Replacement windows can become a necessity if your old windows have damage or can be a luxury if you simply want to increase your home's energy efficiency or change the look of the windows. Windows come in a wide range of materials but also vary in terms of how they are installed.
There are two key methods for installing replacement windows, and each has its own pros and cons that can help determine what method works best with your chosen windows and home needs. Discuss your options with a company that does replacement window installation in your area for more details and tailored advice.
The sash method only applies to double-hung windows, which is one of the most common window styles. The double-hung window has two panes of glass—an upper and a lower—that can move independently of one another. For the sash-installation method, the basic frame of your existing windows is left in place while the sashes, or the movable panes, and the jambs are removed for replacement.
This method works best if your existing frames already have good insulation and have no structural defects or leveling issues. If one of those factors doesn't apply, then using this installation method can leave you with windows that are as poorly efficient as the original models due to the insufficiency of the window frame.
The sash method involves little mess, low costs, and a fast installation process. Your windows will still largely look the same due to the preserved frame, but that might prove a benefit if your frames were attractive and durable but simply needed new glass.
The insert method requires the installers to remove the sashes and jambs while leaving behind the old frame. But the newly installed window will have its own, smaller frame that will fit inside the existing window frame. This method pairs well with vinyl-framed windows in a variety of shapes.
If the existing frame had issues with leveling or energy efficiency, you might still have some problems after the replacement is done, but those problems are less likely to occur with the insert method than with the sash method due to the insert's additional frame. The new frame can help overcome insulation and leveling issues at least in the areas directly around the glass.
The installation process is fairly simple, so the labor costs can seem a bargain. But you will need to special-order this type of window, and this can prove costly.