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Prepping old wood casing for new vinyl replacement window

Prepping old wood casing for new vinyl replacement window

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  #1  
Old 09-28-18, 09:00 AM
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Prepping old wood casing for new vinyl replacement window

I live in a historic area and where all of the houses are 100+ years old and generally have very old double hung, single pane windows plus aluminum storms. I usually restore the wood sashes and keep them going, but in the house I'm working on now, so many of the storms are damaged or missing panes, and the wood sashes have been painted over and over and operate very poorly. I've decided I'll replace then with new vinyl inserts.

I might have thought twice about it and saved the money and done whatever was needed to fix the sashes and storms, but I found Menards has in-stock sizes of double-hung that fit my openings perfectly for under $150 (Jeld-Wen brand).

So I'm installing my first replacement vinyl windows and I'm wondering what are best practices for preparing the opening? I've removed the existing storm, wood sashes, ropes/weights/hardware, leaving the outer sash stop only, and have an opening that my vinyl window fits into like a glove. The window instructions want me to wrap up everything in a sill-seal material but my inclination is to just seal/prime & paint everything, then install the new window with caulk and expanding foam. The new vinyl window has a fin on the bottom of the casing that contacts the wood sill when installed, and I'm a little unsure what the intent is for that.

The house is already wrapped in vinyl siding and I have no plans to alter that anytime soon. The vinyl stops at that window perimeter, leaving ~2" of wood sill and casing/trim still exposed, so unless I find a way to completely wrap that up, I'll have to paint/maintain that wood anyways. I was tempted to get standard flanged new-installation windows and try to make that work with the existing opening/casing to make possible future residing work nicely but that just seemed too much trouble and I'd need to order custom size windows.

Image shows the window with storm still attached, and the top wood sash still in place.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-28-18, 10:06 AM
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Nothing wrong with continuing to paint the exterior trim if that's ok with you. I would give it a fresh coat of paint before you pop the window in. Use OSI Quad to caulk the window in. Do NOT use silicone. Before you set the window in, caulk the corner (inside) where the exterior stop meets the jamb. Air can pass through that crack. I use a foam tape wrap on the window before I put it in. Helps seal and also helps center the window.

Check the sash for square by opening it a crack... that gap should be straight. If it's not you either need to set one side of the window on a little shim... or jack the window side to side and shim it. Shim the middle to make sure it's not spread out in the middle. Use installation screws and shims as the mfg recommends. Jeldwen is a bottom of the barrel quality window so the frame may be a little wimpy, so read and follow their instructions.

I'm not real familiar with the Don on bottom you refer to but it might just be the sill expander. It's an angle that takes up the gap where your wood sill slopes outward. You want to insulate under the window. A strip of fiberglass stapled down is usually sufficient. Not so thick it bows the frame up or sticks out though.
 
  #3  
Old 09-28-18, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I see what you're saying about the crack/gap where the exterior stop meets the casing. I was planning on expanding foam all around the vinyl window, but will caulk everything anyways.

I haven't decided if I would fill the sash weight space with fiberglass or expanding foam. With the little door for the window weights removed, I can use a stick to push insulation into the space. Not as good as foam, but cheaper.

I have trouble seeing how wrapping up the old casing and joining that wrapping into the existing vinyl siding in a way that laps properly is going to work out nicely. Hence my inclination to prep/prime/paint the wood that is already there and call it done. By the time it needs painting again, perhaps the house will be a candidate for residing and that tradesman (possibly me) will be better suited to join the new siding into the windows. Or maybe by that time the windows will get replaced again with something that'll join into the siding nicely.

I hate silicone for almost everything. I like Quad, but on this I was thinking about just using White Lightning 3006, a fairly common elastomeric caulk that is my go-to for most general use. What is your argument for Quad and how would you apply it in this case? The vinly window directly presses against the exterior stops, so there is basically zero gap there. Any squeeze out on the exterior side has to be cleaned up. Or would you apply Quad on the exterior around the whole perimeter of the window, leaving a bead at the vinyl to wood-stop joint? I could see using a nice bead of Quad to seal the bottom fin thingy to the sill. Quad takes a long time to cure and if left unpainted will gather dirt quickly.

