Replacing wood windows in northern Delaware

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snowprairie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2023 9:26 pm

Replacing wood windows in northern Delaware

#1 Post by snowprairie »

Homeowner doing research on replacement windows, came across this site.

House was built in 1990s, original Andersen wood windows, looking to replace them (about 25 in total) with maintenance free options - either fiberglass or vinyl.

One concern is wood rot at the end of windowsill for some of the windows (maybe 7 out of the 25): when the house was built, they wrapped only the top and front of windowsill in vinyl; the end was left exposed to the elements. It appears that windowsill is still in good shape, as it sounds solid by knocking on the top. But it's really hard to tell without cutting open the vinyl top. So my first question is, should I go with full frame tear out or inserts window replacement?

I have received quotes from HD (Simonton 6500) and Lowes (United Distinct), and looked at their samples. They are both vinyl, with no full frame tear out option. In addition, the sash of both brands looks thicker than my current wood window. I was reading online that fiber glass windows can be installed with full frame tear out and its sash is not as thick as vinyl's, but have not seen any sample yet. My second question, what are some of the good fiberglass windows you would recommend? I read a little bit about Marvin Essential, and Elevate (but it has wood interior that still requires painting in the future), and also Pella Impervia. Would really appreciate it if you can share insight installing/using these windows, or any other brands. And I appreciate if you have any local window installers in the area that you can recommend.

Thanks!

Delaware Mike
Posts: 940
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:44 am
Location: South Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia area

Re: Replacing wood windows in northern Delaware

#2 Post by Delaware Mike »

The local to Delaware box store subs really hack up Andersen Narrowline units with the Permashield cladding type installations. They do them as fast as possible at lightspeed with repurposing the white plastic jamb liners as interior stops which looks like amature hour regarding the finish work. The Simonton, Pella, and R & B (Atrium) vinyl units are too bulky and lower/dated designed for my taste. If they do cap over the exterior Andersen frames, they typically box out the header and run giant beads of caulking and don't get the sill cap correct in my opinion. You will not be happy. Some installers perform a caulk and walk on them too which won't address the frowned Andersen sills if you have them or the appearance of the failing treated open wood sill ends.

If you do retrofit the Andersen frames, I'd look for a lower vinyl bulk profile frame and sash type of product like the OKNA 500/600, Sunrise/MI, Vytex, or Soft-Lite Pro. I don't like the Pella Impervia. It's fit and finish is pretty rough. The Marvin Elevate is nice and may have some prefinished interior options, however I'm not sure on that as it's been a few years since I've done them.

In regards to the rotted Andersen sill nose ends, that rot typically is just on the nosing in most cases and isn't weight bearing for the new replacement insert which is back at the inside high point of the sill as it ties into the finish stool. I have had some more severe though. I wouldn't consider Andersen conversion tilt pack kits which we do sometimes for your job if the sills are as described.

snowprairie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2023 9:26 pm

Re: Replacing wood windows in northern Delaware

#3 Post by snowprairie »

Thanks Delaware Mike. I'm wondering if I can cut open the vinyl sill wrap to check the wood rot, since it will be replaced in full tear out or covered in insert anyway?

Delaware Mike
Posts: 940
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:44 am
Location: South Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia area

Re: Replacing wood windows in northern Delaware

#4 Post by Delaware Mike »

I've found that I can sort of finger push atop the sill deck to find soft verses healthy. Are you in North Wilmington?

snowprairie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2023 9:26 pm

Re: Replacing wood windows in northern Delaware

#5 Post by snowprairie »

I'm in Newark, near University of Delaware. Thanks again Delaware Mike!

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