New Construction vs Replacement Windows

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When it comes to windows, the phrases “new construction” and “replacement windows” get thrown around a lot.  While they both serve the same purpose of bringing natural light into your home, there’s one major difference between them. New construction windows have a nail fin. Replacement windows do not. 

What are New Construction Windows?

New construction windows are designed for installation in newly constructed buildings or additions. They’re integrated into the building’s design and structure from the beginning, which ensures a seamless fit. They have a nail fin or flange to assist with installation.

What are Replacement Windows?

Replacement windows are meant to replace existing windows in older, already existing buildings. They’re adapted to fit the existing window opening, making them suitable for renovation or remodeling projects. Replacement windows are smooth-sided to fit into existing openings. 

Installation: Replacement Windows Vs. New Construction Windows

New construction windows are installed during the construction phase of a building. They are integrated with the building’s framing and weather-resistant barriers, ensuring a secure and efficient installation. In contrast, replacement windows are installed after the construction phase. This process involves removing the old windows and adjusting the opening to accommodate the new ones. Like new construction windows, the end product or replacement windows is a secure and weather-resistant product that functions just like a new construction window. 

New construction windows may be used in some remodeling projects, if the renovation is taken down to the studs and if siding is also being replaced. 

Building Codes and Permits:

Both new construction and replacement window installations are subject to local building codes and regulations. New construction windows are typically part of the overall construction permit process, while replacement windows may require separate permits for the replacement project. It’s essential to verify compliance with local regulations to avoid any legal issues. Your window installer will be able to guide you through the permit process. 

How Do I Identify New Construction vs. Replacement Windows?

New construction windows can be identified by the nail fin or flange. Replacement windows do not have a nail fin and are smooth on the sides for easy installation in existing spaces.

Do I Need New Construction or Replacement Windows?

A professional window installer will advise you if you have any questions about the type of windows they are installing. In reality, the window installer is ordering the same quality and brand of window. He’s just specifying if the window requires a nail fin. Your window installer will make this choice based on the specific project.

Looking for a professional window installer in your area? Volpe Enterprises has been locally owned and operated since 1970 and is ready to help you with your window project. Contact us today for more information about your next vinyl window, wood window, or composite window project.

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