Replacement vs New Construction Windows

Understanding Your Window Options

Replacement windows (also known as retrofit windows) are installed into a pre-existing window opening, while new construction windows are designed for a newly built home or addition.¬†New construction windows are a great option for a home remodel project, when the studs and frame of the window is exposed. While replacement windows are designed so that the installer doesn’t have to remove any exterior materials of a home. The retrofit window is installed without damaging the wall, window trim or stucco.

Replacement Installation

If you’re satisfied with the size and placement of your current window, replacement windows are an excellent option. They are also great for a home improvement project when there are budget constraints, as the cost of a retrofit window is typically about half the cost of a new construction window.
While retrofit windows are less labor intensive than new construction, the installation must be precise for the window to function properly. The replacement window must be totally square and level within the original frame. If that isn’t done correctly, the window can be prone to leaks. Similarly, improper flashing and messy caulking can also result in leaks and water damage. In some cases, wider window frames may also result in less glass area,¬†minimizing your current view.

New Construction

New construction windows can be used in a remodel project. First the wood studs are exposed by removing the exterior materials; trim, stucco, and flashing. The new window is then installed as would have been when the home was originally built. This method will cost more time and money, however the window itself is totally custom to your design. If you’re looking for a larger window, you will need a new construction window rather than a retrofit.

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