Replacement Windows Installation Reviews


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Replacement Windows Installation Reviews

Read 5 replacement windows installation reviews on a wide range of installation topics and aspects that may or may not apply to your project.

Have a question for our site editors, Dane and Tim? Email them and let them answer your specific project questions. Make sure to include your email address so they can get back to you directly (we never use or sell your email, we promise.)

Please note, our website is not affiliated with this window manufacturer.

Window Retrofit vs Full Replacement

We have the 8 x 4 foot builder grade slider vinyl window that is going to be replaced with vinyl casements on each end and a stationary center. One company is quoting it as a tear with nail fins.The other is a retrofit installation. Which is the better way to go?

Carol - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Carol, there is simply no way for me to tell you which approach is the better one. They both have their pros and cons. I would get two more bids and see if you can get a consensus. At the end of the day, the tear out will be save you glass area, but may cost quite a bit more. The retrofit will usually lose some glass area and may not be quite as clean looking, but it will be less expensive.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Window Installation Options

I have had four different window guys come to the house. First, Simonton 5050 the second Soft Lite both replace by razor cut between window and dry wall from the inside--both quotes around $7000. Third guys said don't need to replace windows, but I need to have glass only replaced in three at $300 per window. Fourth guy said everyone else is installing windows incorrectly, and I need to have all the trim work completely removed and windows cut out from the outside to the frame--$12000 quote. How do you install replacement windows? I have one broken seal, windows sweat, and they are builder grade, metal, double pane windows installed in 1991. Should I repair or replace?

Jennifer - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Jennifer, it sounds like you have run the gamut in terms of the recommendations for installation of replacement windows. The first two estimates are suggesting a retrofit replacement window, which replaces the window, without touching the existing sills, frames and/or exterior casing. You do lose some glass area when the new replacements go in, but if done correctly, you won't lose much.

The third is simply replacing the glass and the fourth is suggesting a full frame replacement. The full frame replacement is only necessary if the sills and casings are in bad shape. Are they? I'm assuming it's wood so any local handyman should be able to tell you what sort of shape they are in.

Asking what the right course of action is is a tough one without knowing more about the project specifics. My suggestion would be to get a few more bids and see if you can't get more of a consensus from local installers. It, unfortunately, may be the case that you are in that gray area where all three solutions are correct. I would probably avoid paying $300 per window to replace the glass. You should be able to get the 5050 series with the retrofit installation for what, $400 or so. The 5050 is an okay window, the newer Asure model from Simonton is a slightly better option that ought to be available.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Retrofit Windows

Can I have windows made to fit my exsisting frames?

Mike - Consumer - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Mike, if your existing windows are new construction, meaning they have the nailing fin across the top and side, then you would have to buy a retrofit window in order to fit your frame. If your window is not new construction, then removing the window and replacing it with a replacement window should be fairly easy.

I take it you need a retrofit window, which does the installer cuts out the existing window and slides a replacement in its place. You will lose some glass area, but it is often the easiest and least costly option. I would suggest you get a few companies out to your place to give you an estimate and have them make recommendations on different installation options and pricing.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Window Drip Cap

We just received a quote for installing 15 of the Sunrise Restorations. Does there need to be a Drip Cap installed above these windows. They will be installed on a vinyl sided house with J channel around them. The salesperson said no drip cap would be needed, they would caulk between the window and home sheeting and that would keep all water away from the sheeting. We currently have a drip cap on the windows we will be removing and I am concerned about not reinstalling them with these new windows. Thanks for your help!

Judy - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Does there have to be a drip cap, no. Would I insist on a drip cap as an extra precaution so that down the road no water gets in, especially 10 years down the road when the caulk begins to deteriorate, yes. Ask what they would charge to add new drip caps. If they don't want to do it, there should be someone in your area that could come in and add new drip caps at a reasonable charge. So no, they aren't required, but if you live in an area that gets lots of rain, I'm of the opinion that it's better to be safe than sorry.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015

Wood Stain Question

Hello....A customer of mine had windows put in and wants me to stain or paint them. She was told that only a gel stain can be used. Was wondering why i cant use a regular oil stain cant be. The gel stain is very messy but i would really like to explain to her why only gel stain. Also...if painting, can i use Bin (zinzer) it is alcohol base. I want to make sure the alcohol does not loosen the thin wood. These are work on the interior by the way.....Thank you and will be anticipating your reply.

Rocco - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Rocco, I have to say this is not my specialty. Most real wood windows can take either a standard stain or a gel stain - I prefer the standard stain because of how it goes on and penetrates the wood. The gel stain tends to sit more on the surface. What brand of window is it, I would probably call them up and ask them, although I wouldn't necessarily trust someone in the home office to provide the correct answer if there are any issues with the wood finish. I would insist on talking to someone on the floor who deals with the actual windows day in and day out.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2015

Related Topics: Simonton Windows Review

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