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If you’re considering replacing your windows, there are a number of variables to consider. It may seem overwhelming at first, but with a little background information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision. One consideration is whether to replace the window insert or the full frame.

Replacing the Window Insert

Replacing only the window insert may be an option if the existing window frame is still in good condition. It involves replacing the hardware, sash, and covers.


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  • Maintains the existing trim – both interior and exterior
  • Quick installation
  • Usually less expensive than full-frame replacement


  • The existing frame needs to be structurally sound
  • Only an option with wood or aluminum frames
  • Vinyl frames are not able to support the structure of a replacement insert
  • May still see light openings

Take Away

A window insert replacement can offer a quick and low-cost option when you are happy with the size and shape of the window. The existing frame must be structurally sound to permit this route. It’s a short-term solution that’s not the most energy-efficient alternative.

Replacing a Full-Frame Window

The complete window and frame assembly, down to the studs, are removed in a full-frame replacement.


  • Provides the ability to change the size and style of the window
  • The professional installer has the ability to inspect and repair any wood rot or water damage
  • Tighter seal
  • More energy efficient


  • Requires extensive replacement with the removal of the frame and possible siding
  • More costly than an insert replacement

Take Away

While a full-frame window replacement is the more costly option of the two, it also allows for more variety. Marvin Windows, for example, provides you the ability to change the color, size, or shape of an existing window. You might even decide to replace a door with a window.

Replacing the full frame provides a tighter seal between the window and frame, which also creates a more energy-efficient and long-term solution. When the contractor has the opportunity to inspect the area surrounding the window, unknown issues can be addressed and repaired.

Repair or Replace Your Westchester Home’s Windows

Giant Siding & Windows is a third-generation family-owned company that’s committed to providing our neighbors in Westchester County, NY, the best, most cost-efficient alternatives to your window and siding needs. Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate.