When it comes to replacing the windows in your home, you want to do it right. Not only are windows important for lighting and aesthetics, but they also play a big role in the insulation of your home and can increase your energy efficiency. Figuring out if you should opt for a replacement or new construction window is important, so let's get started.
Nail fins are the main difference between new construction and replacement windows. Nail fins are metal strips that line the outer part of the window, sometimes commonly called flanges. Nail fins secure the window to the sheathing before the shims and frame are installed. Because this process relates to the framing of the window, nail fins are included with new construction windows.
When to use replacement windows vs. new construction windows
If you're racking your brain trying to figure out whether to use a replacement window or a new construction window, just remember this: it all comes down to the window frame. Which option you choose depends on the quality and stability of the window frame. Unless your existing window frame is extremely damaged, your best option is replacement windows.
New construction windows are standard during, well, new construction. Unless you're remodeling your home, building a home, or putting on an addition, replacement windows will usually serve you better.
Buying replacement windows vs. new construction windows
The selection process will differ between new construction windows and replacement windows because both of them are installed for different reasons. Because new construction windows are used while a home is being built or redone, contractors are the primary point of contact for selecting your windows. Your new construction window is dependent on various exterior parts of your house and contractors can help you understand your options when installing a window.
You can attempt to replace a window yourself, but it's commonly a hassle. Hodges Windows & Doors specializes in replacement windows and we would be happy to assist you in all your needs. We stand by our installation quality guarantee when it comes to replacing your windows.
Types of replacement windows
Full frame window replacement
Full frame windows are installed when you want to change the size of your existing window. To install a full frame window, you'll have to remove your current window down to the studs. Removing and replacing the trim can add the cost to this installation, but it can allow you to change the style of your window or upgrade deteriorating frames.
Insert window replacement
Insert window replacements are easier to complete because you don't have to configure the existing frame. Much like the title says, you only need to insert your window into your frame. Be sure to have a healthy window frame before you opt for this installation, otherwise, you'll have to do more work and pay more money to have it done.
Block frame window replacement
Block frame windows replace the sash of the window and leave the interior and exterior frames intact. This is an option that's used for older homes or walls made of brick or concrete. Unlike other installations, block frame windows are caulked onto a metal flashing that holds the window in place.
Flush frame window replacement
Flush fin windows are an option if you're replacing old windows that had aluminum frames. These replacement windows have a perimeter made of vinyl that makes it flush against the frame upon completion, much like the name insists.
Measuring for replacement windows
You may think that measuring for a replacement window would be fairly easy, however, there are several factors in play that you need to account for when taking measurements.
First, a good rule of thumb when measuring windows would be to see if your existing frame is square. Take your measuring tape and measure across your window diagonally on two opposing corners. This helps you know if your window has 90° angles on all four corners. If your window is square but not completely level, you might want to consider a new construction window, instead.
To measure for width: measure the window from the inside jambs (the sides of the actual window, not the trim). To ensure the accuracy of your measurements, do this on the top, center, and bottom of your window.
To measure for height: take your measuring tape from the jamb to the sill, excluding the trim.
Typically, measuring for depth is only necessary when replacing windows in mobile homes. Otherwise, 3 ¼ of an inch should be enough depth to fit a replacement window.
Cost of replacement windows vs. new construction windows
Replacement windows will always be the less expensive option of the two. This is because new construction windows require a lot of labor to be installed and that's something you need to consider into your total cost. New construction windows also rely on parts other than just the window itself, such as the nail fins, the frame, and other hardware.
The cost of replacement windows can cost around $500, whereas new construction can be around $350, parts and labor not included. Complete costs of a new construction window can get as high as $700 per window.
Replacement windows from Hodges
Hodges Windows & Doors is a leader in replacement windows in the DC area. We also consult and collaborate with ongoing construction projects, too, especially when you're looking to achieve a specific aesthetic. We pride ourselves on our 100 years of workmanship and our installation quality guarantee.
Contact us today for all of your window needs!