Window Replacement in Calgary: Everything You Need to Know

There are quite a lot of window companies in Canada that are ready to help you with your upcoming project. But which one is the right choice for you? Do you need a full replacement or just windows repairing? If you are eager to know what questions to ask to get the best value for money, as well as some key characteristics of your local window companies, read on!

How do you know if your windows need replacing?

A lot of times when our project managers speak to homeowners, it becomes clear that they’re not sure whether to replace old windows or repair. It is true, most window problems usually have a temporary fix that can extend their life. 

If your windows look like they have water damage on or around the frame, and there are significant drafts, or if the window frame is coming apart, it is probably best to start thinking about replacing. With some exceptions, in Calgary windows should usually get replaced every 20-25 years.

A good starting point in learning about Calgary windowreplacement is the guide on Improving Window Energy Efficiency from Natural Resources Canada. This guide is great for helping you recognize problems with your existing windows, the solutions available to you on the market, as well as some answers to the most common questions homeowners have at the outset of their replacement. If you read nothing else, try to at least look at this guide before your window quote appointment.

If you really want to get into the knowledge and become an expert on replacement windows and doors, as well as window installation Calgary, check out the much bigger and more comprehensive Consumer’s Guide To Buying Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors Calgary (click on ‘continue to publication’ button to access the guide)This guide is 50 pages long, but is conveniently structured into chapters for easy reading.

Consumer’s guide

Understanding the current state of your windows

To better understand the current state of your existing window we compiled a list of some basic things you can do to assess its condition:

  • Number of window panes

If the windows are single pane then it would be a good idea to replace them. By installing new double or triple pane energy efficient windows, you are probably looking at cutting the heat loss through the windows by half.

  • Window glass

If the window glass is broken, loose, or has moisture in between the panes it will be a good idea to contact the original manufacturer in order to replace the glass, that should address the problem.

  • Window material

If your windows are made of vinyl there might be a good chance that they do not need replacing. A lifetime of vinyl windows is at least 20 years.

  • Air leakages

Check for air leaks around your windows. Light an incense stick, candle or a lighter and walk around the window frame. If the window does not have too many air leaks and is in a good reasonable condition consider new caulking and weatherstripping.

  • Window hardware

Check for ease of operation, loose or faulty hardware. Sometimes it’s just a matter of replacing these parts and you can postpone a major window replacement. If they are in a very bad condition and your window frame or sash is damaged, consider replacing your old window.

  • Condensation

If you have excessive condensation on the room side of the window, first of all, you should try to reduce the amount of moisture in your home. 

If there’s condensation between the panes it means that your sealed unit is broken and you’re not getting any energy efficiency benefits because the gas escaped. 

In this case, contact the manufacturer to see if your warranty is still valid and get a quote for a new sealed unit. Don’t forget to compare the cost of the new sealed unit with a brand new energy-efficient window. If the price range is about the same we definitely recommend you to go with a brand new window. It will give you a 25-year warranty.

Why to replace with vinyl windows?

The first step in ensuring your replacement lasts for a couple of decades is buying windows that are of adequate quality to keep your home efficient and comfortable in your local climate. Because most of the areas in Canada have some of the harshest urban climates in the world, the windows required for homes in our country also have to be some of the best performing. This is achieved through the materials and methods that are used in the window construction. 

Many homeowners today opt for triple-pane windows for maximum comfort and performance. Vinyl is the preferred material of choice for the window construction because it provides adequate thermal protection for a lower cost than wood or fiberglass.It goes without saying that if a window is well built, and has all the energy efficiency features required, it will not need to be replaced for a longer period of time. That’s why when shopping for your replacement you should consider getting windows that are ENERGY STAR rated and NAFS 11 tested.

Replacement vs Repair (Fixing)

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. There are two common ways to replace windows: a full-frame replacement or a retrofit

  • Full-Frame

When it comes to full-frame installation, all the window parts get replaced down to the existing construction opening. This frame is checked for damage, mould, or moisture. New custom windows get outfitted with new exterior brickmoulds, jambs, and trim.

These vinyl components inside the window don’t deteriorate or weather over time and are easy to maintain. They can be a substantial part of the price in the full-frame replacement, but they also give full protection from the elements, and therefore longer-lasting windows. Altogether, a full-frame installation provides a completely new window.

Full replacement

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.

