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 Post subject: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:08 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:57 am
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My home is a Toll Brothers 8 yr old home with low quality windows.

I am being told that replacement windows will not cure my draft problem due to the way Toll Brothers put the windows in, meaning, they did not use the appropriate insulation.

I was told the best way to get to my issue is to use new construction windows which entail more money and more work. I have been looking at the Anderson 400 series windows.

Any thoughts on when to use new construction vs replacement windows? Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:33 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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Did whom ever told you what the issue with your home was look at the home and the window?

If not, they are either full of it, or the most intuitive person in the world.

New construction vs. Replacement has zero impact on insulation. A new construction window is installed with a nailing flange and ideally installed with a self-sealing flashing tape and some sort of water management pan. The latter is unlikely in the case of most new home construction, however, Toll Brothers likely installed the flanged window with flashing tape. At least they do in my area.

There is nothing about insulation in that type of installation except the small amount of fiberglass that they may or may not stuff in the space between the window and the rough opening. If the window is sealed properly on the exterior, you should not have any air leakage issues from around the window. Through the window is a result of the window construction itself and not linked to installation (unless horribly installed and the window is racked).

If the air is coming from around the window, that is an installation (i.e. not properly sealed) issue and will need to be addressed via removing the trim and air sealing the window or removing the window and re-installing. You may want to also interface with Toll Brothers if the home is new.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:20 pm
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Location: North Florida
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Expanding on Washington. not alot of new homes are built with nice "New Construction" windows. Your most likely problem is that the window, even if it vinyl, is cheap and you are getting alot of draft from the window and possibly alot of air-infiltration.

You should be able to go either way as far as a new window goes, just make sure its a good one and that the installation is done by a qualified person/company.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
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Also, if it is a window issue, it might be correctable with some revised weatherstripping and servicing vs. replacement.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:57 am
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Thanks for the advice. I found out that I do have vinyl new construction windows that are cheap Silverline windows (not sure of model). There is approx. 2 1/4 inches from the sheathing. Apparently, when the windows were installed, there was no insulation put in from space between the window and the rough opening. Added to that, I do not think it was the best installation job either. Also, I can see that the windows are put in tight, but the air drafts from around all areas of window, including the rough opening area.

I know that are pros and cons to replacement and new construction windows and am trying to make the best decision. I would rather not have to install new construction windows since this is a lot of work.

I will look into revised weatherstripping. Any ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:00 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:57 am
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Hello, additional information for your advice.

The contractor recommended that due to the fact that I currently have vinyl new construction windows that are only 8 years old, replacement windows won't work and that vinyl new replacement windows would be pointless and a waste of money.

He advised that my best bet with the way the sheet rock on the interior of my home wraps into the vinyl window and causes a gap, that most likely it isn't insulated leading to my current problem with cold air getting in. He suggested I install either Anderson or Pella new construction windows with the extension jam package. The only way to solve my problem is to start fresh, rip out the old drafty windows down to the studs, get rid of the sheetrock which will allow for proper insulating and redo the interior and exterior trim.

He ended stating if I want to flush a few thousand dollars and still have cold drafty windows then vinyl flanged replacement windows are the way to go. What are your thoughts? Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:28 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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A replacement window will address the issue of insulation and air infiltration between the home and window if installed properly. If there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the operation of function of the existing window, it would be unecessary to replace if it the area to be fixed is still the window-home interface.

You can likely remove the interior casing around the window and inject a window and door (low expansion) foam to air seal and insulate the windows.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:57 am
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Hi,

Can you help me understand "If there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the operation of function of the existing window, it would be unnecessary to replace if the area to be fixed is still the window-home interface."

Are you saying I should keep in the windows and as you recommend to "remove the interior casing around the window and inject a window and door (low expansion) foam to air seal and insulate the windows." Is this something that requires you putting a hole in the wall?

Please help and thanks so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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By removing the casing, you are not putting a hole in the wall. You will, however, have to replace/re-install the casing that is removed.

If there is nothing wrong with the window itself (i.e. air coming through the window operable sections) and it is because the window was not taped, flashed, insulated, or otherwise installed properly, ripping out the window and putting in a replacement window is not entirely necessary.

It will address the issue during the process or removal and installation, however, it is a costly way to fix the issue if the window is pass-able.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:57 pm
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What type of window do you have? Do both sash operate or only the bottom? Either way if they are Silverline SH or DH, the glass packs in those windows are not going to perform very well. That along with poor air infiltration could be the cause of the draftiness you fell around the windows. New windows with a better performing glass package and lower air infiltration could improve your situation. An energy audit would show you where air infiltration is occurring and give you a better idea how to address your problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:57 am
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Hi, only the bottom window operates. They are older Silverline windows. When you say new windows could improve my situation, do you mean new replacement or new construction windows?

Also, are there certain companies that provide energy audits? If so, who could they be here in NJ? Thanks so much!


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:57 pm
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A good reliable contractor would be able to tell you wether a new construction or replacement window would work best. The more important things to consider are windows with lower U-values and low air infiltration ratings. The windows will then help to keep the air that flows across the windows and glass from cooling down as much and decrease the "draft" which you feel around the windows. Replacement usually refers to windows which are custom made to fit an existing opening. New construction are typically standard sizes. The installation of both would also vary depending on things like the type of siding or wether you have a brick or stucco exterior.

Check with your gas or electric company to see if they have any energy audit programs available. Otherwise, look in the yellow pages or do an internet search.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
Posts: 3414
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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Replacement vs. New Construction has most to do with whether or not the window has a nailing flange.

An Energy Audit (more importantly a blower door test) will help isolate the source of the air leakage.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:20 pm
Posts: 273
Location: North Florida
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I can tell you this of SOME SilverLine windows. I have replaced glass in a few that were broken, most are only sealed with double sided tape and a drop of silicone at the corners. They don't stop wind very well, and are the easiest to replace the glass in.

Oh, and Blah Blah Blah to that contractor. A Good replacement window will out performa crummy new construction no matter how old. As a contractor I would never just say it wont due any good, especially against a possible low end new construction window.

I don't know if I would waste my time on putting in a new construction window as a solution. May end up costing so much money for results that you could get for a good/better replacement style window.

The replacement window will slide between the sheetrock and then you can foam gaps from the inside/outside and trim and seal.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:46 pm
Posts: 6
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New Jersey has a "Home Performance with Energy Star" program. See this link:
http://www.njcleanenergy.com/residential/programs/home-performance-energy-star/benefits-and-incentives

For $125 - they will do testing including a blower test and air sealing worth up to $1000 for no additional charge. You must deal with contractors that are registered for the program. This might be all you need. After that, you can get more work done such as HVAC and get substantial rebates. But if they find anything that is not taken care of by the air sealing, I would seriously consider complaining to Toll Brothers on a daily basis until they fix the issue. When my home was built (not Toll Brothers) it came with a 10 year transferrable non-prorated HOW warranty against defects in workmanship and materials. I don't know if you have something similar. Sounds like you may have some workmanship issues. Maybe the Home Energy audit will help to uncover the issues and give you some evidence to bring to the attention of Toll Brothers.


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