If you are shopping around for new windows for your home, you may have run across the term “new construction” windows. And perhaps you are wondering what the difference is between new construction windows and replacement windows.
New construction windows are installed while a home or other structure is being built. They go in while the window opening is still rough, and the home’s exterior and interior walls have not been fully finished. New construction means that the entire frame and sill is installed and joined to the home’s structure.
Replacement windows are designed to, as the name indicates, replace new construction windows that have aged, or perhaps are not delivering the performance available with newer, more technologically advanced windows. Window replacement projects seldom involve tearing out the sill and frame, but actually replace the inside components of the window. This avoids the time, expense and disruption of rebuilding the walls surrounding each window.
Unfortunately, during the building boom across the country in the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s, many new construction windows were chosen by builders as a “low cost” item. They installed wood frame, single pane windows that were cheap to obtain and easy to put in, without considering long term performance of the window. As a result, many homes across New England are “making do” with original windows that leak energy like sieves, causing heating and cooling bills to be much higher than necessary.
There is also an important difference in replacement windows that you should know about. To save money on production, many window companies manufacture “off the shelf” replacement windows in common sizes. These are the types of replacement windows you’ll find in “big box” hardware stores, or offered by non-specialist contractors who install windows as a sideline.
Beware! Off the shelf windows are designed to fit a narrow range of window openings, and may not be a good fit for your home. You are much better served by purchasing replacement windows that are custom sized and manufactured specifically for your home. It may add a few weeks to your project, but the delay will be well worth it when you enjoy windows that fit properly and function beautifully.
If your home still has its original “new construction” windows and you are ready to step up to more functional and energy efficient replacement windows, call Rescom at (866) 410-5884. We’d be happy to schedule a free, no obligation in-home consultation and estimate.