When researching or shopping for windows, you as a homeowner are likely to encounter a lot of unfamiliar terms. One phrase it’s important to understand is “new construction window.” In this short article, we’ll explain what a new construction window is, and when it’s an appropriate choice for your home project.

New Construction Windows Defined

If you look at new construction windows, the important and obvious difference between them and other windows is that new construction windows have a strip of metal around their entire perimeter. This strip is called a nail fin, or nailing fin. The nail fin allows the window to be nailed directly to the studs of the house’s frame, which increases its durability and makes the frame more waterproof and airtight. They are called new construction windows because putting them in requires the studs to be exposed, which typically only happens during a wall’s initial construction or during major renovations.

New Construction Versus Replacement

Replacement windows, on the other hand, uses the existing frame and trim. It lacks the nail fin because it instead screws into the frame jamb without having to strip down to the studs. Even though the raw cost of new construction windows is comparable to replacement windows, when factoring in the more extensive nature of new construction labor it is usually less expensive to install replacements. This is especially true for homes with masonry exteriors because this material is more difficult to remove and replace than siding.

When to Choose New Construction Windows

There are situations where it makes more sense to opt for new construction windows, however. The first is if the wall framing is exposed for a reason besides window replacement, such as a new addition being added or if you’re redoing the siding or exterior. Take advantage of that opportunity because it’s the easiest time to install new construction windows. It also allows the installer to put new insulation around the window and make sure that the drainage plane of the wall–the way water is channeled down and away from the building to prevent damage and mold–is not compromised.

The second scenario is if there are existing structural problems with a window frame because sliding in a replacement window won’t resolve such issues. Any kind of cracking, rotting, or water damage to a window frame makes reusing it for a replacement window a waste of good effort and money, and it won’t get rid of your drafts and high heating and cooling bills.

In conclusion, there are some real advantages to putting in new construction windows if you’re either willing to have the extra work done on the exterior or if you incorporate them into planned renovations that include exterior stripping. Alternately, it may be necessary if the window frames are damaged. However if cost is your main issue and the existing frames are in good condition, or if you really don’t want to disturb your home’s exterior, the relative ease of replacement windows may be the better route for you.

If you’re in the Atlanta, Marietta, Georgiaor surrounding areas and would like to know more, or to get a FREE no cost, no obligation, absolutely no-pressure estimate give us a call.