Everything You Need to Know About Insert Replacement Windows

Feb 22, 2018

When you shop for replacement windows, there are typically two different options: full-frame windows and insert replacement windows. Insert replacement windows are by far the most common, making up 80% of window replacements. But what is an insert replacement window and what makes it a more popular choice than full-frame? In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you might or might not know about insert replacement windows.

What are Insert Replacement Windows?

True to their name, insert replacement windows are replacement windows that can be inserted into the old window frame, saving you the bulk or cost of needing a new window frame. In an insert replacement window installation, the installer removes the old window and its sashes and inserts this new window, leaving all the trim unbothered. It’s less mess, takes up less time, and it allows you to maintain your home’s aesthetic by keeping your old window frames.

Are Insert Replacement Windows Cheaper than Full-Frame?

Yes, for a simple reason: it’s less for everyone involved. It’s less time and effort on the part of the replacement window installer, it’s less materials required on the part of the manufacturer, so it’s less cost to the homeowner. Of course, as in most things, you get what you pay for. A cheaper insert replacement window likely won’t hold up as long as a pricier insert replacement window manufactured with higher quality. A durable insert replacement window with strong energy performance will likely cost a little more. But a high quality insert replacement window still tends to be cheaper than a high quality full-frame window.

What Can I Expect From Insert Replacement Window Installation?

One of the perks of insert replacement windows is that it can be installed inside in relatively little time, sometimes as quickly as half an hour. The window will be fitted exactly to your window frame, and then it’s just a matter of popping the old window out and sealing the new window in. As in many home improvement cases, it helps to have a professional installer. Even with a relatively easy installation, things can still go wrong and there might still be finer details that a professional would catch whereas a homeowner might not. Careful attention to detail is necessary here to make sure that the replacement is done right the first time.

When Should I Have Insert Replacement Windows Installed (as Opposed to Full-Frame)?

In most cases when you need a window replacement, you need an insert replacement window. If the problem is that the glass isn’t performing well or is broken, insert replacement windows are the way to go. Only if you have a problem with the frame do you need a full-frame replacement. For instance, if you have a wood frame that’s swollen or warped or your window frame doesn’t have the energy efficiency that you’d like and is letting in too many drafts in your home, it may be time for a full-frame replacement window.

At Johnson County Siding & Windows Co., we have 40+ years of experience with replacement windows in the Kansas City area. We can help you determine whether you need an insert replacement window or full-frame replacement window, and help you find the best from top brands like Simonton Vinyl and Marvin Fiberglass. Contact us today for more information.


If you know you want to get your home exterior project done, but are feeling stress about paying for it all at once, we can help.

Our financing partner, GreenSky, has sensible payment plans that work for homeowners who prefer to pay in installments. You can also ask your JoCo Siding & Window Co. sales representative about the details!

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