Retrofit window is generally a more cost efficient way of replacing the old than installing a fully new window. A retrofit window fits within the existing frame, instead of having the trim and frame fully replaced with a new window. The biggest plus is that you will be able to handily afford to add new glass, but maintain the same good look and feel to your exterior and interior by getting a retrofit window to replace your older, less attractive less energy efficient glass.
It allows you to change the appearance and performance of your old glass, without putting your home or office building through the cosmetic or structural troubles that ripping out an entire window can cause. Older homes and more delicate surfaces, such as stucco, are good times to look into retrofit instead of full new replacements, for instance. If you are looking for vinyl replacement windows for your older home, you may want to maintain the integrity of the existing frame, trim, molding and such. It's a great option rather than a fully new window. Another very common reason to opt for a retrofit window is to fit within a delicate stucco structure.
Those who have older homes might also enjoy the savings of not having to replace full wood frames. Wood can often set you back double or triple of its vinyl or aluminum counterpart. Yet, wood has a traditional look and is energy efficient. Just as the regular maintenance on wood frames is more involved than on vinyl or aluminum, it can take a bit more work to install glass into a frame of an older window.
Along with the wood, older homes with double sashes, often have muntins. Muntins give double sash a traditional look, with its signature crossing lines within the glass. In the case of an older home that still has wood framed muntins with single pane window glass, it can be a cold proposition in the winter months. Also, it takes a little bit of extra care and time to install double-pane glass in this situatino.
And, it is another time to consider just having new glass installed. The installers will dismantle the existing muntins, pull out the single-pane glass. The sash has to be cut and expanded to allow for the wider double-pane glass. The glass is then installed, with a few new bells and whistles, such as weather stripping, for added insulation.
Energy Savings and the Retrofit Window
When installing retrofit glass, it is still important to look for the Energy Star rating of the product, to find out how well your new panes will perform within your home or office and the climate of your region. There are two main factors in the ratings: U-factor and Solar Gain Heat Coefficient. The lower the U-factor value, the better it insulates, or blocks heat or cold from entering your home. A value below 0.40 is ideal. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient indicates how well a window blocks the sun's heat from entering your home or office via your panes. Again, the lower the value, the better it blocks heat.
How a Professional Installer Can Save You Time and Money
While you can measure for yourself, it is advisable to allow a professional installer or dealer to come into your home or office space to take measurements to assure accuracy. Often times quotes are free, along with the measurements. This will help ensure the best fit is installed the first time around for you. If you insist, it is important to measure the farthest sections within the framework, where the metal legwork (jamb) embraces the glass panes. When ordering retrofit, you would provide a dealer with measurements of width and height of the retrofit needed.
It is still advisable to get a free quote, because a professional will get the job right the first time. And, wherever a retrofit window is concerned, proper installation will ensure that the product works properly from day one. A shoddy installation or measurement, will surely sacrifice the efficiencies of the modern retrofit. The retrofit of today is intended to last for years, while keeping you warm in the cold months and cool in the hot months. It can only do this if your retrofit window is properly installed for you. So, enjoy the ease of installation and less expense the retrofit window by hiring a professional.
Retrofit window installation is a great option for those who love their present frames, have historic, therefore valuable, or delicate structural situations and, or who have wood frames. It may be worth the time and money savings to hire an expert installation expert to measure and replace your glass. It is worth looking into energy saving options as well, as newer glass is often better than even one from 10 years ago.
Author: Joseph Gringeri