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  1. #1
    d ginther's Avatar
    d ginther Guest

    Default Window Installation - suspect issues

    I'm an owner/builder that's doing new construction in Lago Vista, TX.
    We're build a "stick and brick" home that has 6" Hardie lap siding.
    The Hardie was installed over 1/2" OSB.

    My suspected issue is with windows. When designing the house, I specified 6" Hardie trim around the windows (I want to avoid long term issues with wood).

    My framer installed the windows to the depth of the 1/2" OSB.. Then trimmed around them (another 1/2") - the window frame still protruded from the opening. He's telling me that this is correctly installed - and has resolved the issue by adding 1x2 wood all the way around the window frame.

    As I don't have much window installation or framing experience, I'm looking for something to go on here. Our framing inspection isn't until plumbing and electrical is complete - so I'm trying to be proactive about solving problems, as well as prevent any cover-ups.

    Photos of the windows prior and post 1x2 trim install are enclosed. There is no flashing on the 1x2 trim - I suspect that these are leaks waiting to happen.
    Windows are fairly basic builder grade aluminum windows - install instructions are here:
    http://www.gactx.com/aluminstall.pdf

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by d ginther View Post
    We're build a "stick and brick" home that has 6" Hardie lap siding.
    The Hardie was installed over 1/2" OSB.
    First, do you mean what you said "The Hardie was installed over 1/2" OSB.", or do you mean you meant to say "The Hardie was installed over house wrap installed over 1/2" OSB."?

    BIG DIFFERENCE!

    What you said is incorrect. And is a BIG PROBLEM.

    What I revised it to say is correct.

    My framer installed the windows to the depth of the 1/2" OSB.. Then trimmed around them (another 1/2") - the window frame still protruded from the opening.
    When properly installed, the window "frame" will protrude from the wall.

    What matters is the how the windows were installed. There is a flange/fin around the windows, that should be back caulked/sealed and set against window flashing installed around the window openings and under the OSB, with the house wrap taped/sealed to the window flashing, with more window flashing installed over the flange/fin of the window.

    See Drawing #2 on the instruction sheet you posted. You can see the flange installed to the wall, with the window frame projection out beyond the wall, the exterior cladding then gets caulked/sealed to it.

    Do you have any photos showing what you are asking? I did not see any. Your photos shows what looks to be really screwy, but do you have any photos before the HardiePlank was installed?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  3. #3
    d ginther's Avatar
    d ginther Guest

    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    [quote=Jerry Peck;63868]First, do you mean what you said "The Hardie was installed over 1/2" OSB.", or do you mean you meant to say "The Hardie was installed over house wrap installed over 1/2" OSB."?
    [quote]

    That is correct. There is house wrap over the 1/2" OSB.


    There is a flange/fin around the windows, that should be back caulked/sealed and set against window flashing installed around the window openings and under the OSB, with the house wrap taped/sealed to the window flashing, with more window flashing installed over the flange/fin of the window.
    Perhaps these were done correctly, then..
    There are two flanges - the inner flange, which sits against the OSB. The house was wrapped, the window was caulked against the flashing, window inserted, then the window taped/sealed, hardie installed, trim installed, then 1x2 wood installed around the outer flange of the window.


    I'm posting additional photos... I appreciate the advice.

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  4. #4
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Let me give you some advice you didn't ask for! I do a lot of phase inspections on new construction. I always do a framing inspection before the mechanicals are installed. If there is an additional stud required or a support of some kind or any other required alteration it is much easier and less expensive to fix it without mechanicals in the way. For example if you need to add a stud and wires and plumbing are in that cavity the additional stud requires much more work. I do a framing recheck when I do the mechanical inspection. City inspectors in many cases do all of the inspections at the same time.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Make sure they leave the required gap between the siding and GSM flashing at horizonal areas as well. I can't tell whether they left the gap in those photos.


  6. #6
    d ginther's Avatar
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Thanks for the advice, guys. Framing inspection is post mechanical because the darn plumbers are in there doing all sorts of cuts to the framing that may compromise the integrity of the studs.

    You're suggesting that I do both, which is absolutely valid - and your point is taken...


  7. #7
    Richard Pultar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    From the pictures , I would say hiring a person with construction experience would be a very wise move. Well worth the money.You have a long way to go before that house is done. For instance seeing common nails used on trim makes me wonder why you have a framer trimming. Seeing siding and soffit on a house without sheathing complete I can't imagine. Go to the library and get your hands on as many Fine Homebuilding magazines, and then look at them.
    The attention to details is what you should digest. If you don't see the point of caring about craftmanship now you might if you have any intention of selling this house .Some people appreciate quality and most expect when buying new.
    You need somebody who knows that your subs know what they are doing .


