Wondering if you should have full-frame window replacement or inserts?  The choice of whether to have window inserts or full frame replacement windows installed impacts the overall aesthetics of your home, energy efficiency, and the cost. At Master Remodelers, LLC we have installed window inserts and full-frame window replacement in Pearland, Galveston, and Houston, Texas for over 35 years. Call (713) 705-9583 for more information or to request a free in-home estimate for new windows.

Let’s compare the two window installation options so you can make the right decision with your budget, goals, and priorities in mind. As always, feel free to reach out to our team to speak with an expert who can help you make the right decision for your specific needs.

Full-Frame vs. Window Insert Install Considerations

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Window inserts may be a good fit for some of the windows that you are replacing with the same size and type of window.  However, if you are considering installing a different type of window such as argon or krypton filled window for energy efficiency you will need to install a new frame that the manufacturer designed specifically for the model.

Certain replacement window brands such as Pella and Renewal by Andersen require full-frame window replacement or the warranty is void. Consider the amount of sun and heat transfer the window allows. It might make sense to upgrade windows on one side of your house that have full sun most of the day or fixed windows in two-story rooms to maximize energy efficiency.

full frame window replacement vs window inserts which is better

When Lowest Cost is Your Highest Priority

For other windows that do not receive much sun and/or are not prominent on your home’s façade (like basement windows) inserts might make more sense. Although in many cases inserts may void the new window’s warranty, if you need to replace a broken or old window and lowest cost is your highest priority this could be the right option for you.

Complete Structural Renewal

When opting for full-frame window replacement, you’re not merely updating the glass – you’re undergoing a comprehensive structural renewal. Unlike insert replacements, which fit into existing frames, full-frame replacements involve removing the entire window, allowing for a fresh start. This approach eradicates potential hidden issues within the frame, ensuring a solid foundation for the new installation.

When a new frame is installed it includes re-taping, refitting, and caulking the new frame to ensure an airtight seal for maximum efficiency and thermal insulation.

Enhanced Energy Efficiency

One of the primary considerations for any homeowner is energy efficiency. Full-frame replacement enables the incorporation of the latest technological advancements in window design, including superior insulation materials and advanced sealing techniques. This results in a more airtight and energy-efficient window, helping reduce electric bills and leaving a greener footprint.

Architectural Freedom and Customization

Embracing full-frame replacement provides homeowners with unparalleled architectural freedom. You’re not confined to the constraints of existing frames and shapes. This means you can have a custom window installed such as a large picture window, sliding glass door instead of a window, or even double hung or casement windows.

Full frame replacement allows you to take advantage of technological advancements with newer window insulation and framing materials while seamlessly integrating with the overall design, enhancing curb appeal and property value.

Limited Structural Integrity But Cheaper

Insert replacement is a valid option for homeowners on a tight budget who want to install windows of the same dimension. Using the existing frame, window installers can replace the inner window components and glass to the old frame.

However, window inserts lack the structural integrity offered by full-frame alternatives. The new window is fitted within the existing frame, leaving potential structural issues unaddressed. Over time, this can lead to complications, compromising the long-term durability of the installation. Metal frames can rust and degrade, wood frames can rot and decay, leaving you with a newish windows but a compromised frame.

Unreliable Energy Efficiency & Voiding Warranty

Insert replacements often fall short in terms of energy efficiency. Their design limits the extent to which advanced insulation technologies can be incorporated, resulting in suboptimal thermal performance. This compromises your home’s ability to maintain a consistent and comfortable indoor temperature.

Some of the best quality replacement window brands do not allow inserts to be installed in old frames. For their warranties to remain intact the small print requires the window installation company to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines which sometimes requires full frame replacement.

Constrained Design Options

Choosing insert replacements can be restrictive in terms of design options. The existing frame dictates the size and style of the new window, limiting your ability to modernize or personalize the appearance of your home. This lack of design flexibility may leave you dissatisfied with the overall aesthetic outcome.

However if you are flipping a house or simply updating a rental property or AirBnB you may want to stick with the original window dimensions and save money with insert replacements. Sometimes customizing to one’s liking doesn’t really make sense if you’re not going to live in the space yourself anyway.

Request a Consultation with Our Window Experts Today

If faced with the important decision of whether to install window inserts or full-frame window replacements remember to consider your budget, goals, and possible complications down the road. While full frame replacement is associated better structural integrity, enhances energy efficiency, and limitless design possibilities inserts are much more affordable.  

Our team of replacement window contractors believe in providing the highest quality service and offer a 100% lifetime workmanship guarantee. Contact us to request a free consultation with Master Remodelers, LLC today.