Adding window to exterior wall

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Old 08-17-13, 11:12 AM
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Adding window to exterior wall

We are in the middle of remodeling our living room. The initial plan was just to repaint the room, but it has progressed into much more. We have the walls down to the studs. This room has always been dark, as there's only one sliding glass door, and the room is about 22 feet long so the other end of the room is dark. We want to add a window to the wall towards the other end of the room.

I've seen advice elsewhere (possibly here) on adding the window as far as the stud wall work is concerned. What I haven't seen is any information on what to do with the outside of the house. It's vinyl siding. Can someone give me some information on what to plan for aside from the framing required.

Also - we already purchased a window. It's a Sunrise double-hung window. My mom actually purchased it from a guy near her that sells all types of building materials - overstock, unused, etc. items. It doesn't have a nailing flange attached, but he included one to use. I'm not familiar with installing windows. Does that sound okay? i.e. can a nailing flange generally be added to a window if it doesn't come pre-installed?
 
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Old 08-17-13, 04:09 PM
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Just be sure you have instructions that tell you where to install the flange for your particular installation. As far as the outside of the house, remove all the siding in the area where the window will be..all the way back if necessary. Unzip it and lift it off the nail heads. That way you can reinstall the siding using the nail heads and not have to worry about whether or not it is level. You'll have to trim around the window with Jchannel unless your window comes with built in J.

You'll need to frame up your opening and use a header across the top of the window. All this we can explain in detail as you go should you decide to go with it. Definitely DIY.
 
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Old 08-18-13, 09:56 AM
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Definitely DIY.
Good, because we're definitely going to do this! The plan is to put it in either Monday or Tuesday.

I think I understand the concept of the king studs, jack studs, header, and sill. I just looked up J-channel (purchased some last night) to see how it's installed, and it looks like that gets nailed to the exterior of the house underneath the siding, up flush against the window. Is that correct?

As far as the order of steps for framing the window, I think it is as follows:
-Nail in the king studs
-Cut out the existing studs that occupy the window location, making sure to cutout enough for the header and sill as well.
-Nail in the jack studs
-Nail in the header (I'm using a pair of 2x8's for the header.)
-Nail in the sill

Is that correct?

Should the framed hole for the window be exactly the same size as the window? Or should I plan it to be a fraction of an inch bigger just to make sure it will fit properly?

Water-proofing - is the J channel sufficient for this, or will I need other materials as well around the window?

As far as attaching all of the framing work, are both nails and screws okay? Any recommendation on specs of either?
 
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Old 08-18-13, 03:33 PM
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Your framing of the window opening will work. The most important thing you can do is extend your WRB (weather resistive barrier) or Tyvek from where it exists into the window opening, taping it at all the joints on the outside. In addition, once you have the window installed, use Sticky window tape all around. Across the bottom plus 4" on either side, up the sides, overlapping the bottom and up 4" or so above the window, then the top piece over the two side pieces. Is the window in an exposed area, or is it protected by a deep soffit? You have to consider window flashing as well on top to prevent water infiltration.
If you have the window on hand, measure exactly and add 1/2" in each direction. You should shim it from the bottom to obtain a levelness.

You're not going to take the window out, so galvanized roofing nails through the fins is fine. If you rather use screws use galvanized Tek screws with a larger head to prevent pull through.
 
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Old 08-19-13, 07:49 AM
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The window is exposed. It's on the first floor of a 2-story section, so the roof line is far above the window.

I just discovered that our house has no WRB, at least according to my understanding. There's some type of manufactured wood product on the outside of the studs, then blue styrofoam panels, then the vinyl siding. Isn't WRB some type of plastic-like product that you literally wrap the house with? Generally goes over the blue styrofoam I think?
 
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Old 08-19-13, 09:28 AM
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I don't know for sure but I think the stryrofoam panels take the place of the house wrap [might need to be taped at seems] Larry should be along later to confirm one way or the other.
 
