If you’re shopping for new windows for your home, you’ve probably seen the terms “replacement windows” and “new construction windows”. It’s important to know the differences between the two, so you can make sure you get the right products for your remodel or home addition.
As the name implies, new construction windows are used when a new home or addition is being built. They’re installed early in the building process, so the window frame can be nailed directly into the framing of the house using a nail fin frame and flashing to seal out water and air. Installing new construction windows in an existing home is also referred to as full-frame replacement.
Using new construction windows for a home remodel can be expensive, because it involves removing your home’s siding around the window so the studs are exposed. This means your contractor may need to touch up the paint or trim on your home’s interior, and replace the siding and/or trim on the exterior of your house. A full-frame replacement ensures any underlying issues with your old windows will be found and corrected, such as air gaps and leaks. New construction windows should be used when the window frame or the studs around it have rot or damage, so that can be corrected first. If you want to change the shape or size of your existing window openings, you would also use new construction windows.
Retrofit or replacement windows are made to be installed in existing homes without removing the siding or interior and exterior trim. These windows replace the window only, not the entire frame. This makes them a more budget-friendly option for a home improvement project if the existing frame is structurally sound. Although they’re faster to install and can help you save on labor costs, they are not a good option if the window frame is deteriorated or rotted.
Replacement window installation types:
Z-bar or flush fin installation – Idea for masonry block or stucco homes with aluminum windows. There’s a flange or panel on the outside of the window that hides the old window frame.
Block frame insert installation – This option is used on homes with wood windows and frames that are in good condition.
Upgrading your old windows to new, energy-efficient ones can add to your home’s curb appeal and value, and make it a more comfortable place to live. If you’re already considering replacing your home’s siding, it’s best to have your new windows installed at the same time. Whatever your home’s window and siding needs are, the experienced professionals at Precision Windows and Doors of Kansas City can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.