Whether you’re building a garage or a separate outhouse, after the foundation has been laid and design finalized, it is time to go and get the material necessary to start building. And one essential bit in any structure is the construction window.
Installing construction windows is a good way to ensure that your windows stay securely in place since they get nailed directly into the frame. Many home renovators and DIY-ers often find themselves buying these and wondering, do new construction windows come with sills and screens?
Depending on where you buy your new construction window, you may or may not get a screen along with it. This is solely upon the seller’s discretion. Sills, on the other hand, are almost always a separate purchase. Here, we’ll discuss the details about window screens and sills with new construction windows.
Construction Windows – What Are They?
When constructing a house back in the day, you would leave space for a window when laying bricks or make a frame using wood to support the bricks above. Once painted and dried, only then would the window come in.
Now, however, when you’re building a structure, you buy a construction window and install that. The three main components at play here are:
- Window studs exposed during construction. This is where the construction window’s nail fins go. Weather proofing and other barriers are installed at this point, too.
- The sill is installed and construction window is placed. After that, it’s a simple matter of installing the flashings (top, sides, and bottoms in order) along with the trim.
- The window is finalized and screens are installed.
Remember, you have to make or install the sill BEFORE you install your window. It is quite obvious that you won’t have access to the base after you’re done with the window. Whether you’re making your own sill with concrete, wood, or marble or installing one you got with the purchase, the same issue persists.
Every new construction window includes a nailing fin that is used to secure the window in place. Window flashings are installed in the same fin to cover it up. If you’re installing any barriers or making it weatherproof (recommended, by the way), it goes under the flashing.
You may have to touch up the paint after installation for a seamless finish. If you’re replacing your current window with a new construction window, you will have to expose the studs.
Most often we have found that when replacing the old with a new construction window and a sill, we end up having to paint the whole wall since touch up marks might stay behind.
Once the window is installed, you will have to install your window screen. Some suppliers give a screen with purchase, some don’t.
Replacement Windows vs. New Construction Windows
If you’re looking to replace your current window with a new construction window, as we mentioned above, you are going to have to go to work on your current one. If you buy a construction window, you’re going to have to pull everything out. If the size is similar, you can leave the window frame and trim in place, but we recommend that if you’ve bought the whole thing, install the whole thing.
If, however, you only bought the window and received a screen along with it, you can choose to leave the current exterior & interior window frame, flashing, and trim as is. This is much quicker and less expensive, but can leave existing problems untouched.
Replacing the window is then a simple matter of unscrewing the old window off and screwing back the new one. If you received a sill and your current window frame doesn’t support a screen (which is highly unlikely), you may have to go the long route.
Remember, when replacing windows, buy a window which is a SLGIHTLY tight fit, rather than one that fits perfectly. This is because the window will shrink when exposed to the environment. The opposite is true for rainy areas; the window will expand.
This is why it is recommended that you replace the frame as well.
Do New Construction Windows Come With Screens?
A majority of new construction windows come with screens. For example, a DIY-er’s best friend, Home Depot, gives a screen with almost every window out there, unless you specifically opt out. Some suppliers will exclude the cost of that screen if you choose to opt out.
On average, these screens cost around $100, but higher-end screens can go as high as $250 to $400 as well. Labor cost per screen stands at $15-$20, but since you’re installing it yourself, it shouldn’t bother you.
Do New Construction Windows Come With Sills?
While most suppliers offer screens along with new construction windows, the same cannot be said about window sills. Sills are more expensive and are often made separately to reflect the design of your house instead of the window’s design.
If you hire a contractor to install a window, unless it’s marble, wood, or some other slab, they prefer to make it out of concrete – especially for ground floor windows. This is because concrete window sills are often cost-effective and can open up a lot of new options for you.
A typical window sill made out of concrete can cost you somewhere around $2. A single bag of concrete mix can make 3 to 4 concrete sills for you, while the same can cost somewhere around $20 to $50 per sill if you decide to make it more fancy.
The thing to remember here is that not every supplier offers a window sill or a window screen along with purchase. You might have to buy them separately, though it is more common to find a window screen included in the price instead of finding a sill.
Of course, some new construction companies will supply basic plastic (UPVC) sills, especially in the UK. If this is important to you, you need to check with them exactly what is (or isn’t) supplied.