Now that you’re ready to order your new vinyl replacement windows we need to talk about the different frame style options available. In most of the country your choices are limited to either new construction windows or replacement frames. New construction frames come with a nailing fin to attach the frame to the studs during the construction of the new home. The replacement frame is basically the new construction frame minus the nailing fin.
For stucco homes, manufacturers came up with a third type of frame called a retrofit frame. The retrofit frame has a fin about 2 inches wide, located flush with the outside face of the window. This is the best choice when replacing old windows, but not all jobs will accommodate a retrofit frame application.
So let’s discuss which Best Vinyl Windows 2017 is going to work for you.
If you have a stucco exterior, retrofit is the way to go. You install new windows from the outside, and the flush fin covers the old aluminum frame that you are going to leave in place. Then you screw the new window in using deck screws through the side channels as well as the top header. We will get into more detail on the actual installation in a future article. If you have a stucco exterior, but there is a wood trim around the opening of the window where the flush fin would normally go, you can still use the retrofit window style frame.
You would need to remove the wood surrounding the opening, install the retrofit wood window, then purchase and install new wood trim. The old trim will no longer fit since the retrofit window frame dimensions will be larger in width and height than the old window frame. Another option is to install the retrofit fin on top of the wood trim.
You can do this as long as the depth from the face of the wood trim to the point in the house of the innermost portion of the old aluminum window frame is less than 3 inches deep. The reason is because a good quality retrofit window will have a 3 inch frame depth from the back of the flush fin to the innermost part of the frame. That innermost part needs to be further into the house than the innermost part of the aluminum frame so that the aluminum frame will be hidden after we apply the inside trim.
What if you have brick around the window openings? Or siding? Then what?
Well, if you can install the replacement window against the face of the brick or siding and still have the innermost part of the vinyl window frame be further into the home than the old frame, then you can use the retrofit style frame. If not, then you have to use the replacement style frame,then use trim to finish the outside.
If you are able to get a retrofit frame with a relatively thin fin, you can also trim down the fins so the window fits between the brick or wood. That would eliminate the need to trim out the outside. Some manufacturers of retrofit frames will have grooves in the back of the retrofit fins. You simply run a utility knife in the groove until you are able to break off that piece of the fin.
The main point to remember when determining whether or not to use a retrofit frame or a standard replacement frame is that in order to use the retrofit frame there needs to be less than 3 inches from the outside point where the flush fin will rest to the inside point in the room where the old frame ends. If it’s less than 3 inches, go with the retro, more than 3 inches, use the replacement frame and add trim to the outside in lieu of the flush fin.
8 Tips to Compare Replacement Window Contractors
The building code of many municipalities will require fire rated steel windows in certain building situations. These special windows give an extra level of protection to the buildings occupants, adjacent buildings and fire fighters in the event of a fire.
Fire windows come in two different ratings. They are available with a 45 minute burn time as well as a one hour burn time. This gives firefighters additional fire fighting time to bring the building under control. It may also prevent fire from and adjacent building from burning your building and its contents.
Windows are a necessary part of any building. They allow light and ventilation inside the building. However, in the event of a fire, most normal windows may present a hazard to the buildings occupants, fire fighters and adjacent buildings. If the window breaks, it may cause a back draft and the fire can explode to an even larger proportion. The fresh oxygen can fan smoldering items to a full fledged fire that is dangerous to anyone in the building.
In order to lower the danger presented by a window in a fire, fire rated steel windows must be installed for certain applications. These windows can protect your properties as well as the properties next door. More importantly, however, they can protect human life, both of the persons that work in the building from day to day and the fire fighters there to save the property.
How Much Do Replacement Windows Cost?
The installation of your new replacement windows has made your home more air-tight and energy efficient. Over the years, you will save considerable energy dollars and enjoy a more comfortable living environment as a result of your investment.
Now that your house is more air-tight, moisture created by everyday activities (cooking, bathing, laundry, etc.) is no longer escaping through the drafty holes and cracks of your old windows. This moisture, now trapped in your home, looks for a place to rest/collect. Most often this moisture or "condensation" collects on your windows. It is important to understand that windows do not cause condensation, they simply reflect a condition in the home. Condensation is an indication of too much moisture in the air which manifests itself on the glass surface in three ways; (1) fogging, (2) droplets, (3) ice.
5. Do not hang full loads of wet laundry inside your home to dry during the heating season.
6. Vent clothes dryer to the outdoors.
7. Open fireplace damper.
8. Open a window and air out your house for a few minutes each day.
9. If troublesome condensation persists, see your heating contractor about an outside air intake for your furnace.
NOTE: Condensation on glass is a natural result of excess moisture in the house and does not indicate a defective product or faulty installation. Maintaining proper household humidity levels may prevent problems such as mold, mildew and related health issues. If you become aware of persistent condensation on your windows, you should take immediate remedial action to prevent water, mold and/or mildew damage to your property and to avoid potential health risks.