When it comes to new construction windows vs. replacement windows, both styles have their uses. New construction windows are most often used in new homes and replacement windows in remodels, although there are exceptions. With both methods of windows, quality varies significantly and makes the most significant difference in window performance and home comfort.
What are Replacement Windows?
Replacement windows are designed to replace existing home windows, and these are the windows most often used in home renovation or window replacement projects. These windows may sometimes be called retrofit windows.
Replacement windows come in many sizes and shapes; they can be custom made to the dimensions of your existing home windows.
Replacement windows deliver high performance and energy efficiency. Technology is continually improving, with many replacement windows offering double or triple panes of glass. Additional advancements include Low-E coating, argon gas fills, spacers, and other components.
Homeowners can use replacement windows for standard window replacement or with new construction.
Although there are new construction window options, replacement windows are often cheaper to install since the contractor can fit the replacement window in any standard window opening with no need to expose the home frame.
What are New Construction Windows?
New construction windows are built for new homes or home additions. Unlike replacement windows, new construction windows need to be installed on the framing directly, with the use of a nail fin frame. Only after installation is the home’s exterior completed.
While new construction windows can be used during home renovations, the contractor must first expose the home’s frame by removing the exterior siding to install. If your home is built of stone or brick, it may be impossible for you to use new construction windows since the exterior of the house cannot be removed in the same way that siding can.
It may make sense if you are removing the home siding to change the style, but it can add significantly to the cost, time, and labor of a basic room remodel.
Always Check with a Professional
Ultimately, when approaching home improvement projects you are best served to follow the advice of a credible company or a general contractor. Your general contractor can advise you on new construction and replacement window costs vs. benefits so you can decide what type of window is best for your needs.
New construction window cost varies by the size, shape, and materials chosen. The direct installation allows you to install windows of any size or shape. While some homeowners prefer the ability to customize their windows, there are ways to order custom replacement windows as well. Size or shape should not influence your choice of window type.
As with new construction windows, the specific cost of replacement windows varies by size, shape, and material. Replacement window costs are lower than new construction window costs overall because you save on time and labor of window installation.