Choosing the Best Chicago Window
When replacing the windows in your home there are many decisions that need to be
made. Obviously who is going to be your Chicago
window installer is important. And what brand of window you are going to have installed is another
very important thing to decide on. But less obvious but equally as important is what type of window
installation method you are going to choose to use when your new windows are installed.
Homeowner: SAY WHAT!?!? I thought you just bought windows and they are
A window installation would seem to be pretty straight forward but there are a
number of ways a new window can be installed in a house. Each of these techniques have their
own benefits and draw backs. So which is best for you, Full replacement or pocket
Pocket Replacement Installation
The pocket window installation method is probably the most common way in which new
windows are installed in old houses because it's cleaner and easier than the alternative full replacement
In a pocket replacement, the sashes of the old windows are removed. The frame
of the existing window is then stripped of any stops
or protrusion that may inhibit a flush installation of the new windows. The new pocket window then
slides into the opening, pretty much using the original window's frame as a frame for the new window to be
secured. The window is screwed in, insulated between the new window and the existing frame, then
caulked. The inside trim is actually never removed so it doesn't need to be replaced. The outside
trim is replaced and usually capped with aluminum and caulked to make for a maintenence free window
1. It's quicker and cleaner than ripping the entire existing window out of
2. A Chicago window installer should charge less to put this
type of window in
3. You don't have to pay for new interior trim to be
The downside of this type of installation:
1. Because the new window is smaller, you will lose some glass
2. If the existing window frame is not insulated well, air will still
infiltrate around it.
Full Replacement Window Installation
When a window installer uses the full replacement method of window installation,
just like it's name indicates, the entire old window is removed and new window is installed in it's
Let's say you are replacing an old wood window.
The entire old unit would be removed, sashes and frames, down to the studs of your home. This method
requires the removal and replacement of the interior as well as the exterior trim surrounding the windows. The
new windows would then be placed in the opening, secured to the house's framing, insulated, trimmed out
(inside and out) and caulked.
The benefits of having your window installer put your windows in this way
1. The new window is the same size as the old window so you don't lose
2. You won't have to worry whether the old window frame was insulated
3. You get new interior trim that will brighted up your home and make it
And the downside of this type of window installation is:
1. Cost more because of extra labor and the cost of replacing
2. Will be a dirty installation process because you taking the
entire window out.
So What is the Best Window Installation
All types of windows can be installed by the full replacement window
installation method. In general however, vinyl and composite windows are usually installed in by the
pocket replacement method and wood windows by the full replacement method.
Wood window manufacturers are now starting to make wood pocket
replacement windows. In fact, both wood window lines we carry, Andersen Windows and Pella Windows, both now carry a pocket wood
The best window installation is the one that is best for your particular
situation. You need to weight the options and discuss the different methods with your window
installer. In the end, both techniques will do what you want...replace those old, worn out windows, but
how much extra cost and extra mess is worth a little more glass and new trim? Only you know the answer to
To Schedule a Free Consultation to discuss your new windows
project, give us a call at 888-356-9020 orClick here.