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Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

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  • Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

    I'm looking to replace 17 vinyl windows and all the siding on my 1914 American 4 square. I have 3 layers of siding on my house: Wood (board on board?), asphault, (faux brick) and yellow vinyl...bleh!

    My questions are these:
    Which do I do 1st or both at same time?
    What do you recommend as low maintainence siding. Meaning I'm not going to paint it ever!
    Window brands, types? materials?
    Things to look our for and avoid
    I'd like to get some estimates but I don't even know what questions to ask.

    Any help would be appreciated,


  • #2
    Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

    Your two basic types of windows are new construction(full frame window they will be the same size as your existing ones) or replacement(windows fit inside the existing window frames). Replacement windows can be done at any point regardless of the siding.

    Since you are re-siding the house I would use new construction windows. They must go in before the new siding is installed. They have a full frame and you will not lose any viewing area. In addition you would be replacing the full frame so you can do away with any rot that might exist on the old ones. You will have to redo the interior molding around each window.

    In order to put the new construction windows in you'll need eight inches or so of siding removed around each window. You could just remove that eight inches to knock out the old and put new the windows in, then strip the rest of the siding later off, then re-side. You could strip all the siding off then do the windows then the siding. In any case new windows go in before new siding. It is a function of how you or a general contractor want to do it and how many people/crews you are dealing with.

    Personally I would 1st go around and tear out all the interior trim around the windows.(you may want to evaluate your doors as well this would be a good time to replace them but by no means required). 2nd-Measure my rough openings. 3rd-Order the windows and siding. If you require odd sizes for windows it could take a little time to get them in. I'd wait till they are in before starting to tear things apart further. 4th Starting the same day have 3 or 4 siding guys start striping the old siding while 2 or 3 window guys start replacing windows. Once the siding guys are finished stripping they go away till the window guys finish. Then the siding guys come back in and finish up. It will feel like a bomb hit your house but you can get the whole project done in under a week.

    I like vinyl siding. The most available is Georgia Pacific. I don't know much about the pros and cons of siding.

    Wood framed windows are more expensive then vinyl but are required if you want natural wood finishes. Compare the two options figure out what you like for style. Vinyl will be cheaper but tend to look it too.
    I like Anderson windows only because the ease of finding replacement parts for them 30 years down the line. They fall in the middle-high end range. Marvin windows tend to be the best.

    Window sales reps are everywhere and are dime a dozen. They will do free in house estimates. I'd start by giving them a call. You can get a general contractor to head up the project or try to do it yourself. A good general contractor will make the job more expensive but you just hand the project over to him and walk away head ache free. He will bring in whoever he needs to get the job done and handle the project from start to finish.

    good luck.


    • #3
      Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

      Agreed, the only way I would do (and have done in two houses) replacements is 'brick to brick' or 'new construction'. If you just cut out the old glass and frame within the old frame you inherit all the existing problems of a non sealed window frame, dry rot, and a much smaller viewing area.
      Is there real brick under all that other crap? Can you restore it? Not a fan of siding so I can not give you an informed opinion on it. I agree with pulling off the old trim as it is likely far and above any trim you could find to replace it today, I would try to reuse it after striping and refinishing but I am a wood worker guy that has a real hard time with these new 'how to' shows that paint over 100 year old trim to make it look modern


      • #4
        Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

        I recently used Rehau Windows, yes the same brand as Rehau pipe and fittings.

        They make some nice awning/casement combinations.

        I agree, windows first, complete replacement. Gives you the chance to deal with any issues before re cladding.


        • #5
          Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

          Good advice so far, I think.

          Last Sunday I started my exterior project that I predict will take me 2 years. I bought Marvin Integrity aluminum clad new construction windows and James Hardie cement board siding is going to replace the ugly 1979 8" aluminum which hid the original 1920 cedar. I'm not a big fan of vinyl siding, but a week or two of painting every couple years wont bother me either.


          • #6
            Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

            That is some good advice thanks guys

            I like the idea of the new construction windows but not crazy about a bomb going off in my house. So there is no way to leave existing trim on the inside of the windows? I just know that when I go to take down this Walnut thats been up for nearly a hundred years it's going to fall apart. I can get new Walnut to match but the mill wants $250 to set up a cutter plus the cost of the wood. It's non-stock trim and molding.

