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 Post subject: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:05 am
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Hi,

We currently have Andersen windows from 1989 and need to have them replaced with vinyl replacements. We've had three Harvey salesmen and two contractors who were recommended by Simonton stop by to give us information. Some of their suggestions on how to replace these windows is conflicting and confusing. Because the existing windows were new construction windows, we are told that nothing will just slide right in easily. Some of the contractors want to take our vinyl siding apart, some want to take the window moulding off, and some are just going to use quarter round or similar "stops" inside and/or out. Some of this will be at a huge cost and the contractors who do not want to use quarter round or stops are insinuating that it will not look right if we do that. Does anyone have any advice or experience with these windows? We have no idea who to believe or how to proceed. One of the contractors offered to try to get replacement sashes and work with what we have, but the screens don't all fit in correctly, the windows do not tilt, and I am not sure this is the best route either. We plan to sell our home within five years but really do not know what to think. Can anyone help?

Thank you!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:44 am
Posts: 549
Location: South Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia area
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I am starting an Andersen tear out project tomorrow right down the street from our shop. I'll take lots of pictures for you. It's not going to be a full tear-out, just a pocket/insert type replacement of installation. I find Andersens to be some of the easiest to perform out there. Much easier than Pellas from the same era. The Andersens that we are replacing have the PVC cladded exterior and do not tilt inward at all. There is PVC jambliner with a built in interior stop that must be removed. It's pretty easy to remove as the left jamb is a two-piece system and the right is a one piece.

Small phillips screws are all that holds the jamb liners in place, once all of the screws are removed the jambliners can be removed so that you gain access to the sashes and balance cords to remove the sashes from the frames. The head also has a removeable PVC liner. This method would be considered an "inside/out" type of retrofit/insert replacement window project.

Some type of new interior stop must be furnished and installed. I like interior cove more so than 3/4" round for Andersens. We pre-finish them prior to installation. However, in tomorrow's installation we are ripping off most of the dated stained ranch casings and puttin up more modern beaded colonial casings. I got stuck painting again as the homeowner's aren't handy. :(

I see many installers just caulking the new replacements into the existing PVC cladded exterior frames. I don't think that this looks very nice as the colors clash and the the project doesn't really look finished. We will typically pack out the sill nose and then cap over the existing cladded fram with PVC trimcoil in color of choice. Tomorrow's job will be some Sunrise Vanguards double-hungs that will help a little with the glass loss. I've also had customers that refused to have an insert jumped into their Andersen frames and opted for a new-construction Vanguard with a nailing flange and all new interior trim. This required us to take all of the siding off like one of your contractors mentioned as we had to gain access to the nailing flange and examine the exterior vapor barrier and condition of the sheathing.

If your Andersens are anything like the ones that I'm taking out tomorrow, I can't think of any easier type of "just slide in" type of replacement project out there? Except for the cladding that is. I'll try to get some pictures up over the weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:38 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex
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Another option is The Andersen conversion kit. It is a tilt pack type install but does qualify for the ETC.
Would your screen issue be solved by new screens? They can be ordered too.
All the above will be cheaper than a good vinyl insert plus no glass loss.
The vinyl insert is probably better energy efficient, plus easier to tilt for cleaning, yes the conversion kit sash tilt.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:46 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:05 am
Posts: 12
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Thank you so much for your reply! We are very appreciative for the information you've provided. It's hard to know what to do when you don't know anything about the subject! :) This is starting to make a little more sense to us and we would love to see photos of your work.

The Harvey Classic or Tribute and the Simonton 5500 seem to be in our price range. Is one of them a better choice for ease of installation, glass loss, etc.? Unfortunately we listened to one contractor's suggestion and now have the Andersen Renewals salesman coming out just in case Anderson makes a product easier to install into the existing windows. I think from doing some reading that they will be overpriced and it will be a "hard-sell" presentation, but each time we do this, we gain a little more information.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:52 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:05 am
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anthony wrote:
Another option is The Andersen conversion kit. It is a tilt pack type install but does qualify for the ETC.
Would your screen issue be solved by new screens? They can be ordered too.
All the above will be cheaper than a good vinyl insert plus no glass loss.
The vinyl insert is probably better energy efficient, plus easier to tilt for cleaning, yes the conversion kit sash tilt.


Nobody has mentioned an Andersen conversion kit to us. I'm not sure any of realized there was such a thing. We will definitely look into a little further. Thank you for the suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex
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I would cancel the RBA appointment. Not worth the time for the pain involved. IMO


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:44 am
Posts: 549
Location: South Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia area
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Might be a few days before the pics are up as I was working solo today. One adavantage of replacing existing casings would be the oportunity to insulate around the Andersen frames to the rough opening and perhaps put in some shims and screws to secure the frames better.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:23 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:05 am
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Delaware Mike wrote:
Might be a few days before the pics are up as I was working solo today. One adavantage of replacing existing casings would be the oportunity to insulate around the Andersen frames to the rough opening and perhaps put in some shims and screws to secure the frames better.


Thanks. Looking forward to seeing your photos! Have a nice weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex
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IMO if you replace the casing you may as well do a full frame install.
Another consideration with inserts replacement windows or AW conversion kits is that the substrate inside the viynl on the existing sill not be rotted, I have seen this a couple of times.


