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Community and Q&A

Replacing a Window on a Wall Without Sheathing

Norwichdad | Posted in General Questions on

Located in climate zone 4B of Northern California, we are renovating our 1901 Victorian home and seem to constantly run into the need to “work around” when it comes to insulation and water management.  The home has eleven foot balloon frame walls with original siding in excellent condition, mounted directly on the wall studs with no sheathing, building paper, housewrap, etc.  We are replacing an original double hung window in the bathroom and are having difficulty finding any details on installing flashing and managing rain runoff without having to remove the beautiful siding.  The first picture is taken from the inside showing the back side of the window trim (and counterweights).  I used the methods described on this site for insulating and leaving air space.  Can you lead me to any articles or solutions for flashing the window replacement?

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  1. user-6623302 | | #1

    Why are you replacing the window? What are you using as a replacement?

    1. Norwichdad | | #2

      I guess I left that part out! I was actually shopping windows this morning when I ran across and watched the Flashing with Wood Siding video series on GBA. The existing window is single pane, cracked glass and glazing is shot, is drafty, but does operate well. There does not appear to be any leakage around the window as it is, but it could be that it there is good drying airflow in the wall and behind the exterior trim. We have not yet chosen the replacement window and are very open to thoughts.

  2. user-6623302 | | #3

    Replace the glass and glazing. A repair will cost less than a new window. Install an interior storm window. Simple and efficient. Keeps the historic detail.

    1. Norwichdad | | #4

      Thank you and I certainly appreciate keeping the charm. Are there any helpful details or information on interior storm windows and guidance on how to better seal along the window jambs, as they are a bit loose.
      If we do decide to spend the money for a new, slightly larger window (using up the space where the weights are currently located), are you able to address my original question regarding how to appropriately flash and seal the new window given the lack of a paper barrier?

      1. user-2310254 | | #6

        You might be able to use an Indow insert. It will also reduce noise if that is an issue.

  3. Expert Member
    Akos | | #5

    Haven't had to deal with this directly here but have done older brick vaneer houses without a WRB.

    There peel and stick over sloped sill at the bottom of the rough opening, carry this out over the old wood sill. Install window than cap the wood sill with metal. The idea is to channel any water either from the sill area or the window surface out past your siding. Treat the exterior surface of the siding as if were the WRB.

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