Pocket Replacement WindowIn the previous post we discussed what is a replacement window and the various term used in describing one.

One of the choices that you will be faced with when choosing new windows for your home is whether or not you should choose new construction windows or pocket replacement windows. First let’s discuss pocket replacement windows and the benefits of choosing this type of window.

What are Pocket Replacement Windows?

Pocket windows have been designed so that they will fit the current window frame that is in the home. For example, if you have older double hung wooden frame single pane windows in your home that have storm windows, a pocket window is a good option.

The storm window will be removed as will the bottom sash and the top sash of the window. The original wood frame will be left and the exterior trim and interior trim will be left alone. They are then installed into the original frame or “pocket.”

Which is Better Pocket Replacement or Full Replacement?

The main difference between full replacement and pocket replacement is that new construction windows have nailing flanges and pocket replacement windows do not. The typical size of a pocket replacement window is three fourths of an inch thick. This is typically the size of the gap from the interior stop and blind stop on older wooden double hung windows.

Advantages of Pocket Replacement Windows

One of the main advantages of choosing a pocket window is that they come with a lower cost. The difference in cost is not that much if you are looking at the same window, but it will be lower if you choose the pocket replacement window over the new construction window.

The big savings comes with the cost of installation. Pocket replacement windows typically only require the interior stops to be removed in order for the new window to be put in. The same stops can then be reinstalled. When installing new construction windows the entire frame has to be replaced. This adds the cost of new exterior and interior trim, plus the cost of painting the new trim and possibly the cost to patch or touch up the wall. The cost of these can be almost twice as much as the cost of pocket windows.

The other advantage of pocket replacement windows is that it does not take as long to install this type of window as it does to install new construction. It will typically take only one day for two people to install anywhere from ten to fifteen of them. Installing the same number of new construction would take about five days.

Disadvantages of Pocket Replacement Windows

There are very few disadvantages of pocket replacement windows. The appearance of the interior and exterior trim may be the biggest issue that you will have when choosing this type of replacement window. If the trim of the window has not been properly maintained it can become worn down and even start to rot on the inside. Additionally, the cracking and chipping paint found on the trim can be quite an eyesore when matched up next to new replacement windows.

VIDEO: Differences between new construction and pocket windows. Don’t let a company deceive you.

New Construction Windows

Typically, a new construction window will have a nail fin. When a home is built the framing is typically made out of wood studs. The nail fin sits against the outer part of the stud and the screws or nails are then driven into the fin. The other exterior materials will then be butted up and applied to the window trim or frame.

If you are replacing the windows in your home, new construction windows are the other option. As mentioned above, these windows will require the entire window will be replaced. The actual cost of the new construction window is a bit more than the cost of a pocket window. Additionally, the installation cost will be more as well.

New Construction WindowBenefits of New Construction Windows

The main benefit of new construction windows is that the whole entire window will be replaced. This means that both inside and outside will be brand new. While pocket windows offer a replacement for the window, new construction will also replace worn out frames and trim. This can be worth the extra cost if the frame of the window has been damaged, is older, has chipping paint, or is beginning to rot.

They may also be more energy efficient as they will securely fit the window frame, ensuring that no air from the outside will get in. Pocket windows can sometimes leave gaps that will have to be filled in.

The final advantage is that you can choose a different style of window than the style that is currently in your home. With pocket windows you will have to keep the same basic style of window, but with new construction windows you can change the entire style and design.

Making the Right Choice

When it comes down to it, pocket replacement windows are a good choice for homeowners that are looking for new windows at a lower cost. If the window frames of the home are in good condition, pocket windows will be the best choice. For those that have window frames that are older and in poor condition it will be best to choose new construction windows in order to have the entire window replaced.

Got a Question?

I you have a question on which type of window is right for your job? Send me a picture of the windows you are replacing and I can give you my opinion on the best options for your project.

Just go to the ask the advisor page and upload the image there or even easier is to just post the picture right on my Facebook page.

In the next post we will just cut to the chase on what makes a window energy efficient and discuss what you must have and what would be nice to have.