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New Construction Windows

New construction windows differ from replacement windows in one important aspect, the nailing fin that is included with the new construction option. Other than that, the windows will be identical to one another. There are, however, some important differences in terms of the installation requirements and methods that are used by contractors and local companies.

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New Construction Windows

In terms of the actual window, a new construction model includes a nailing fin around both of the sides and across the top. The replacement window model does not include this flange. The nailing fin allows the window to be installed tightly and securely inside the rough opening. The nailing fin shouldn't add too much to the cost of a window, perhaps $25 or $50 per window. Most manufacturers sell their most popular models in both a replacement window and new construction option.

New Construction Window Installation

Theinstallation cost and requirements between these two can differ significantly. New construction assumes the home, or portion of the home, is unfinished and has a basic rough opening but no walls, etc. Typically, a sill pan is placed on the bottom of the rough opening and serves as an extra barrier against water getting inside the walls of the home. The new construction window is then placed inside the rough opening and the window is secured in place using the nailing fin. Once the drywall goes up, the window is then rechecked to make sure it is square and plumb. A low expanding foam will be used to fill in any space between the window and the opening. The installer will then use a silicon caulk on the inside and outside to create a seal so no water or moisture can penetrate from the outside to the window itself.

Replacement windows, on the other hand, must be placed into the existing opening. The biggest cost consideration here is the condition of the frame and sills. If there is extensive damage to these, they will have to be removed and replaced. This is known as a full frame replacement and will actually cost something similar to the new construction window cost. If there is no damage to the frames and sills, the replacement window can simply be inserted into the existing hole. It will still need to be plumb in the opening and then caulked and sealed properly to insure that no water can get inside.

New Construction Window Installation Costs

New construction windows should run $200 to $300 per opening. Full frame replacement windows will run very similar to this per opening price. Standard installation is more like $100 per window, while insert installation should run more in the $50 to $75 per window range. Because all projects are unique, especially in terms of the installation, it's tough to estimate installation charges. This is why we always suggest getting multiple bids in order to insure that the price they are bidding out the installation is fair and equitable.

New Construction Windows Question

Do you have a site dedicated to new construction windows? Looking to build in the Phoenix AZ metro area. Need solar glass, but not the real dark one, I'll give up a little on the SHGC to gain on visibility though I do expect to have less visibility than most. I don't want vinyl.

- Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Deb, here are some links to articles on new construction windows. Get three or four companies to come out and give you a bid and pepper them with as many question about installation and installation options as possible. This is a great place to get free information that is obviously specific to your project and your requirements.

In terms of glass, let them make suggestions as to the best low-e, SHGC for your climate and perhaps the position/direction of windows. Ask to see some different examples of glass to see first hand the darkness and performance data associated with each.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

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