Ok, got the window and started the installation. First thing I did was to take the old window out, scrape off as much old paint as I could and clean it up. Then, I painted all the old wood that was there.
The old window tilted in, but my new one is a single hung window. So, there is trim on the sides and top of the window space, which stopped the old window from falling out. But there wasn't any trim on the bottom, because the window needed space to pivot for it to tilt in. Since my new window doesn't tilt, I decided to put a piece of trim there. At first I just put a piece of plain pine in the window, but later changed it to a composite that won't rot. This appears to work well.
Next, I could position the window in the opening and I had about a 1/4" to 1/8" gap around the window. The largest gap was at the top of the window. I wanted to move the window up about 1/4". I could use shims, but I wasn't crazy about how that was supporting the window. On some webpage I read that you should support the full length of a vinyl window. So, shims on the edges didn't seem like a good idea to me. I thought about getting a thin piece of wood, but knew that it would be hard to fit perfectly. Instead, on another trip to Home Depot, I found this thin insulation that is 1/4" thick. I laid a piece out on the bottom, put the window in and then jammed another piece along the top edge.
I then used a scraper to push in another piece of the insulation along the top edge. This holds the window in place really well. I couldn't pull it out easily and I haven't screwed it into the wall yet. I think I'll add pieces on each of the sides as well, but I'll do that another day.
My main concern is I don't know what the outside of the window looks like because I don't have a ladder tall enough to get me to the window outside. I ran my finger along the edge of the window and it feels like it's right up next to the wood that's there. This is good because I can the just run a bead of silicon along the seam to seal it. Janet told me that I should have run a bead of silicon along the inside edge before I put the window in, so I may take the window and insulation out and do this.
I spent a good part of the day looking up flashing online and looking at my front windows. I think I finally get what it is, but I'm not sure that I'm going to have to do this for this window. First off, it's a little window that has never had flashing, as far as I can tell, and the wood looks to be in decent shape. Secondly, at least along the bottom edge, there's really just the single seam between the window and the wood. I'm not sure that flashing will do anything for me. Finally, if I did want to put flashing on, I think it would be really hard because the window is so small, so the bends would be really close to the edge of the aluminum. I'm fairly certain that I'd have a hard time making the flashing pieces. So, for the time being, my plan is to not put flashing around this window. I may be convinced that this is a stupid idea and might end up putting it on, but for know, I don't think I need it.
The plan for tomorrow (though tomorrow is Bike the Drive and I probably won't feel like working after the ride, so it might be a plan for Monday) is the following:
1. Take the window out
2. Take the composite board out
3. Put silicone on the composite board and reinstall it
4. Paint the composite board
5. Put a silicone bead on all wood that will touch the window
6. Lay a piece of insulation
7. Put the window in
8. Put insulation around the other sides of the window
9. Put two screws in the window to hold it in place.
Then I have to either buy or borrow a ladder and put a bead of silicone around the outside of the window. At this point, I'll also see how my not needing flashing theory holds up.
Oh, and I forgot to add at the beginning that I spent a good deal of time looking for instructions on how to install windows. All of the instructions I found were for windows with a nailing flange and basically not anything like my window. So, I'm basically just figuring it out for myself. And since there's not just one correct way of doing it, I think I'll be ok, but we'll see.