Retrofit or New Window Installations – Which One is Right For You?

·3 min read

If you have windows in your home or office that are looking worse for wear, you are most likely planning a replacement. As you read and research window replacements, you will come across two main options – retrofit and full-frame window installations. Here's what you need to know about these two options and how to tell which one is right for you.

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What is a retrofit window replacement?

A retrofit window is usually the cheaper of the two options since it only requires the replacement of the glass. The old frames will remain intact and this keeps the cost of the window and installation low. In essence, your window will look the same but you will enjoy the improved energy efficiency of new window panes.

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What is a full-frame window installation?

This type of window replacement involves removing the old window entirely before a new one can be installed. The frame is installed perfectly before the panes are fitted. This is done in order to secure the frame in place and to ensure that it is perfectly aligned. Proper installation is essential for preserving the integrity of the window and hardware. These windows cost more but they are the best option if you need to upgrade or want to make a more noticeable change.

When to choose retrofit windows

As briefly mentioned above, retrofitting windows will help you save money. So, if you are on a tight budget and you need a window replaced, you should consider this option. If the frame is still intact and there are no concerns of air or water infiltration, there really is no need to replace the frame. If you live in a historical property, you might want to maintain that rustic or classic theme. If you install modern windows, it will ruin this look. Retrofitted windows will improve energy efficiency without causing any disruptions in terms of the style.

When to choose full-frame windows

The number one reason being full-frame window replacements is due to old, ineffective or damaged window frames. When the frame no longer keeps the elements at bay, it's time for a change. Damaged frames allow water to seep in and this can result in mold and mildew. Apart from being unsightly, they also pose health risks. Excess moisture in the walls of your home will also take a toll on the structural integrity of your property. New windows will also give your home added curb appeal. You will also need a full-frame window installation if you intend on replacing your existing window with a smaller or larger one.
In short, the condition of your existing window frames will largely determine whether a retrofit or full-frame installation is best. No matter which option you choose for your property, you should always have a professional assess your unique needs and provide you with additional details along with a quote. In both cases, a professional window installation is essential for best results so make sure that the quote you receive also details these installation costs.