When it is time to replace your old wood frame windows, one of the questions you need to address to the sales representative is whether new vinyl windows can be retrofitted or installed brick to brick.
These are two different installation methods which require different budgets.
Retrofit involves a reuse of the existing window frame. During such installation method the old window is being cut out of its frame, and a new window is mounted into the frame. This way there is a minimal disturbance to the wall and trim surrounding the window.
The most considerable advantage of a retrofit type of installation is that it costs much less than brick to brick. Another advantage of retrofit windows is that it takes less time to install them.
However, when choosing retrofit you should expect to lose a bit of glass area of your window (approximately 20%), and an overall framing appearance may seem somewhat bulky.
A retrofit window replacement is only recommended if the original frame was installed properly, is in a good condition, has a proper seal and insulation and no signs of rotting or deterioration.
An alternative to retrofit is a brick to brick installation which involves a complete removal of both the original window and its frame. In this case a new window will be fitted into the actual rough opening. All the necessary inside jamb extensions will be supplied, vinyl brick moulds will be attached to the new frame or aluminum capping applied to the exterior. You will also get all new interior trim. As a result your window will have a cleaner and neater look, with more glass and less frame. The space between the window and the rough opening will be foam filled for a perfect air tight seal which will help prevent drafts.
Of course, a full frame window replacement is a more expensive and time-consuming option which requires a high level of expertise from the installers. For those homeowners who are seeking a complete house makeover it is an ideal choice.
When hiring a company to replace the windows, consider the fact that even the best quality product, if not installed properly, will not function properly causing many problems. Therefore, it is important to entrust the project to qualified professionals who have the appropriate skills to successfully fulfil the job.