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21
May
2015

New Construction, Full Frame, or Retrofit Window Installation


Window installations can be divided into three main categories, and each one accommodates different needs. At NorthShield Windows and Doors, we take all the relevant variables into account before helping the homeowner make the right choice to suit them and their home. It's not only about the aesthetic appeal but also a number of practical aspects that will determine the best course of action.

New Construction

This is one of the most straightforward window installations of all. As the name suggests, a new construction is the term used for installing a brand new window where there was no window before. This is generally the case when homeowners extend their home by adding on another room. In most cases, the windows are selected before construction on the walls begins. Builders will leave the allocated space for windows to be fitted at a later stage.

 

Full Frame

This window installation option involves removing the entire window as well as the frame, window coverings, trim and if necessary the jamb extensions too. Due to the amount of work and materials required for the new installation, it is easy to understand how this particular option tends to cost more than retrofitting your windows.

Full frame window replacements are the ideal solution for homeowners who are concerned about energy efficiency. It's also the best option if you notice even the slightest sign of mold or if the window is malfunctioning in any way. In many instances, if you notice mold on the exterior of the frame, it's highly likely that there's even more mold lurking inside the frame. Not only does mold give your home an unpleasant smell but it also poses a health risk and needs to be eradicated.

Full-frame tear outs are also recommended for all vinyl windows. Vinyl cannot be painted and is particularly vulnerable to the elements that are known to cause discoloration. If you install new windows but keep the old frames, it will undoubtedly be more of an eyesore than an improvement.  

In many cases, the age of the window will also determine whether or not it should be completely torn out.

 

Retrofit

A retrofit installation is also referred to as an insert and means that the window itself will be replaced while the main frame remains in place. The interior and exterior trim will also remain in place which means that this is a far less invasive method. The window stops and sashes will also need to be removed during this type of installation before the new window can be fitted.

Retrofit installations are cheaper than full tear outs, but they do not always offer much of an improvement in terms of energy efficiency. Since the main frame remains in place, there is no way for this type of installation to ensure adequate insulation between the wall and window frame.

On the plus side, retrofits are often chosen by those who wish to maintain a certain design such as historic buildings.

It should also be noted that historic structures were often built during a time when quality was a way of life as opposed to mass production. The types of wood used at least 60 years ago are not only durable but also of historic value. This is the main reason for choosing a retrofit in such instances.

Different window installations and window styles suit different needs. There are several aspects that need to be considered, and the choices can be overwhelming at first. Consult with one of our trained team members to help make sense of all our options and choose the best type of installation to suit your needs and budget.

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Google Rating
4.8
Sanjay Tamang
2 months ago
Love our new windows and doors. We had all our windows replaced on the main floor, side door and front door, as well as the storm doors. The installation team was great. They removed the existing awning and were really great at cleaning up after the work. There were a couple of issues after the install, but the after sales service team of Alex and Walter were able to resolve it promptly. Great advice from Walter about keeping the humidity inside the house to maintain the windows, and also how to operate them properly. And thanks very much Alex and team for buying the doorbell and installing it for us, as well as fixing the bottom part of the door frames to cover holes on the flooring. Appreciate all your hard work and for going the extra mile. Will definitely recommend your company to friends, neighbors and family.
Thomas Carlyle
a week ago
NorthShield did an excellent job with our house. They were the lowest price our of 4 companies I contacted for quotes. The windows look beautiful, and the molding is very well done. The installation was very quick, they replaced all of the windows in our house in about 4 hours. They cleaned up everything completely afterwards inside and outside, you can't even tell they were here! Very professional, very high quality installation, materials and work. I would highkly recommend them.
Courtney Schappert
2 months ago
Likely a good company for windows, installers seemed competent. However for doors they seemed to have much less experience. My salesman left the company midway through the process and I wasn't informed, and turns out some miscommunication between him and I led to a product I didn't want. The door is nice, just not what I had thought I ordered, and it took about 4 months to get, so I accepted it. The paint also chipped after they left, which leaves a bad feeling (even though that's more of a manufacturer issue than NorthShield issue). I'm not saying these guys are going to be bad for you, but I'm not thrilled with my result. REPLY December 5, 2018: I had called about the paint chip and wrong door options already at the time and was told there was no recourse for me. The paint chip was there when I came home from work after the door was installed, but you provided a picture the installers took before the paint was chipped, so at that time I was told there was no recourse. The wrong options I was told was due to a salesman who took my order having left the company, and there was no paperwork showing my chosen option (no door handle hole to be cut). I will call again tomorrow and update this with the results of that conversation.
Carl To
4 months ago
Alex and the team at north shield were amazing. Great customer service, along with a great team of installers. North shield replaced my 2 front living room windows in 1 day. They even took away my awning! Highly recommended
Lois
3 months ago
Very professional workers that despite finding, no vapor barrier and wood rot on our deck, fixed it right and continued to install our very beautiful door and side light without complaint. I would highly recommend Northshield to any friends, neighbors or anyone else. I am a very Happy, Happy Gal with my beautiful new door!
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