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Old 08-19-13, 04:40 PM
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Yeah, ideally there should have been 7/16" OSB, then house wrap (Tyvek). The foam panels are acting as a WRB, but as Marksr said, all the seams must be taped to prevent infiltration. Plan on the metal flashing on top of the window, too, unless it has jchannel built in the window.
 
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Old 08-19-13, 05:13 PM
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Yeah, ideally there should have been 7/16" OSB, then house wrap (Tyvek). The foam panels are acting as a WRB, but as Marksr said, all the seams must be taped to prevent infiltration.
This is what's attached to the studs:


This is what's attached to that:

No taped seams.

Plan on the metal flashing on top of the window, too, unless it has jchannel built in the window.
I purchased j-channel to add around the window, but there's none built-in. I'll have to get some metal flashing then.
 
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Old 08-19-13, 08:04 PM
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I'm glad I didn't proceed with cutting out the hole and studs today. I've been aware that this is a load-bearing wall since we started thinking about doing this, but thought to myself that cutting out just 2 studs surely wouldn't be an issue while installing the header. Wow, not the smartest idea I've ever had. Been reading up on load bearing walls for the last 30 minutes, and I don't think it would be wise for me to proceed with this job without propping up the wall somehow.

I've seen a few different methods described online, but I'm curious what you guys would recommend. I've included a picture below of the relevant area. You can see the king and jack studs in the picture. None of them have been nailed in yet; they're just sitting loose in the wall cavity right now.

This wall is a first-floor wall; there is a second floor above it. The floor joists for both the first and second floor run perpendicular to this wall. As far as the construction details at the top of this first-floor wall, there's the 2x4 top plate for the wall, and then a double layer of 2x4's immediately above the wall. Then, as far as I can tell, second-floor floor joists immediately above the triple-layer of 2x4s.

Would 8-foot long 2x8's be sufficient for the top and bottom plate of my support, with 2x4's wedged in between the two? The ceiling of this room is finished, so I'm really hoping to not damage it at all during this process.

 
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Old 08-20-13, 03:09 AM
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Go ahead and make up your header to span across your jacks' dimension. Two 2x8's sandwiched with a layer of 7/16" OSB in the middle. Remove the two studs and install the header. Your span appears to be less than 4', so you should not have any problems with needing a false wall to hold things up. What is your dimension from the top of the jack to the bottom of the bottom plate?
 
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Old 08-20-13, 04:18 AM
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What is your dimension from the top of the jack to the bottom of the bottom plate?
That measures at 77 1/8 inches.
 
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Old 08-20-13, 10:38 AM
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Is metal flashing also what I need to extend the window "surface" to the front of the blue styrofoam where the siding and I think j-channel meets it? In other words, my stud wall cavity will be 3.5" deep, then there's roughly 1/2" board over that, then the thick styrofoam. The window isn't thick enough to account for all of that. I think it's around 3.7" deep.
 
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Old 08-20-13, 04:57 PM
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My mistake. I meant to say the measurement from the top of the jack to bottom of the TOP plate. My apologies.

Metal flashing is used in conjunction with the window unit and the underlayment you have to keep moisture from going behind and along side the unit and causing leaks. It directs the water over the lip of the window to the atmosphere.

You may have to install jamb extension material on the inside of the house to compensate for short measurements due to extended exterior "stuff" as you have. Most windows have a 4 9/16" depth, which takes into consideration the 3 1/2" of the stud, 1/2" sheetrock on the inside and a nominal 1/2" exterior sheathing, plus a hair. Any way you can post a pic of the window??
 
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Old 08-20-13, 06:43 PM
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I meant to say the measurement from the top of the jack to bottom of the TOP plate.
Ah, that's 10 & 15/16 inches.

Most windows have a 4 9/16" depth
Methinks I made a mistake in purchasing this window without thoroughly researching what I was doing first. I believe most Sunrise windows are primarily intended as replacement windows, and I imagine those are sized differently intentionally because of their intended purpose. This window is 3 1/4" thick for the main body; 3 7/8" thick when the screen frame is taken into account.

