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  1. #1
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    Default Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    I run into this periodically and have found nothing in the installation instructions that allow it. The instructions that I have read specifically say that the window flanges should be installed over the siding, yet I regularly see windows installed over the trim. It seems to me that this creates two leak points, one at the perimeter of the trim and one at the perimeter of the window flange.

    Does anyone have any instructions that allow the flange to be installed over the trim?

    Thanks.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Gunnar,

    When I follow the right edge of the window frame vertically down, it aligns with the vertical edge of the right trim, indicating that the window is not "over" the trim, but that the trim "abuts" the window frame, which could mean there is a flange behind the trim at the siding.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Jerry,

    Are you sure the black arrow that I added to your edit isn't the edge of the trim? Not sure, but that is what I remember.

    I guess I could go back and look again tomorrow.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Are you sure the black arrow that I added to your edit isn't the edge of the trim?

    Gunnar,


    Ummm ... your edited photo is ... where?

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Gunnar,


    Ummm ... your edited photo is ... where?
    Duh.Oh!

    Probably too late at night now.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Gunnar,

    Follow down from the end of my vertical red line and you will see grain going down vertically then curing to the left where it meets the horizontal grain of the bottom trim. You can even see the end split grain at my vertical red line and directly below it on the left side of it.

    I believe your arrow is pointing to paint or something.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Gunnar, IMHO it's a guaranteed leaker. Disclaim, disclaim......!

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Gunnar,
    In my area the replacement windows usually don't even have a nailing fin and are secured through the side jambs with screws and then the joints are sealed with caulk. Installers will hold the units out to the exterior to allow for trim to butt to side jamb. This does present two areas for moisture penetration.
    Sometimes I see nailing fins over the siding with the trim over this and I think that is what Jerry was referring to. In either case the seal is only as good as the caulking used.
    I recommend drip cap flashing at the head to assist in diverting water out over the window and advise client that this is a maintenance area.
    I have attached a best practice article from the BC Building info site that has a detail of the flush-fin type of slider that Fritz was thinking it may be. Still they are recommending drip cap flashing above the unit and are showing sealant as only line of defense. They are however, advocating allowing moisture to escape if it does penetrate by leaving openings at bottom. This is what new construction requirements are trying to accomplish now days with the house wrap materials behind sidings and flashing tapes around windows that have fins.
    Jim


    http://www.bcbuilding.info/ezine/iss...tpractices.pdf


  9. #9
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    In the IRC installation flashing instruction for windows, there is an exception for "self flashing" windows. How do you identify self flashing windows? I have never seen the term on a window label, and I have been looking. Is it any window with a nailing flange?

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    "Flush fin" replacement windows.... new to me.

    "Flush fin. The mounting fins are positioned at or near the outside surface of the window, are left exposed, and create the exterior trim and weather seal. The frame is secured to the surrounding framework by nails or screws installed through the head and side jambs."

    Cross section of a "flush fin window:



    Cross section of flush fin replacement window set in existing to metal frame in stucco wall:



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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    "Flush fin" replacement windows.... new to me.

    "Flush fin. The mounting fins are positioned at or near the outside surface of the window, are left exposed, and create the exterior trim and weather seal. The frame is secured to the surrounding framework by nails or screws installed through the head and side jambs."

    Cross section of a "flush fin window:

    Just to give everyone a heads up and food for thought ...

    ... When those replacement windows are installed *IN* the existing window, and as shown in the drawings you posted, the "opening" is now considerably smaller, and given that many windows were originally made to bare minimum EERO dimensions ... those may no longer meet the minimum opening width, height, or opening sizes for EERO.

    And, as also shown in those drawings you posted, the "sill height" is also raise, so what may have previously met 44" maximum may no longer meet that either.



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  12. #12
    Darin Redding's Avatar
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    That looks like a "flush-fin" window designed as a retrofit to install without taking out the old window frame.
    Keep your old frames with flush fin windows
    Perfectly fine to install this way. Flush fin windows can seal direct to stucco, siding etc. as per manufacturers spec's. the sealant is applied behind the flush fin during install, then an additional bead of sealant is applied around the perimeter of the flush fin which is evident in the photos here. Not to say that leakage could not occur between the trim and the siding, but this is unrelated to the window install.

    I have windows like this that I've installed on Navy bases in SoCal that are leak free after 12+ years.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Quote Originally Posted by Darin Redding View Post
    Perfectly fine to install this way. Flush fin windows can seal direct to stucco, siding etc. as per manufacturers spec's. the sealant is applied behind the flush fin during install, then an additional bead of sealant is applied around the perimeter of the flush fin which is evident in the photos here. Not to say that leakage could not occur between the trim and the siding, but this is unrelated to the window install.

