When it comes time to replace windows, it can be challenging for homeowners to decide whether they should go with new construction or retrofit. Some don’t even know what these terms mean so go with the first thing they see that fits their existing window space. However, it’s important to consider the decision carefully and to understand the differences between these two types of windows for the best results.
How to Tell the Difference Between Window Types
A retrofit window is one that fits into an existing space. Other names for retrofit windows include insert replacement windows or just replacement windows. If selecting retrofit windows, homeowners must measure the opening of the existing window carefully to ensure that the newly purchased window fits into it properly. While a window that’s too large obviously won’t fit into the space, having one that’s too small is also problematic. An ill-fitting window can’t protect homeowners from weather conditions or even from small animals getting into the house.
A new construction window is just as it sounds. It’s a window that homeowners build themselves or hire a company to build while constructing a customized home. These windows can also be an option when contractors replace or add the whole frame. Contractors favor new construction windows when building a home because it exposes its wood frame instead of the siding and walls covering it as they do in an existing home.
Best Times to Choose Retrofit or New Construction Windows
Certain situations call for one type of window over the other. Homeowners will want to purchase new construction windows in these circumstances:
- During new home construction in every situation.
- When adding an addition to the home since this is just like new home construction on a smaller scale.
- When replacing a window in very poor condition since the area surrounding the window is likely to be in the same type of condition. This includes the framing, wall studs, interior drywall, exterior siding, floor coverings, and sub-floorings, all of which termites or rodents might have chewed through and created holes. It would be easier at this point to choose new construction due to the extensive amount of work involved with replacing a window in this condition. Choosing new construction also provides a greater seal against the weather elements due to the nailing fins attached to it.
Homeowners should consider installing a replacement window when an existing wall is still in good condition. That is because putting in a new construction window would damage it and require many more hours of work than putting in a replacement window. This option also connects the siding, window, wall, and trim elements. It’s important to understand this because replacing one element requires homeowners to replace all of them. Replacement windows slide in horizontally, which results in as little disruption as possible to the other elements.
Anyone who feels they still don’t understand the differences between these two types of windows shouldn’t hesitate to ask a window installation company for help. This is also true if they’re having difficulty choosing the best type of window for the unique characteristics of their home.