When it comes to life in Canada, the weather is a crucial aspect that significantly impacts our everyday life and comfort. This is even more true for Winnipeg. The weather here is brilliant – cold, crystalline, and bright. Windows is a significant home component, and replacing them impacts your safety, comfort, and, what’s more critical, heating bills.

Most people ignore windows issues until something goes wrong. A crack obscures the view, or a cold draft creeps into the room. If that is your case or you just want to freshen up the interior design – read on. 

At this point, you might be wondering what to consider before getting replacement windows Winnipeg or finding the best company to help you out with your needs. Let’s find out!

All Windows are Not Alike

Whether you’re upgrading existing windows or installing the ones, the best approach is finding experts that will understand your particular needs.

Winnipeg has over 30 window companies, including distributors, retailers, installers, and manufacturers. So, the first step is to find out who you’re dealing with, country of origin, and windows warranty.

Buying directly from window manufacturers in Winnipeg means you’ll get a superior design, materials, quality control. Better design choices, like high-performance triple-paned windows, save money on heating bills and can get Manitoba Hydro rebates.

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.

Still, 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. 

Here are two checklists of crucial points to consider before dealing with your windows replacement and the window companies you are going to deal with.

Checklist for Finding the Best Windows in Winnipeg

1. See the product before you buy it. This is the vital point. Make sure the product expert gives you opportunity and time to examine the new windows thoroughly. Pay attention to:

Corner welds. 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.

Corner welds

Operational hardware. For sliding windows, we recommend ordering a cam lock made of steel; it virtually has no service issues.

Cam lock

Casement and awning windows. Get a fold-down handle; it tucks away for maximum space on the inside and looks modern and sleek.

Operational hardware. For sliding windows, we recommend ordering a cam lock made of steel; it virtually has no service issues.

Fold-down handle

Locks. Multi-point locks are easy to operate, sturdy, and add to the overall security and insulation of your home. Make sure you have them.

2. Are the windows eligible for provincial energy efficiency rebates? Manitoba Hydro rebates may be available for new windows or window replacements. For other programs in Manitobas, check here

3. Test the windows for easy operationOpen and close, lock and unlock. It should move smoothly and not rub or catch anywhere along with its range of motion. Remember that it should stand up to decades of handling.

4. Check the window for easy maintenance featuresIs it easy to clean? There should be a tilt option that allows the window to pivot inward for cleaning.

5. Pay close attention to the glass sealed unit

What materials were used? Look for a foam spacer. Some window companies use outdated aluminum seals, which aren’t as energy-efficient and don’t allow for glass movement in fluctuating temperatures. This can lead to the panes cracking during a sharp temperature change. A high-performance window designed for Winnipeg conditions will be vinyl, sealed and triple-paned, with a foam spacer.

Multi-point lock

6. Examine weatherstripping:

Sliding or hung windows should have weather strips all around their sashes to prevent wind and drafts. As weather stripping is subject to wear and tear, it should be easily replaceable.

7. Can your new window be ordered with vinyl jambs and casing?

New jambs and casings manufactured from vinyl to match the new frame create a high-quality all-around finish, preventing leaks and drafts, adding to ease of cleaning, and presenting a clean, uniform look.

Checklist for Finding the Best Window Company in Winnipeg

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, too many companies in the window industry benefit significantly 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. Here are some crucial aspects to look for when dealing with the window company in Winnipeg:

  • Choose a qualified professional: look for business licenses; check for WCB (Workers’ Compensation Board) of Manitoba certification; 
  • Find out about basic window styles, so you know your options ;
  • Have the company product expert explain what product they would recommend for your needs and why that product is better than others. Get the information about the installation process from A to Z, warranty coverage, and post-sales customer support. 
  • Ensure there’s a contract in place that describes the product, scope of work, full-price, and deadlines. If you want to be more knowledgeable of the contacts and avoid common pitfalls, our experts equip you with all the needed information here.
  • Do you need a permit? Permits are required for work that disturbs or alters the physical structure of the building or its weight carrying capacity. So make sure to ask both your sales rep and your city or municipal office. You should get the green light from both parties.

Window Installation: Full-Frame vs. Retrofit 

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.

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.

So, What to Choose: Small repairs or New Windows?

Not all window problems require a replacement. If the existing windows are new and in good condition, re-glazing (new glass) may be possible. If the sash has deteriorated, a retrofit may be a reasonable solution. However, 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’s time for a replacement.

Pricing and Manitoba Hydro Loan Program

Dealing with windows replacement or even retrofit always requires decent investing. That is it. You can’t go the other way but pay for quality. However, to save up some money, you really need to compare prices, conduct some market research and get the best offers. If you want to analyze your future windows project, you are welcome to use our pricing tool to examine the prices and choose the options you need. 

In addition, you can also apply for a Manitoba Hydro Loan program, which helps you out with energy-efficient windows installation. However, there is a list of points to be aware of when applying for a program:

  • You can borrow up to $7,500 per residence to get 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. They determine whether the project is eligible for financing and will help you to complete the loan application.

Compliance Option g1—Performance – ENERGY STAR

Zone 3
Triple Pane34

GlazingMinimum ERMax
Zone 3
Triple Pane241.20 (0.21)

Compliance Option #2 — Prescriptive

Triple pane glazingMinimum 10mm warm edge spacer
Minimum one Low-e CoatingNon-metallic or thermally broken frame
Argon gas fill

The Bottom Line:

At this point, you should have probably learned some vital information on the windows installation. However, even the best windows won’t bring you a great return on investment if they are installed poorly by an unreliable window replacement contractor.

Make sure you look for quality window installers and only deal with someone who has excellent real customer reviews and offers the best window brands as your alternatives. There are 2 basic rules: 

  • It is always a good idea to spend a bit more time conducting market research, finding something that lives up to your needs.
  • It is always right to spend a bit more money on a window company to make sure the windows you buy or upgrade will be installed correctly and bring no issues for the next 20-30 years.

Here, at Ecoline Windows, our experts want to make sure that our clients get only the best. We have installed over 40,000 windows across Canada since 2010 and would be happy to discuss and implement your next windows project.