Window replacement is not always as straightforward as you might think. There are several considerations that need to be made before the job is started. For example, if the original window was installed using screws and not nails, will those that were removed now be compatible with the new frame? Will new window hardware need to be installed, or will existing window trim be enough to handle the job?
Probably the biggest question asked when considering window replacement costs is how much removal work will be required. In general, the longer the window, the more removal tools and equipment needed. Not all window installation tasks are necessary, however. In many cases, simply replacing the window glass and the seals on the tracks is enough to solve the problem. In other cases, window trims or sashes may need to be replaced, or exterior trim may need to be removed and replaced. Professional window installation companies will have tools and resources available that will allow the project to be completed quickly and efficiently.
There are two primary methods used for window replacement: the use of inserts and sashes, and the use of frame-and-frame. Inserts are simply installed into the opening of an existing window, without disturbing the existing trim or sashes. This method often makes sense for old, single-pane windows that are oversized or contain large holes or gaps. Inserts can also be used for sliding glass doors, although a custom window opening kit is often necessary to cover the opening completely. Most home improvement stores carry a selection of insert replacement windows. Prices for this type of window replacement vary widely, depending on the window size and materials.
Frame-and-frame window replacement jobs require removal of exterior trim, as well as the frame of the window. The frame is then shimmed back, and any sashes or inserts are then reinstalled. The shimming process often reduces the amount of labor costs required to replace the windows. Most frame-and-frame window replacement professionals can install the replacement quickly and efficiently, depending on the window size and type. Some homeowners prefer this method to insert-and-replenish because it preserves the appearance of the existing windows.