When you are replacing your windows for energy efficiency or as part of a general renovation of your home, you will have to make the decision to either replace your windows with insert installation or full frame installation. Insert installation is the kind of window installation that is done by inserting new windows into the old frames while full frame installation is the one that requires the total removal of the old windows and their frames.
Details of insert window installation
You need to bear in mind that full frame installation is a much more expensive than pocket installation. So, when the sill and frames of your old windows are square and in perfect condition, there is no need for full frame installation. Since your old frames are still good, you can just insert the new windows into them.
However, you also need to find out if your windows will still be structurally sound if you insert the new windows into the old frames. If not, you may need to opt for full frame window installation. Also, if the casing and trim of your windows need to be in place during installation, it is better to opt for pocket installation.
However, this type of window replacement has a few drawbacks. The glass viewing area is relatively smaller and insulation cannot be added between rough opening and window frame. In addition, sill water protection cannot be added.
Details of full frame window installation
Here, the entire existing windows are removed with their frames and they are replaced with entirely new ones. This is the best choice for you if the frames of your old windows are already deteriorating. Secondly, if the fire codes in your location require a larger opening, then you have no choice but to remove all the old frames.
Energy efficiency can only be maximized with wider glass area so if the real reason for the replacement is energy efficiency, then you should opt for full frame installation. Sometimes the new insert windows won’t just fit into the old frames. In that situation, you have only one choice – opt for full frame window installation.
This option seems to be a better choice because it has several advantages over pocket window installation. You can achieve maximum R and U values only when all window areas are properly insulated and this is only possible with full frame installation.
Water protection can be added to this kind of installation with sill flashing tape. In addition, the interior casing and sill will also be replaced. The exterior window trim is also minimized to provide a larger glass area. The only advantage that insert installation has over full frame installation is lower cost.