Reasons to Choose Full Frame Rather than Inserts for Window Replacement

Window Replacement

Should you choose inserts or full-frame replacement windows?

This is a pretty common question that we field for window replacement projects. Generally, our answer will be to go with full-frame windows. This will increase the short-term cost of the project but likely save you money in the long run. Here are a few reasons why.

Four key reasons to do full-frame window replacement

  • It’s not just the windows themselves that are old
  • There could be other damage
  • Inserts can reduce visible area
  • Full-frames will likely be more energy-efficient

Let’s take a closer look at each point to help you get a better idea of window replacement.

Old windows have old surroundings

If your windows are old and worn enough to need replacement, it’s highly likely that the frames and surrounding sill, trim and other components are worn as well. Doing a full-frame replacement enables you to upgrade the entire window. All things being equal, an entirely new window is almost always preferable to an older frame with a new window inserted.

Other damage repair

Again, you’re probably replacing your old windows for a reason. Simply using inserts does not allow you to expose the full structure and evaluate the condition of the window and surrounding area.

In many cases, the old windows allowed for the introduction of moisture into both the frame and the area around the window. With full-frame replacement, you can evaluate and repair any areas of concern as part of the project.

Reduced visible area

Most homeowners prefer a larger visible area from their windows. Because replacement inserts have a frame around them, you typically have a smaller glass area inside the additional frame structure. This means more frame and less glass. Some may not consider this a major concern but it is a noticeable difference.

Increased energy-efficiency with full-frame windows

As newer windows and frames are newer technology, they’re generally more energy-efficient. Having a window with completely new technology and construction is almost always more efficient than just new inserts.

By doing a full-frame replacement, you also open up the opportunity to seal and insulate the frame, sill and surrounding area. This means less air and moisture transfer not just through the window, but around it as well.

Why roll the dice?

Yes, full-frame replacement will cost you a bit more money on your window replacement project. On the other hand, it’s likely to save you money on your energy bill. It’s also likely to eliminate the risk of additional damage to go unnoticed and require more repairs down the road.

By going the full-frame route, you may spend a bit more now but you’ll have better visibility, higher efficiency windows with no fear of undetected damage sneaking up on you later. In our opinion, the benefits almost always outweigh the somewhat higher costs.



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