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The Difference Between Insert and Full-Frame Replacement Windows

View of room with beige walls and white-frame windows.

There are two methods to replace 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 insert replacement windows and frame windows? Let’s break down insert replacement windows versus frame replacement windows. 

What are Insert Replacement Windows? 

Insert windows, also known as pocket windows or retrofit windows, are designed to fit inside existing window frames without disturbing the surrounding trim or wall structure. These windows are ideal for homeowners looking to upgrade their windows without undergoing extensive renovations. You can expect your insert replacement windows to be: 

  • Quick to install – Insert windows can be installed efficiently, minimizing disruption to your home. 
  • Cost-effective – Since insert windows use existing frames, they are often more affordable than full-frame replacements. 
  • Maintain the interior trim – The installation of insert windows preserves the interior trim and finishes, maintaining the aesthetic integrity of your home. 
  • Energy efficient – With advancements in technology, insert windows can offer excellent energy efficiency, helping reduce heating and cooling costs. 

What Should You Expect in an Insert Window Installation? 

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 uses 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. 

What are Full-Frame Replacement Windows? 

Full-frame windows, also known as new construction windows, involve the complete removal of the existing window frame and surrounding trim. This allows for a fresh start, providing the opportunity to address any underlying issues and customize the window opening to suit your preferences. It’s especially ideal if there is rot, the window is unlevel, or a larger window opening is desired. Homeowners like full-frame replacement windows because they provide: 

  • Customization options – Full-frame replacements offer greater flexibility in terms of size, shape, and configuration, allowing homeowners to customize their windows to their exact specifications. 
  • Enhanced insulation – By replacing the entire window structure, full-frame installations can improve insulation and reduce drafts, enhancing overall comfort and energy efficiency. 
  • Help for structural issues – Full-frame replacements provide the opportunity to address any underlying structural issues, such as rot or water damage, ensuring long-term durability and performance. 
  • A new aesthetic – With full-frame installations, homeowners can achieve an updated look inside and outside their home, enhancing curb appeal. 

What Should You Expect in a Full-Frame 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. Following the installation, homeowners can put the finishing touches on the window by painting or staining the interior trim. Because of the number 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. 

Choosing Between Insert Windows and Full-Frame Windows 

Deciding between insert windows and full-frame windows ultimately depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. You should consider your: 

  • Existing window condition – If your existing window frames are in good condition and you want a cost-effective solution, insert windows may be the way to go. However, if there are structural issues or you desire a complete overhaul, full-frame replacements offer a comprehensive solution. 
  • Budget constraints – Insert windows typically require less labor and material costs compared to full-frame replacements, making them a more budget-friendly option for homeowners with financial constraints. 
  • Design preferences – If you have specific design preferences or require custom sizing, full-frame replacements offer greater flexibility and customization options to meet your aesthetic goals. 
  • Long-term goals – Consider your long-term goals for your home. Full-frame replacements may require a larger upfront investment but offer greater durability and potential energy savings over time. 

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, Inc. 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 a complimentary, in-home consultation where we can discuss the difference between insert windows and frame 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.

Why Choose BEE Window?

Here at BEE Window, we always put you first. For example, to accommodate your specific style preferences and budget requirements, we offer several options to choose from for each product category. Plus, we extend a lifetime, non-prorated, and transferable warranty for your peace of mind. We also want you to feel comfortable in the investment that you are making with us and in your home, which is why we offer a price-match guarantee on all of our upgrades.

The home improvement process starts with an initial consultation with one of our project managers. During the meeting, your project manager will showcase product options, discuss warranty and project timelines as well as give you financial options.

Schedule Now

When you choose to partner with BEE, we can help you customize the look you want for your home and order the top-of-the-line products that will produce the desired outcome.

Design It Here

Once the installation of your new home improvement products is complete, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the advantages of your new windows, siding, doors, and more.

Visit our Showroom
1
Schedule Appointment

The home improvement process starts with an initial consultation with one of our project managers. During the meeting, your project manager will showcase product options, discuss warranty and project timelines as well as give you financial options.

Schedule Now
2
Design Your Look

When you choose to partner with BEE, we can help you customize the look you want for your home and order the top-of-the-line products that will produce the desired outcome.

Design It Here
3
Enjoy Your New Home

Once the installation of your new home improvement products is complete, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the advantages of your new windows, siding, doors, and more.

Visit our Showroom
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