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The Vinyl Replacement Windows Buyer's Guide

New Construction vs. Retrofit Replacement Windows

Stucco damage like this is often required if you choose new construction windows.
Stucco damage like this is often required if you choose new construction windows.

When replacing your home's windows, you basically have two choices, each with their own pros and cons. With "new construction" windows, the original window frame is completely removed. This usually involves damage to your home’s exterior and interior trim and/or siding which must be repaired. In stucco homes, the stucco surrounding the window is removed and then replaced after the installation.

"Retrofit" windows, on the other hand are installed on top of the original window frame. Since the old frame is left in place, installation is quicker, easier and less expensive. Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both options.

New Construction Window (Full Frame Replacement)

Pros Cons
  • A more "custom" look
  • Less prone to leakage
  • No loss of glass area
  • Usually requires damage to trim/siding
  • More expensive
  • Takes longer to install

Retrofit Window (Window Only Replacement)

Pros Cons
  • Less Expensive
  • Can be completed quickly
  • No damage to siding/trim
  • Wider frame means some glass area will be lost
  • Some styles look cheap/unprofessional
  • More prone to leakage

Because of their lower cost and ease of installation, retrofit windows have become hugely popular. This is the type of window we chose for our home and it is the focus of this buyer's guide.

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Buyer's Guide Contents
Why Vinyl Windows
New Construction vs. Retrofit Windows
Getting Estimates
Vinyl Window Features
Exterior Appearance
Energy Efficiency Ratings
Building Codes, Permits and Fire Codes
Installation Process
Life with Our New Vinyl Windows
Window Rebates & Credits
2011 Federal Tax Credit
Atlanta, GA Rebate
Georgia Power Rebate
Long Beach, CA Rebate
Virginia State Rebate
Window Manufacturers
Before and After Photos
Vinyl Windows
Vinyl Patio Doors

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