Here's some pictures:






Here's the groove that appears to be intended for a nailing fin:


I have the header made, and king and jack studs in place. Just made the first cut in one of the stud sections being removed. Trying to figure out how to cut the nails holding the wood sheathing on the stud now. There's no gap anywhere to fit a recip saw in between the stud and the exterior wood. Might have to try to wedge a hacksaw blade in there.
 
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Old 08-21-13, 02:32 AM
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Take your recip blade and bend it sideways while in the saw. It will allow you to get behind the studs. You may be successful in just pulling the stud away from the wall. The nails may pull through, but the stud will be freed up and you can patch the holes.
 
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Old 08-21-13, 01:51 PM
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I have the 2 studs cut out for the window. While cutting them the saw blade seemed to be binding, so I stopped and wedged a full length stud in between the 2 I was cutting. After removing the cut-out sections from the 2, the pressure is definitely greater on the 1 that I wedged in there. Wondering if that means I would be wiser to put together some type of support under the ceiling next to this wall before pulling the wedged stud and placing the header?

I also forgot to mention towards the beginning of this thread that the stud wall this window is going in isn't plumb. See picture below. The top is about 5/16" past plumb over the length of a 4-foot level. Is this a serious concern? The house was built in the late 60's.

 

Last edited by jessman1128; 08-21-13 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Added info about wall not being plumb
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Old 08-22-13, 09:49 PM
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The header is in finally.

I made my top cuts a tad too high when I cut the studs out. The cripple studs above the header have a gap of about 1/16" between them and the header. Should I pull those and cut some new ones?
 
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Old 08-23-13, 01:31 AM
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You could just sister the cripples with tighter fitting wood. 1/16" is not a deal breaker. Wall being non-plumb, likewise won't be critical. Your window must sit square in the opening and you install shims where needed to keep it in place. Except where I have built the openings, on most remodel jobs, seldom do I find plumb or square anything.
 
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Old 08-23-13, 09:52 PM
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The window is in! Nail flange didn't work. I was already suspicious of it being the proper flange for this window, because the one section I had slid in laid at a 45 degree angle to the window instead of a 90-degree angle. It would flex to 90 degrees so that's what I was planning on doing, but when I tried to install 2 other sections this evening the flange fins just peeled off as I was sliding it into the flange groove on the window. Soooo...I just installed it using the installation instructions for a replacement window installation.

What that means, though, is that I'm now a little confused as to how to finish up the overall installation - meaning make it waterproof. With no nailing fin, there was no way to caulk under the nail fin, or put flashing tape over the nailing fin. Prior to installing the window I followed some instructions from a video series on FineHomeBuilding.com to flash the sill, sides, and top of the rough opening, so that part is good. Now I have a gap between the window and flashed rough opening on both sides and the top, so I need to fill that in somehow. Should I use metal flashing on the exterior, and then spray some low-expanding foam on the interior?

Here's a close-up:
 
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Old 08-24-13, 03:41 AM
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You're gonna have to step back a little. Closeups only let us read what's on the wall covering. I can't make anything out on the installation.
 
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Old 08-24-13, 05:52 AM
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Old 08-24-13, 05:59 AM
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The window is set too far in. The molding must be on the outside of the final siding. You set it to the final grade on the outside and then finish the inside with jamb extension material. I think you are trying to make it flush with the inside, and that won't work. Oh, good idea to ditch the flanges, as it looked to be a replacement window in the first place.
 
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Old 08-24-13, 06:20 AM
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Well, the way the window is secured is via six screws - 3 on each side, top, bottom, and middle - and if I set the window flush with the outside then the screw locations line up with the edge of the window framing. The "wood" sheathing on the studs falls apart when anything touches it so I have no faith in trying to screw into the edges of that. We have replacement windows elsewhere in our house (installed before we bought the house) and they're set in and have some type of flashing to bring the surface to the exterior. So I was hoping I could do something similar. The window currently isn't quite flush to the inside but is closer to the inside than the outside. Having secure wood to attach the screws to was my primary concern. I might be able to set the window back a little farther, but I don't think I can make it flush to the outside.
 
