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Replacement Windows

New Construction vs Replacement Windows

3 min read

If you’re in the market for new windows, you may have heard of two types: replacement windows and new construction windows.

While it might be tempting to think replacement windows and new construction windows are different names for the same product, that’s not the case. There are a lot of similarities, but they’re not exactly the same thing.

Here, our window experts will explain the key difference between replacement and new construction windows so you can get a better idea for which is best for your Washington D.C. home.

home with vinyl siding 4000 series energy plus finish

The Main Difference Between New Construction and Replacement Windows

Both replacement windows and new construction windows are available in a wide range of styles, colors, and materials. Both types of windows are built to provide energy savings and help keep your home’s temperatures more consistent year round. So, how are they different? The main difference between these windows actually has to do with installation.

As you may have guessed by the name, new construction windows (sometimes called full-frame replacement windows) are designed to be installed in new construction like a new home or an addition to your current home. This type of window has a nail fin frame, which is a thin piece of metal that goes around the perimeter of the window frame. This piece of metal allows the frame to be nailed into the studs of the wall, acting like an anchor to keep the frame in place once construction of the wall is complete. They’re installed as part of construction when the wall studs are exposed.

new home construction

Replacement windows are also called insert replacement windows or retrofit windows. They’re designed for replacing windows in your existing home. Your replacement windows are measured and built to fit into the space occupied by your old window. Installation is relatively quick and involves removing the old window, placing the new window in the frame, and securing it in place. Since this is all contained in the window frame, there is no damage to your wall, window trim, or siding.

When you choose Window World of Washington DC for your replacement windows, installation is a breeze. Our installers are trained to install your windows quickly, efficiently and correctly the first time, every time. Most installation jobs are completed in just one day and you don’t have to do anything except sit back, relax, and enjoy your new windows. Best of all? Your replacement windows are covered by our lifetime warranty.

dining room with casement and awning windows

Should You Choose Replacement Windows or New Construction Windows?

For most existing homes, replacement windows are the best option. We don’t recommend new construction windows for existing homes because in order to install new construction windows, the studs must be exposed. This is an unnecessary (and expensive) step if your existing frames are in good condition.

There is a rare instance when new construction windows are a better option than replacement windows in an existing home, though. If your existing window frames are in poor condition, new construction windows are your best option. In this situation, choosing new construction windows over replacement allows you to get to the root of the problem so you don’t have to do further repairs later on.

For new construction, an extensive renovation involving removal of drywall, or adding on to your home, you’ll need to use new construction windows. When you choose the window you want, your builder will create the wall based around the size and shape of the windows. They’re installed as part of the construction process when the wall studs are already exposed, so installation does not involve extra steps.

Make Window World of D.C. Your First Choice for Replacement Windows

At Window World of D.C., we design, build, and install beautiful, durable vinyl replacement windows at a price that fits everyone’s budget. To learn more or schedule your free in-home or virtual consultation, contact us today!