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Replacement Windows

Replacement Windows vs New Construction Windows 

4 min read

If your current windows have run their course, you’re probably wondering what options are available to you. Besides just thinking about what color or style you’d prefer, the biggest choice you have to make is deciding between replacement windows or new construction windows. In this guide, our window replacement experts will share what these window types are and how they compare.

What Are Replacement Windows?

Replacement windows are windows that easily install into pre-existing window holes. Also known as retrofit windows, these cause little disruption to the build of your home since they fit right into your current frame. From double-hung to casement, and every style option in between, replacing your windows is your opportunity to improve your home’s curb appeal, value, and performance at the right cost. 

What Are New Construction Windows?

New construction windows are an option when a new home is being worked on or a house is undergoing extensive remodeling/additions, such as transforming a door frame into a window. They can only be installed via brand-new window frames when the sheathing or studs of a building are exposed. 

Key Differences Between Replacement Windows and New Construction Windows

In addition to varying in how you install them, there are several other differences between replacement windows and new construction windows. Here, we’ll take a closer look at how they differ in design, cost and installation.

1. Nail Fin

Replacement Windows

Replacement windows don’t come with nail fins—a window construction element that helps secure a window to the wall. However, that’s not to say they can’t still be a secure option. In fact, Window World windows are double- and triple-pane by default and expertly installed to stand for years to come. 

New Construction Windows 

New construction windows come with nail fins, which not only help hold the window in place but also act as a weatherproofing element for your windows. 

2. Ease of Installation

Replacement Windows

Replacement windows can be trickier to install on your own, as they require an exact fit. Additionally, in some instances, you may need to use a full-frame window replacement process to fully remove an existing window down to a rough opening with the original studs of the wall. Window World’s professionals make the installation process effortless by using specialized tools and knowledge to get it right the first time.

New Construction Windows

While new construction windows tend to be easier to install, this type of window can take much longer than replacement windows since it involves more structural work. It also has more touchpoints than replacement windows, meaning there are more chances for things to go wrong.

3. Cost

Replacement Windows

Of the two windows options, replacements tend to be more budget-friendly since they have lower installation costs. Plus, when you change your current windows with energy-efficient replacement windows, you may even see savings on your monthly utility bill.

New Construction Windows 

New construction windows typically cost less upfront than replacement windows but come with higher installation fees. The installation process is more work-intensive, as it includes adding a window hole or remodeling an existing wall. As with replacement windows, you can also opt for energy-efficient new construction windows to reduce your energy consumption and lower your energy bills.

When to Use New Construction Windows

As the name suggests, new construction windows are primarily designed and used for new buildings or major renovation projects where the existing window frames are being replaced. They are a good choice when you are constructing a new home, building from the ground up or:

It’s important to note that new construction windows are typically installed during the initial construction phase of a building or during a major renovation. Retrofitting existing homes with new construction windows can be more complex and may involve additional work to properly integrate them into the existing structure.

When to Use Replacement Windows

Replacement windows are designed to fit into existing window openings, so they are not typically suitable for new construction projects or major structural changes. However, replacement windows make the perfect solution for the following upgrades:

Before making a decision, it’s a good idea to assess the condition of your existing window frames, consider your energy efficiency goals, and consult with a professional to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Explore Replacement and New Construction Window Options

Whether you choose to purchase a replacement window or a new construction window, we offer a wide selection of window options. Contact our team to request a free estimate today!