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Old 08-24-13, 03:31 PM
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So there is no wood casing around the window, just framing and sheathing?
 
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Old 08-24-13, 03:51 PM
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Correct, just framing and sheathing.
 
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Old 08-25-13, 02:59 AM
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Don't give up. I have asked another pro on the forum to check in to give his opinion. He is well versed in window installation and may can offer more advice. It's always better to have more information than not enough. He's at recess right now, but will check in later in the day
 
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Old 08-25-13, 02:10 PM
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Some reading while waiting for a "pro"; Don't skip any steps; http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildin...rica/37583.pdf I'd replace the wrap at your bunched corners (add step 2).

Vinyl around the window; Installation Manual, Video and Fact Sheet - VSI - The Vinyl Siding Institute

Gary
 
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Old 08-25-13, 06:32 PM
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Threw my back out today, so I'm not up for much sitting and typing.

Installing a replacement window into a RO with no nailing fin is just asking for trouble. In another thread recently, someone was wanting to do this, asking how to do it without a nailing fin, and my advice was not to do it. But if he WAS going to try, my suggestion would be to glue a pvc sill nose and some pvc brickmould to the exterior of the vinyl replacement window using Duofast Trimbonder, which is a two-part vinyl epoxy. The epoxy would help seal the perimeter of the window trim to the window, and the window could then be installed in the usual manner that pre-nailing fin windows used to be installed. This would, however, require that the exterior side of the vinyl window be installed flush with the WRB and exterior of the sheathing... something the op said he did not do.

The other option would be to make a traditional sloped sill and full wall thickness jamb (with exterior blind stops) for the window to sit in (the RO would have to be sized for this entire unit) and then install it into the RO in the usual manner that older wood windows used to be installed. It would then get exterior trim, an interior stop, and interior trim. The replacement window itself could be placed anywhere the homeowner likes, since the location and width of the exterior blind stop is variable.
 
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Old 08-25-13, 07:13 PM
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Threw my back out today, so I'm not up for much sitting and typing.
Sorry to hear that. I hope you feel better soon. Thank you for your advice.

One other option is to ditch this window and search for a new construction window that will fit our rough opening. I'm considering that, but cost prevents me from going that route immediately.

Reading through the two options you presented I'm not sure I fully understand either one, primarily because I'm not familiar with some of the window terms used. I just did some searching to try to better educate myself as to the various parts of a window.

The first option is doubtful solely because I don't think setting the window flush with the exterior is a practical option given the location of the screw holes in the window. I'll double-check tomorrow though.

Second option - I want to see if I'm understanding it correctly. I think what you're saying is to essentially fill-in the rough opening to be an exact opening for this window's dimensions, and also attach some type of trim (the exterior blind stop) inside the perimeter of the now-exact opening such that the trim restricts the opening to be smaller than the window, and the window can then sit in the opening pressed firmly up to the trim piece. Is that correct?

in the usual manner that older wood windows used to be installed.
Can you explain what that manner was, or point me in the right direction for reading about it online? Just tried searching for more info about this but came up empty.
 
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Old 08-26-13, 06:38 AM
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I'd like to see a side profile of the nailing fin he gave you.

I made this illustration to hopefully explain the basic anatomy of a window frame.
Name:  windowpic.jpg
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Replacement windows with no nailing fin are usually meant to be installed into an opening like this. There is usually a sill expander that snaps onto the front of the window to take up the gap that is left between the replacement window and the sloped sill.

