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Window Replacement Plan 2018, Part 2: New Construction Windows vs Replacement Windows

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What’s in a name? It’s the age-old question that reminds us that what we call something can change the way we consider it. For an example, homeowners looking to replace their windows with Pella products can easily get hung up on the difference between “new construction” windows and “replacement” windows.

In the next section of our Window Replacement Plan 2018 series (see part 1 here), we break down the main differences between these two types of windows and indicate recommended scenarios to give Des Moines homeowners tips for choosing each.

Understanding the Jargon

New construction windows are used as part of new Des Moines construction projects and are often designed differently from replacement windows. Because they’re designed to be properly installed right into a new construction space, these windows typically include a nail flange (or nail fin) that attaches to the new construction where a window frame doesn’t currently exist. While new construction windows can be used in a remodel project, the project would most likely require a lot more work in removing existing materials to expose the studs. That’s where replacement windows come in.

Replacement windows, as the name implies, are meant to replace windows in previously-framed spaces. Also known as retrofit windows, these windows are built to allow Des Moines contractors to install the window without having to tear the existing walls down to the studs or remove any other exterior materials.

Instead, replacement windows are designed to fit in a correctly-measured precise opening and use the existing frame. Only the window itself is changed. Pella replacement windows can deliver the benefits of new windows while potentially saving time and money on installation labor for residents in Des Moines.

The Right Window for the Right Job

Knowing the difference between new construction and replacement windows and confirming those windows match other materials included in your project is vital to your project’s success. Meeting with a qualified window installation professional, such as the ones at Pella of Des Moines who can help you address other questions is equally important, which we’ll be discussing in part three of our series.

Use these reminders to help identify which type of window is the proper fit for each type of build:

  • New Construction Windows: Recommended for any project that requires new window framing or a tearing the wall down to the studs. This could be a new home build, a new addition to your hoe or a major remodel.
  • Replacement Windows: Recommended for any project where the window frame is not being replaced or is in good condition. If the walls are not being taken down, a replacement window is the proper choice for your window project.
  • Either Type: Depending on the window frame’s condition, you might be able to use a replacement rather than installing a new construction window. Make sure the window you choose offers a balance of the features you want at a cost you can be comfortable with.

Whether you’re adding one window or 15, your investment should sustain for years. Review your options and make sure they benefit your home project’s goals. 

For more information, contact one of the pros at Pella of Des Moines for a free in-home consultation.