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Pocket window vs full frame replacement


moveright's Avatar
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02-14-16, 05:10 AM   #1  
Pocket window vs full frame replacement

I would like to replace all the windows in my house. There are (8) typical, single sized double hung units and the living room has a triple wide(3 separate windows next to one another). One of our windows was already replaced prior to us buying the home several years back, and it's a cheap vinyl window - pretty sure it's the low-end Home Depot model, I think they call that American Craftsman or something. Anyhow, What I hate about vinyl replacement windows is that they reduce the actual window/glass size because of the obvious fact that they are frame and sash, all in one.

Are there any "pocket" windows that are not as I described? Decent replacement windows that look good and don't scream "replacement"? I was also considering replacing these windows with real-deal units, like Anderson 200 series or above, depending on cost. I do realize that it takes about 30 minutes to replace a window with a simple vinyl pocket replacement, and that it is a tremendously greater amount of trouble to replace a window with a real, full frame unit.

So, what are the opinions here? What are my options? I'm open to any criticisms and/or advice I can get - even if I'm told "you're CRAZY to not just use pocket replacements". Please keep in mind, between myself and my father-in-law, skill level is not a factor. Cost per window, however, is definitely a factor.

Thanks!

 
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02-14-16, 05:46 AM   #2  
Your choice is between replacement windows and new construction. Replacements fit inside the existing frames and as you stated, reduce the window size. But, they leave inside and outside trim in place so much easier to install and thus less expensive.

New construction windows have a perimeter flange that attaches to the sheathing and then the flashing and siding is installed over it. To go with new construction windows there is a lot more work and expense. If new siding is being installed then it becomes easy. Some siding, like vinyl, can be temporarily removed or folded back to allow for new construction windows.

Those side by side 3-windows can be three separate units or all one unit where they were assembled together, much more expensive. A picture or two might help the forum identify them.

Although new windows may improve the comfort, they typically do no reduce energy costs a lot, simply because even new windows are not all that good as insulation. They recommend r-50 in your attic and r-20 for your walls, but good windows are only r-3 or r-4.

In addition, right now would not be a good time .
As a temporary improvement consider the shrink wrap plastic covers. Transparent oonce installed and they perform almost like new windows.

Bud

 
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02-14-16, 06:21 AM   #3  
I've installed hundreds of replacement windows and never once had a customer mention anything about the reduced glass area.
What type siding do you have?
Are your's the old wooden windows with weights on the sides?

 
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02-14-16, 06:38 AM   #4  
Well I had replacement windows put in and you do get less glass area, but not enough to make it a big deal. I don't think it's an unknown fact.


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02-14-16, 06:59 AM   #5  
Sounds like you have already figured out the pros and cons. I've installed thousands of replacement windows over the last 25 years and unlike Joe, I HAVE had a lot of customers complain about the reduced glass size. In fact, I had to mention this to a customer a few weeks ago since she had a double casement that's about 38" wide over her sink that she wanted to replace. The glass reduction in that case would have been substantial... and I wanted to be up front about it since she asked about it. The smaller the window, the more noticeable the reduction will be.

New construction windows are the way to go... they just are more involved, take longer to install.

 
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02-14-16, 07:24 AM   #6  
Just to add my 2cents and something to think about I live in a small, old, run of the mill Philly house, which is why I chose replacement windows. Just didn't feel this house was worth the extra work and expense of new construction windows.
Now if I owned a gorgeous single home, I definitely would have gone the other way.
So, guess it might depend on how you feel about your home and it's worth, IMO.

ETA: My replacement windows are wood on the inside and with something clad on the outside. I also got the grilles on the upper part. These do not scream vinyl replacements. I did pay more, but just so you know, there are other options besides vinyl.


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Last edited by Shadeladie; 02-14-16 at 10:19 AM.
 
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02-14-16, 04:49 PM   #7  
Ahhh geez. I was hoping there was some sort of miracle window that was full frame, cheap, and easy to install. NUTS!

@Shadeladie - what type of replacements are those?

I did not realize the full frame windows had the flange. I should have known, having seen them in newly built homes... So, that means I have to remove some of the siding(which is vinyl btw). I'm going to take a few pictures this week and post them up here for thoughts. One of the big problems is that some of my windows have very rotted wood around them, so that has to be replaced one way or another.

I'll be back with some pics. Thanks!

 
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02-14-16, 05:01 PM   #8  
On a warm summer day vinyl is very cooperative and it can be removed or simply pulled lose around the window. Then you will have full access to do any needed repairs, install proper flashing, and then the new windows. Be aware, they changed how windows are measured so do some searching to be sure you order the correct sizes. Stock windows may not fit. But they can usually build them any size you need. Depending upon when you order, allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. Check your local suppliers.

Once the new windows are in place, if they were the exact same size the vinyl should go up right where it was. Doesn't always happen that way, but worth trying.

Bud

 
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02-14-16, 05:23 PM   #9  
They were Jeld-wen I got at Home Depot.


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02-18-16, 01:57 PM   #10  
OK, I took a couple pictures. These are Anderson "triple track". I think someone on here used that term - they have the 3 piece screen/storm window deal on the outsides - I HATE them. Some of them are shrouded with vinyl, and some are shrouded in brick. You can see the rotten wood in one of the pictures.