The entire sill and jamb is preassembled, then is shimmed into the rough opening (more often than not, the exterior trim and exterior casing are about all that hold it in place) and the only thing that keeps water from leaking in around the perimeter of the exterior trim is the caulking between the trim, sill and the siding. The replacement window then fits inside this jamb, and a piece of interior trim (a stop) is applied around the perimeter to cover the distance left between the window and the interior wall surface.

If you were going to go this route with your current window, the rough opening would probably need to be about 2" wider than it currently is and probably about 3" taller, so that the sloped sill and jamb would have an opening to fit into.
 
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Old 08-26-13, 09:49 AM
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Here's a few pics of the fin:






If you were going to go this route with your current window, the rough opening would probably need to be about 2" wider than it currently is and probably about 3" taller, so that the sloped sill and jamb would have an opening to fit into.
Sadly, expanding the rough opening is not a practical option, as drywall was put up yesterday. My rough opening is, I think, approx. 1/2" wide on each side/top/bottom. Not enough apparently for the size of jamb and sloped sill that you were referring to, but might it still be possible for me to fashion this type of setup with the limited space I have to work with? For example, if I can fashion a jamb and sill that is ~1/4" thick, with a 1/2"-3/4" blind stop attached to it, would that be a viable option?
 
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Old 08-26-13, 11:01 AM
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No, I don't think that would be an option.

So that nail fin won't fit in the front groove of the window? (the one facing the front, not any of the grooves on the side) It usually takes a hammer and a block of wood to tap it in. And you usually have to clean the groove out at the corners where it's been welded.

If the fin fits, use it to support the window (holding it out flush with the exterior) and forget about the outer screw holes if they are too far out and only hit foam.
 
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Old 08-26-13, 01:27 PM
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I was able to put a section of fin in on either the top or bottom - I forget now which it was - that was way before we were ready to install the window. When it came time to install it I think it was the top where I tried to put the nail fin in first. Or maybe one of the sides. The drywallers sprayed expanding foam all around the gaps in the rough opening. I think I might pull the window tonight, scrape off all the foam, and see if the nail fin will fit in the top.

One thing I do remember about whichever side I had a section of nail fin in, is that the nailing portion protruded at a 45 degree angle from the window frame instead of a 90-degree angle. It was flexible so I could bend it to a 90 degree angle for nailing, but I thought that should have been the default position.
 
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Old 08-26-13, 03:57 PM
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Yeah, it almost reminds me of a piece of Marvin brand nail fin, and as someone mentioned... may not fit correctly. The nail fin that is normally used with replacement windows looks more like this.

Nailing fin almost always gets snapped onto the window before the window is installed, and the fin holds the window in the correct plane. There is some wiggle room in and out since the nail fin is somewhat flexible, and shims, screws or low expanding foam can all be used to hold the window in place.
 
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Old 08-26-13, 04:40 PM
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So for sake of discussion, let's say I can get a piece of nail fin in the top of the window. (I'll find out for sure later tonight.) After re-securing it via the nail fin on top, what else needs to be done to finish the installation? How do I waterproof it at that time? I guess what I'm really wondering is do I need to modify any of my flashing of the rough opening before attempting to re-secure the window, now flush with the exterior?
 
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Old 08-26-13, 05:34 PM
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One piece of nailing fin, really doesn't help, if that's what you were thinking. You will need to install it on all four sides... cleaning out the slot corners with a sharp utility knife if needed. It would then be wise to apply a "patch" of flashing tape to the back sides of the nail fin miters (before you install the window) to seal behind that joint. Ideally, you'd then use the sticky window flashing tape that Larry mentioned earlier to tape OVER the nailing fin again after it's installed... and you'd basically use it in the ways depicted in the illustrations in the link that GaryinWA included.

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildin...rica/37583.pdf

From the looks of it, all you'd need to do is tape over the nailing fin using the overlapping details that are depicted in that link.
 
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Old 08-26-13, 06:27 PM
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I just re-read your messages and have no idea how I thought you were saying to just use the fin on the top. I must have read "front" and thought "top" but no clue how. Apparently I need sleep!