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by d ginther View Post
    Thanks for the advice, guys. Framing inspection is post mechanical because the darn plumbers are in there doing all sorts of cuts to the framing that may compromise the integrity of the studs.

    The framing inspection should be after all other things are inspected: electrical, mechanical, plumbing - anyone who is going to be installing anything in the structure needs to be in, out, and inspected before doing the framing inspection.

    The plumbers are not the only ones who cut things which should not be cut, beat things out of the way which not be beat out of the way, they are typically the only ones who take a torch (to copper) and try to burn the house down, but they all knock out fireblocking, draftstopping, hack and cut things, etc.

    Back to the windows, I really cannot see enough in those photos to verify how they were installed. Is it remotely possible that the windows were installed backward, i.e., with the inside out and the outside in? Just trying to think of why the window protrude that far out. The only photo which shows what looks like enough to feel the windows are outside out is first photo in your first post, which looks like there is an angled glazing trim horizontally on the bottom rail of the partially raised sash, and the rectangular 'weep' hole at the bottom left. But still, the question needed to be raised, I have seen some installed outside in.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Jerry,

    I do not agree with only doing a single framing inspection. I do one before mechanical and another after they carve it up. The one before can save time and money to correct problems such as missing supports or fire blocking.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    I have to agree with Bob on the framing insp. I do multiple, usually 3, sometimes 2, framing inspections for any job. The first at the end of the 1st or 2nd week the framers have been working. This is to see what methods, quality etc they are using and to stop any bad habits before they spread to the rest of the building. The 2nd when they are pretty much done and are asking the client for a check. The 3rd after mechanicals have been installed.
    As far as the windows, I would consider the 2nd picture from the first post, 'scummy work'. If that's how they are finishing the windows, I think your best finish option is to cap and caulk the trim. Just caulking and painting what's there will most likely be a maintenance problem.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    We also do 2 inspections on the framing. We don't do an interior framing until after all the trades are finished but we do a exterior inspection before house wrap to ensure that the OSB is nailed properly, proper windbracing and the windows are flashed properly before any siding is applied.

    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 12-01-2008 at 09:47 AM. Reason: added word

  12. #12
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The framing inspection should be after all other things are inspected: electrical, mechanical, plumbing - anyone who is going to be installing anything in the structure needs to be in, out, and inspected before doing the framing inspection.

    The plumbers are not the only ones who cut things which should not be cut, beat things out of the way which not be beat out of the way, they are typically the only ones who take a torch (to copper) and try to burn the house down, but they all knock out fireblocking, draftstopping, hack and cut things, etc.
    Agreed. More than one framing inspection wastes the client's money and the inspector's time.

    Aaron


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Take a look at the instructions and video from Fine Homebuilding on how to install and flash windows correctly.

    There are two things I might do differently from their instructions. First, I use bitumen tape to flash behind and in front of the window flange. Second, some mfrs specify that you shouldn't foam in the sill cavity. Instead I use backer rod and caulk at the inside edge of the sill pan to prevent drafts and any incidental water from spilling towards the interior.

    On to the more specific points...

    Did you mean the 6.25" or the 7.25" HardiePlank siding (it looks like the cedarmill finish from your photos). This siding should have a minimum 1.25" overlap giving you a 5" exposure for the former and 6" for the latter. The siding is 3/8" thick which gives you about a 7/8" projection from the wall plane at the bottom edge. Because of this I always trim around windows with 5/4" casing so the siding profile doesn't extend past the casing.

    I don't know about the wood down there in TX but up here the FJP is pretty much crap. If you look at the growth rings for new FJP compared to the pine of yesteryear you'll see 1/8" growth rings on the old stuff and 1/4" - 3/8" rings on the new stuff. Lesson being, I've seen the new stuff start checking and eventually rotting out in under 5 years, even having been back primed and had all cuts sealed. For that reason alone I'm doing PVC for my trim. The PVC can be sanded and bonded for a finished look unlike the HardieTrim product. I suspect that 1x2 stuff they scabbed on isn't going to last very long.

    You said you spec'd 6" HardieTrim all around but the first picture doesn't show this. It looks like 3.5" trim along the sides and who knows what on the bottom. What I can say is that the fit and finish of the siding and trim job leaves a lot to be desired.

