If you are in the market for windows and doors Winnipeg, you’re probably wondering what are the specific things you should know in order to have the best windows and doors installed in your home.
Buying replacement windows for your home is something that is done once, or at least should be, and will not be done again for 20 to 30 years down the road. Just like before buying a car you should take a test drive, when buying windows it is important to see the actual window replacement product that will be installed in your home.
Some window companies have showrooms to display the product, while others will bring a window sample right to your home. From the first look, all vinyl windows look similar, but when you pay close attention you’ll find many differences in the window construction and that will ultimately determine how well the window will perform in your home.
Many customers take a “window is a window” mentality when they are shopping for new windows. The same people usually end up disappointed with something once the job is done.
It is generally considered a good idea to have a sales rep (product consultant, project manager) from the majority of window companies Winnipeg to explain the difference between given window styles, product quality and installation. Most of the companies claim that they provide high quality products, start to finish installation, lifetime warranty and post sales customer support, but in reality it does not always end up being true.
So without any further delay, here are the three things you should know before getting replacement windows Winnipeg:
Start checking your windows from the exterior.
Check for welds in the corners, they should be continuous without any screws or glue. Ideally, the sash and frame should be fusion welded using extreme heat and pressure. This ensures an inseparable bond at every joint for sturdier frames and longer lasting windows.
- Check the operational hardware
For sliding windows we recommend ordering a cam lock made of steel, it virtually has no service issues.
- For casement and awning windows:
Get a fold down handle, it tucks away for maximum space on the inside, and looks modern and sleek.
Multi-point locks are easy to operate, sturdy, and add to the overall security and insulation of your home.
Test the windows for easy operation:
It is highly suggested to open, close, lock and unlock the window. It should move freely, and not rub or catch anywhere along its range of motion.
Check the window for easy maintenance features
Check if the window is designed for easy cleaning. Most window companies have developed windows that are easy to clean with such features as a tilt option.
(Slider window with tilt sash for easy cleaning)
Pay close attention to the glass sealed unit
Check to see from which material the sealed unit is made and look for a foam spacer. Some window companies use outdated aluminum seals, which are not as energy efficient and do not allow for glass movement which might translate into easier glass breakage when there is a sharp change in temperature.
Triple pane sealed unit with a foam spacer.
A good sliding or hung window should have weather-strips all around its sashes in order to prevent wind and drafts. Weather-strips are also one the wear and tear components of the window, and therefore, should be designed in a way that is easy to replace.
Ask if the window can be ordered with vinyl jambs and casings.
This will not only ensure your vinyl windows are easy and quick to maintain, but give them a uniform look all around, and increase their longevity. A full vinyl window will be less prone to drafts and leaks.
Industry professionals agree that when it comes to replacement windows, the old saying is true: you get what you pay for! Yet we have to bring it up with bargaining customers over and over again when we get asked “why are your windows much more expensive than X, Y, and Z company’s?”
Unfortunately, there are too many companies in the window industry who benefit greatly from unsuspecting and unknowing customers. And while to you a window is a window, and even after it is installed you may not know the difference, there are numerous ways in which companies can leave you with a lesser product or workmanship than you paid for.
We highly recommend hiring a knowledgeable window contractor that has many windows and door installations under his belt specifically in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. You can pick the best quality windows and spend lots of money, but your home can still allow drafts and leaks and lose heat if they are not installed correctly.
You can prepare yourself by doing some initial research into what a window installation entails, how different windows work and benefit your home, and what’s the best way to protect your window investment.
To ensure your window replacement is successful, it is important that quality windows are used, that they are installed properly, and that your windows have a good warranty that will protect them for their lifetime. All these things contribute to the final price of your window replacement, and can make the difference of thousands of dollars.
Question to ask yourself: Should you really replace your windows?
It may sound absurd for a window company to say, but not all window problems require a replacement. Most often window problems can be repaired, patched up, or fixed with parts rather than a whole new window. Of course, if your windows have visible signs of water damage, or you suspect rotting around them, or the window is simply too old and isn’t holding together anymore, it may be time for replacement. Check out this video to determine how to recognize if your windows need to be replaced:
Does your window installation need a permit?
Permits are usually required for any work that disturbs or alters the physical structure of the building, or its weight carrying capacity. If you are replacing windows with the same sized ones, or are doing a retrofit installation, you do not need a permit for your window replacement. If you are planning to expand your windows sideways, the work will require studs to be cut, and you should look into getting a permit for your window replacement.
Window Installation: Retrofit vs. Full-Frame
Before you start thinking about which windows to get it is important to understand which installation type will be ideal for your home. There are two common ways to replace windows: a full-frame replacement, or a retrofit.
In simple terms: in a full frame installation all the window parts get replaced down to the construction frame. The construction frame is also checked for damages, mold, or moisture. New custom windows get outfitted with new brickmoulds, jambs, and trim.
These vinyl components inside the window do not deteriorate over time and are easy to maintain and replace. These components are often a substantial part of the price in the full-frame replacement, but they also ensure a more thorough and proper installation.
In a retrofit replacement, all the window parts are left intact, only the glass and frame is replaced. The original wood stays around the window, and there is no checking of the construction frame. This can often leave the structure susceptible to moisture and rotting. The outside finish of the windows is often done with aluminum capping or caulking.
Because of the additional labour and materials required for a successful full-frame replacement, these installations can cost as much as 15-20% more than a retrofit.
One unique financing option for windows in Winnipeg is the Manitoba Hydro Home Energy Efficiency Loan Program. Here’s how it works:
- Borrow up to $7,500 per residence to have Energy Efficient windows installed.
- The maximum term is 5 years for all energy efficiency upgrades.
- Annual interest rate is fixed at 4.8 per cent (O.A.C.) for the first 5 years. Monthly instalments will be included on your energy bill.
- Applicants must be a Manitoba Hydro customer and the owner of the home in which energy improvements are to take place.
To apply for the Home Energy Efficiency Loan, speak with your contractor or retailer. Your contractor or retailer will work with you to determine if your project is eligible for financing and will assist you with completing the loan application.
Manitoba Hydro compliance options for Winnipeg windows
Replacement windows qualify for ENERGY STAR® based on their U-value (the measure of how well the windows resist heat loss. The lower the U-Factor, the more efficient the window) and their Energy Rating; You can see the list of all Energy Star rated products in Canada on this site.