Like any well-informed homeowner, the most common question asked while searching for new windows is whether to choose a retrofit window installation or brick-to-brick window installation. In this article, we discuss the differences between these two types of installation options and also discuss the pros and cons of each. Professional window installation is just as important as the type of windows you chose for your home. At Miranda Windows, we guarantee all our clients receive expert industry-leading advice to ensure a well-informed buying decision is made regarding their window installation. We are proud homeowners just like you and you can be rest assured your window installation requirements are taken care of by our professional window installation experts.
Retrofit Window Installation
To retrofit a window is to install or fit it into an existing structure. The interior jams and casing trims are left as is and the interior of the window is replaced with an energy efficient Miranda Window. Usually, this means the new window sash will be installed into the existing wood frame. Some notable benefits and advantages are:
- Retrofit window installations preserve the historical character of an older home
- With a retrofit window installation, your existing draperies or curtains can remain
- A retrofit window installation is more cost efficient when compared to a brick-to-brick window installation
Retrofit Window Installation Pros
- Low maintenance and a reliable upgrade
- Quick and feasible home renovation if you are on a tight schedule
- Low cost coupled with new energy efficient windows resulting in improved heat retention during cold months
Retrofit Window Installation Cons
- Rotting wood behind the frame remains unknown leaving any insulation gaps untouched
- In most cases, the area of the glass is smaller since a sash is being installed within an existing frame resulting in less natural light
- Retrofitting is not possible on vinyl windows
Retrofit Window installation Photos
A Deeper Look into a Retrofit Window Installation
The reason why a retrofit window installation would be more cost efficient is because the entire frame is left as is and only the actual window is installed. However, while retrofitting a window might be feasible for older homes that want to showcase the nuances and historical features of a home, it might not be the best solution if you want to change the entire dynamic of your windows. With retrofitting there is a degree of uncertainty because the frame remains in the structure and knowing what lies behind it can only be confirmed if the frame is removed. It is important to note that the glass is cut out of the existing frame and then a new energy efficient Miranda Window glass is installed, or screwed, into the existing frame. This method truly is ideal for a quick and reliable home improvement undertaking especially if you are on a budget or have any time limitations. The cost efficiencies include minimized labour and expenses on additional material. Retrofitting serves as the quick fix while maintaining the original look of your home and gaining the benefits of brand new windows. It is the best option if your window frame does not need to be replaced. However, if your existing frame needs to be replaced because it is in bad shape then a retrofit window installation might not be the best solution and is also not advisable. The most common window types used during a retrofit are double-hung, sliding, casement, awning and specialty picture.
Brick-to-Brick Window Installation
Unlike the retrofit method, a brick to brick installation is more detailed and complex. This involves removing the entire existing window frame, the casings, the brick mould, and trim. Any deteriorating wood is fully and completely cleaned out as the full window frame is completely removed. Some of the benefits of a brick-to-brick window installation are:
- Brick-to-Brick window installation gives your home a new and refreshed look
- Allows for foam insulation all around the frame during a brick-to-brick window installation
- Brick-to-Brick window installation can match exterior features such as brick, siding, fascia et cetera
Brick-to-Brick Window Installation Pros
- Brand new window frame resulting in a refreshed look from both the interior and exterior of your home
- Guaranteed tight insulation seal making for peak energy efficiency performance
- Larger windows result in more natural light in your home
Brick to Brick Window installation Photos
A Deeper Look into a Brick-to-Brick Window Installation
A brick-to-brick window installation serves as a fresh start to one of the most important features of your home. The brand new window with a brand new frame is installed and this also allows for foam insulation to be used around the entire frame. Any old rotting wood and insulation is cleaned out before the new window frame is installed. Unlike retrofitting, with brick to brick you know you have plugged any gaps with expandable foam when it comes to insulation as the brick to brick window installation method guarantees a robust and tight seal. In addition, a vinyl casing is used as a cover where the window meets the wall and cocking is added to interior and exterior ensuring a perfect seal. Given the complexities of this type of installation there is a cost associated to it. At Miranda Windows we have a variety of window styles and colours that will be a perfect match for your exterior and interior décor of the home. With a brick-to-brick window installation, the benefits truly outweigh the costs as you have a brand new look and feel in your home. Your interior décor is enhanced as you can have refreshed window sills, new casings and brick mould. It truly enhances the look and vibrancy of the home. If your existing windows are not large enough and if you would like more light entering your home then a brick to brick installation might be the best option if your existing window does not have an existing frame. Also, given the entire frame would be replaced with new fittings and new windows, it would have a longer life span. There would be less worry regarding maintenance, replacement or even insulation for that matter.
Both retrofitting and brick to brick installations have their advantages and disadvantages. Each type of installation appeals to homeowners in different situations and at Miranda Windows we offer the expert advice to help you choose the right type of window installation for your unique situation.