Replacement Windows – What and Why?
A replacement, or retrofit window, is actually a type of window installation. The alternative to a replacement window is a full-construction window. But before going into window installations, let’s quickly walk through the anatomy of a window.
For a seemingly simple piece of hardware, a common household window actually consists of a number of parts, and has a lot of terminology associated with it.
For starters, a window frame consists of the head, sill, and jambs.
- The head refers to the top horizontal part of the window frame.
- The sill is the bottom horizontal part, and
- The jambs consist of the vertical sides of a window frame.
A sash is the part of a window that is held in the window frame; it’s the outer casing in which holds the window’s glass and grids or any other framework that the window may have. Another important part of a window is the nailing fin. This is the part used to fasten the window to the wall stud. A stud is a vertical, load bearing beam kind of a thing, to which you can nail the window. For a more detailed description with a picture, check this.
Now, let’s look at a new construction window first. This is used when you’re either building a new home, or renovating a part of the house. As the name implies, this is an entirely new construction. Which means that the window frame, the trim, everything is installed from scratch. These windows usually come with a nailing fin. As mentioned earlier, the nailing fin is used to ‘nail’ a window into the stud in a wall, to fix it in position.
As you might have guessed by now, a replacement window involves removing the existing window and fitting a new window. When we use the term replacement window, we usually refer to an insert installation. This means that the new window is simply inserted in place of the original window, but the old window frame and other exterior materials around the window do not change. The window panes, grids, sashes, etc. will be replaced by the new window, with the existing frame in place.
We also have something called a full installation window installation, which can be thought of as similar to a new construction. Here, everything is replaced – the frame, exterior materials surrounding the window, and the window itself.
A replacement window (specifically, the insert installation) is not as expensive when compared to a new construction or a full installation, as it requires less work and less material, but when should you get a replacement window is the question.
You should go for a replacement window if only the glass or the actual window needs repair; in other cases, you might need a new construction. For example, if the window was correctly installed, it doesn’t leak air, the window frame is in good condition, and only the glass is broken or weather beaten, go for a replacement window.
On the other hand, if the area outside the window begins to rot, it’s time to get a full installation.
Metroplex Windows & Glass helps you discover exactly what you need. So please feel free to reach out with any questions you have regarding new windows or window replacements! We are here to help.