  • Retrofit

When dealing with a retrofit replacement, all the construction around the window opening is left intact, while only the glass and the frame are replaced. Original wood structures around the window are left in place, so the underlying condition can’t be checked for rotting and leaking.

Retrofit

Finding the reputable company on the example of Ecoline Windows

Perhaps one of the most crucial mistakes that Canadian homeowners make is buying a good product yet cutting corners when it comes to installation. 

The quality of work and reputation of your window installer is vital. Trying to save up some money here equals risk with the entire project since greedy pays twice. Hence, try not to skip out on spending some extra for a high-quality window installation. And to help you decide which company would be the best choice, first go through these essential tips:

  • Check out the reputation

Reputation is key. The good news is that it is pretty easy to understand whether the window company is reputable or not.

Online reviews are probably the first place customers check when they are trying to research the market. But when it comes to window companies, there are two main sites to rate and review window companies and contractors in Canada: Homestars and The Better Business BureauBoth can be great resources in seeing what past clients didn’t like about the company and how the company dealt with the problem. However, don’t take online reviews as the critical factor to decide on the company, but definitely take into account what is being said.

  • Experience

What is probably even more remarkable than the company’s reputation, or at least equally valuable, is its hands-on experience. If a window manufacturer has been in business for decades, then it’s likely to have a highly trustworthy, very skilled installation team as part of the company. Ecoline Windows, for example, has installed more than 40 000 windows, and our team consists of high-skilled installers with years of experience.

  • Standards and awards

In Canada, all efficient windows are tested and certified under the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requirements. CSA uses ENERGY STAR guidelines for determining whether different company’s windows meet special requirements. Therefore, a reputable company must only deal with energy efficient windows and follow the CSA guidelines and local building code. Moreover, it is also a good sign if company’s products are NAFS-11 tested and approved.

Get the right installation for your replacement 

Now you now know that to get quality products (windows and doors) you should shop for products that are Energy Star rated and NAFS-11 tested. But how do you make sure that the installation quality matches that of the windows? After all, no matter how good the new window is, it will still leak and cause damage to the wall structure if not installed correctly. So, here are the government standards (and organizations) to look for before installing the windows:

Ratings&TestingGuidelines to follow
Energy StarCSA (Canadian Standards Association)
The North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS)National Building Code

Before dealing with a windows manufacturer in Calgary keep in mind that:

  • New construction windows in Canada, have to be installed in accordance with the National Building Code. 
  • Replacement windows and doors most often have to be installed in accordance with CSA’s Window, Door, and Skylight Installation Standard. You can purchase the publication yourself, but it is also available in parts online. 
  • What’s more important is that the company you decide to go with is actually familiar with the standard and utilizes it. Often if the company’s windows are officially NAFS tested, the company also takes it upon themselves to abide by the installation method standards and perform a “ start to finish” windows installation.

Why is our team the best installers in Calgary?

Our installations are done in accordance with Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Guidelines and Calgary local building code. We only work with in-house installers that specialize in window replacements. When the installation is complete, we ensure that all the construction debris is cleaned up, waste is removed, and your residence is left clean. 

As part of our warranty, our dedicated service team is there to take care of your windows in the event any problems arise. All our windows are Canadian made, Energy Star rated and NAFS-11 tested.

Calgary Residential Windows Installation Case Studies: Casement, Slider, Picture

With all beings said, now it is time to share some of our past projects with different types of window replacement so you can get a better idea of costs, time frames and overall procedure.

Crank Windows (Casement & Awning)

Casement windows are great for use in any room, and can often be manufactured in a combination with a fixed window for bigger openings. Crank vinyl windows are the most efficient option. In these windows, the operable sash opens away from the window frame on an angle. They also utilize a mechanism to “crank” the window with a handle. The mechanism significantly reduces the amount of force required to open and close the window. 

But what truly makes crank windows the best choice, are the compression seals these windows rely on for efficiency. When a crank window is closed, the compression seal evenly fills the gap between the sash and frame making the unit airtight and preventing heat loss. When it comes to installation cost and features, take a look at one of our recent project details:

LoEGasGlazingHardware ColorLocationPriceTime frame
Energy GainArgonTripleWhiteBedroom$2,800 - $3,0007-10 weeks

What clients say:
We had 7 companies come and quote our entire job and Ecoline was definitely the most thorough and honest with delivery times and concerns. They kept very close to their timeline and the windows arrived on time. A very thorough and friendly crew showed up, 2 experienced installers and 1 apprentice and I enjoyed watching them actually teach best practices. They constantly explained to me what they were doing, were very careful with our interior, very detail oriented in their install and cleanup.  I would happily recommend them again.