    I have windows like this that I've installed on Navy bases in SoCal that are leak free after 12+ years.

    You "just think" they are leak free.

    Water goes through stucco, we all know that, every one does. That is why stucco on frame has a drainage plane, and why the drainage plane is required to weep OUT to the surface.

    Installing windows as you describe is sealing the window to the paint on the stucco when we KNOW there is water behind that paint ... behind the stucco.

    So, you are sealing the water out ... how?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
    Darin Redding's Avatar
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Using the illustration provided by MT, water would be contained in the drainage plane PROVIDED the existing frame is kept intact. Yes?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Quote Originally Posted by Darin Redding View Post
    Using the illustration provided by MT, water would be contained in the drainage plane PROVIDED the existing frame is kept intact. Yes?

    Except that, as has been stated several times above, THE ONLY waterproofing is now the caulking/sealant between the new window and the existing window HOPING that it was all installed as it should be, AND ... KNOWING that there is now way to address that sealant as it deteriorates - as all sealants do - WITHOUT REMOVING the newer window.

    However, that DOES NOT ADDRESS my earlier point of reduction in opening width, height, size, and sill height for EERO, and given that many barely make the minimum dimensions as originally manufactured and installed, the new window will not make it - not for minimally sized EERO windows.

    Not only is there no code exception in size for retrofit window to meet EERO sizes, there is no exception in the size of persons trying to escape or rescue personnel trying to rescue people through those openings.

    There are TWO issues with those windows, I want to make sure that the other issue is not forgotten and set aside in debating the silly aspect of having a caulk seal only, and having it at a location where IT CANNOT BE RENEWED without removal of the window.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
    Darin Redding's Avatar
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    YES - egress is surely a factor to consider with these windows. And you make a good point with the sealant. So thanks for that


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Just to give everyone a heads up and food for thought ...

    ... When those replacement windows are installed *IN* the existing window, and as shown in the drawings you posted, the "opening" is now considerably smaller, and given that many windows were originally made to bare minimum EERO dimensions ... those may no longer meet the minimum opening width, height, or opening sizes for EERO.

    And, as also shown in those drawings you posted, the "sill height" is also raise, so what may have previously met 44" maximum may no longer meet that either.

    Inspected a house Saturday where all the windows had been replaced with a fairly hi end vinyl dbl glazed tip out windows.
    Not one window could meet EERO standards.
    PS Inspection was for a relocation company, they did not want me to report it.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    "cut and caulk" methods (wf/ stucco siding) destined to fail

    Window Replacement, vinyl replacement window

    "We have worked on many homes where ‘cut and caulk’ methods have been used to install new windows. In every case where we are dealing with replacement windows, we have to remove and dispose of the new replacement windows and install new ones using our repair methods. There is no way to re-use and properly sill a window that has been installed using a ‘cut and caulk’ method, because the nailing fin has been cut off. With out a nailing fin attached to the window, you can not properly flash and sill a window at the exterior rough opening. This means the home owner is left to buy new windows for a second time. "

    Charles @ PreVue Property Inspections, Santa Fe, NM
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Charles,

    I realize that is a direct quote from that page so this is not aimed at you, but, to use "sill" in stead of "seal" *more than once* is more than just a typographical error ... (see red text in quote below)

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Smith View Post
    "cut and caulk" methods (wf/ stucco siding) destined to fail

    Window Replacement, vinyl replacement window

    "We have worked on many homes where ‘cut and caulk’ methods have been used to install new windows. In every case where we are dealing with replacement windows, we have to remove and dispose of the new replacement windows and install new ones using our repair methods. There is no way to re-use and properly sill a window that has been installed using a ‘cut and caulk’ method, because the nailing fin has been cut off. With out a nailing fin attached to the window, you can not properly flash and sill a window at the exterior rough opening. This means the home owner is left to buy new windows for a second time. "
    Granted, one does not need to be a spelling bee winner to be a good window installer, but one should have someone review their web page if they are not capable to do it themselves.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  20. #20
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    Cool Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Could "sill" be a verb in this case?
    Just wonderin'

    I'm a dyslexic agnostic-Don't believe there is a dog...

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    Quote Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
    Could "sill" be a verb in this case?
    Just wonderin'

    As in meaning ... ???

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Retrofit Windows Over Trim

    sill; silled, to install a sill or sash, ie:"Man, I really silled that window good!"

    I'm not an English Major, but I play one in my other life....

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