To the average person, the difference between replacement and new construction windows may not be all that apparent.  Windows are windows, right?  Well, not exactly.  There are significant differences between these two types of windows, so if you’re planning on buying some, it’s important to understand the distinction between replacement vs. new construction windows.  In your aid we’ve prepared an article to help you make the correct purchase.

When To Buy Replacement Windows

A replacement window is used when you are substituting it for an existing window, whether that existing window itself is a replacement or new construction window.  This means that the building in which the window is being fitted is not in the process of construction and the structure around the window fitting area is in good repair.  Replacement windows are designed to slide into place without extensive alterations.  You may need to remove and replace the interior trim and do some touch up painting, but beyond that, replacement windows are meant to be used in a pre-existing framework.  Replacement windows don’t have what are known in the trade as nailing fins or mounting flanges.  These fins or flanges are components of new construction windows which help secure the window during installation while also improving the weatherproof seal.  That said, because of the necessity of precise measurements, replacement windows aren’t created for the average do-it-yourselfer and they may not be easily found in retail hardware stores.

When To Buy New Construction Windows

As the name suggests, new construction windows are used when a building is being newly constructed.  This could be a new house or an addition to an existing structure.  There should be no siding or trim already in place.  The only time you would use new construction windows in an existing building is if the framing around the existing window is in such poor shape that it needs to be completely rebuilt or replaced.  New construction windows feature nailing fins which help during installation and ensure a weatherproof seal.  Compared with replacement windows, new construction windows are easier to install for the average do-it-yourselfer and can be bought at most retail outlets.