Last edited by TheWindowNerd on Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:11 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:44 am
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Location: South Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia area
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Anthony, I agree with the full frame theory. My customer had only mentioned having the trim re-done in their living room which was to be a factory mulled triple DH. Once the project started, they then decided to have all of the trim work changed out. On this particular project since it was with aluminum siding and no j-channel, we would have had to cut back all of the siding and then after properly flashing the openings and taping the flanges, we would have had to put up new trim boards then performed the capping. The very last time we did some Andersen tear outs we were working with existing vinyl siding and the condition of the vapor barrier underneath the siding was so bad that we wound up there many extra days re-doing everything.

One thing that I didn't like was the fact that the existing Andersen frames aren't shimmed at all. Flange nailing and the interior casings are what secures most of those old narrowlines.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex
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Yep, but how many of them have you seen fall out?
Remember the Narrowlines had a CMR tape that was left in place till the trim was applied to lock the jamb in place.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:05 am
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So..... the Andersen salesman just left. His price was over two and a half times more what everyone else's was (before a promo offer of $150 - $205 per window). :shock: He pretty much bashed the Harvey and Simonton (and all other brand) windows, bashed vinyl windows altogether (Renewal by Andersen windows are made of "Fibrex"), and complained about how boxy and how much glass loss there is with other vinyl replacement windows as compared to the Andersen's. He showed us a binder full of photos of vinyl windows in a dumpster, of botched installations, etc. and gave us stats like.... 1 out of every 5 customers call them to "REPLACE" their replacement windows. He warned us of contractors who will give us low prices and then surprise us with add-ons or unfinished work or shoddy installation. Whew -- our heads are still spinning....... was very glad to see him go. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:29 pm
Posts: 1194
Location: Northern Virginia
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RBA salesmen are, collectively, the biggest liars in the window industry. Pay no attention to anything he said. It is the desperation of having to sell an overpriced, average performing window for a ridiculous price.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:25 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:05 am
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btiltonjr wrote:
Conanc,

Just reading your post. We do narrowline all the time. IF (a big if) the replacement window is measured correctly a replacement window will be fine. If the installer removes the entire window sashes and frame, you MUST install a new prime window. With that being said, if the window is mis-measured or installed incorrectly, which happens a lot, the window will not perform correctly.

As far as the RBA guy, the previous post is correct. Saleman in general are not educated for the facts, they are just schooled in the art of selling. However the fibrex window is not a bad window either. What most people do not realize is that while all RBA saleman bad mouth vinyl windows, the Anderson window company purchased Silverline which is a huge vinyl window manufacture. Thier windows are available in all the big orange stores.

With that being, if you are interested in vinyl window DO NOT TAKE THE LOWEST PRICE! Do you homework on both the window and the company installing them. His statement may be over reaching but is correct. Many contractors do not even know the difference between either the replacement or the prime window. Also, ask them who pays for a mis - measure? Depending on the opening, the gap around the window from the inside should not be more than 1/2" height or 1/2" width. That may need to be adjusted depending on the condition of the rough window frame.


Thanks for your post. We are pretty confused right now and want to do the right thing. We will probably end up with vinyl replacements but are most concerned about the install. We are not looking at the lowest price but are not sure about finding contractors or companies who install them. Some of the companies recommended by Harvey were not great and we've already eliminated them for various reasons....some couldn't really be bothered, some don't really have recent or great references. We don't know anyone who has had windows replaced so can't use a contractor by word of mouth. We seem to have two independent contractors that seem to be good, but don't really know all that much about them. We are working on it.

Actually, I have to say that we have not had a lot of follow up after these companies have come out and measured. Maybe the job is too small (11 double hung windows) or maybe there is more work than we know of out there. Most of them seem dismayed to see that they are Narrowline construction windows and think the job will be a little tricky until they look closer and then they seem to come around. That concerns us a little.

When you replace Narrowline construction windows with vinyl, do you use quarter round on the inside to finish off? What do you use on the outside? Everyone we've spoken to seems to have different opinions.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Replacing Andersen Narrowline windows from 1989
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:44 am
Posts: 549
Location: South Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia area
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Kind of what I've seen out of RBA with their bashing and trash talking. There goes a couple of hours in your life that you will never get back. When I jump a vinyl replacement insert window into an existing Andersen frame what we always do to the interior is to find a new interior trim stop that is appealing to the homeowner and simply install it to the jambs and head. If there is any type of gap between the stool cap and the bottom face of the new window we will simply cut the nails holding the stool cap down and rip it down and re-fit it into place. We usually will use something like interior cove instead of quarter round as I think it generally looks better. I have used some more decorative moldings also. Sometimes they may be slightly too wide and need to be ripped down a little. All depends on how far the homeowner wants to take things. The job that I'm on now was just to be new cove stops but now is all new casings.

I've seen some pretty strange things with these Andersen's. For example, I saw a butchered job by Lowes in where the plastic jamb liners were cut to allow the stop be reinstalled over the interior of the new replacement window. I've seen some subs that Power once used actually cap that exposed wood jamb with PVC coated aluminum and then tuck the capping behind the interior casings and just caulk the 1/8" gap to the new window. Many times the exterior is left as is with just the caulking of the new window to the PVC Andersen exterior, I think this looks pretty bad.

As far as the exterior is concerned, we cap over the Andersen PVC cladding so that the exterior looks like new. As I mentioned in an earlier response, I like to pack out the sill so the finished capped exterior looks more like a traditional window. We had some cedar decking left over from a tear down that was just the right thickness, so we went with that. The measurements worked out just perfect in that the accessory groove was just to the outside of the Andersen stops for the new capping to tuck into.

If the homeowners wanted to spend more we could have also performed a complete tear out as well. I have pictures and have my computer buddy taking a look at how to post them to this thread.


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