Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

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Stiletto
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Location: Georgia

Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#1 Post by Stiletto » Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:40 pm

If you wouldn't mind, please take a look at these photos and let me know your opinion as to whether you would recommend a pocket replacement install or a full-frame install (using the Sunrise full frame replacement kit with the factory replacement brickmould) for some 30 year old builder grade single-pane wood windows whose sill and stool looked like this:
http://pc.cd/YLortalK
I did not take a photo from the floor looking up, but if I did you would see there is a gap between the apron and the drywall wall of about 1/4". There is no visible water or other damage on any interior wall.

My gut is saying full-frame, but I've received opinions from reputable installers that are split 50-50. I've only got four windows that look this bad, the rest are in much better shape. Please let me know what you think. And if I need to take a photo from another angle or something to give you more info, just ask and I will provide it.
Thanks, your opinion would be extremely valuable to me.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#2 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:02 pm

Not seeing much there stating that this must be a full frame, especially since these are purportedly the worst ones and the majority are better. Maybe some soft wood on the sill nose, the gap from casing to sill is a slight red flag. Full frames with new interior trim would take care of all of that, but I don't think based on these pics that they are mandatory either.
www.homesealed.com

Stiletto
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Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#3 Post by Stiletto » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:19 pm

HomeSealed wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:02 pm
Not seeing much there stating that this must be a full frame, especially since these are purportedly the worst ones and the majority are better. Maybe some soft wood on the sill nose, the gap from casing to sill is a slight red flag. Full frames with new interior trim would take care of all of that, but I don't think based on these pics that they are mandatory either.
Thank you HomeSealed, I appreciate the quick response. I tapped on all of the sills and nosings with a screwdriver, while they are all in need of paint none of them were soft. However, as seen in one of the photos, the brickmould is definitely rotten where it meets the brick ledge at the bottom of some of the worst four windows. But I'm thinking replacing brickmould is not a terribly big deal.
I guess I was perhaps expecting the worst here, especially when I saw that the aprons under the stool were being pushed off the drywall :shock: Thus my personal justification for a full-frame was to be able to inspect the RO for rot, address it and reseal properly. Also, not sure how well the window was insulated in 1991, when double-pane windows were not being installed in new construction here. So an insert replacement, done properly, with any necessary sill and nosing repair, should address the situations shown here? If so, that's certainly good news financially.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#4 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:55 am

The rotted brickmold or sill nosing can selectively be cut out and stitched in prior to capping the exterior. The one trim picture where it is pulling away from the stool, I would do a bit more investigation into that, but I don't see any water marks on the interior. Could just be some rough handling of that window opening that netted that result.

Nothing is screaming that it needs to be a full tear out to my eye either.

masterext
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Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#5 Post by masterext » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:57 am

i totally agree. i see no reason to go full tear out.

Stiletto
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Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#6 Post by Stiletto » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:17 am

You guys are fabulous, I cannot begin to thank each and every member that has taken the time to look at my photos and offer your professional opinions thus far.

It's great that this forum exists as a resource to provide a second channel of professional opinion to homeowners like myself, that are trying to wade through all the hype, pressure and salesmanship, and simply want to make the right decision for a high quality vinyl product from a reputable installer at a fair price. I believe I am very close to having found all three parts of that puzzle.

masterext
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Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#7 Post by masterext » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:37 am

Do you live in a very warm state? What state do you even live in ?

