the "seal" of the window unit? Has anyone here installed replacement windows from the outside? If so, would your recommend this type of installation? The windows are OKNA Insul-Tec (500 series).

Thank you very much for your help,

Jason (Syracuse)
Old 02-24-12, 06:16 PM
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I have done it both ways, either is acceptable. With lead paint laws the way they are, almost everyone around here is now masking off the interior of the window with poly, and doing them from the outside so as to reduce the amount of contamination in the home.

The only thing I would recommend is that you ensure that they actually reinstall a WOOD blind stop against the exterior of the window to replace the one they cut off.... and that the new blind stop be caulked both to the jamb AND to the window. If they only seal the stop to the window, air can pass through the seam between the new blind stop and the rough saw cut.

I've also seen some companies just use a bend in the aluminum trim coil to cover the edge of the window, for the sake of expediency, and that's just plain wrong, IMO.

Probably the only problem with doing them from the outside is that not all interior stops are 100% perfectly plumb and true. Sometimes you push the window against the interior stop and it will be a little gappy, which will require a bead of caulk, and that may or may not require the removal of your curtains or blinds and some paint touchup.

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