Are you planning on replacing your old windows? If you answered yes, then you’ve probably spent some time looking at the many options for colors, styles, and materials, and have decided what you want. You may then, however, suddenly find yourself stumped when you go to the dealer and they ask if you want a full frame window or window insert. I have found in my years in the window and door replacement business, that many homeowners don’t understand the difference.
What exactly do these two terms mean and how will they affect your window replacement?
“Full frame” and “insert” are terms that refer to how you’d want to replace your old window. Full frame window installation requires removing the entire window; including the frame. On the other hand, replacement window inserts can be installed while keeping the old window frame intact. Both types of installations have different pros and cons, and choosing the right option can help you cut down on overall costs.
Full frame window installations start by getting rid of the existing window sill and trim. This leaves what can be described as a simple hole in the wall, just like when the house didn’t have any windows yet. This type of installation is often done if the older window has already been damaged by rot or warping to the point that it can no longer be repaired. This is also the more popular option among the two.
This type of window installation is also recommended if your old window doesn’t go well with the overall look of your house. This is because full frame window installation uses prefab windows with matching sill and trim. Of course, a full frame window is more expensive than insert window installation because it requires more work and materials. In some cases, such as total home makeovers, full replacement windows are used for every single window to give the home a uniform look.
Window inserts are fully functional windows, except they don’t come with their own sill and trim. When installing a window insert, only the old window pane (the part that moves) is removed. The old window sill and the side trim are left intact to accommodate the window insert. In some cases, the window sill may receive a few modifications to make it compatible with the new insert.
This type of window installation is ideal for a few situations. First, if the window sill and trim are still in good condition or if a simple repair can restore them to full condition, just replacing the insert would be a better option. Window inserts are also great if they’re already a match for the existing window sills, since it would eliminate the extra work associated with installing a full frame window.
Both full frame windows and window inserts are available in a variety of types, colors, and materials. It’s up to you and the condition of your current window whether the installation will be a more cost-efficient choice for you.
I hope that this explanation helps you understand the difference between full frames and inserts. If you’re still having trouble deciding which one to go for in your home, I suggest that you get in touch with a reputable expert on windows. They can come and inspect the windows in question and give you professional advice.
Stephanie Caines has been with Renewal by Andersen of Connecticut for eight years, climbing her way from Assistant to the Director of Marketing to Director of Operations. She oversees RbA’s projects from start to finish, making sure that everything is delivered on time, and clients are fully satisfied with what they get.