Comparing New Construction & Replacement Windows

If you’ve been considering upgrading windows in your home, you’ve probably run across the term, replacement windows. But maybe you didn’t know that this term applies to a particular type of window – one that is specially designed to fit into a pre-existing opening. As we’ll see, replacement windows are not the same as new construction windows. Let’s take a look at the difference:

Replacement Windows

These windows are designed to minimize the difficulty of the installation process. More specifically, replacement windows are designed to be installed without the need to take apart and remove elements of the interior wall, window trim, or exterior materials on a home. As a result, the installation process is faster and more efficient. Construction time and cost is minimized.

One window manufacturer, Renewal by Andersen, is known for taking measurements to the nearest sixteenth of an inch. This allows replacement windows to be installed with the minimum of time and on-site alterations. Other higher-end replacement window companies have similar processes.

New Construction Windows

These windows are designed to be installed on new homes. Rather than fit a precise opening, the general expectation is that other interior and exterior elements of the home will be built to fit the new construction windows window. Unlike replacement windows, these are designed to be hammered directly onto the frame of the home.

Why Their Differences Matter

The cost of a window is always a key consideration. So potential window buyers may be encouraged when they see new construction windows with somewhat lower prices. But the price of the windows is only part of the equation: Installation has to be considered, too. Installing new construction windows will require replacing parts of the window opening as well as both the interior and exterior; when this process is factored in, the overall cost of installing new construction windows will be higher.

Does this mean that you should always choose replacement windows for established homes? No. New construction window may be the right option if the studs or framing around your window need to be replaced due to damage. This may also be true if you are already planning construction around the window; if you are already replacing your siding, for example, you may also be able to install new construction windows without any extra work or cost.

What to Do

Before deciding on which windows to install, be sure to confirm pricing for both windows and installation. You may find that the least-expensive windows do not always yield the lowest project costs. So don’t rush. Do take your time. Look at several types of windows, and get quotes from several installers before making a final decision.

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