There are actually two methods to replacing your Minnesota windows when you start window-shopping. This may not be something you discover in a typical window-buying conversation and not all  MN replacement window companies offer the choice of insert or full-frame.

Insert Replacement Windows

80% of window replacement consists of removing an old window frame with its sashes and “inserting” a new window in its place. Insert windows are the most common because they are user-friendly and leave the interior and exterior trim undisturbed. You get beautiful, energy-efficient, replacement windows in the color and style you want, plus the job is finished and virtually maintenance-free from the moment the installers leave your home.

Full-Frame Replacement Windows

A full-frame window includes the exterior trim and window sills, and requires the interior window trim to be replaced as well. Following the installation,

During the installation of a full-frame replacement window, the entire window is removed, leaving only the rough opening. Everything is removed including the sills and trim. A full-frame installation is recommended when there is significant rot or deterioration to the exterior wood components of a window opening. In some cases, a full-frame installation is the best choice due to the glass loss with an insert replacement window.

Because of the number of additional materials and work that are required in a full-frame window installation, it will cost more. The difference will run approximately 20 to 25% more.

Installation Information on Insert Replacement Windows

Pocket replacement windows are typically seen in homes that are 80 years or older. They have old wood sashes with weights inside the frames. The wood frames and existing moldings are left in place.

Full New Window Replacement

full window replacement diagram

The existing window or door and wood brick molding or trim are removed. The new window or door with nail fin is sealed and attached to the wall in the opening left by the removal of the existing brick moulding and window or door. The exterior trim is then used to cover the nail finish.

Retrofit New Window Replacement

insert window replacement

The existing sashes and exterior stops of the old double- or single-hung window are removed along with any balances or jambliners. The new window is placed against the interior stop from the exterior.

You start by taking off the interior stops and parting strips leaving the exterior stops in place. The next step is to apply silicon to the exterior stop before setting the window in the pocket. After the window is set, shimmed, squared, and leveled inside the pocket, foam insulation should be applied.  

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