    Based on the pictures I'm wondering if you have the correct exposure (5" max for 6.25, 6" max for 7.25) for the siding. It also looks like those windows may simply protrude from the walls more than 5/4" - that is unless they trimmed around the siding and then installed the windows on top of the trim.

    As an aside, in the photo showing the house at a distance it looks like you have an opening close to the corner of the house. You should pay close attention to that corner as there are specific construction methods that make narrow wall framing more solid (and code compliant). IRC R602.10 contains language and (if I recall correctly - don't have it in front of me) a diagram of how to frame and sheath narrow walls for structural bracing.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    I disagree with the one framing inspection. How are you going to determine if the OSB and narrow wall windbracing are correct if the structure is already wrapped?


  15. #15
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    I disagree with the one framing inspection. How are you going to determine if the OSB and narrow wall windbracing are correct if the structure is already wrapped?
    By looking at the inside of the walls. Besides, if by wrapped you mean covered with house wrap, most of the houses in my area are not.

    Aaron


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    By looking at the inside of the walls. Besides, if by wrapped you mean covered with house wrap, most of the houses in my area are not.
    The narrow wall framing guidelines have not only framing member but fastener specifications as well. When using a full-width header and continuous sheathing, for example, 16d sinkers are to be fastened every 3" into the header (creating a grid pattern). I suppose you could use a magnet or one of those fancy cameras to discern the fastener pattern but it's much easier when the building is unwrapped.

    Then again, if folks don't normally wrap buildings out there I suppose you can inspect the fasteners up until the siding goes on...


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    We also do 2 inspections on the framing. We don't do an interior framing until after all the trades are finished but we do a exterior inspection before house wrap to ensure that the OSB is nailed properly, proper windbracing and the windows are flashed properly before any siding is applied.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    I disagree with the one framing inspection. How are you going to determine if the OSB and narrow wall windbracing are correct if the structure is already wrapped?
    Wayne,

    That first one before the house wrap is the sheathing inspection.

    Anything you want to look at regarding the exterior wall framing can also be looked at then, or, as Aaron stated, from inside later (in case you want to actually check the "framing").

    I suspect you are actually doing a sheathing inspection and a framing inspection instead of two framing inspections. There is no need to do more than one "framing" inspection.

    If the structure is not ready, it needs to be re-inspected.

    If the structure is a large structure, then the framing inspection, like all of the other inspections, will be "partial" inspections, inspecting from one point to another point.

    I did a couple of large 4 story frame condo buildings and the inspections were "phased" around the structure as the work was being done.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    That makes me feel better!!! I had another brain fart. Who ever thought they would call it a sheathing inspection when they are inspecting the sheathing!

    I wonder how many are actually doing one...a sheathing inspection!

    I know what you are talking about on the large houses. We will do several "phase" inspections and one big "last chance before insulation". That one usually takes two inspectors around four hours to do the framing, plumbing top out, electrical rough in and mechanical inspections.


  19. #19
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    That makes me feel better!!! I had another brain fart. Who ever thought they would call it a sheathing inspection when they are inspecting the sheathing!

    I wonder how many are actually doing one...a sheathing inspection!

    I know what you are talking about on the large houses. We will do several "phase" inspections and one big "last chance before insulation". That one usually takes two inspectors around four hours to do the framing, plumbing top out, electrical rough in and mechanical inspections.
    You know Wayne. I was just thinking. As a city inspector you are inspecting a lot of nice new homes. Do you think those nice folks could be in need of a nice friendly local inspector to follow behind you folks. I just happen to know a home inspector that would be more than happy to accommodate those nice folks with their phase inspections.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    You I just happen to know a home inspector that would be more than happy to accommodate those nice folks with their phase inspections.

    Ted,

    Nah, my travel time charge would kill them.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  21. #21
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ted,

    Nah, my travel time charge would kill them.

    I was thinking of someone just a little closer than you. Oh my, I am right around the corner. How about that. Did't even think of that one.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    But Ted...wouldn't you feel pretty bad taking their money and not being able to find anything to write up?


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Window Installation - suspect issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I was thinking of someone just a little closer than you. Oh my, I am right around the corner. How about that. Did't even think of that one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    But Ted...wouldn't you feel pretty bad taking their money and not being able to find anything to write up?
    Ted,

    I would take that as a challenge and offer to do the first inspection at half price, just to show Wayne what he is missing ... heck, if I were in the area, *I* would even offer to go there for half a day FOR FREE and show Wayne what he is missing.

    WE ALL KNOW there will be things to be found.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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