Replacement Window Flashing

LoPayMay 10, 2013

We are committed to having Renewal by Anderson replacement windows installed. We are also going to have the house resided with LP Smartside. Our contractor is very well regarded, but I have a concern on how they explained the window installation. (Window and siding choices were based on what will look right for our 60s raised ranch.)

They will be doing the windows first, and then come back and do a tear off of the existing siding. When I asked about how the new windows will have the flashing installed, the sales rep and the cut away they had in the showroom showed me that they insert over the existing opening and under the existing siding. The flashing only appeared to only go about 3 or 4 inches below the opening sill.

Is this an acceptable installation and amount of flashing? If it isn't what should I ask them to do? The contractor is big enough where they have a windows division, a siding division, etc, so I don't expect the siding crew to do anything above and beyond with the windows while they are there.

Asking because one of those TV shows where money is no object, and the most esoteric details get discussed without commercial interruption showed a flashing that went at least a full foot around the window with some type of membrane behind that while the siding was off. Our house will be wrapped with Tyvek before the new siding is installed.

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To properly flash windows, the weather barrier should be flashed to the rough opening with sticky flashing, on the bottom and sides (not the top) before the windows are installed. Then the top nail flange of the window tucks behind the weather barrier, while the sides and bottom install over the sticky flashing. After the nail fin is fastened, another layer of sticky flashing is installed over the nail flange and weather barrier, following the normal sequence of flashing, working from bottom to top. At the top, the sticky flashing should tuck underneath the weather barrier, and stick the nail flange to the wooden header. Then the weather barrier is folded up and then back down, to achieve this. The sticky flashing and weather barrier should be able to take a direct spray from the hose, and when the water runs down, it can't get behind any of the layers. It's just like flashing a roof penetration.

I would want both jobs to happen simultaneously, to ensure the workers can do their best job. A sales person doesn't care about how the installers of retrofit windows cut corners and neglect to do a thorough job with the flashing. But because you are getting a new weather barrier and siding, along with new windows, this is not a retrofit job. It could be done as well as new construction.

You should get a copy of the installation instructions for Anderson Renewal windows. And make sure you get permits and have an inspector check the flashing and weather barrier before they put on the new siding.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:30PM
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Renewal by Anderson is a replacement type window and what you seem to be describing is a new construction window installation. Also Renewal is only installed by a franchise. So I am confused? You also might post this to the window forum as their are excellent pros there.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:23PM
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I have confirmed that the existing windows will be removed to the studs. The RBA window installation from my contractor will replace the interior and exterior trim. All trim will be finished.

Yes, it is a replacement that is inserted in the existing opening.
I'm guessing they do many installs where the siding isn't replaced simultaneously, so the standard practice is the insert.

Is it out of line to ask them to do Aiden's method and not have them change the quote? We are paying about 1.5K per window.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:57PM
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First off your conflicting things again as a replacement window does not involve taking out the exiting window to the studs, that is considered a new construction application. A replacement window is an insert installed aft removing the existing sash and utilizes the existing frame. Also as I mentioned Renewal is NOT AVAILABLE to contractors only installed by authorized franchises. Again post this to the window forum asap for your own best interest. Also I hope you have not signed a contract as it seems your not even certain of what your purchasing, which is a major mistake in my opinion.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 8:50AM
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Sophie Wheeler

BIG RED FLAGS. You shouldn't be installing replacement windows. You need new construction ones for this application. The sequence of the job should be removal of old siding, removal of existing windows, exterior foam insulation, housewrap, install of new construction windows, flashing, new siding, trim. Yes, you should also address adding external insulation at this time. IT's the only chance you'll get, and if you are in a cooling climate rather than a heating one, it's crucial to be able to keep the dew point out of your walls.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 12:26PM
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I will move my question to windows. We are having blown in insulation added before or during the siding replacement.

Our contractor has the RBA franchise and does other remodeling. I am 100% certain that the old windows will be removed to the studs and that the new windows will be put in the existing opening.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:13AM
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The windows need to have nail fins. You are getting ones without. There is no way to flash the window frame to the building's weather barrier, if you continue with this contract. I am 100% sure the rain will leak in around the opening.

I'm not sure why you feel more confident because the contractor pays franchise fees. This basically ensures the contractor will refer you to the corporation when there is a warranty issue down the road. What is the term of warranty on the INSTALLATION? Sure the windows may carry a lifetime warranty. So may the siding. When water leaks in around the rough opening studs, they will tell you the "existing structure" is not covered by the warranty. When the building inspector signs off the final permit, you most likely have only 12 months of actual warranty. The leaks will take a couple of years to show up. Mold will form on that nice new tyvek weather barrier.

Do not proceed with this contract! This is the beginning of a "home disaster"

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 12:51PM
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