Stiletto
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Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#8 Post by Stiletto » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:36 pm

masterext wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:37 am
Do you live in a very warm state? What state do you even live in ?
Georgia, in the summer it definitely gets what I would call "very warm" (being from the Northeast originally). Gets down into the mid to upper 20s in the winter, and consistently in the very high 90s in the shade during the summer. Significantly higher in the direct summer sun. Home is a two story brick veneer that has a southeast frontal exposure receiving full sun for a good part of the day. We get a LOT of rain, more than most people realize.
The Marvin folks keep telling me that nothing beats Ultrex for durability down here since it is a thermoset material and not a thermoplastic (you probably know the pitch by heart). Their Infinity product looks like a beautiful, well made product, but I have concerns. Mainly with regard to why the product warranty has so many exclusions compared to the other companies I've looked at, why its next to impossible to find any documentation on Marvin's air infiltration, and of course the cost. I'm looking for a better value in high-end quality made vinyl, leaning towards the Restorations, which is sold by one of the most reputable installers I've found. Hope its the right choice, since I don't want to go through this again anytime soon!

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HomeSealed
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Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#9 Post by HomeSealed » Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:13 pm

it sounds like you are on the right track Stilletto, I'm sure that I speak for the others when I sat that we are happy to help.
www.homesealed.com

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TheWindowNerd
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Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#10 Post by TheWindowNerd » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:07 am

I too like the look and QC of the Marvin fiberglass. It is hard to understand their lack of concern for air infiltration.
High performance vinyl offers so may great things.
I am a full frame fan. We readily do either. The real reason one vs the other is money.
I think you can find my comments on this board about the pluses and minus for full frame vs pocket insert.
If you would like me to list them here let me know.

wayne thewindownerd

Stiletto
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Location: Georgia

Re: Full Frame or Pocket Replacement Here?

#11 Post by Stiletto » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:57 pm

TheWindowNerd wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:07 am
I too like the look and QC of the Marvin fiberglass. It is hard to understand their lack of concern for air infiltration.
High performance vinyl offers so may great things.
I am a full frame fan. We readily do either. The real reason one vs the other is money.
I think you can find my comments on this board about the pluses and minus for full frame vs pocket insert.
If you would like me to list them here let me know.

wayne thewindownerd
Thanks for replying, Wayne, I appreciate your comments and expertise. The Sunrise Restorations dealer in my market area readily performs both types of installation and is a full frame fan as well. They use the Sunrise full-frame installation system however the frame that is installed is fin-less. I understand from reading the opinions of other pros here and elsewhere that a fin-less installation is not as robust with regard to tying into the structure's existing WRB as one using a nailing fin, but can be acceptable if done properly. From my evaluation of the installers, including having them describe to me in copious detail exactly what will be performed to properly flash and seal the new frame in the RO and tie it back to the existing WRB, I feel pretty good that should I opt to go FF, this company is capable of properly installing the Sunrise FF fin-less window and ensuring it is weather-tight in accordance with Sunrise's factory recommended procedures. I have visited six installations by this dealer's installers (both FF and pocket) and they look wonderful. I have to say, the appearance of the FF installs using the Sunrise system was absolutely immaculate.
It is interesting that in my area, this is the ONLY dealer that embraces FF installation, recommends it, and appears to be fully capable of performing the job, at least using the Sunrise approach. Thus even though the Sunrise approach to FF may not be optimal, its the only option if one desires a FF installation from a high-end vinyl dealer. The #2 dealer of high-end vinyl windows (SL Elements) will only perform pocket installs involving caulking and capping, and will not take on jobs that require FF. The #3 dealer (SL, except for Elements) says they are capable of doing both, however, when pressed for the details behind what exactly what they will perform to weather-seal the installed window, they list:
  • Remove existing exterior trim and interior casing from windows
  • Carefully remove existing window, jamb box, sill and sill nose
  • Install new jamb box (including never-rot sill and sill nose and exterior brickmould) and new vinyl window into
    opening and seal into opening with low-expansion foam
  • Re-install interior casing and caulk to new jamb box
I'm no pro but that appears to be insufficient for a FF install that will remain weather-tight in the long term, at least in my layman's opinion.
I'm still waiting on dealer #4 (Sunrise) for their quote, description of the their installation capabilities, and labor warranty. They don't sell the Sunrise products with reinforced frames, however, which I believe is a plus given the narrow frames and the high temps we can hit down here, especially in direct sun.

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