If your home has older windows, you’ve probably noticed some air leaks, frost build-up on the inside when it’s cold, or they just don’t work the way they should. If so, it may be time to replace them with new, energy-efficient replacement windows. While that’s an easy decision to make, you’ll also have to decide just how those windows will be installed. Let’s discuss retrofit vs new construction for replacement windows and the pros and cons of each.

Retrofit Installation

If you’re satisfied with the size and placement of your current windows, retrofitting replacement windows is a good option. Since no alterations are made to the frame, there is no discernible difference between the old windows and the new ones, other than the quality. If you’re working with a limited budget, retrofitting is a good choice since it’s a straightforward swap of one window for the other. Not only that, but you won’t have to worry about replacing or repairing the exterior finish of your home since it will hardly be disturbed. In addition, if you don’t have a lot of time to finish the project due to a tight deadline, choose to retrofit since it’s a much faster installation method.

There are, however, some cons to retrofitting your replacement windows. First of all, the size of the replacement window is limited by the size of the original frame. Secondly, if the original frame isn’t square, your new windows aren’t going to fit properly, which means modifications will have to be made. Finally, if the installation is not done correctly, there is a possibility that leaking can occur, which will cost you more in repairs in the future. However, these issues can easily be overcome by a professional that is experienced in retrofit installations.

New Construction

If you want larger windows than were originally installed in your home, you’ll have to go with new construction. The siding or stucco is removed from the outer edge and the entire window opening is exposed, down to the studs and framework. That means any rotten or damaged wood can be replaced, making the window more secure and assuring a long life. Another advantage is that you can install any size window you desire since you’re not limited by the original opening. So, you can replace a small window with a larger one, or the other way around, if you choose.

The cons for new construction window replacement are few, but they should still be taken into consideration. One major con is that the cost is much higher than retrofitting. The reason is there is much more work involved in preparing the openings for the new windows and finishing them after installation. It will also take longer to install your windows using this method because of all the work involved.

Deciding which replacement window installation method is best for your home is extremely important. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to send one of our associates over to discuss your options and offer some helpful suggestions. We’ll even provide you with a free, no-obligation quote so can make the best decision for you.

If you want larger windows than were originally installed in your home, you'll want to go with new construction.

If you want larger windows than were originally installed in your home, you’ll want to go with new construction.