Is it time to replace your old, drafty windows? If so, you must be thinking about your window options. However, before making any decision on your windows, there are a few things you need to consider. Depending on the type of replacement you’ll do, your options will vary.
What are My Window Options When Replacing My Windows?
Before installing new windows, you need to decide on the installation method you’ll go with. You have two options, retrofit windows (also known as replacement windows) or nail-on windows. Retrofit windows offer a clean replacement procedure as it does not destroy the frame or stucco. The stationary frames remain, and the moving parts are the only things that get replaced. On the other hand, nail-on windows have a window fin around the frame which is used for nailing the window down in place. This often requires breaking the stucco, putting in the window, and repairing the stucco damage afterward. This installation method is more invasive and expensive, making this choice viable only for brand-new homes. The preferred choice for window replacement is retrofit windows. This does not require demolition and is significantly quicker and more affordable.
Things to Consider When Replacing Your Windows with Retrofit Windows
If you decide to keep damage and costs down, retrofit windows are your best choice. Below we’ll go over possible changes you can make to your retrofit window project:
While retrofit window installations normally have to be replaced with the exact same window style, it is possible to change it to another if it fits the opening. If you have a wide window opening, your available choices will most likely be wide windows such as slider and picture windows. (Note: you will have to make sure your window meets California window code. For example, you cannot install a picture window in a room with only one window. There has to be an operable window so that someone can escape through it in case a fire takes place). If you have a narrow window opening, your available window styles may include single-hung windows, double-hung windows, casement windows, etc. You should speak with your window installer to get insights on the available window styles you have for your retrofit replacement window project.
Window Operation Options
Did you know that the majority of California homeowners have sliding windows in their homes? This is because they offer great exterior views and ventilation—just what Californians need. With that being said, most California homeowners will most likely have to replace their old slider windows with the same style. However, you can customize the window to a certain extent. For example, you can choose the way your window operates. Window experts determine the operability of a window using an “X” and “O.” From the point of view of the home’s exterior, the X means the window sash is operable (moving), and the O means the window is stationary (non-moving). The available options you have for a typical slider window include the following:
- XO (left sash operable and right sash stationary)
- OX (left sash stationary and right sash operable)
- XX (both left and right sash operable)
Another element you can customize for your replacement window includes the frame’s color. Below are the color options you have available for your window’s frame:
Exterior & Interior Frame Color Options:
Exterior Frame Color Options:
|● Architectural Black|
● Architectural Bronze
● Architectural Silver
● Classic Gray
|● Red Pepper|
● Rose Wood
● Desert Tan
● Divine Wine
● Forest Green
Another unique way of personalizing your replacement window includes selecting a custom obscure glass or pattern. If you do not want your glass to be completely see-through, this is the perfect solution. For more private spaces of the home—like the bathroom—obscure glass is a great option. Obscure glass styles and patterns you can choose from include:
- Standard Obscure
- Etch Matte
- Glue Chip
- Delta Frost
Should I go With Retrofit Windows or Nail-On Windows?
If you’re not sure whether you want to go with retrofit windows or nail-on windows, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I okay with opening up my walls?
- Am I okay with getting permits?
- Am I okay with making structural changes to my house?
If you’ve answered no to any of the questions above, it’s best to simply go with retrofit windows.
When it comes to window replacement, here are many window options you need to consider. We hope this blog helped you see what window options you have available for your replacement project. If you’re ready to replace your windows, the experienced window installation team at California Energy Contractors can help you with all your retrofit window needs! Give us a call at (866) 963-0316, or click here for a FREE estimate!