Do you live in an old home that needs new windows? You may be considering two options: installing construction windows or replacement ones. What are the differences between these types of window jobs, and which one is best for your house? In this article, we discuss what it means to install a construction vs. replacement window so that you can make an informed decision.

Replacement windows are designed to install into existing window openings. If you’ve done some research, you would know there is a lot of jargon related to replacement windows, such as retrofit and flush fin. We’ll explain the differences below:

Replacement Windows – Designed for easy installation in a pre-existing opening. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, replacement windows are exactly what they sound like: rather than existing window units being replaced entirely, these newer models simply fit into the same space where your older unit was already located. These types of windows can be installed in different ways according to their design. Some replacement windows are designed with a flange, which fits into the opening and is held in place by screws and other fasteners, while others sit on top of your existing window frame without extending past it. 

Retrofit Window  – A new window fits inside an old frame rather than replacing it completely; typically used when removing sashes or panes from their current locations can be difficult. Retrofit replacement windows are designed to fit inside your existing window opening. These units can be more challenging to install than regular replacement models. Still, the payoff is that you won’t need additional materials such as brick molding (if required) or exterior trim work upon completion.

Full Frame Window Replacement – Replacing all components (or full-frame) instead of only one component like casements or jamb liners; may require new headers and sill pans. Full-frame replacement windows are replacing the entire window unit instead of just one part. This means that your existing exterior siding will also be worked on, so you can expect to have some additional work done after installation is complete.

Flush Fin Window – A window with a sleek exterior appearance, having no visible frame or sash with no visible sealant around each side, allowing maximum airflow through your home. This type of window is highly durable and works well with older homes because it allows maximum airflow through your home without requiring a lot of installation work.

Block frame Window – These windows include the window’s mainframe (left and right jamb, top header, lower rail) and all of its operational parts within (sash glass hardware). Block frame windows look similar to new construction ones, except they don’t have a nail fin around the perimeter.

New Construction Windows

New Construction Windows are explicitly designed for new buildings and installed while the studs or sheathing is still exposed. They have a “nail fin,” which helps with waterproofing by acting as a center flange around the perimeter of the window frame, allowing it to be fastened into place during construction.

When Replacement Window is Used

Replacement windows are designed to slide horizontally into place while replacing a minimum of other elements. Replacement windows require some minimal, temporary alterations such as interior trim removal, which can usually be replaced on a one-to-one basis with little effort and cost after installation is complete. Some painting may also be required depending on how original materials were treated before the replacement.

Here are some instances when replacement windows are your best choice: 

When you are looking to replace one window in your home but don’t want to go through the significant expense of replacing them all, this is a good option if your current windows are still functional, not falling apart, or too outdated for comfort. 

When your windows are broken, if you have a window that needs replacement, this might be the most economical way to get it done without having to replace all your windows at once. 

If you want an updated look but don’t want or can’t afford new wooden windows for each room. Replacement windows will give you a fresh look without breaking the bank. 

Here are some instances when new construction windows are your best choice: 

When building a new house, it is crucial to use new construction windows.

Here are some other scenarios where new construction windows would work better:

When a window is in bad shape, it’s usually because the surrounding area has been compromised. When this happens, there may be damage to exterior siding and framing around the window and interior drywall or floor covering. It will likely also involve extensive carpentry work, which means you’ll need to replace your current windows with new ones for a more straightforward fix.

When designing significant expansions onto the home, like additions on either side of the original structure. 

When building a house with the intent of being more energy-efficient.

A new construction window will be a preferable option in most situations when converting a door into a window.

When expanding an opening, a new construction window will be a better option.

What is the most cost-effective window type?

Replacement windows may be the cheapest option when it comes to installing new windows in an existing home. This is because replacement window prices are often lower than those of brand-new construction. Still, that price can increase significantly with repairs for surrounding interior and exterior walls and replacing the frame around your current window if you’re building a house from scratch or have poor condition frames. However, if getting new-construction Windows is not possible due to cost reasons, then, by all means, go ahead grab some Replacement Window Glass!

Semper Fi Exteriors can help you choose new windows and have them professionally installed in your house. We offer high-quality door replacement window installation with extensive experience working with a variety of different types of these products, so you can be sure that your new windows will not only look good on the outside but also function well. We offer all of this at highly affordable rates compared to our competitors around town, so call us today for a free estimate!