When the time comes to have your windows replaced, there are two options to consider. The first option is what's known as "inserts." These are replacement windows that are installed inside your existing window frames. In other words, the window itself is replaced, but the frame is not. The other option is a full window replacement in which the windows, sashes, and frames are all replaced. Inserts are usually the cheaper option, and as such, many homeowners do choose inserts. However, there are certain situations in which inserts are not an appropriate option and a full window replacement really is necessary. Here are some of those situations.
Your window frames are rotten.
Until the last few years when composite became popular, most window frames were made from wood. While wood has its benefits, it is prone to rot if it is exposed to moisture over the years. If you put window inserts into frames that are rotting, the inserts won't be stable -- at least not for long. The frames will also continue to deteriorate, and you might end up in a situation where your window frames need to be replaced even though your windows are in good shape. It's tough to replace frames and not windows. So, if you think your window frames are at all rotten, then you should opt for a full window replacement and not inserts. Signs of rotten window frames include:
The frames have been painted over many times.
Do your window frames look like they have layer after layer of paint on them? You see this a lot in homes that have been used as rentals and repainted before each new tenant moves in. The process of installing inserts may cause a lot of this paint to chip away, which will make the frames look uneven, chipped, pitted, and unattractive. Painting them again will only make the paint thicker and more cumbersome to deal with. If you replace the window frames along with the windows via a full window replacement, your windows will look much better, and you won't have to worry about thick, chipping paint getting all over your home anymore.
Sometimes, a full window replacement is the way to go. Talk to a window replacement contractor to learn more.