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Brick To Brick vs Retrofit Window Installation


A home renovation project can be fun and exciting – but also bit of a challenge. When adding new windows to your home, it’s important to figure out which method is best for you and your budget. Two window installation methods, “brick to brick” and “retrofit” are popular – but which is better? We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each of these options to help you make an informed decision. Ready for your own masonry project? Contact Royal Masonry today for professional work and expert advice.

So, Which Method Is The Best Method?

 Image source:  Vinyl Windows Atlanta, GA, YouTube Image source:  Vinyl Windows Atlanta, GA, YouTube

Both methods are good methods when used at the right time. If your windows are not too old and are in good shape, then a retrofit installation may be best for you. Retrofit installation is the right choice if your windows are not leaking air and if your window frames were professionally installed. For already energy-efficient windows, retrofit installation is a great, cost-effective option for you.

If you are worried about the energy-efficiency of your windows, you have very old window frames, or you suspect your windows were improperly installed, brick to brick installation is the much better choice. Simply replacing your window without fixing the insulation and the frame will not help you in the long-run – it’s best to get the job done right all at once. Brick to brick installation allows you to do that, and helps keep the cold out of your home.

What Are Brick To Brick and Retrofit Window Installation?

Before we look at the pros and cons of these two types of window installation, it’s important to have a good understanding of what each type of installation is! Check out this quick video from a window installation company which explains the difference.



Retrofit window installation is the installation of a window in an already existing window frame. There is no removal of of interior or exterior trim and the window coverings also remain in place. Once the old window is removed, the new window is easily placed inside the already existing frame.

Brick To Brick window installation is a window installation process that involves removing the window frame, jams, existing mould, and even the trim. With brick to brick installation, the window is actually cut out of the wall, leaving a large opening for a brand new frame and eventually, a new window.

Brick To Brick vs Retrofit Window Installation

 Image Source: The Home Depot Image Source: The Home Depot

Retrofit Installation

Retrofit window installation requires less construction, know-how (if you plan a DIY window installation), and is generally the less expensive option upfront.

Because you do not remove any of the interior or exterior trim and the frame stays in place, the process is much quicker and easier than brick to brick installation.

However, leaving the existing frame means there is not any opportunity to add to or improve the existing insulation – and it also does not allow for you to check to see if you need to make these improvements. If you’re looking for ways to keep in the heat on cold Canadian winter days, retrofit installation won’t help much with your energy efficiency.

 Image Source: One Project Closer Image Source: One Project Closer

Brick To Brick Installation

With brick to brick window installation, you remove the frame and have access to the insulation around you window.

This means you can go in and create a better seal – ensuring a more energy efficient window, perfect for our Canadian winters.

This method of installation also means you can clear out any rotting wood or debris that has made its way into the window opening. With brick to brick installation, you won’t have to worry about replacing your windows for many years to come.

Of course, brick to brick installation is a bigger construction job and will cost more upfront. Brick to brick installation is definitely not for the do-it-yourselfer, unless you are an experienced handyman. Even then, this type of installation is more complex and even a small error can end up costing you much more to repair down the road.

Do-It-Yourself Or Hire A Contractor?

There are many videos and guides online that show how to do a DIY window installation.

If you choose a retrofit installation, you can potentially get away with a DIY install if you have some experience with this kind of handiwork.

Still, if you are unsure about the skills and tools required to complete even a retrofit installation, it’s best to call the professionals.

For brick to brick installation, it is recommended you work with the pros to get the job done right. Brick to brick window installation is much more invasive and complex. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could potentially damage the structural integrity of your window opening and create more expensive problems that you can’t ignore.

If you want to ensure that your windows can withstand Canadian winters, prevent moisture, and stay energy-efficient throughout the entire year, it’s best to work with an experienced contractor.

Royal Masonry – Choose The Trusted Professionals

The team at Royal Masonry has built a solid reputation for superior customer service and the highest quality stone masonry craftsmanship in Southern Ontario. Our mission is to provide you with the best quality workmanship at the right price. You can be certain that we will get the job done right the first time.

Our professional approach and superior customer service mean that you can relax in the knowledge that your project is in safe hands. Trust Royal Masonry with any masonry service you require! Contact us today, to find out for yourself why our customers highly recommend us to their friends and family.

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