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What’s the difference between “insert window” and “new construction window”?

What can we help you find today?

  1. Insert Windows
  2. New Construction Windows
  3. Window Replacement Tips


We get this question quite often with replacement windows. What’s an “insert window” vs. a “new construction” window? The terminology has to do with the window installation method.

Insert WindowsAndersen replacement windows

The term “insert windows” is common in the replacement window industry. They are also sometimes referred to as “retrofit windows”. An insert window is specially designed to fit inside of an existing window frame. This method is a nice way to avoid disturbing the home’s walls. With insert windows, there are often less choices in product lines and style options. Window inserts are a fast and budget friendly way to replace the windows on a home where the window frame is still in good condition. 

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New Construction Windows

Window replacement using "new construction" installation method Window replacement using "new construction" installation methodThe term “new construction” is a bit misleading. This type of installation can also be done for replacement windows. The reason it’s called new construction is because it requires replacement/installation of the entire window frame. The new window frame is nailed directly into the wall studs. This is the same way a window is installed in a new home construction, except with a replacement window, it’s disruptive to the existing window surroundings. The “new construction” window replacement method requires new trim work and interior wall touch ups. It also sometimes requires that the siding surrounding the window be removed and reinstalled. For these reasons, it’s favorable to replace windows and siding at the same time.

Window Replacement Tips

While these are two different types of window installation methods, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to experiment with mixing windows. Having new construction windows and insert windows can give your home a modern and rustic look all at the same time.

  • Choose a window company with a good reputation. Look for manufacturer endorsements and certifications.
  • Only choose insert windows if the existing frame is in good condition.
  • Choose an exterior renovation contractor that also does siding for new construction window replacement. This will ensure any siding and trim replacement is also done properly.
  • Shop around and get a couple different quotes and opinions before making the final choice.
  • Look for replacement window products that are Energy Star rated and from well known quality brands.

Looking for window replacement in the Naperville area?

Opal Enterprises has you covered! Opal is an official Andersen Windows dealer and installer, a Beechworth Windows Elite Contractor, and the recipient of Alside’s Certificate of Excellence. Opal specializes in complete exteriors including siding, windows, and roofing. Contact Opal for window replacement in Naperville and Chicagoland area suburbs.

Window replacement project in Naperville Illinois.

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