If you’re looking to restore or update your windows, you may have heard the term ‘retrofit windows’ used. What are they, and would they work for your project? Let’s take a look!

Not a full replacement

First up, it’s important to distinguish between retrofit windows and replacement windows. In a full replacement, the entire window and its surrounds are removed. This includes the frame and sash, and parts of the siding around it.

Retrofit windows leave the frame, trim, and siding intact, which means it’s less expensive and needs less time and labor. But it also means it won’t work for every window problem.

When would you choose to retrofit windows?

So, when would retrofit windows make the most sense? They’re the best to use if you’re trying to boost comfort or energy efficiency, but the existing frame and trim are in good condition. It’s an especially good choice for older homes with charm and character, as you won’t disturb high-quality wood-frame windows.

Retrofit windows are also used when you want to upgrade the technology used in your window glass. From Low-E glass and warm-edge spacers to double- or triple-glazing, retrofit windows let you overhaul the energy efficiency of your home without a major renovation.

Of course, if you have substantial glass damage and want to do a mass repair, it’s also a smart move.

When not to use retrofit windows

So when are retrofit windows not suitable? Firstly, if the frames are ugly, warped, or damaged, retrofitting windows won’t help. This includes mold and rot issues. You also can’t use them for a style upgrade, as the trim and sash (the things we really notice) are not changed out. When your home needs a full facelift, rather choose a full replacement.

If you’re not sure what type of window replacement would be best for your home, you can always organize a glass firm to come out to your premises and advise you on the best strategy. Remember it’s always best to contact a professional glass company yourself, instead of accepting door-to-door offers, as these could be fraudulent.