Retrofit vs Reconstruction

Retrofit windows or replacement windows are installed into the existing window opening, while new construction windows (see turnkey residential) are installed within the frame of the house by nailing flanges.

Retrofit windows are fabricated to fit the existing window opening perfectly to prevent the removal of any exterior materials of your home. Installation of retrofit windows is usually done from the exterior of your home without damaging the stucco, trim or siding and is less invasive because only the window sash is being replaced. There are however ways to install from the interior of your home.

If your window frames are in good shape and you are keeping the size of the existing window opening then retrofit windows may be a good option.

New construction windows are fabricated for new homes, an addition to a home, or when the studs are exposed. Installation of new construction windows use a nail fin frame, which means the windows will be nailed directly onto the framing of your home. This is a little more invasive than retrofitting, since the exterior materials, stucco, trim or siding are all removed to expose the studs.

The time to consider a new construction window would be if the studs or window frame is damaged by water, mold, and rot, if you are completely replacing a wall or your home’s siding or changing the size of the window opening.

As for cost, retrofit windows are more budget-friendly. New construction windows may seem less expensive, but you have to consider the additional cost of reconstructing the window opening and replacing parts of the interior and exterior wall.

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We are highly satisfied with the work. It has exceeded our expectations. Team Leader, Richard and his crew were exceptional. They not only executed a difficult job, but they have taken the greatest care in protecting our floors and furniture in the process and have gone out of their way to make staying in our home during construction as painless as possible. This reflects impressively on the company and its employees. Thanks to all involved in the project. – John F.