You may want to change your home’s appearance completely by changing your windows. But, you might not want to have to tear out your existing window frames and possibly parts of the interior walls and exterior siding and replace them. Instead, many homeowners opt to install replacement windows to transform their homes. It's much less expensive, much faster, doesn't involve demolition, and produces the same results aesthetically.
What's the Difference Between New Construction Windows and Replacement Windows?
Windows for New Construction
Windows for new construction (also called full-frame windows) are designed for installation in new houses being built from the ground up. The window with the full pre-built frame and nail flanges (also called nail fins) are made to install directly between the rough wall studs of the home under construction.
However, you can install full-frame windows into your existing house to replace your existing windows if you wish. For example, if the existing window frames are rotted, or if you want to replace your windows with much larger ones, you may decide to tear out the existing window frames and surrounding wall areas, install full-frame windows, and rebuild the wall area and exterior siding around the newly installed windows.
If you undertake this kind of construction project in your existing home, you may need to have a building engineer determine that your house’s structure will support the size, weight, and distribution that the new window configuration requires.
A construction contractor will perform the demolition work to tear out the wall areas around the window openings, then rebuild the window openings and install the new windows. The full-frame installation may also necessitate tearing out more areas of the walls to add additional structural supports for bearing heavier loads, whereas replacement windows never require that.
But, most homeowners do not want to absorb the relatively very large expense involved in rebuilding wall openings to install full-frame windows, especially if it's unnecessary because the existing frames and walls are in good condition. Most choose to install replacement windows instead.
Tearing out and replacing wall areas to retrofit full-frame windows is often just not the best investment, especially if you're replacing multiple windows. The price of such a project is comparatively so high that the ultimate pay-off in increased property resale value is often just not there.
Replacement windows can be expected to deliver a much better value if the existing window frames in the home are in good condition.
Replacement windows (also called pocket or insert windows) are designed to replace the existing windows in a house. Installation involves removing only the windows while leaving the outer frames and walls around them intact. You can buy custom replacement windows, which means your new windows will be designed and sized to fit within the existing frames.
You can insert custom-made windows for your home to fit the existing openings ideally. The aesthetic choices are the same for new construction windows and replacement windows. You have all the same options of styles and materials available in replacement windows and full-frame windows made for new construction.
So, the major practical difference between the two is that the replacement window option does not require tearing out the existing frame and possibly the surrounding interior wall area and exterior siding around it to correct deterioration or to create larger openings.
Buying replacement windows for your home means you can avoid tearing down existing window frames and wall areas around windows and rebuilding to install full-frame windows. Instead, you can take the simpler, faster, much less costly approach to replacing your windows by using the existing openings without altering the walls at all.
You can even use replacement windows in a house that you're having newly built if you find some you like best! You'll have to have the outer frames built to accept the new replacement windows. But, you'd be paying for new frames anyway if you install full-frame windows that are designed for new builds. So, it may be a wash on cost in that case to choose replacement windows, and you may get more long-term durability and energy efficiency for your investment, depending on the brand you choose.
Styles in New Construction Windows Vs. Replacement Windows
Either windows for new construction or replacement windows can entirely change the style and enhance the functioning of your home inside and outside.
Window Frame and Sash Materials
Whether you decide to do demolition and reconstruction or choose to install replacement windows in the current openings, you’ll need to decide on window framing material for the sashes. The most popular framing materials are wood, aluminum, and vinyl:
- Wood frames: Wood offers authenticity in replacement windows on historic traditional-style homes.
- Aluminum frames: Aluminum is good for utility spaces and for mounting large plate glass panels.
- Vinyl frames: Vinyl offers versatility. They come in vast varieties of wood grain looks and other textures, but without the high maintenance of wood frames. Custom vinyl windows provide far superior energy efficiency and cost much less than wood alternatives. (About 70 % of all newly installed windows in the U.S. are vinyl. )
Changing Your Window Styles
If your home looks and feels out of date to you, replacing the windows delivers more bang for the buck than virtually any other home remodeling project. You can switch to different types of windows with different ways of functioning. You can transform the look of your home:
- You can replace old patio doors with folding glass walls.
- You can combine openings for two or more windows to create a beautiful bay window or a spectacular custom picture window with minimal wall reconstruction.
- You can bring natural light flooding into dark rooms with the right replacement window options.
- You can go all the way to installing luxurious Sidelight and Transform windows that make a stunning statement for your style.
- Changing out your entire house with black window frames projects a sophisticated and timeless appeal for decorators and real estate buyers.
- You can add a specialty arch or circle-shaped window to the mix of new replacement windows to go over the top in your transformational window project.
Changing window styles and colors can transform your home’s style to an entirely different aesthetic design.
Using some unique window shapes, frame colors, decorative glass enhancements can completely change the appearance of your home outside and inside.
A whole world of creative solutions in replacement windows is available to transform your home!
If you can imagine it, we can build it for you!
Higher Quality Equals Higher Value
Choosing replacement windows for your home can be expected to save a lot of money and time and deliver top-quality energy efficiency. An Energy Shield window designer can help you quickly transform your home with spectacular new replacement windows at a fraction of the cost of the demolition and construction work involved in installing full-frame windows.
Choosing new replacement windows to transform the look of your home is exciting. There are so many gorgeous options that it's easy to be drawn to windows based only on aesthetics. Of course, lower-quality windows that look great will soon deteriorate with weather exposure, and they will not provide your home comfort, heating, and cooling cost savings, or the long-term durability you need in order to enjoy your windows for many years to come. So, invest in top-quality window products to get new replacement windows that will look amazing, function ideally, and provide superior energy efficiency for decades to come.
Energy Shield’s top-quality, energy-efficient vinyl windows work smoothly, save on heating and cooling bills, and require almost no maintenance.
Transform Your Home With Energy Shield Windows
We are the premier energy-efficient replacement window manufacturer in the southwest United States. We build true state-of-the-art energy-efficient windows designed for use in desert homes. See our special discount offers page and info on our 0% financing options (with approved credit).