Window Installation Types

Jan 18, 2022
Man installing a replacement window

When searching for replacement windows, it is easy to get lost in a sea of options for materials, styles, and colors. Trying to decide what is best for your home becomes even more complicated when factoring in the high price tag of a window replacement project. But one thing homeowners have to keep top of mind during their search for windows is the type of installation method used to install their new products. Installation techniques can have a huge impact on the price of the project as a whole and on the long-term efficiency of the new windows. The two main techniques are insert installation and full-frame installation, and in this article, we explain the difference and why the installation matters. 

Insert Window Installation

Insert installation is commonly associated with replacement windows and is sometimes referred to as “pocket replacement”. In an insert application, a new window is installed within the frame of an existing window, leaving the existing window trim and frame intact. This approach is fantastic if there is no structural damage to the existing windows and if you are looking to keep the current interior/exterior trim. Insert installations tend to move fast and be less invasive than a full-frame installation, even though the windows are still anchored in place and fully insulated. This gives you a well-insulated window with little to no additional work needed after the installation. Insert installations also tend to be less costly than full-frame replacement, mainly because less material is needed overall. However, a potential drawback of insert installation is that the window may lose glass space, meaning the new window may appear slightly smaller than the old one. This is due to putting a new window within the existing frame, so if maximizing your view is important to you, it is important to consider this when choosing the installation technique for your project.

Full Frame Installation

Full frame installation, also called “new construction installation”, involves removing the entire existing window (frame and all) and replacing everything down to the studs of your home. This involves removing interior and exterior trim, and it is typically a more involved installation technique that takes more materials and more time to complete. This lends itself to higher price tags for full-frame installations than their insert counterparts. However, if there is any structural damage to the opening (warping, rot, water damage, etc.) then a full-frame installation may be necessary. Taking out the entire existing structure allows a professional to review the surrounding area and fix any issues that may arise as they are rebuilding the window opening. Additionally, a full-frame installation allows you to keep the existing opening the same size, meaning you won’t lose any glass space when replacing your windows. After installation, there is typically trim (interior, exterior, or both) that needs to be put up, and in some cases, this trim may need to be touched up or painted/stained entirely.

Both full-frame and insert installations have advantages and potential drawbacks, so it truly depends on your specific project and what matters most to you. Regardless of the installation technique that you choose, it is important to consider the installation teams and who is responsible for performing the installation. Experienced installers can overcome any issue that may arise during the completion of your project, so it is crucial to ask the companies you are considering about their installation teams. At HEGG, we provide our customers with employee installers who have years of experience handling situations just like theirs. No matter if it is a full-frame or an insert installation, our employee installers can provide a top-of-the-line installation experience.  

There are a lot of decisions to be made when replacing your windows, and we understand that it can be overwhelming to figure out what is best for your home. HEGG believes it is our responsibility to educate our customers and work with them to find out what they need and want out of a project, and from there, we work with them to find the perfect solution.

Do you have a window replacement project coming up and have questions regarding the installation? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.