I haven't tried nailing the fin in, because the one piece I was able to get in when we first got the window just slid right in from the end, so I assumed that was the proper way to attach it. Then when I couldn't get a fin to slide in on the side without disintegrating on me I decided to ditch the fin altogether.

Time slipped away from me tonight and it's dark out now. I'd prefer working on this during daylight so hopefully tomorrow I can find time to take it out and try hammering the fin into the grooves.
 
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Old 08-27-13, 02:41 PM
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I'm considering purchasing a new construction window that will fit our R.O. to have one on hand in the event that I can't get the nail fin to work after pulling the window out. We're having a birthday party for our daughter's first birthday on Labor Day, so I really want to get this figured out one way or another by then and get it finished up. I just checked our local Lowe's and Menard's and the brands they have available are Jeld-Wen and ReliaBilt. Do you know if either of those are generally decent quality?
 
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Old 09-03-13, 07:11 PM
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Ok, I'm rather confused now.

Here's the good news:
The nail fin did fit. My installation method (sliding it in from one end) was incorrect. Correct way was to position it full-length along a side and then push it in from a slight angle, then push again from the opposite angle to fully seat it.

Got the nail fin installed all around, caulked around the border outside, set the window, and nailed it in making sure it was level. That was last week sometime.

Today I was going to put the flashing tape on over the nailing fin, so I was outside looking at the window first and noticed that the fin was starting to pull out of the window a little bit near one of the bottom corners. I then discovered that the bottom of the window itself was not quite flush with the outside of the styrofoam panels; it was set back in the opening by probably 1/8 of an inch. I assumed that was why the fin had started to pull out, thought that was a problem, and decided to pull the window and re-do it. Also during this install we hadn't properly centered it left-to-right in the opening, so I thought I'd fix that as well when re-installing it.

Pulled all of the nails this afternoon, cut the caulk behind the fin and pulled the window. Scraped all of the caulk off the fin, re-caulked, and re-seated the window in the opening. We got it properly centered left-to-right this time, then I made sure the exterior of the window was flush with the foam. Got that done, then checked measurements inside and discovered that my inside measurements from the window to inside of wall were not equal. Not sure why, but I could not get equal inside measurements and outside flush on both sides. Ended up deciding to make inside measurements priority - ended up being 2 inches from inside of window to inside edge of stud wall (not including drywall). Started nailing it in, made sure it was level, continued nailing it in and then discovered that the top would not stay at the same 2-inch measurement. I'd have my son hold it in the correct position while I nailed, and when I was done and he let go of the window the top came back in some.

To sum it up, I now have the window installed using roughly every other hole in the nail fin, and I have about a 1/4 inch difference between the top and bottom of the window when measuring from the window to the inside of the stud wall. Also, it isn't perfectly level any more either - it's really close though. Both sections of the window (double-hung) open and close without any issues.

I'm considering putting screws through the sides of the window to get the top to line up properly with the bottom when measured to the inside of the wall. Is that a bad idea? If so, how do I go about fixing it? Or is it okay as-is?
 
  #40  
Old 09-03-13, 08:13 PM
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You can install screws through the frame in the holes provided... assuming there is wood to hit. You can also make 4 temporary stops for the window... 2" wide blocks of wood with a nail or screw in them, and put one on each corner of the window... Use the stop as a gauge... flush with the drywall inside... to hold the window where you want it. Then put your screws in. If it springs back its probably because of the foam not being tight or the studs not being even. Your wall thickness must not be the same on all 4 corners of the window opening. I would definitely not push it in so far that it would cause the nail fin to pop out.

You should then shim the corners of the window with tapered wood shims so that the window can't move left or right or up or down within the rough opening, and so that it isn't just hanging by the nailing fin. You can also then use low expanding foam- Great Stuff for doors and windows is one... Dap Latex door and window foam is another, gets into smaller cracks, and is less messy.
 
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