            Is there anyway to install some insulation before the new siding goes up? Just a little something to reduce the heat gain/loss? I currenty have blown insulation in the walls behind the plaster and lathe. It has all settled about 3 feet down and starting to bulge the plaster out down low

            That Hardie cement board require painting? Someone told me thats what I should put up but not if I have to paint it.


            • #7
              Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

              You pretty much have to take off the interior molding it is nailed into the window frames which you would removing. The only way around that would be replacement windows which fit inside the existing frame.

              Blown in insulation is typically what you put in when re-siding when they strip off the old siding you will probably see the holes they used to put what you have in there now in. You can blow more in at the top I guess. You can also put a layer of foam insulation under the new siding. The R value of fanfold and the like is pretty insignificant compared to anything that goes between the studs. New windows alone will do allot to help with heat loss. Even more so if you replace the frames and re-insulate around them, but you can't do either without taking off the inside molding.


              • #8
                Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

                There are some brands of cement board siding that come prepainted, but I dont know the expected lifespan of that paint. I wasnt concerned so much with the paint as I dont mind painting. Here our local Menards has Certainteed, and another brand I cant think of. The Hardie comes from UBC.

                I am actually ripping the exterior down to the studs so I can insulate without having to tear all the plaster and lath out. (that bomb you mentioned) I'll be installing 3/4 plywood in favor of the 1x's, to keep the jamb thickness the same.

                Blown in insulation with balloon framing can be interesting. I have torn into houses and found cellulose 10 feet from an exterior wall in upstairs return pockets that werent headered.

                As far as the windows and keeping the trim intact: I'm going to try it. My plan was to remove both sashes and try to slice and dice the window frame as delicately as possible. Being a tinner, I'm pretty good with a sawzall. Then I was going to take a high speed cutoff wheel to the nails protruding from the trim, and grind them down flat. Then theres the stool which I havent figured how I'm going to modify as of yet. I chose the Marvin windows over Pellas partially because they fit my trim better. What little bit of difference there is I can make up with a small jamb extension which my new TS2400 should be able to knock out of the park. I have it all planned out in my head, but whether it works or not will remain to be seen.


                • #9
                  Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

                  You can buy my plane ticket, feed me and take me golfing (more than once) and get the building permit. I'll be there by mid sept. and take care of your situation. Of course you'll have to furnish the tools and/or rent what ever we'll need. If I was to haul all the stuff I would need, it could cost a small fortune, my truck w/trailer gets about 5-6 mpg.

                  I need a little vacation time away from the crap here. Thats a pretty good deal for the two of us. Oh ya, I need a place to crash. Been doing this stuff for a long time. Hows the roof? Thats extra though......

                  I have never been to Washington DC, sounds like a good place to golf and meet new people. 2-3 weeks w/a little bit of help and we'll be done.
                  Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....


                  A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!


                  • #10
                    Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

                    Garager, I knew you were the man for the job.

                    Plane ticket and golfing no problem. We have some world class restaurants in DC but the best places to eat are the greasy spoons. MMmmm... Ben's Chili Bowl

                    All my tools only fit on pipes.

                    Roof done 4 years ago. 30 year Certainteed dimensional shingles.

                    What's your opinion of Azek for trim and facia?


                    • #11
                      Re: Windows & Siding; Where do I start?

                      No problem here w/Azek, certainly cannot go wrong with this product for maintenance free. Must have the right Adhesive with the installation. Going crown molding anywhere too? They got B Board, for the entry way if you have one, over all nice stuff. As was mentioned before, tear off the entire exterior and take a good look at what you got at that point. Then button it up anyway you want it done.

                      Cement board- prime w/123 primer, one or 2 coat of paint and your good for 50 years, well damn near. Steel siding is my cup of tea, they have nice patterns and color, nowadays and the color won't fade as quickly as it use to.

                      Got any buddies there w/carpenter tools, that you could barrow for 3 weeks?

                      I was born to eat chili and drink a few beers. I'm not into fancy restaurants, I like a meal and not lose weight...
                      Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....


                      A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!