How do you get the most out of your window replacement in Calgary? While the answer will realistically be different for different homeowners, there is one thing that remains true across the board: the more you research, the better your chances of being satisfied with both your new windows, and the window company you go with.
Our product consultants in the Calgary area often point out some common misconceptions that clients have about window replacement in Calgary companies. A lot of these myths or false assumptions come up time and time again. So we decided to come up with a list of 6 common things you should know in order to be well informed about window replacement and how it might affect your purchase.
1. All window replacement companies in Calgary have the same warranty
One of the important factors to consider when plannin a replacement project, is how long it will be protected by warranty, and how long will the company cover it for. Because modern vinyl windows have a life expectancy of roughly 25 years, the warranty on your windows should be similar to that term. Various window companies offer different product and workmanship warranties. Some companies offer Lifetime warranty (25 years) on product replacement parts while others offer only 20 years. Workmanship warranty also varies, some companies offer 5-year warranty on labour while others offer only 2 years. Labour warranty is especially important to take into consideration. While most companies offer a labour warranty, this warranty only covers problems that are a direct result of window installation. If one of your window parts, or the sealed unit fails, the company may replace the part free of charge, but charge you for the labour.
2. Local manufacturers are better than non-local
This is another common misconception homeowners in Calgary have. On some occasions, we were being told by misinformed clients that windows should be manufactured locally in order to be suitable for the local climate. There are 2 main things that determine whether the window is acceptable for a specific climate: CSA certification ensures that the windows are compliant with Air tightness, Water Window load resistance, Forced Entry and Strength/Ease of operation. The second thing is Energy Star qualification. Windows are rated based on their U-value and are sorted into A, B, and C climate zones in Canada.
Regardless where your window is manufactured, if it is of reputable quality it should be certified by the CSA and Energy Star, and have all the performance information displayed on the window at the time it arrives in your home.
You can check window performance stats on this Natural Resources Canada website.
The registry of compliant businesses can be found on the CSA website.
3. All companies install windows up to code
Although there is no official certification for window installers, professional companies should follow CSA guidelines or manufacturer’s guidelines for window installation. However, you should be aware that it is not the norm for every company in the industry. Not all window companies work according to installation guidelines. The window industry also has its fair share of handymen that install windows as a side job and work during the window replacement season. They do not always follow proper industry installation standards which might affect the proper window operation and energy efficiency of the windows in the future.
When we talk about egress windows we refer to the fire code where windows should meet minimum size limitations for bedrooms in case of an emergency. From our experience, most windows companies will not inform the client about window egress requirements.
The housing law states that every room in the house that can be considered a bedroom must have fire code compliant windows that can be used as an exit in the event of an emergency.
5. Everybody is allowed to take a downpayment
This is another common misconception. In Alberta pre-paid contractors are supposed to be bonded by Service Alberta in order to to collect downpayments. Because custom windows need to be manufactured to order, it is not uncommon for the window company to ask for a downpayment. If you suspect you may be dealing with a shady company, ask for their Service Alberta license. This license is not easy or cheap to obtain, and fly-by-night companies usually don’t bother with it.
6. All companies service their clients year round
Not all companies work all year-round therefore clients might get into a situation where there will be no one to service their windows if needed during the off-season. If your windows were installed by a handyman or a third party, you may have difficulty getting service in a timely fashion, if not at all.
Check out these window replacement articles:
Find out about the importance of the right exterior finishes for new windows
Learn about our window prices
See how the window replacement process works