If there is a mantra out there that says that time reveals all things, then those that live their life by it will be better off. When it comes to window replacement, it is most difficult to have foresight as you are most likely not very familiar with the intricacies of the trade.

Choosing the appropriate installation type will likely be the first and most important choice that you will have to make when replacing your doors and windows. Luckily for you, there are only two options to choose from: retrofit and full frame. Before we start our comparison, we will review what these installation styles are.

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Retrofit installation is characterized by the installation of a vinyl window into the existing wooden frame. This type should be chosen only when the existing frames are in good shape. What does this mean? Well, generally, if you choose a retrofit installation, you will keep your existing casing as well as the brickmould – the main exterior member. So, for the existing frame to be deemed in good shape, the casings, jamb extensions, and brickmoulds should not be rotted and be free of cracks and breaks. However, these components are mostly cosmetic and will generally hide any lurking issues.

The full-frame installation method takes care of everything, even the hidden problems. It is characterized by a complete replacement of all wooden members of the rough opening with the exception of wall studs. Full frame replacements will usually mean that your new windows will come with a new vinyl brickmould, vinyl jamb extension and vinyl casing. Aesthetically, full-frame window replacement will deliver a clean, fresh look to all the windows. Better yet, it will give you peace of mind. All full window replacement projects must be done with consideration for rotted wood. Professional window installers are aware of this and will replace the wood without having to be told to do so.

Now that we know which installation type is which, let’s compare. This comparison will not be hypothetical. Here we will look at a retrofit installation and a full frame replacement after some time has passed.

triple_glazed_windows_retrofit_installation
Notice the cracking paint on the original wooden frame around the window that was not replaced during a retrofit installation. Not only is it unappealing to look at, it raises doubts about whether or not that vinyl window is weather proof.
Retrofit_Installation
Here we have a close-up of the original wooden window frame. It makes the window visually unappealing and raises the chance of water seeping in or air seeping out, and a chance of rooted window frame members.

Now let’s compare this to a full frame installation.

Full_frame_installation_1
A full frame replacement installation, all the original wood was removed and a new vinyl window, casing, jamb and brickmould were installed.

Regardless of which installation type you decide on, there are certain things to keep in mind. Some unsavoury window companies in Edmonton sell retrofit windows claiming they are actually a full-frame replacement.

As you can see, a full-frame window replacement provides a flawless finish that rejuvenates the home. This installation type goes a long way to ensure that your home windows will serve their function for countless years to come without being compromised by structural issues or the disintegration of original window parts. With only a slight price difference, full frame replacement is a worthy investment to make for the future of your home.

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