Differences Between New and Replacement Windows

Are replacement windows better than new windows?

Windows are an important component of a building’s infrastructure. They allow the passage of light, sound, and air. Windows connect us to the outside world from the comfort of our home. Windows can get damaged due to multiple reasons. They might have broken glass, can get infested with termites, or years of weathering may affect their ability to keep out rain, snow, and insects out of the home. 

Whatever the case may be, they require immediate attention and should be repaired in a short interval. In terms of window repair, you have two options: either opt for Replacement windows or go with new construction windows. Take a look below, as we have described the major differences and usability of the two. 

New vs Replacement Windows 

  • Replacement windows are designed as a replacement for existing windows. They are also referred to as retrofit and insert windows. They are made according to the measurements of the existing frame and can simply slide in. Thus the need for altering frames is eliminated. It is less costly in most scenarios and takes less time to install.

A new construction window is designed as a first-time window installation. They are also called full-frame windows. These windows have a nail fin frame, which can be nailed directly to an existing frame. Unless the existing frame or studs are damaged, it is not recommended to use a new construction window. They cannot be slid in as in the case of replacement windows.

New House & Addition Construction

  • If you are constructing a new house, the general rule is to use a new construction window. This is because windows will be installed for the first time and no replacements are being done. It is a good time to discuss window-type options with the architect who is designing the home layout plan of your house.

Similarly, if you are constructing an addition to your house you will use new construction windows. There are going to be very few circumstances in which you can use a replacement window.  

An Existing Window With Severe Damage

  • the main difference between new and replacement windowsIf you have a window that has suffered extensive damage, it is always a good idea to inspect its peripherals. If you notice damage in its frame, panels, external siding, internal drywall, wall studs, or even flooring then it is always recommended to go with a new construction window.

In such a scenario getting a replacement window will require extensive measurements, cutting, and carpentry work. Therefore getting a new construction window will be cheaper and save you lots of time. 

An Existing Window Without Severe Damage

  • If only the window has suffered damage while its peripherals are in good shape, it is recommended to get a replacement window. In this scenario, if you opt for a new construction window, you will need to alter everything and this will damage your wall.

One key benefit of using a replacement window is that they slide in horizontally. Replacement windows are made according to the exact specifications of your existing window and require minimal changes. Some replacement windows require trim alterations which can be done safely.

Using A New Construction Window As A Replacement Window

  • Some new construction windows have molded or detachable fins. Many contractors remove these fins and convert a new construction window to a replacement window. Generally, this is not advised. 

This is because removing fins might damage the glass in the sash or compromise the window structure. Other issues include rough edges, lack of proper fitting, and not being able to achieve a weather-tight window. 

If you need replacement windows in New Jersey, you can consider hiring a professional service such as Simple Home Improvements. We have been in this business for years. Simply call us at 866-849-2599 to book an appointment with our home renovation specialists. After assessing your requirements, we will give you a renovation plan that best meets your budget and needs.

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