Replacement Windows versus New Construction Windows

Replacement Windows versus New Construction Windows

One of the questions frequently asked by customers is why by replacement windows which are more customized and therefore sometimes more costly compared to just buying new construction windows? You might say windows are windows, but there is a definite difference between new construction windows, which come standard size, and replacement windows, which are usually custom sized. Basically, new construction windows aren't made to be a replacement to an existing window space.

Why New Construction Windows Aren't Good Replacement Windows

You would think all new windows could just be plugged into an existing window opening, especially considering that most homes after the 1970s were built with standard-size (3' x 5' or it might be labeled as "3050") new construction windows. Unfortunately, standard-size windows don't necessarily replace well to a standard-size opening.

New Construction window with nail flange

New construction window with nail-fin

But the main problem lies in this: most standard-size new construction windows have a nail-fin around the exterior frame. What is a nail-fin? If you've ever checked out a New Construction window, you may have noticed a thin piece of metal extruding around the frame of a window. That is the nail-fin, and its purpose is to be nailed down directly to your house's frame (studs), securing the window into your house. While it doesn't sound like a problem so far, a proper installation to an already built home would require you to find the studs (aka remove all your current trim as well as reducing your siding surrounding the window). Meaning the process will be highly labor-intensive and require a bit of destruction to your home. Additionally, stone or brick homes are near impossible to actually fulfill since instead of siding you'd have to be removing brick or stone instead to find the stud! That is a difficult task to achieve, and one likely to be quite expensive. So once you add up the labor costs, new trim, new siding (or new bricks or stone), repainting, and the new construction window, you're looking at a pretty hefty price that is very likely to be much more expensive than just buying those replacement windows.

Replacement window without nail-fin

Replacement window without nail-fin

Why Replacement Windows Are Better

Since replacement windows have no nail-fin, they can easily be plugged into an existing window opening and be secured with discreet screws in the frame. Their essential function is to replace existing windows, thus are often in need of a bit of customization, but come without worries of disturbing surrounding trim or siding (or brick or stone). This basically means no damage to your walls, shorter installation timeline, and overall a less expensive project. Additionally, replacement windows can also be of higher quality for windows since they're made to be upgrades from existing windows. So if you're looking to improve on your energy bill and get more energy efficient windows, the initial costs for replacement windows can be slightly offset over the years by the cost difference, and they should improve your home's value as well.

Replacement windows are not a walk in the park, so it's best to research what type of windows fit your requirements and find a professional installer to complete the job just to save on time, hassle, and possibly even money in the long run. Brennan Windows is here to help you choose the windows best for your budget, lifestyle, and home if you don't already know what you want, and we're a 30+ years professional remodeling company that is rated A+ on BBB and an Angie's List Super Service Award recipient for the past six years. We're happy to help you find your perfect new replacement windows

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