Home Home & Garden What Is the Difference Between a Replacement Window and a New Construction Window? – 2024 Guide

What Is the Difference Between a Replacement Window and a New Construction Window? – 2024 Guide

by Tracy Finke

If you are going to replace the windows in your accommodation, you should already begin saving money. This procedure is not cheap, and it is quite demanding. However, stop for a while and think whether:

  • you need replacement windows (they are also referred to as insert replacement or retrofit windows);
  • your requirement is to install new windows (sometimes, you can also see such a name as full-frame replacement windows).

Replacement Windows

img source: amazingexteriors.com

Replacement windows often called retrofit windows, are designed to replace existing windows in a home. They’re most likely to be seen in window replacement and home renovation projects. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they may also be custom manufactured to meet the specifications of your current windows. Replacement windows are frequently energy efficient and perform well. Many replacement windows now come with double or triple panes of glass as technology advances. These windows have high energy efficiency ratings because they help insulate your home, lowering your energy costs.

New construction windows

img source: builders-surplus.com

New construction windows are typically used in the construction of new residences or additions to existing ones. Of course, this is a realistic alternative if you wish to change the placement, shape, or size of your current windows. New construction windows, unlike replacement windows, must be put directly on the framing using a nail fin frame. The home’s exterior isn’t finished until the installation is complete. This option takes a little longer than replacement windows because it requires more work.

When Shall You Use New Construction Windows?

We can speak about installing a window in an existing wall, in a home that has to be built, or in case you need to remake the window opening and the frame because they are in a bad condition.

In any case, a new construction window comes with such components as:

  • Nailing
  • Flanges
  • Attachment fins or other elements that enable the window installation

Such windows can be installed in a new house or when you are constructing a house addition. It is possible to use them in already existing buildings as well. It can happen if the original frame or stud is damaged. It is possible to consider this option if you are changing the wall.

Such windows are relatively easy to install. They are also widely available in different sizes and shapes. For more visit https://legacyusa.com/blog/roofing-repair-and-replacement-services/

When Shall You Use Replacement Windows?

You can use replacement windows when you need to replace just the window itself, without the frame or stud replacement. It is done when only a window replacement is needed, without making any changes in the peripheral area. Therefore, replacement windows don`t have such elements as frames or studs. Their edges are smooth to facilitate the window replacement procedures.

However, performing replacement works is not the easiest task. You shall consider a lot of nuances. Even though replacement windows are made by a specialist, some discrepancies in measures are possible.

What Option Is More Cost-Efficient?

img source: bobvila.com

Normally, replacement windows are regarded as a cheaper option. You might have seen that new construction windows cost cheaper in a store. However, don’t forget about additional work and, thus, expenses:

  • You need to replace the inner and outer parts of the wall where you are going to install the window;
  • You will have to reconstruct the opening for the window.

These activities will boost the total price by a minimum of 50% or even double.

Thus, if you are renovating your home, and frames are in a good condition, consider a replacement window instead of a new construction window.

However, if you are making a new building, it means that you are making its walls. Thus, you can make them for a specific window. In such a case, we recommend installing a new construction window. You can choose the option you like in a store and make a window opening for it.

Another situation when it is better to choose a new construction window is if the old window frame or even the wall around it is damaged. The wall will need to be repaired. In several cases, you might need to replace a part of it. If it is the case, you can choose a new construction window. It will be cheaper and will last longer.

Always receive a consultation and quote from a skilled window contractor, regardless of which option you’ll need for your home. They’ll be able to answer your questions, put you on the right path, and provide you with an estimate depending on the specifics of your property.

Can New Construction Windows Be Used for Replacement?

img source: 4feldco.com

In two ways, new construction windows can be used for window replacement projects. Remember that the nail fin is the only difference between a new construction window and a replacement window. You can utilize a new construction window with the nail fin if you want to replace a window and remove the wall’s outside siding down to the studs. If you’re replacing windows and won’t be exposing the wall framing, remove the nail fins from the windows to avoid having to reorder windows without them.

Replacement Windows or New Construction Windows: Which One Should You Choose?

img source: diynetwork.com

For replacement windows, visit Adelphia Exteriors, which is the best solution for most existing homes. Existing homes are not advised for new construction windows, since new construction windows require the studs to be exposed. If your present frames are in good condition, this is a needless (and costly) step.

However, there are a few instances where new construction windows are preferable to replacement windows in an existing home. New construction windows are the greatest alternative if your present window frames are in poor condition. In this case, opting for new construction windows versus replacement windows helps you to go to the root of the problem and avoid future repairs.

New construction windows are required for new buildings, significant renovations requiring drywall removal, and home additions. Your contractor will build the wall around the size and shape of the windows once you’ve decided on which ones you want. They are inserted as part of the construction process when the wall studs are already exposed, so no other processes are required.


As you can see, the choice of whether to install a new construction window or a replacement window is pretty easy. You need to follow some rules and consider expenses in both cases. And if you doubt, don`t hesitate to hire a specialist. It will save you time and money, and the work will be done with top quality.