What is the Difference Between Insert Replacement Windows & Full-Frame Replacement Windows?
There are actually two methods to replacing a home’s windows, each requiring distinctive types of replacement windows. This may not be something you discover in a typical window-buying conversation, but you may have unknowingly come across these options during your search: insert replacement windows and full-frame replacement windows. It’s also worth noting that not all replacement window companies offer the choice of insert or full-frame. So, what’s the difference between an insert replacement window and a full-frame replacement window? Let’s break down the characteristics that make each option unique:
Insert Replacement Windows
80% of window replacements consist of removing the old window frame with its sashes and “inserting” a new window in its place. Insert windows are the most common because they are user-friendly and leave the existing interior and exterior trim undisturbed. What you’re left with are beautiful, energy-efficient, replacement windows in the color and style you want. And best of all, the job is finished and virtually maintenance-free from the moment the installers leave your home.
Installing Insert Replacement Windows
Window inserts are fully operational windows installed within the existing window trim and sill. The exterior wood components are completely custom wrapped in an aluminum material that is color-matched to your home’s trim and the window color. The result is a maintenance-free window that utilizes the existing wood trim. The insert method allows some of the original window components to remain in place. The object of both methods is to maintain a home’s architectural integrity and improve the energy efficiency of the window openings in the home.
Full-Frame Replacement Windows
Unlike insert replacement windows, full-frame windows include the exterior trim and windowsills and require the interior window trim to be replaced as well. Following the installation, homeowners can put the finishing touches on the window by painting or staining the interior trim.
Full-Frame Replacement Window Installation
During the installation of a full-frame replacement window, the entire window is removed, leaving only the rough opening like in new home construction. When might a full-frame window be a more viable option over an insert replacement window? A full-frame window installation is recommended when:
- There is significant rot or deterioration to the exterior wood components of a window opening
- The window is out of square (unlevel)
- A larger window opening is desired or required
- You wish to replace the old window’s frame to maximize energy efficiency
In some cases, a full-frame window installation is the best choice due to the glass loss with an insert replacement window. Because of the amount of additional materials and work that is required during a full-frame window installation, these projects typically amount to larger investments—approximately 20 to 25% more.
Window Replacement Done Right
Whether your window installation calls for insert replacement windows or full-frame replacement windows, you’ll want to leave your project in the hands of a professional. Proudly serving homeowners throughout the state of Indiana as well as the southwest corner of Michigan, BEE Window has been caring for homes like yours since 1983. In fact, since first opening our doors, we’ve installed over 600,000 windows! Our lead installers are certified to install the windows we offer, which we are proud to source from some of the industry’s leading manufacturers.
Reach out to the BEE Window team to schedule complimentary, in-home consultation where we can discuss the differences between insert replacement windows and full-frame replacement windows in greater detail. During our conversation, we’ll also be happy to tell you about our unrivaled window replacement practices and the financing options available to qualifying customers.