During my Ask Shell webcast we received an inquiry from a homeowner who was installing new siding on his home, and had also purchased windows and was not totally sure how to properly install them. I often receive questions from people who have purchased products for their home, but are not informed as to how to properly install what they’ve bought. If you are planning on updating your siding and installing your own windows, follow the steps below to ensure that you don’t end up with leaky, drafty windows.
You must strip all the siding off around the windows right back to the sheathing, no matter if it is bevel siding, log cedar shingle siding, stucco, vinyl siding or aluminum siding. Once you’ve gone back to the sheathing you are ready to do the required work around the windows. At this point you can remove the old windows. Make sure you have the new windows before you start this, you should install all your windows at the same time. I would suggest you buy the nail on flange style vinyl windows which are very common and available at any of your local building supply stores that stock windows. For this project you will require: 2”x2” treated lumber, tarpaper, peel & stick membrane, Tyvek®, 1 ½”rigid foam insulation IE CladMate and drip cap, for this project.
First wrap the wall using tarpaper, number 2 tarpaper is adequate. Over top of the tarpaper, around the window, frame out the opening using treated 2”x2” lumber (you can purchase 2”x4” and rip it). You will realize that your 2”x2” lumber is an 1 ½” nominal, meaning the lumber and rigid foam insulation will match up perfectly. Put the insulation snug up to the edge of the lumber around the window frame.
Now you’re ready to put the peel & stick membrane around the windows. Do the vertical sides first, then the horizontal top side. You always want the side of the membrane to overlap the horizontal bottom side. Once you have applied the peel & stick membrane to all four sides of the window opening, you can install the window. Put the window in place and fasten it. Keep in mind that windows require a drip cap that goes over top of your windows. The drip cap should be at least an inch and a half proud of the window on both sides. Now the window has been secured and the drip cap is in place, you need to apply the Tyvek®. Place the Tvvek® over top of the window flange and tape around the perimeter of the window to create a tight seal. Your window is installed and you can move forward with installing the exterior cladding of your choice.
I must warn you, if you have not done this before, seriously consider having a professional install the windows for you. Installing new windows will affect the air leakage and envelope integrity of your home, and if not done properly, it can cause serious moisture related issues with your home.
This article was published in the Sunday July 15th edition of the Province Newspaper www.theprovince.com