Now that you’ve selected the type of window and the glass that you want, you need to figure out how you want them installed. There are basically two ways to install your new windows. You can retrofit, or choose a new‐construction installation.
This is the method that most people choose. In this method, the contractor will order the windows to fit just inside of your existing frames. We will not remove your old frames…just the glass. Then these new windows are installed and sealed without the need for damaging either the interior or exterior walls.
So what this means for the homeowner is a quick, non‐intrusive installation. It also means that you will not have to patch drywall or stucco.
However, there is a slight disadvantage. By doing it this way, you will lose a little bit of your window size. This is because we are basically installing a frame inside a frame.
But what I find is that most homeowners don’t even notice the difference, and the benefit of not damaging the walls far outweighs the slight loss in window size.
Older Homes with Wood Windows:
If you have a home with older wood windows, there are actually two ways to retrofit. The first way is by using a retrofit window known as a “block frame”. What this does, is allows the contractor to set the new vinyl window inside of the old wood pocket.
This way, you keep the original exterior wood stucco mould and more importantly, the wood sill. The disadvantage to this is that you still need to maintain the wood sill. But in my opinion, it is more than worth a little maintenance in order to keep that need older look.
Now, if the sills are rotted or you just don’t want to deal with the maintenance, you can cut the sills. However, you will need to patch the stucco where you cut the sills as the new windows will not cover all of the way.
This is not as invasive as a new‐construction window, but you will have some patching and painting to do.