Here is the cleared-out wood casing with the new vinyl window set into place:
 
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Old 09-28-18, 12:19 PM
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Vinyl expands and contracts and is a very slick surface. Foam and silicone don't usually stick to it for very long, and while 3006 may be okay, Quad sticks better and stays whiter. It skins over quickly and provided you don't make dust after you caulk it's fine. If I do ever foam around a vinyl replacement (tight gap) I use Dap latex foam. Less mess and no (very low) expansion.

And I would caulk the window perimeter neatly after it is in.
 
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Old 09-28-18, 06:31 PM
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Ok, I'll go for the Quad.

I can see why wrapping up the casing is attractive, as even when you're not going for perfect quality, prepping an old window casing to paint is fairly time consuming. I'm also one of those people who can't help but scrape everything down to clean wood...

If I were going to wrap up the casing in something, what would I use? Usually when I see windows wrapped in sheet metal it looks lousy.

Worked on two windows today and decided spray foam in the window weight spaces is a waste. Probably costs more than $10 worth of spray foam to do one window and was more tedious than stuffing in fiberglass, which is what we did for the 2nd window. So we'll stick with fiberglass for the rest of them.
 
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Old 09-28-18, 06:42 PM
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This is the foam tape i put on the window before I install it. It's 3" wide and you just stick it to the 4 sides of the window. https://lamatek.com/catalogs/fenestration/jambfoam

Cladding the trim takes a bit of skill and experience (and a metal brake, of course). In your case you would likely need to remove the perimeter molding on the sides and top and replace it with something flat... a ripped 1x4 or the like. And you would likely add a bit onto the front of the sill nose so it hangs beyond the bottom j-channel. A roll of aluminum trim coil is about $80 or so... and would likely cover a lot of windows. Some guys do a crappy job of cladding. If you take your time and know what you're doing it can look fine.
 
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Old 09-29-18, 10:23 AM
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Is the cladding generally installed before the window, covering the entirety of the old wood window casing? Or is it generally installed after, butting to the new vinyl window and then caulked?
 
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Old 09-29-18, 10:54 AM
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It can be done either way. Personally I like to wrap the trim with the window out.. it's flashed a little better that way. But it can be done afterward as well.
 
  #9  
Old 09-29-18, 03:26 PM
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Haha, On that first pic i was looking at it and thinking: "how weird, they put shutters over and under the window." (then realized the pic was sideways, i'm a professional)

Really don't have anything to add to XSleeper's sage advice, maybe just a little affirmation?

I've done 4 Historical restorations. 2 were in a historical district, so i restored the original sashes, ropes. Weights and pulley's were still functional or inside the casing. I love the sound of weights falling in the night when one of those ropes break.

I restored a farm house built in 1804. It had clap board without sheathing underneath, so i removed about 8 layers at various heights and sprayed in icynene foam in all the walls. Furthering the energy efficiency, i replaced all the windows. I found that an extremely easy process and got my time down to 30 minutes a window.

I too had a separate "fin" for the bottom on the window mine served to close the gap between the bottom of the sash of the replacement window and the sloping window sill from the existing window. I too wrapped my sash in foam tape first, then caulked inside and out after.

I have this love affair with expanding foam and want to use it everywhere, but found it didn't work well and the foam tape worked best for any gaps between old frame/new sash. Even the minimally expanding stuff tended to untrue the new sash and impeded the window movement. One place i did use it and found it very helpful was in behind the casing, especially in the weight wells. I got a lot of air passage through there and the foam sealed it right up. Rather than take the casing off, I just squirted it in to the slot/hole where i removed the pulleys. On the outside, i finished with caulk and then quarter round to cover the seam between old and new. They looked good for a retro fit.
 

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  #10  
Old 09-29-18, 10:07 PM
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Thanks guys, I'll post some more photos and thoughts after I get a couple finished. I just have them set into place right now while I'm waiting for a warmer day to actually install them.
 
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