Changing your windows is a (relatively) cost-effective way to give your home a facelift and improve energy efficiency. You have two main choices here- retrofit windows, and new construction. What’s the difference, and how do you know which is right for you?

Retrofit windows vs new construction

New construction windows are replacement windows, just like retrofit windows, but they take a lot more work to install. And with work, of course, comes cost. In a new construction, even the frames of your window will be ripped out. Siding will be cut, or bricks removed.

Retrofit windows, on the other hand, replace the glass without affecting the frame. This also prevents drywall or stucco damage. Of course, the frame will be repaired if needed, and typically painted or rejuvenated to look better than ever.

Advantages of retrofit windows

While new windows can help change the look of a home, you don’t always want that. Coupled with the cost and extensive renovation they take, they’re often overkill. Retrofit windows, on the other hand, allow you to install more energy-efficient windows, or replace glass, with minimal fuss and bother. You keep the original look and feel of your home, and do not need to replace siding either.

In fact, there’s only one key disadvantage to retrofit windows, and that’s that they rely on the old frame. If your frames are in good condition, there’s nothing to worry about! If they’ve warped, or the house has settled it can be difficult to recondition the frame. Provided it’s feasible, however, the retrofit window will undoubtedly be cheaper, less intrusive, and easier than a full window replacement.

At the end of the day, both ways to upgrade your windows have their pros and cons. Most homes benefit from having their windows repaired and replaced, especially if you’re upgrading to a more energy-efficient glass too. But if you like the look of your home and want a relatively low-cost, non intrusive way to make your home look its best, then retrofit windows are a great way to go.