One of the comments we often get from customers when we book appointments is that they do not know anything about Canadian windows, and as a result don’t know if they need to replace their windows, repair them, or just replace the glass panes. Today we will endeavour to give you a run down of information that you should know to be a better-informed homeowner. Hopefully, these tips will set you on the way towards figuring out what is right for your windows and doors project.

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Old Windows: Reglaze, Retrofit, or Replace

First, you should assess if you need to repair your existing windows, or if it is time to replace them. To begin with you should know how old your existing windows are, a renovation grade window should last roughly 25 years, but from our experience a builder’s grade window tends to last 10-15 years, so if the ones in your house are older it may be time to replace them. One of the big conundrums about window replacement is that you can’t often see the damage around your windows as it is concealed by the walls. A broken or worn-out window can allow water penetration into the wall structure, causing the wood inside to rot for years. In these cases, the only ideal solution is a full-frame window replacement. You would want to replace just the glass if the frame is all still in good working condition with no cracks, breaks, or rotted wood. If it is not, then you will want to look into full frame installation.

If you have single pane windows you will probably want to replace those to have less heat loss in your home. Even though a window replacement can be a pricey undertaking, the difference between one and multiple glass panes in a window will make the investment worthwhile in terms of energy savings down the road.

Are your windows drafty? Leaking air? Perhaps they just don’t work as well as they should; in any of these cases you can do some minor repairs to the window to bring it back up to a better-working condition. However, if the leaking is drastic, or the cost of repairing the window to working condition is high, you should consider looking into replacing the window.

Fiberglass, Vinyl, Wood, or Aluminum Windows

Next, you should decide on what material you want for your new windows. It is definitely worth know the benefits of getting PVC vinyl windows. Most window companies in Canada specialize exclusively or primarily in vinyl windows. They are nearly maintenance free, have very few service issues, will last you a much longer time, and are some of the most practical and economical options for homeowners. Vinyl frames require very little work to keep clean and looking new.

Fiberglass windows are probably the most efficient option. They are also the most expensive, so fewer companies specialize in them, but you can definitely find this option if you are looking for the most efficient windows.

Though traditionally wooden windows were the staple on the window market, today they have a more niche place. Because most wood windows today are made from quality lumber, the manufacturing cost is fairly high. While they are aesthetically beautiful and offer great efficiency ratings, wood windows cost quite a bit more than vinyl, for similar performance levels.

Aluminum windows are pretty much a thing of the past on today’s replacement market. There are too many problems with aluminum as a material to make an efficient window.

How much will a window replacement cost?

Although the cost of a window replacement shouldn’t affect your decision-making, in reality it does for most owners. When it comes to window replacement, if you find a reliable window company, you can generally expect to get what you pay for. This means, the type of installation and the window quality will have a big effect on the final price.

Full-frame window installation costs on average 10-15% more than retrofit.

Casement and awning windows can cost 20% more than slider and hung windows because of their improved performance.

Triple-pane windows cost 10-15% more than double pane.

With this information, you should now have a better idea what type of work needs to be done on your windows. Should you have any further questions, remember it is your right to ask as many questions as you need answered before going through with getting new Canadian windows.

Check out these window replacement resources:
Find out the price of replacement windows
See how the window replacement process works in our INFOGRAPHIC
Check out our gallery of finished projects in your area

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