 
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02-18-16, 02:52 PM   #11  
Marvin and Pella make nice full replacement windows with optional aluminum brickmould that would work and look really nice. A little pricy but you can get the Pellas with prefinished interiors and trim.

 
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02-18-16, 03:58 PM   #12  
@XSleeper - got a link to the models you're talking about?

Would I have to pull the siding back for these? Or, are the mounting flanges not that long, and just the wooden molding covers them?

 
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02-18-16, 04:22 PM   #13  
Pella : Architect Series® double-hung windows with Jefferson Brickmould and 2’ sill nose | Pella Pressroom

Pella 850 designer series and architect series offer these options.

Marvin: Window and Door Cladding, Casing & Trim | Marvin Family of Brands

I like the Marvin wood-ultrex.

I'm referring to their prefinished brickmould and subsills in the links above. There are a variety of trim styles and widths. Its a really nice option because the exterior is completely maintenence free after its installed. No wood trim to install or paint, and no rotting.

Yes and no on removing the siding. On the brick openings, you would measure carefully, check that sides are plumb and order it (based on an exterior trim- exterior trim measurement) about 1/8" smaller than the masonry opening... forget the nail fin and caulk it in.

Since vinyl siding is so easy to remove, I would recommend removing it to install, incorporating the nail fin into your wrb, using flashing tape, the whole nine yards. If you measure right (ordering exterior trim- extetior trim... based on the siding opening measurement minus 1/8") all the siding will go back right where it was. A second way to measure is based on your rough opening size... making the window 1" smaller each way. When you do that you usually need new j-channel because you might end up cutting the siding back to fit around the window trim (if it happens to be larger than before).

When you order the window based on the outside dimensions of the exterior trim, you need to do the math to figure out how big the size of the window will be, and make sure that is going to fit in your RO without major modifications. Because the depending on the size of brickmould you get, the outside dimensions of the window itself might be 2" smaller (or 3" smaller, or.... ) than the outside dimension of the exterior brickmould. Measuring takes a lot of forethought because it will either cause or save you from headaches when you go to install.

 
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02-19-16, 07:38 PM   #14  
I think some clarification is in order regarding vinyl windows. In the olden days when they first came on the market, vinyl windows had well-deserved but poor reputations for not performing well. They were usually cheaper units, with flimsy frames that often split at the corners over time, and sometimes significantly warped when exposed to high-heat, direct sunlight conditions. I don't believe that is still the case--the several vinyl Jeld-Wen units I installed a few years ago were well-made and heavier, with excellent mechanism hardware and workmanship. A bit pricier than budget windows, but I thought well worth it. I had wanted to go with wood-clad Pella units, the brand that I had previously used almost exclusively in earlier houses, but there was no way I could justify the prices they currently wanted.

 
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02-20-16, 02:49 AM   #15  
I am not advocating one brand over another, as I have installed windows from all the manufacturers mentioned in other posts with good success. I have been introduced to YKK windows, and have had absolutely perfect fit, secure, easy, tight closure and excellent customer service. I recently was called to replace 6 Jeld Wen's that had air problems in the vertical side areas with YKK, and the customer raved over them afterwards. Just something to think on.

 
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02-20-16, 12:48 PM   #16  
@chandler - does YKK offer replacement windows? I thought that was what you were talking about, but I didn't see them on their website.

@BridgeMan45 My house had a couple of replacement windows when we bought it. The bathroom window was a replacement, and leaks inbetween the panes, so there are mold spores and it's AWFUL. That said, I'm sure there are nicer replacements, I just hate the loss in glass area. Actually, my problem -even more than the loss of glass area- is the increase in frame area. When I look at a house that has replacement windows, I can tell immediately, because they have what appears to be a huge frame around them. It's ugly. That's why I as asking here, because I thought maybe somewhere -beyond the scope of Home Depot- there existed a replacement window that had "low profile" framing or something.

 
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02-20-16, 12:54 PM   #17  
Was just looking at their website, and replacement windows are there https://www.ykkap.com/residential/pr...windows-doors/ however, looks like their products are only available in certain areas in the south, but not yet in Maryland. Just an FYI.


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02-20-16, 01:02 PM   #18  
I see. I'm in MD

Well, here's a curve ball... If I just decide to use vinyl replacements(this is not my last house, nor is it a marble counter type of house), What are some reasonable "budget" replacements? Average cost per window would be what? Around $200 each maybe?

 
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02-20-16, 01:07 PM   #19  
Must be a "Suthern" thang. I did not realize they had a limited market area.

 
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02-21-16, 03:38 PM   #20  
YKK? They make zippers, don't they?

 
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02-21-16, 04:13 PM   #21  
Interesting. Yes, one and the same! Looks like they make other stuff, too.


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02-21-16, 05:32 PM   #22  
They make their windows just as tight as their zippers, too.

 
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02-22-16, 02:46 PM   #23  
they make it look so simple here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZAYiMCxRwE

I didn't see too much a flange there on that install. I'm sure mine would not go as easily. Is the cost of vinyl pockets close to the cost of comparable full frame?

 
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02-22-16, 02:48 PM   #24  
Ha ha, no.........................................

 
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