Replacement Windows vs. New Construction Windows

What’s the difference between these 2 windows and how do you know which you should use in your home project?

Replacement Windows

Replacement windows are exactly what they sound like: they replace a window in an existing frame.

New Construction Windows

New construction windows have mounting fins around the frame that attach to the house’s framing.

When are they used?

Replacement windows are used to replace an old window without replacing the frame that attaches to the wall. There are no mounting fins to attach to the house underneath siding or trim, so they simply slide into the existing frame. This can be done at any time and doesn’t require an invasive remodel of the exterior walls.

New construction windows are installed when there is no siding or trim impacting the installation (typically during an exterior remodel or brand new construction). During this time that there is a clear opening, the mounting fins around the window frames can be attached to the structure and connected to the entire WRB.


Can they be integrated into a house's WRB (Water Resistant Barrier)?

Replacement windows cannot be integrated into the home’s Water Resistant Barrier because they attach to an existing frame.

The process of installing new construction windows requires the mounting fins to be attached to the house’s framing, which makes the window a part of the entire home’s Water Resistant Barrier! This also means it is also the most water-tight option.

What styles are available in both types of window?

Both replacement and new construction windows are available in a range of styles like single and double-hung, bay, and shaped with options for material and color finishes!

Should I use replacement or new construction windows for my home project?

For homeowners that choose to undergo a large remodel including siding and windows, we suggest new construction windows so that every piece of your building envelope will be part of the same water-tightening system.

For the typical window replacement projects with no damage in the window frame or walls, a simple replacement window is the way to go! 

By Shelby Zeuli

Shelby joined the Baker Roofing marketing team in April 2021! When she's not on top of roofs trying to get a good angle, she likes to capture portrait photography, skateboard, and watch movies with her dog, Sarge.