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Replacing Bad Replacement Windows w/ New Construction

Justin Varuzzo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 8

08-21-14, 01:40 PM   #1  
Replacing Bad Replacement Windows w/ New Construction

Been browsing this forum but couldn't find an answer specific to my issue. I greatly appreciate in advance anyone that can offer advice.

Long story short, I bought a house that 'featured' new windows. They are terrible bargain-bin replacement windows, cold air blows right through them, they fog up all the time. In short they are terrible.

I pulled a window apart to take a look at what I was dealing with, and to make matters worse it looked like they replaced rotted out windows with replacement inserts.

There are a ton of videos on flashing, slealing and installing a new construction window. There are far less on trimming the outside, and none that I could find on replacing a window with a new construction.

My biggest question is how do I handle the trim on the outside? On my house the vinyl siding is endcapped and trimmed around the window opening. On most pictures I see, the window trim goes OVER the vinyl siding (a look I prefer).

So my two big questions are:

1) Can I work around the existing vinyl siding, or do I have to pull it all off around the window?

2) Is there a reason one would chose to trim the siding around the window, as opposed to trim the window over the siding? If I keep the siding trimmed as is, I'm not sure a new window would match up. If exterior trim goes over siding, I can cutback the siding however I'd like and cover up the edges.

Little questions:
1) I'm not sure I have house wrap, I don't think I do (house was built early 80's). The old windows don't seem flashed at all. Without house wrap, do you flash over plywood exterior?

2) I saw someone else posted a very similar picture in this forum stating it was hard to tell where the rough opening is vs. the old window frame. I imagine once I rip the window out it will be much easier to see.

Last advice:

I wanted a decent window at an affordable price. It seems like the Anderson 200 series at Home Depot could fit the bill. Any opinion on this model?

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Bud9051's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 9,766

08-21-14, 02:10 PM   #2  
One of the nice things about vinyl siding (there are a lot of negatives) is it can be easily removed and reinstalled. Looking at what you have uncovered so far, I would prepare myself for what else you may find. One of those negatives about vinyl siding is, it is often used to cover up a lot of problems.

Once everything is exposed you can repair as needed and hopefully there is some sort of house wrap or tar paper to blend in with your new work.

Do some research on window sizes as new construction comes standard in a limited selection of sizes. You can get exactly what you need, but they may be special order, several weeks and nonreturnable, so you need to get it right.


Gunguy45's Avatar
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08-21-14, 03:00 PM   #3  
The 200's aren't bad, but they are limited in size, color, and hardware options. Still better than what you have I imagine. One thing is, they don't have brickmold, any space between the window frame and siding will have to be filled by you onsite. This can be done with any of the different PVC trim products available or you can use wood wrapped in aluminum coil stock like you have now.

Depending on what kind of options you select I would seriously look at moving up to 400 series. They seal better and are more repairable in the future. 200's can't be reglazed, whereas 400's can. The 400's use a better balance system as well.

"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

Justin Varuzzo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 8

08-21-14, 03:12 PM   #4  
Ok, I did a little more literal digging. I pulled back some sheetrock to see exactly where the rough-opening is. To my surprise, the rough opening is far bigger than the window inside. It appears the original window was elevated above the rough-sill. Even more surprising, electrical wiring is run underneath this window.

I can't imagine this is right, or normal? I will mention this window sits just above the cinderblock foundation as seen in the outside pictures. Is it possible the foundation would interfere with a window placed within the rough-opening? (the window is framed out over the concrete)??

This is a curse or an added bonus, as I'd love to have a 38" tall 32" wide window as opposed to the 36x32 currently in place.

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michaelshortt's Avatar
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08-21-14, 03:18 PM   #5  
I'm thinking the installation is the biggest part of your problems.

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Justin Varuzzo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 8

08-21-14, 03:19 PM   #6  
Yes, now that I see all of this, I agree. It seems like everything in this house since I've moved in was done incorrectly, and on the cheap. Each time I fix something I need to fix a dozen things leading up to it!

I guess I should reframe my question. What the heck do I do here?

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