Replacement window, how to cut back interior sill, tile, etc.

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JeffK
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Replacement window, how to cut back interior sill, tile, etc.

Post by JeffK » Tue May 15, 2018 9:39 am

I'm in Seattle and have a 1955 house with aluminum single-pane windows I'm replacing soon with Milgard StyleLine windows. The exterior is a mix of 10" exposure lap and 12" exposure deep groove cedar shingles. The interior head & jamb casing is sheetrock wrap in all cases, but the sill is a mix of wood (bedrooms, living, dining) and 1950's tile (in the kitchen and bathrooms). I'd like to keep the interior look as much as possible. I'm a handy DIYer, but have not replaced windows before.

The StyleLine windows are 2 7/8" with a 1 3/8" fin setback leaving 1 1/2" lapping to the inside. My estimation of the existing aluminum windows is that they are about a 1" lap to the inside, so I'll need to deal with this extra 1/2" +/-. So, do I:

A. Order my windows based on the actual framed (wood) rough opening. Cut the sheetrock and sill back as required.

B. Order my windows based on the actual framed (wood) rough opening except at the tile, order these windows to sit on top of the tile.

This comes down to not wanting to mess up the tile work, it's nice looking. Is there a good way to cut the tile across a sill without breaking it? What tool and what blade to use?

I also wonder about what to use at the sheetrock too, I think it might be a similar method for speed instead of scoring it with a knife and pulling it out in thing strips. I can't imagine pros would spend more than a few minutes per window dealing with whatever they are cutting back for a new window. Ideas?

In general, I plan to follow this guide for the rest:
https://hammerandhand.com/best-practice ... -retrofit/
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A. Spruce
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Re: Replacement window, how to cut back interior sill, tile, etc.

Post by A. Spruce » Tue May 15, 2018 12:16 pm

I would say that a mixture of a rotary style tool, such as a 4" angle grinder and/or a dremel, for the tile and and an oscillating tool for the drywall.

I would order windows to fit the framed opening and cut back the interior side materials. If you order them to fit inside the interior materials, they're not going to look right, and I suspect it will create other problems with having something to nail the fins to.

Something to keep in mind here, if you're going to use new construction windows, you will have to cut back or tear off the exterior siding to access the fins on the existing windows. If you cut back the siding, you will then have to install trim around the windows to hide the 1-1/2"-ish gap around the window. If you tear the siding off, you're going to damage a significant amount of it, and your home is of an age that finding replacement materials is going to be a chore.

If you go with retrofit windows, the glass of the existing window and internal framing is removed but the perimeter window frame is left in place. The new window fits inside the existing frame, then is sealed in place with caulk and trim. I personally am not a fan of the look of a retrofit window, but they are a heck of a lot easier to install, and cheaper in the long run because of the reduced installation requirements.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

JeffK
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Re: Replacement window, how to cut back interior sill, tile, etc.

Post by JeffK » Tue May 15, 2018 1:28 pm

Hi A. Spruce. I do plan on going with windows with a nailing fin and adding trim boards on the exterior.

Additionally, I did see one really low res youtube video showing the cut back on the interior being done by what looked like a tiny worm-drive tool, but I have no idea what it was.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Replacement window, how to cut back interior sill, tile, etc.

Post by A. Spruce » Tue May 15, 2018 3:04 pm

You're really only limited by the tools you have and your ingenuity. If you're willing to buy a tool for the job, that could work in your favor, for instance, an oscillating tool would probably be your best friend here. When I've replaced windows as you are doing, I've just used a utility knife, drywall saw, or reciprocating saw on the drywall, using extreme care not to do any more damage than necessary. An oscillating tool would be a lot easier to control and it should make a much cleaner cut. I don't replace windows often, so I use the tools I have on hand and my skills in using them to make tidy cuts.
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Shannon
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Re: Replacement window, how to cut back interior sill, tile, etc.

Post by Shannon » Tue May 15, 2018 6:54 pm

One word of advice I have is if you just cut back the existing interior finish to butt to the new jams you will not be able to insulate between the back side of the jam and rough opening. In my climate that would be a very poor choice in Seattle ? I'm not sure?
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JeffK
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Re: Replacement window, how to cut back interior sill, tile, etc.

Post by JeffK » Wed May 16, 2018 8:24 am

Good point Shannon.

I did have the Andersen Renewal (these are basically just 100 series windows) guy here and laughed him out of my house when he gave me the price, $33,000 for 12 windows! But before that he talked through what they do and he didn't address this.

I had ruled out block frame retrofit windows which could be insulated from the outside with foam, but I think the waterproofing benefit of the flange still far outweighs this. Now I'm considering taking out another inch or so of sheetrock/sill in order to get some foam in there. Then add in some mini-jamb extension strips. Does this sound like a good compromise?

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Shannon
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Re: Replacement window, how to cut back interior sill, tile, etc.

Post by Shannon » Wed May 16, 2018 12:30 pm

Ya I do all my windows with attached jambs. You likely have windows ordered already so jamb add on’s will work
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