Which Type of Replacement Window Installation is Best for Your Home?
A common question for many homeowners that begin their search for replacement windows is what type of installation is best for their current situation: full frame or pocket (insert) replacement. It may be that you have old double-hung windows, but after careful thought, you decide that new casement windows are exactly what your home needs. Or, it could be that you love your current windows and their unique woodwork and trim but a few need to be replaced to help with your home’s energy efficiency. Before you make your final decision, it’s important to know the difference between the two methods. Plus we’ve provided some pros and cons of each.
Full Frame Replacement Windows
A full frame replacement window installation mirrors that of new construction installations. It’s essentially a complete replacement. The entire existing window frame, sash, trim, and other window components are removed and replaced. Full frame replacement is a common option for homeowners that are changing the size, shape, or style of their windows, often resulting in superior weather tightness, increased energy efficiency, and larger glass area.
You’re probably now asking…how do I know if a full frame window installation is best for my home? Here are some quick tips to help in your decision. Full frame replacement is best when:
- You are looking to modify or customize the shape and/or size of your current windows
- The existing window frame or woodwork is deteriorated, rotted, and damaged
- You are looking to improve insulation, reduce air leakage, and maximize your home’s energy efficiency
- A larger window opening is required by egress fire codes
- The existing window frame doesn’t lend itself to a pocket installation
Pocket or Insert Replacement Windows
A pocket or insert replacement is exactly like it sounds. Your new windows will be inserted directly into the existing “pocket” or frame of the window that is being replaced…preserving the frame, exterior siding, and interior casing. A pocket replacement allows you to replace your windows with minimal disruption or construction in your home. It requires less modification to your current window and is a great solution when you only need one or two windows replaced – or if you are looking keep your current woodwork and casing around the windows.
When is a pocket installation best for my home?
- If you need just one or two windows replaced to match your existing look or window style
- The existing window frame and sill are still square, level, and in good condition
- You are happy with your current woodwork design or casing and would like to leave it in place
- The current window opening is structurally sound and able to withstand the installation process
- Pocket replacement typically results in quicker installation turnaround
- Better price points for tighter budgets
In the end, both full frame and pocket installations are effective options. Your decision ultimately depends on the existing condition of your window frames, size specifications, and design preferences. At Weather-Tek, we have customizable window options from a variety of nationally recognized brands and our team of factory-trained, certified installers help your windows perform their best for years to come! If you’d like more information or to view a demonstration of a full frame vs. pocket installation check out this video from our Replacement Sales Consultant, Ed Strautmanis.