Pocket Replacement Windows vs Full-Jamb Replacement Windows

Did you know that heat gain and loss through your windows are responsible for around 30% of the energy you use to heat and cool your home? Simply put, if you don’t have energy-efficient windows, you’re spending more money on your Milwaukee energy bill. 

If you’ve been thinking about replacing your windows to help improve your home’s efficiency, you’re on the right track. But before you schedule your project, you’ll need to decide whether you want pocket replacement windows or full-jamb replacement windows. If you are ready now, you can call us at (262) 439-0857 or schedule online!

If you need help deciding, you’re in the right place! Keep reading to learn more about the difference between these options and how to make the right choice for your home. 

Pocket Replacement Windows

double hung pocket window as part of Semper Fi Roofing's pocket replacement windowsWhen you schedule a pocket window replacement project, your team of installers will remove your existing windows, but not the frame they sit in. 

Instead, they’ll put your new windows right in the existing frame, so you don’t have to worry about replacing the original frame, trim, siding, or casing. This is a good option if you have a broken window and you just want to replace it with a new one of the same size. 

Pros of Pocket Replacement Windows:

  1. Cost Savings: Pocket replacement windows are generally more cost-effective compared to full-frame replacements. Since they utilize the existing window frame, there’s no need for extensive demolition, reconstruction, or installation of a new frame, which can result in lower labor and material costs.
  2. Quicker Installation: The installation process for pocket replacement windows is typically faster and less disruptive. Since the existing frame remains intact, there is minimal impact on the surrounding interior and exterior finishes. This can be advantageous if you want a relatively quick and hassle-free window replacement.
  3. Minimal Interior Alterations: With pocket replacement windows, there is no need to remove or replace interior trim or modify the wall structure. This can preserve the existing aesthetics of the room and reduce the need for additional repairs or touch-ups.

Of all the window types offered, many homeowners choose pocket replacement windows because they’re easier to install and often cost less than a full-jamb replacement. It’s also a great way to keep the style and authenticity of your home’s original frames intact. 

Finally, because the project requires less work, it usually has a faster turnaround, so you can get your new windows quickly and get back to enjoying your home. 

Cons of Pocket Replacement Windows:

  1. Frame Integrity: The condition of the existing window frame becomes crucial with pocket replacement windows. If the frame is damaged, deteriorated, or lacks structural integrity, it may impact the performance and longevity of the replacement window. In such cases, a full-frame replacement might be more appropriate.
  2. Limited Design Flexibility: Pocket replacement windows must fit within the existing frame, which may restrict design options. The size, shape, and configuration of the replacement window may be limited compared to full-frame replacements, which offer more flexibility in customizing the window to your preferences.

However, opting for pocket replacement windows may not be the best choice for your home. For starters, it can be hard to tell if there are issues in your existing frame until you take out the old window. If your frame is no longer level or it has sustained damage, you won’t be able to use pocket replacement windows after all. 

It’s also important to remember that your warranty on your new windows won’t include the frame, since it’s not part of the project, so you’ll want to keep that in mind before making your decision. 

Full-Jamb Replacement Windows

full-jamb replacement windowAlso known as full-frame replacement windows, this type of project includes the replacement of the existing window, frame, and sashes. During the project, your installers will remove your old window frames and the trim around them so there’s room to install the new frame. 

This is a great option if you want to change the size or shape of your existing windows to let more natural light into your home. 


If you’ve noticed deterioration around your windows, a full-frame replacement project is the best way to take care of the issue. Many homeowners also like this option because it gives them the opportunity to customize their windows to include different colors, textures, and hardware. 

Perhaps best of all, your warranty will cover both the window and the frame, so you have more protection should something go wrong. And, by replacing the frame in addition to the window, you’ll improve your home’s efficiency. 


The biggest downside to choosing full-jamb replacement windows is that it’s a more expensive project. It also takes longer to complete, so you may need to account for a longer project timeline if you choose this option. Keep this in mind when you’re planning out your project. 

Replacing the frames can also change the original look of your home, which could impact the overall aesthetic of your house. 

The Most Important Things to Consider When Making Your Decision

So, now that you know more about pocket replacement windows and full-jamb replacement windows, how should you decide which one is right for your home? It all comes down to two primary factors: window size and the current state of your frames. If you already know, check out designs for your window replacement.


First, measure your existing windows. Then, start looking at the replacement options that are available to you. If you can find new windows in the same size, then you can choose the pocket replacement window option. If not, then you’ll need a full-frame replacement. 

Similarly, if you want to change the size of your current windows, then you’ll need to look at full-jamb replacement options. 


Next, look at the current state of your window frames. Can you see any visible signs of damage? If so, then it’s almost certain that you won’t be able to get away with pocket replacement windows. 

If you don’t see any damage, some could still be there beneath the surface. A window replacement expert like the ones on our Semper Fi Roofing & Exteriors team can help inspect your frames to give you a better idea of which option is right for you. 

Schedule Your Window Replacement Project Today

After reading through this guide to your Milwaukee pocket replacement windows vs full-jamb replacement windows, you should have a better idea of how to move forward with your project. When you’re ready to schedule your project, the Semper Fi Roofing & Exteriors team is here to walk you through the process from start to finish. 

As the top-rated provider of window and door installation services in Wisconsin, we’ll be able to answer any questions you may have and leave you with brand new windows that you can enjoy for years to come. Schedule a free, no-obligation in-home consultation today to get started.