Casement windows

Slider Windows

Traditional design, modern look. Slider windows are not as efficient as crank windows because they don’t rely on compression seals for efficiency. Because in sliding windows the sash moves inside the frame, the weather proofing material has to be more malleable.  Most slider windows rely on bristled weatherstripping to prevent heat from escaping through the window. Weatherstripping is not as efficient as compression seals, and as a result slider windows don’t match the performance levels of cranks. 

While slider windows don’t initially match the performance levels of casements or awnings, it is possible to improve the window’s performance with additional efficiency features like Low-E coatings, additional glass panes, or ETI foam inside the window frame. Our recent project highlights:

LoEGasGlazingHardwareLocationPriceTime frame
Energy GainArgonTripleCam LockBedroom
(upper floor)
$1,200 - $1,3507-10 weeks

What clients say: These guys did an amazing job, from the first time I was quoted to the day of install. I felt comfortable and assured throughout my experience. Everyone I spoke to and met at Ecoline was friendly and respectful. The installers did a fantastic job and the windows look amazing. I will definitely call them back to have my basement windows replaced. Good job Ecoline Windows!

Slider windows

Picture Windows

Picture windows are excellent for letting in natural light and offer improved efficiency when compared to operable windows. 

Although operable windows are ideal for home replacements because they combine functionality and efficiency, you don’t always have to get crank or slider windows. 

Picture windows are an inoperable window style. Windows that don’t open are more efficient than operable ones and can be used in a combination with casements and sliders or on their own. 

These windows are also good to consider if there are multiple windows in a room. That way some of your windows can be operable for ventilation, and some fixed to provide views and efficiency. The recent picture windows project details: 

Energy GainExterior WrappingGasExterior Wrapping
Color
LocationPriceTime frame
Energygain 2xFrame to Brickmould SizingArgonVinyl Colour MatchNook
(main floor)
$1,200 - $1,3507-10 weeks

What clients say: We are very pleased with the new picture window. It makes the room seem larger and brighter. The installers were very proficient and pointed out numerous characteristics of the old and new windows that made us glad to have replaced the old one! The finishing is also excellent, matching our interior much better than the old one did.

Picture windows

Warranty

All windows by Ecoline Windows are manufactured to meet or exceed industry standards. Ecoline Windows warrants its products against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship. Our window parts and components are covered during the stated period, under normal use and service, subject to the terms and conditions contained in this transferable limited lifetime warranty. When ordering our windows, you get:

ServiceWarranty
White Vinyl Frame and Vinyl Sash Members25-Year Warranty
Painted Windows15-Year Warranty
Insulating Glass25-Year Warranty
Hardware25-Year Warranty

Selection of Best Calgary Manufacturer on the example of Ecoline Windows

Now you know a lot about how to pick a reliable windows installer in Calgary and what type of services you might need. So, this final section is made to provide you with a quick checklist of a great manufacturer using the example of Ecoline:

  • All our windows are Canadian made and we have our own production line, Stage Windows, that produce windows specifically to all our requirements and needs, making the final product being Energy Star rated and NAFS-11 tested. This ensures you the top-notch quality of windows and proper installation.
  • Our experts follow all the CSA and local building codes guidelines to ensure the installation is done in accordance to all the local rules.
  • We have installed more than 40 000 windows and have a reputation of a reliable windows manufacturer with great real-customer reviews.
  • You get a full warranty for any windows ordered and installed.

FAQ

Are you the best place to buy windows in Calgary?

Ecoline Windows is definitely one of the best places to buy windows and get them installed. Our products are all Energy star rated and NAFS-11 tested, our installers are professional, and all our clients are satisfied.

Who is the best window replacement company?

The best windows replacement company is the one which has a great reputation, experience, follows all the guidelines to install your windows and has all their products being rated and tested by reputable organizations.

Are your windows best on the market for replacement

Our windows are considered to be of the highest quality with all clients being satisfied and leave us positive reviews.

Are your company best at both window and door replacement?

Ecoline Windows specializes both in window and door replacement and guarantees the top-rated products and quality.