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Are New Windows and Replacement Windows Different?

Are New Windows and Replacement Windows Different?

Are New Windows and Replacement Windows Different?

If you’re thinking about making some improvements to your home, it can feel a little overwhelming when you’re bombarded with lots of different choices and terminology that you don’t quite understand. While there are loads of good reasons to upgrade your windows, from improving the look of your home to saving money on heating and reducing condensation, it can be hard to figure out exactly what would work best for your home. Luckily, when it comes to windows, we can guide you in the right direction.

Replacement Windows vs New Windows

There are many different styles of windows to choose from, such as casement windows, sash windows or bay windows. However, before you decide on which great style would best suit your home, you first have to decide whether it would be better to install replacement windows or new windows. Understanding the differences between the two is a great place to start.


What Are Replacement Windows?

Replacement windows are windows that can be easily installed into a window opening that has already been built. They can either be called insert replacement windows or retrofit windows and, usually, they are specifically measured and designed to perfectly fit into an existing opening, so that the installer doesn’t actually have to remove any exterior materials. 

What Are New Windows?

New windows, sometimes called new construction windows or full-frame replacement windows, are most often reserved for homes that haven’t yet been constructed. Or, they could be part of a large home renovation where you’ve decided to knock through part of a wall to fit a window where there wasn’t one before.

New construction windows are required when there are clear openings with no siding or trim in place. They would need to be installed on the framing directly, using a component called a nail fin frame, which allows the window to be nailed directly into the framing of your home.

How to Work Out Which Ones You Need

Usually, new construction windows are specifically reserved for newly built homes and home additions. They can also be a great choice if your existing window frames need to be removed or replaced due to damage, rot or mould. Generally, unless you’re replacing an extremely bad window, building a new house or a new addition to your home, you probably won’t need new construction windows.

If the structure of your existing window is in good shape, or if you’re looking for a one-for-one replacement, on the other hand, you probably need a replacement window. Here’s everything you need to consider:  

Are You Building a New House? 

If you are building a new house, a new wall or new addition to your home, you’ll probably need a new construction window. This is mainly because no windows are being replaced. 

Is Your Window in Bad Shape? 

If the window framing is damaged, rotten or mouldy, there is a strong chance that the whole area surrounding the frame is in a bad shape. A new construction window may therefore save you from having to perform any extensive carpentry work. 

Are you Replacing an Existing Window? 

If you have a good wall and frame, then you won’t really need a new construction window. In this instance, it’s easier and more cost-effective to replace your windows instead. 

Do you need a little inspiration? Go to our state-of-the art design page to design your very own window solution.

What’s Cheaper, New or Replacement Windows? 

Replacement windows are generally a cheaper option than new construction windows. The largest portion of the cost comes from the reconstruction of the opening, replacing parts of the interior and exterior wall and the additional material needed. The most confusing thing about the cost of new construction windows is the installation fee. While new construction windows cost less to install in a new home, they actually cost more if you want them installed in an existing home. 

What Can Affect the Cost of a Window Installation?

When thinking about the overall price of replacing your windows, there are actually a lot of different factors that could impact the overall cost. Several things could impact the price of a window installation, such as the material and style chosen for the window frames to the installation fee itself.

Which One is Easier to Do?  

If you’re thinking about replacing your own windows, it’s time to consider just how much work would be involved. It’s generally easier to install a replacement window rather than a full-frame new construction window, which would require extra tools, skill and knowledge to successfully nail the window directly to the frame. However, installing a window is no easy feat either, especially for the uninitiated. 

Should You Replace Your Windows Yourself?

When thinking about installing a window yourself, we recommend you consider the following: 

  • Do you have any prior skills and experience of installing windows?
  • Do you have all the right tools available for the installation? 
  • How many windows would need to be installed? 
  • Do you have the time set aside for a full installation? 
  • Is the money you’ll save worth the pressure of a self-installation?

If you don’t have a lot of experience, the right tools for the job or you don’t want the pressure and responsibility of managing your own installation from start to finish, we recommend going with a reputable installer like us instead.

Which is Better, Replacement Windows or New Construction? 

Now that you have a good understanding of replacement windows and new construction windows, you can make an informed decision about which would suit your needs more. Generally, whether it would be better to go with replacement windows or new windows really comes down to your own requirements. 

A good rule is to think of a new construction window as useful only for a construction project, while existing windows with existing frames should always be replaced. 

Thinking of upgrading your windows? Why not read more about our stunning windows, doors and conservatories at Kayvex?

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