I am interested in replacing my windows on my home. My house is a framed stucco house. We had one replaced a few years back by a window company. I watched them do it and it seemed simple enough. Seemed the hardest thing was making sure the window was sealed to the frame and then matching the stucco finish. My neighbor who has extensive carpentry skills has agreed to help. We have a difference of opinion on the type of window to use. I think we should use a nail finned window, like the prior window installer used. He says we don't need to use a finned window. I have asked the two big home improvement stores what should be used, they both said nail finned. My neighbor says we would use a finned window if it was new construction, which it isn't. Then why did the window company use a finned window? Any suggestions?
How old is the house? Stucco installs differ.
Do you have wood trim around the windows, or stucco to the edges of the windows?
Did the other company cut the stucco, then patch in? How does it look, including color match?
Have you talked to a local supplier of windows, other than the big box stores, and checked on the type of window where you won't have to cut the stucco? You should check into it at least.
Avoiding cutting stucco is a good idea.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,
What I did was have PVC windows installed into my existing wooden frames. People tend to shy away from doing that because they want the window to be completely maintenance free, and you always have painting and caulking issues as long as you have wooden frames.
So I figured out a way to make my wooden frames maintenance free.
The above is a picture of me pulling Kop-R-Lastic caulking off one of the windows I had installed. The window is PVC, but the frame it's installed in is wood.
The problem I had with these windows is that the PVC is relatively weak and the windows are heavy. These are roller windows which work similar to sliding windows, but they roll on PVC wheels riding on PVC tracks. Because they're triple glazed, each bypass roller window is heavy enough to cause the PVC window frame to bend when you roll the window from one side to the other to open or close it. The PVC frame is installed into the existing wooden frame with wooden window stop moldings, and the bending of the PVC window frame would cause the bead of caulk at the top of the bottom window stop molding to break. As a result rain water and snow melt would run down behind that bottom window stop molding and cause both the wood stop molding and wooden window frame to rot.
(This is a real serious problem in a commercial building like an apartment block because my commercial windows don't have a nailing fin around their perimeter. Instead, they have a wooden strip nailed around their perimeter that fits between the concrete block wythe and the brick veneer in the exterior wall. That means, they set the windows in place as they were building the exterior walls of the building with concrete blocks and bricks. The only way to remove one of those wooden window frames is to cut it to pieces or take the brickwork apart around the window frame.)
So, I bought a 4X8 sheet of 1/16 inch thick PVC plastic and had half of it cut into 1 1/4 inch wide strips and each strip bent to a 10 or 15 degree angle 1/2 inch from one edge.
That's because my PVC window frames are made from an extrusion that has a 1/2 inch wide flat "ledge", which you can't see in the photo, but it's level with the weep holes (which you can see) at the bottom of the window.
I used double sided tape to tape those strips of PVC to that ledge on the bottom extrusion of the window and then caulked them in place with Kop-R-Lastic caulk. I didn't know how strong that caulk would hold, so I only used 1 1/4 inch strips of PVC which was enough to act as a "roof" to keep rain water and snow melt from getting in behind the exterior window stop molding at the bottom of the window. I was concerned that if the PVC strips were too wide, a heavy wind or blizzard could find me waking up to PVC strips scattered all over the place around my building.
That system worked so well that I've since replaced those 1 1/4 inch PVC strips with 3 1/2 inch wide PVC strips that overhang the entire wooden window frame by more than 1/2 inch. That keeps both the Sun and the rain off the bottom portion of the wooden window frame, and since that's the only place where paint typically peels or the frame is likely to rot, the paint on that wood lasts forever because it's always in the shade and the wood is always dry.
So, by installing PVC windows into existing wooden frames, I saved a pile of money on the installation costs. And, by making PVC flashings to keep the Sun and rain off the bottom portion of that wooden window frame, I have a wooden frame that never needs to be repainted and will never rot because the only vunerable area of the frame is kept dry and in the shade by the PVC flashing.
It's really the best of both worlds because I get the economy of installing PVC windows into existing wooden frames, so that eliminates cutting into your stucco and patching it. And I still have maintenance free windows because the PVC flashing greatly extends the life of the paint on the frame and keeps the wood at the bottom of the frame dry.
(Even if the paint or caulk on the wood there were to deteriorate, there'd still be no chance of the wood rotting because the PVC flashing keeps that area dry. The ONLY place a wood window frame is likely to rot is at the bottom, and that's also typically where the paint will peel and caulk will let go as well, and that's because of the wood swelling and shrinking as it gets wet and dries out again.
The short piece of PVC flashing in that picture is because it's more difficult to cut one piece of flashing to cover the whole frame. It's far easier to cut one piece to fit on the left side of the window, another to fit on the right side of the window, and then cover the joint between them with a short piece of PVC flashing. I cut one piece of flashing longer than the other so that the joint between them would occur in front of the window screen. That way, I could remove the flashing from inside the building for the upper floor windows.
One thing I really like about this design is that the PVC flashing keeps the rain and snow melt off the bottom of the window frame but it allows the wood there to dry out if it gets wet for any other reason, such as using a garden hose to clean the upper floor windows from the ground. Also, I can use a flashlight and mirror to check the condition of the painted wood from inside the building. And so far, the paint seems to last forever, and I attribute that to the fact that the wood doesn't get wet and it's always in the shade and therefore protected from the UV light from the Sun.
The clear Kop-R-Lastic caulk I use is plenty strong enough to hold those flashings on even in the strongest of winds (although I wouldn't bet on it in a hurricane).This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nestor,
The house is approx. 30years old.
The stucco goes up to the window, with no trim.The window company did cut the stucco, then patched it. The finish is pretty close, not exact but acceptable. At this point the house needs painting. I will be talking to a local supplier (non big box).
It would be a big help if you were to post a picture of the outside.
Just guessing but if you installed a replacement window instead of a fined window it would work just as well, and not mess up the outside walls.
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