Window Installations Retrofit & Stud to Stud

Installation of a new window

There are primarily two types of window installation for new replacement windows for your home. Each method is decided upon one of 3 factors:

  1. based on your budget
  2. the condition of your existing windows
  3. the type of replacement windows you have chosen to install

Of course Simply Yours Windows Doors will help guide you along the decision process ensuring you receive exactly what you want and delivered at the price needed for your budget.

Anatomy of a Window

Anatomy of a Window

Retrofitted Replacement Window Installation

Retrofitted windows are the most cost-effective installation for new windows as it requires less time for labour. Retrofit windows are ideal for homes with window frames, interior casings, jamb extensions or brick moulds that have not previously leaked, or are in good condition. If any of the aforementioned parts of the anatomy of the window are inferior, problems will most likely occur over time.

A Retrofit Insert Window
retrofit replacement window - pocketing a new window unit within an existing frame

There are several advantages for retrofit window installation beyond being a cheaper option and that includes the preservation of the existing look of the home as the casing, jambs and brick mould remain the same. Because installation only involves placing the new window insert into the existing frame the job can be completed quickly and without having to tear up interior and exterior walls.

Downside to Retrofit Window Installation

The downside of retrofit window installation on older homes is it is impossible to confirm if there is adequate insulation between the wall and the window frame itself or if any of the unseen window anatomy parts are compromised. For older homes looking to improve energy efficiency this may not offer the improvement the homeowner is wanting.

Retrofit windows may have a smaller glass viewing area, because the new window fits inside the existing box, compared to other replacement window installation options, so be sure to ask if the view from your window is important to you.

Some dishonest window companies prey on older home owners selling retrofit windows as a cheap alternative whereby the homeowner saves money and the company can quickly install new windows. This sounds like a win-win to some but you must take into account the age of your home, the condition of all the window parts and insulation present to avoid disappointment.


Stud to Stud Window Installation

This type of window installation (also known as brick to brick window installation) requires the removal and replacement of the existing window frame, brickmould, interior casing and jamb - everything to the studs of the home. This type of installation is far more labour intensive and as a result it costs more than a retrofitted window.

Advantages of a stud to stud window installation is the ability to inspect for any signs of damage and moisture. With new replacement parts and proper insulation between the home and the window you can be assured your new windows will provide the energy efficiency needed as well as providing a longer life for your investment.

Besides insuring the window is better insulated and water & air-tight choosing stud to stud window installation will provide maximum glass viewing area. Because you are also replacing the exterior brick mould (providing the exterior finish of the window) and interior trim with new material the windows will look brand new inside and out - plus you won’t have to paint if you choose vinyl, aluminum or hybrid windows.

Downside to Stud to Stud Window Installation

Stud to stud window installation is more complex requiring the removal of the siding on the outside as well as the removal of the inside trim. A moderate amount of construction can be expected. The work can be time consuming and will increase the labour cost compared to a simple retrofitted window.


Choose What’s Best for You

As you may have determined there really isn’t one best solution for everyone or every home.

  • For older homes where insulation and deteriorated window parts are a concern you would be best to choose stud to stud window installation to ensure maximum energy efficiency and a tight seal
  • For historic homes or a house with "historic features” that have wood windows and in good condition you will probably choose retrofit windows as you will preserve the original look of your home
  • For limited budgets you may want a retrofit window installation
  • For whole-house renovations that include siding soffit fascia, it is best practice to replace the entire window from stud to stud. You will be assured of modern technology of window designs and a higher insulation value
  • When choosing different window styles or window size openings you will need a stud to stud window installation
Installation of a new window
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