When you’re thinking about replacing the windows in your New Jersey home, it’s pretty easy to walk into a home improvement store and get caught up in the allure of what appear to be cost-effective stock-sized windows. You may think that since your home was built with stock-sized windows, these cheap stock windows could be the answer to your problems, but there’s more to the cost of replacement windows than simply the windows themselves.
In today’s post from Renewal by Andersen of Central New Jersey, we’re going to discuss custom versus standard window sizes, and how these stock windows may not be the white knights you had imagine.
Fitting Stock Windows into Custom-Sized Openings
First things first, let’s talk about stock window sizes versus the stock window openings that are in your home. It may seem like child’s play at first glance, your home was built with stock sized windows, so it should have a stock-sized opening that can be fitted with a stock-sized window. All you have to do is go out and buy the right standard window, pop it into place and call it a day.
In a perfect world, things would be that easy, but in the world of new construction windows, it often isn’t. First of all, there are great variations in the way walls are constructed when a home is built on site. There are a great many highly skilled framing contractors that take great pride in measuring and building to the specifications on a blueprint. Unfortunately, there are as many that don’t necessarily take as much care in constructing their walls. The contractors that then install the windows make on-site modifications to make the windows fit.
Add to this the fact that houses “settle” over time. Foundations shift, framing members dry out and swell and even the best built home has window frames that are out of square, out of level or plumb. In effect, your perfectly square window openings are no longer so. This makes installing a new window akin to putting a square peg in a round (or at least non-square) hole.
New Construction &Replacement Window Installation Methods Differ
The other thing to consider is how those stock new construction windows are going to be installed. When your windows were first installed, they were put into place before the exterior siding and interior wallboard was installed. This enabled the windows to be attached to the house through an exterior nailing fin. This nailing fin was then covered by the exterior siding. Your stock windows at the local home center will come with this same type of nailing fin either permanently or temporarily affixed to the window frame. In order to install these windows in your home as a retrofit, the exterior siding will need to be removed around each window opening. In addition, the interior trim molding will have to be removed and replaced. In some cases, the wall framing will have to removed and replaced or adjusted. This can mean that the interior wallboard will have to be patched with all the time and mess this entails. Finally, new interior trim will need to be installed and everything will have to be painted to match your existing paint colors, if possible.
Patching Exterior Siding after New Construction Windows Installation
Now, even if you are undaunted by the prospect of having to rip out some of your siding in order to put in a stock-sized window, bear in mind that everything that is removed needs to be replaced at some point, and that’s where you can run into trouble with your siding, no matter what material its made out of. Vinyl siding is probably the easiest the repair, but it will be fairly obvious that a repair has taken place. It’s very difficult to match new vinyl to the siding that has been fading in the sun for years and make it look seamless. A similar issue occurs with matching new brick or stucco to your weathered siding. Even wood siding would need to be repainted, and that’s still no guarantee that your house will look as pristine as it did before the installation. In some cases, you may have to repaint your whole house to make it look good.
Other Potential Issues
Most of the issues that stem from the installation of standard-sized windows are based in the fact that these standard-sized windows are not a perfect fit for your window openings. Your interior finishes are also going to need to be cut and patched like your exterior siding, and matching them to what you originally had can be difficult. And while your window may appear to fit just fine to the naked eye, dust and debris will be settling for some time after the installation. This is going to lead to a lot of care and maintenance down the line that custom windows can mostly avoid.
Custom Window Sizes Provide Many Advantages
Now that we’ve addressed some of the issues stock windows can cause when attempting to use them as replacement windows, let’s talk about replacing your older windows with ones that have been designed to fit perfectly in the pre-existing openings. Unlike standard-sized windows, we’ve seen can be a lot of work to make fit, custom-sized Insert Replacement Windows eliminate much of that work and replacement of existing parts of your home. Insert Replacement Windows are designed to pick up right where your old windows left off. Custom-sized replacement windows also make installation significantly simpler, faster and less messy. Their lack of a nailing fin means that your siding and walls won’t have to be damaged or resized in order to accommodate them. That means no patchwork on your exterior siding or interior walls. Finally, these custom-sized windows are a perfect fit, so they’ll keep weather-tight and strong against whatever the environment has to throw at them for many years down the line.
Contact Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey for More Information
Have more questions about how custom-sized insert replacement windows can benefit your home? Renewal by Andersen of Central New Jersey is here to help. As a subsidiary of Andersen Windows, we have been providing people with quality windows in all shapes and styles for generations. Our experienced design consultants will ensure that your replacement windows are the perfect fit for your life and style. Call us today at 1-888-826-2451 for a free design consultation.