Canadian Choice vs. Meridian Windows and Doors: Retrofit Windows Calgary

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Oct 21, 2015

Feb 26, 2024

6 min read

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Are retrofit window replacements worth it?

The answer really depends on the condition of your house, your existing windows, and the health of the wooden framing surrounding them. Remember, a retrofit window replacement is only suitable if there is no moisture damage or rotting wood in your frames. Because a retrofit installation doesn’t remove frame components from the existing windows it may continue accumulating.

Another downside to these kinds of installation is that the exterior brickmould doesn’t get replaced, and the window edges are covered with aluminum capping on the outside. Capping is a much less efficient alternative to new vinyl brickmoulds as it can simply trap in the moisture from the existing frame and cause it to continue deteriorating.

But if your old wood window frames are good as new and haven’t been damaged by leaks, you can consider getting insert windows. Although it is less thorough, this kind of replacement on average can cost 15-20% less than a full-frame window replacement.

Today we’ll look at two Calgary companies that specialize in retrofit windows – Meridian Windows & Doors and Canadian Choice Windows.

Meridian Windows & Doors Calgary (No Longer in Business)

  • Homestars: 8.5
  • BBB: NOT Accredited

About
Meridian Windows and Doors operated in Alberta and Ontario markets. The company was family owned and operated but unfortunately is no longer in business. 

Product
The company carried all standard styles and types of energy-efficient windows. They specialized in insert installations, with an aluminum cladding finish. It is important to note that in this type of installation the brickmould is not replaced for a new, vinyl one. Generally, quality windows for insert installations come with a nail flange on the sides to take up the space. Beware of companies that simply fill the gap between the retrofit window and existing brickmoulds with foam, as the foam on its own is not weatherproof.

Certifications
Energy Star Rated

Warranty
Meridian had clear information about their warranty policy on their websites. The vinyl window components and workmanship are covered for up to twenty-five years. The insulating glass units were covered against seal breaks for fifteen years.

As with most Calgary window companies, the online complaints and negative reviews about Meridian were generally about the lack of service or fulfillment of warranty. As with other companies, unsatisfied clients complained that their calls haven’t been returned, or that the company didn’t take any initiative to resolve issues. There are also complaints about Meridian consistently cold-calling the same people and offering their windows through telemarketing.

rotten_vinyl_windows

This is something that shouldn’t ever happen. A retrofit vinyl window is being replaced just five years after it was installed, because of moisture damage in the wooden frame.

Comparing Top Window Replacement Companies in Calgary

Company Window
Warranty
Google
Rating
BBB Accreditation Reviews
andersen Andersen Windows 20 years
N / A
NOT
Accredited
Check review
ply gem Ply Gem 20 years
2.6
NOT
Accredited
Check review
ecoline windows Ecoline Windows Calgary 25-year on product & labour
4.6
Accredited Check review
lux windows Lux Windows 25 years
4.5
Accredited Check review
jeld-wen Jeld-Wen 20 years
4.4
NOT
Accredited
Check review
all weather windows All Weather Windows 10 years
3.3
Accredited Check review
weather pro Weather Pro Windows N/A
4.4
Accredited Check review
canadian choice Canadian Choice 25 years
4.3
NOT
Accredited
Check review
cissins windows Cossins Windows 20 years
4.3
Accredited Check review
all star home All Star Home Replacement Windows 20 years
4.6
Accredited Check review

Canadian Choice Windows Calgary

  • Homestars: 9.4
  • BBB: NOT Accredited

About
Canadian Choice specializes in window replacement for residential homes and are recognised as one of the best window installation services in Calgary. The company operates in Southern Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba. As with a lot of western Canada companies, their windows and doors are manufactured in Ontario.

Product
The company carries diverse window materials and styles, offering many custom window designs in vinyl. They also have choices for entry and patio doors if you are looking to do a replacement in the whole house.

Certifications

  • Energy Star Rated
  • WindowWise certified
  • HomeStars Award Winners (2022)

Warranty
Canadian Choice Calgary offers a lifetime window warranty services on their vinyl parts. The warranty section of their website explicitly states that it is for the lifetime of the products, so at least you know exactly what you’re getting. Usually the lifetime of new vinyl windows in Canada is measured at 20 to 25 years.

Canadian Choice doesn’t seem to offer anything different that other companies don’t have in terms of product or installation. Where our research into the company lead, is to the discovery of all the negative feedback unhappy customers scattered all over the Internet. Similar to Meridian Windows, homeowners dealing with Canadian Choice left negative reviews about dissatisfaction with the communication process and wait times when it came to getting service for issues with product or installation.

Although there are overall some very positive reviews about their quality windows for Calgary homes on the company’s HomeStars page, there also quite a few negative experience stories about the quality of installations.

Wrapping Up

While Meridian is no longer in business, the Canadian Choice is still one of Calgary’s leading window manufacturers. Reviews show that most homeowners like their energy-efficient windows despite negative feedback about the company’s installation and post-installation services.
All in All, Canadian Choice is among the reliable Calgary window installers and experts. Still, before signing a window replacement contract, homeowners are advised to compare their pricing, warranty and installation services with other local brands to make an informed decision.

F.A.Q.

Local window brands often come with a better understanding of the specific needs and climate conditions of the area. On the other hand, global brands might offer a wider range of products but may not be as tailored to Calgary weather conditions.

There are a lot of great window companies to go with when considering installing new windows in Calgary. Ecoline Windows and Canadian Choice are among the best.

Meridian Windows and Doors is no longer in business. Customers looking for window replacement services in Calgary might need to consider other local providers like Ecoline Windows.

Retrofit window replacements are generally less expensive than full-frame replacements and do not change home’s structure. However, they are only suitable if the existing frames are not damaged and have not issues like moisture or rot. Full-frame replacements bring more value and significantly increase energy-efficiency, especially for older homes or damaged window frames.