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  • Zups Construction

7 Expert Tips for Retrofit Window Replacement

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Photo of old windows

Not a day goes by that you don’t look through the windows in your home. They are a vital focal point for your house and provide security and protection from the elements. There is a time, though, that you may need to replace your windows.

When windows get old, they start to malfunction, leading to drafts and sometimes even security risks. Drafty windows that don’t close properly lead to higher heating and cooling bills for you.

And if you are preparing to sell your home, old windows may stand between you and a higher selling price.

That window in the kitchen with a crack in it could shatter at any moment. The windows that seem to be crooked in your bedroom could cause problems with heating and safety. And any window that does not close properly can be an easy entrance for unwanted visitors.

There are many window choices on the market, and it is worth your time to investigate all the options to determine the best fit for your home.

Replacing old, damaged, or dysfunctional windows with retrofit windows can increase the external aesthetics of your home, decrease heating and cooling bills, improve the value of your home, and enhance the safety and security of your home.

When the time comes to consider window replacement you have two options: newly constructed windows or retrofit windows.

Retrofit windows, also known as replacement windows, are gaining in popularity due to the ease with which they can be installed and their less expensive price tag.

If you are short on time and money but need to replace your windows, retrofit windows are a great option. Choosing this option puts new, functional windows in your home without the contractor having to make any changes to the outer structure of your home. Remove the old window and replace it with the retrofit window.

Before we go further, let's look a bit more into what a retrofit window is.

What is a Retrofit Window?

Photo of a retrofit window

Retrofit windows were made specifically to cut the time and cost of window replacement. They fit into the original framing, so their installation ends up being cheaper, faster, and easier to accomplish. Here are the two most common types of replacement windows:

  1. Flush fin: The flush fin window is typical in homes with stucco exteriors and aluminum window frames. The flush fin window is constructed with a surface that fits flush against the original aluminum frame.

  2. Block frame: This type of retrofit window is for wooden window frames in homes with brick or siding.

Retrofit windows may not provide as much of a customized look as new construction windows, and they may be more likely to leak. But they are easier to install because they don’t require the old window frames to be changed to make the new windows fit properly.

7 Tips for Using Retrofit Windows

A replacement window

As with any window replacement, there are tips when it comes to using replacement windows. Though they are less expensive and easier to install, there are some things to consider before choosing retrofit windows as a replacement for the aging windows in your home.

Retrofit windows can have a higher propensity to leaking than new construction windows. They also may not look very high end if set together improperly.

Here are seven things to think about when selecting retrofit windows that will help you get the results you desire at the price you can afford.

  1. View: When using retrofit windows to improve the views in your home, try to mix windows that open with some that don’t. This provides some nice visual diversity in the look of your house.

  2. Leakage Protection: One way of protecting your home from leaking windows is to use awning windows. Not only are they good for ventilation, but since they open outward, they also provide a shield for the window opening.

  3. Convenience: Replacement windows add comfort, character, and functionality to your home. Some windows use hand cranks to open them, making them only accessible from the inside. This type of window can not only add increased security but also brings an entirely different ambiance to your home. Look at each room and choose windows that are functional and convenient.

  4. Privacy: Entryway and bathroom windows would be wonderful places to add privacy windows. These windows are made to obscure the view without losing the natural light. With the different colors and patterns available, you could add a gorgeous and functional window and not need to worry about the curtains.

  5. Safety: We all have concerns about our safety, especially when it comes to doors and windows. Retrofitting casement and awning type windows, which are difficult to pry open from the outside, are excellent choices. When paired with picture windows, these replacement options offer beauty, ventilation, and natural light. Another option is to use tempered glass. This glass is not only strong, but if it breaks, it breaks into pieces that don’t have sharp edges, decreasing the chance of cuts and injury from broken glass.

  6. Frame support: Make sure that the frame for the retrofit window is well supported. If it is not, the structure will start to sag and change shape which will give you a poor window fit. Poor frame support will increase the chance of leakage and gaps.

  7. Flashing: Flashing is used around window sills to keep water from leaking into the home. When using retrofit windows make sure that flashing is used with each window replacement to help prevent leaks into your home and walls.

The time will come when you will need to consider replacing the windows in your home. Retrofit windows are less expensive and easier to install than newly constructed windows. To make sure you get the most for your money, follow the tips above. Using retrofit windows can significantly enhance the beauty of your home as well as the functionality and security.

If you would like more information concerning replacement windows, contact us. We know you have questions, and we have answers.

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