Full window replacement vs. insert install


Old 11-12-10, 10:47 PM
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Question Full window replacement vs. insert install

I am replacing doublehung and casement windows and am considering Anderson, Pella and am open to other brands, as well. The Anderson salesperson recommends full window install, tearing out the molding, window sills, etc. and installing a new window. He prefers this because he says the insert cannot be as well insulated because of the way it must be installed as compared to the full install. The Pella salesperson recommends an insert, leaving interior molding, etc. intact.

I am interested in hearing opinions comparing the two installations. Our interior walls and woodwork are in very good condition and we have recently repainted.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-13-10, 04:56 AM
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Welcome to the forums!! As you have seen, there is more than one school of thought, and there are good and bad in both.
New frame windows will often require siding and interior molding removal and some modification unless custom built. However their profile is more open and you will get more light in the window.
Replacement windows are a snap to install, require no modification to your exterior or interior, BUT the frame is a little thicker cutting down on the side and top of the window, and you will note somewhat less openness.
When I am able to do it without a lot of modification, I prefer new construction windows. But it isn't always practical, nor are most budgets ready for siding removal, etc. That's when replacements come in to play.
Old 11-13-10, 03:23 PM
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Question Full window replacement vs. insert install

Thank you for your reply. Is it your experience that you can get good insulation with the insert or is there a big difference?

Old 11-13-10, 03:36 PM
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With a good install...there's no reason why the insulation should be that much less. Get foam filled frames...caulk the ext and int to create that dead air space. Much better than most windows.
Old 11-13-10, 06:01 PM
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The reason one recommends a full tearout, is probably because when you completely tear out the old window, and reinstall a new one, there is no doubt that the window opening will be well insulated (provided the installer doesn't miss something).

With an insert, the replacement window that is inserted into an old frame can be sealed up nicely, but there is no guarantee that the perimeter of the "old frame" that it is going into has been insulated correctly.

Pella windows can also be installed as a new construction window. He was probably just trying to give you a lower bid by bidding their precision fit windows.

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