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    How to Choose a Window Replacement Company: A Complete Guide [2024]

    Nov 1, 2016

    Apr 3, 2024

    9 min read

    83

    Picking a window replacement company for your project is very much about trust. After all, you give large sums of money to virtual strangers long before any work is done in your home.

    That is why we strongly recommend homeowners do proper research before signing a window installation contract. Learning as much as you can about windows before you schedule a quote appointment can help you invest your money wisely.

    In today’s post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to differentiate your local window companies and make a well-informed decision.

    Dealing With a Reliable Window Company: Key Points

    Here are three key points about window replacement companies you should know to ensure a hassle-free project:

    • The longevity of your window replacement depends on two things: the quality of the new windows, and correct installation. The company you decide on should be able to provide both in order for your replacement to be successful.
    • There are two types of window installation: full-frame replacement and retrofit (insert). Retrofit installation is only suitable if your existing frames show no signs of moisture or weather damage. The type of installation they specialise in, often also determines the performance level of the windows that a company sells.
    • In order to make sure windows are efficient in your area, you should only consider companies that sell and install only ENERGY STAR rated windows.

    What You Should Know About Window Installation

    As we mentioned above, there are two main types of installation: full-frame replacement and retrofit. A full-frame replacement is more thorough and long-lasting than a retrofit, but it is also more expensive.

    • In a full-frame replacement, the existing window gets removed down to the wall studs surrounding it. This is also the time when installers address any moisture damage or rotting wood in the walls surrounding the window. Any bad or old parts are cut away and replaced with new components. In a full-frame replacement, your vinyl windows come with new vinyl jambs, vinyl brickmoulds and customisable casings.
    • In a retrofit installation none of these components get replaced . A new insulated unit is inserted in place of the old one. Because the frames aren’t stripped down there is really no way to tell whether there is damage or any signs of leaks. The existing brickmould is usually covered on the outside with aluminum capping. Although capping can look as appealing as a single piece brickmould, it is not as efficient of an exterior finish as a brand new vinyl brickmould.

    Although some window companies do both, most usually prefer to specialise in one or the other. Beware of companies that disguise one as the other. There are plenty of window companies in Canada that are selling retrofit windows at the price of full replacement.

    Don’t fall into that trap. Homeowners sometimes only care about the price, but although cheaper, retrofit installations are only suitable for windows with no damage to their frame components. Moreover, dealing with companies that replace windows with minimal mess is also key, you want your home to look clean after window installation with no damage done to the rest of the room.

    How to Pick a Window Company That Carries Quality Products

    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 nationwide energy-efficiency requirements.

    • As of January 2020, homeowners no longer have to consider a Climate zone when shopping for windows that are ENERGY STAR® certified in a particular area. A product in Canada is either ENERGY STAR® certified or not, with a single standard applied nationwide.

    You can find performance information on windows from ENERGY STAR rated companies on this Natural Resources Canada website. You can also search window companies on the CSA Certified Product Listing page.

    It is not advisable to buy windows that do not meet ENERGY STAR and/or CSA performance level requirements. That’s why dealing with window companies specialising in energy efficiency is key to a successful project that promises significant savings on energy bills in the long run.

    Keep in mind that if you are looking to purchase new energy-efficient windows, you should only consider models with a minimum ER (energy rating) of 34 to make sure that these windows meet the Canadian government fenestration standards.

    ER Ratings or U-Factor: What’s better for comparing windows?

    Both of these values play an important role in determining whether any window is efficient enough for your local area. But which is a better representation? A window’s ER number can be significantly improved by higher SHGC factors. U-Factor, on the other hand, measures how resistant the window is to lose heat.

    • An ER number is a more encompassing measure of how a window “transfers” energy. The more heat it gains rather than loses, the more efficient a window is considered. Therefore, it is always important to look at the SHGC number to see how it plays into the window rating.
    • The U-Factor, on the other hand, assesses a window’s resistance to heat loss. This is especially important to consider in Canada as we often have longer nights in the winter where it is essential for a home to retain as much of its heat as possible.

    Why Warranty is Important When Choosing a Window Replacement Company

    When it comes to window and door replacement, longevity is synonymous with quality. Surely most windows will work well in the first week. But which ones will still hold up 20 years down the road? This again depends greatly on the quality of the product and how it was installed.

    Modern vinyl windows are supposed to have a lifespan of roughly 25 years. You should look for companies that offer warranty terms close to that timeline.

    • Be sure to find out how long the insulated glass units, vinyl extrusions, and labour are covered for. Some window installers offering lifetime warranties have a 5-year labour warranty, yet classify things like glass unit replacement as “skilled labour” and, therefore, charge for it separately.
    • Warranty term lengths, what is covered, and who is responsible are often an area of biggest disputes between homeowners and window companies. Some companies also blatantly lie about their terms because they know they probably won’t even be around that far down the road.

    When you’re considering a window company, think about whether their reputation and business volume are big enough for them to still be able to service your windows 10, 15 or 20 years down the road. At Ecoline, we offer all our clients a hassle-free 25-year window warranty on both product and labour.

    How to Choose New Windows: Online Reviews and Ratings

    Online reviews are probably the first place a person turns when they are trying to research a business or a company. But when it comes to window companies, the world of online reviews can be misleading.

    As is, there are two main sites to rate and review window companies and contractors in Canada: HomeStarsThe Better Business Bureau and Google ReviewsAll platforms can be great resources in seeing what past clients didn’t like about the company, and how the company dealt with the problem.

    But in order to get an objective picture, it is important to look at online reviews with a grain of salt. Unlike in the restaurant or entertainment business, when it comes to their home renovation projects, most people aren’t as forthcoming when it comes to leaving positive feedback or becoming a brand ambassador for the company. Because these projects are often fairly expensive, clients often just see it as a necessary transaction rather than a rateable service.

    That is why companies often have to resort to providing incentives or discounts for favourable reviews. To some extent, most companies fish for reviews from friends and family and even post fake reviews to boost their ratings. This can get quite problematic in providing a true image of a business.

    So, always check for pictures and videos of the project, and read attentively what customers write in their reviews and how the company responds. Your task here is to find real client reviews after the installation of new windows has been finished.

    Check Out Real-Customer Reviews & Testimonials about Ecoline Windows

    We have been in window and door replacement market since 2002. We have completed over 9,000 projects during this period, building a reputation as a trusted local window manufacturer and installer with thousands of happy homeowners. Check out what our customers have to say about their experience with Ecoline.
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    Regardless of whether you end up getting double or triple pane windows, full-frame or retrofit installation, what is important is that you know exactly what you are spending your money on.

    A lot of shady window companies in Canada capitalise on a homeowner’s lack of knowledge about windows and send them a lesser product, or a bad installation.

    Hopefully, this article was helpful in getting you on your way towards discerning which companies are worth your business and which are an absolute no-no.

    F.A.Q

    How do I choose a good window replacement company?

    Choosing a good window replacement company involves researching its reputation, experience, and customer feedback. Ecoline offers high-quality, energy-efficient windows, professional installation, and a hassle-free 25-year warranty on products and labour. Our commitment to customer satisfaction makes us a leading choice for homeowners seeking value and reliability.

    Are there window replacement companies with financing?

    Yes, financing is one of the most popular offers most window companies offer clients across Canada. At Ecoline, we understand the importance of making window replacement affordable and accessible. We offer flexible financing options to help homeowners manage the cost of upgrading to energy-efficient windows. Our financing plans are designed to fit various budgets, ensuring you can improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency without financial strain.