Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?

 
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:36 PM   #1
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Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


I have a choice to replace windows either by cutting the siding away and using the nailing fin, or leaving the siding intact and cutting the fin off of the replacement window. Which is the better method?
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:20 PM   #2
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


Cut the fin from the window. They can be scored pretty easily.

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Old 10-24-2007, 10:22 PM   #3
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


let me clarify: this is my own home, and the work is being done by others. I am not concerned with what is easier, but what would be the highest quality, most long lasting installation technique. What technique would add the most value to my home? Would a finless install develop problems? I understand that they "tear" the old window frame out of the wall before installing the new window in the finless install and am concerned that this may damage the moisture barrier. I am also concerned that cutting the fin off could result in eventual leaks developing, sagging, voiding the warrantee, etc... The windows are Certainteed.
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:39 PM   #4
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


RETROFIT WINDOWS ARE MOST ALWAYS THE SECOND BEST THING TO DO.
Depending upon the siding, say t-111, and 1x4 trim, It's always better to remove the old trim. Cut back the siding to remove the old frame, and then replace the entire window with a like vinyl or wood framed window with a nailing fin. Careful to flash properly, and replace the old trim with new. Caulking to ensure watertight fit. not to mention that any experienced contractor will tell you to do the job as though you wouldn't want anyone to know that is was a retrofit.
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:44 PM   #5
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarpy View Post
I have a choice to replace windows either by cutting the siding away and using the nailing fin, or leaving the siding intact and cutting the fin off of the replacement window. Which is the better method?

Once you cut the fin off. how will you weather strip the replacement? What kind of siding? the edge of the nail fin where you will be cutting is right where the rough opening is.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:17 AM   #6
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


Nailing fin is he best.
There is just no provision for flashing paper
on a finless window.
For the retrofit, Caulk it well before and after the trim,
and piercing of the flashing paper.
r

Last edited by Tmrrptr; 10-25-2007 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:48 PM   #7
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


The siding is Cedar and there is currently no trim around the windows. From the outside, the siding butts right against the windows. Cutting away the siding will require that the replaced windows will have a 1.5" to 2" cedar trim/moulding around the edges of the window, impacting the aesthetics somewhat, I guess. I'd rather have performance than aesthetics, though. The installer is agnostic as to which technique is best and will go with whichever technique I request for the same price. I can tell they'd prefer to cut the fin for ease of installation and they claim to garrauntee the seal either way. Some other sales people were adamant that I not cut the fin and that installers who do are incompetent. Could have been a sales pitch, though.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:00 PM   #8
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


Why don't you just order a replacement window to fit inside of the current window?
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Old 10-28-2007, 02:21 AM   #9
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


ditto patrick,why did your guy buy new construction windows rather than the replacement model,which fits inside the old frame,there are also "panned" windows made for that application,if the old were aluminum/metal--anyway w/out fin you rely on caulk-
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:12 AM   #10
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


yeah not sure what the big deal is why the heck didn't you just get replacement windows? and also if you hired a professional to do the work should it not be his method that you trust? i mean we are the pro's here and i'd be damned to even be having such a convo with the H O about what method i'm using they had better of got me to do the work cause we explained up front what we were doing not after we already bought the windows! something just do'nt add up here. you hired the guy he bought the windows new construction and he want to cut flange off. yet oh boy i smell a law suite somewhere!!!
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Old 10-28-2007, 03:04 PM   #11
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


What type of windows are there now? are they full conventional 3 1/4 inch deep double hung sash? or thin aluminum/vinyl flanged?
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:35 PM   #12
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


The company has a good reputation, AA on angie's list with 22 active reports. I had at least 5 different highly rated companies come over to do estimates and none of them agreed on what the best installation technique was. None of them offered "replacement windows" that fit inside the frame. Many of them told me that that option was not desireable because you lose opening size. All of them presented me with different installation techniques being either to tear out the old frame and cut the fin on the new window or to cut back the siding and use the nailing flange and some cedar trim. Apparently this is how window companies do business out in the pacific NW. Several of the companies suggested that cutting the siding and using the nailing fin is the only proper way to do it. I called the manufacturer to clear this up. When I called their "homeowners" support line they told me to leave the fin on. When I called their "contractors" support line they told me to cut the fin. When I told the guy their other support person told me to leave it on, he put me on hold and came back and said "yeah, leave it on".

Anyway, I think I will have them cut the siding and leave the fin on. Seems the only drawback of this method is cosmetic whereas the other method seems to risk major problems down the line.

It is odd that I as a homeowner have to think about these things. There should just be an accepted standard that all the different companies adhere to.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:03 PM   #13
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


unfourtuantly not everything one does the same thing. fact is their are many different ways to do the right thing or the wrong thing. and as far as H O being confused i guess i will mark that up to you having 5 different companies estimate your work. if you picked a company that you said had a aa rating then why 5 estimates why not only 1-3 est,? and also why wouldn't you let the contractor do what he thinks is best practice and then take on the burden of warranty himself seeing how they will now install it the way you want it done and you will probably get that burden if something goes wrongs. H O that need to get 5 or more est. kill me! i also would not even take your job after all this confusion because when i leave you would know how it was going to be done or if it could be done your way and then i woould know weather i was doing your job or not. if you jumped this far into these windows at the estimate time i can tell you are someone that will be looking for a issue with the finish product call the factory 20 x's for answers have 20 other contractors come look at the job all before you find a way to deduct money from the poor guy who got stuck installing these for you. later
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:16 PM   #14
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


I think that I could have been clearer. Now I am assuming wood siding which in that case I would order replacement windows and score the fin down to the size that you need. I would reccomend jumping the original frame so that you do not penetrate the original water seal. I noticed that alot of contractors on this site recommend cutting the siding and replacing with a nail fin window. That may be best. I work in California so I have no knowledge or experience of what is best for areas with extreme weather conditions. Most of our installas are either replacements for stucco houses or here in SF block frame installs into to old wood product.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:44 PM   #15
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


I've decided to go with the fin. I have a moisture problem in my bedroom and have been told that the window seal could play a role. I am sure the new windows will be 1000 times better than what I currently have, using either technique. With all of the shoddy work and costly expenses involved in home improvement, I can't afford to not research what is best for my home. In the end, after 5 estimates, I ended up with the highest rated company with the best warranty doing it for $4k less. Definitely worth it to me.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:54 AM   #16
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


highest rated ? on what graigslist ? HOW GOOD ARE THEY RATED AT THE BBB? still the H O kill me with their research. check out some of the blogs on here for graigslist! and please when all said and done please let us know how everything went we'll be wondering. and by the way good luck i do hope all goes well for ya! (highest rated on graigslist, 4 g less ) LOL!!!!!
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Old 11-09-2007, 04:09 PM   #17
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


Highest rated on both BBB and Angies list.

Last edited by Snarpy; 11-09-2007 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 11-09-2007, 04:10 PM   #18
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Re: Replacement Window Installation: Fin Or Finless?


Quote:
Originally Posted by vinylguy View Post
graigslist
By the way, it's craigslist.


Last edited by Snarpy; 11-09-2007 at 04:22 PM.
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