One of the biggest investments you can make to your home is installing replacement windows. While your first impression may be that all windows are alike, there are some distinct differences between windows that are produced locally and those that are produced in whole or part through international companies.

To understand what being a local window company really means, let’s first understand the window manufacturing process and the components that may derive from areas outside Canada.

The Manufacturing Process

  1. Cut vinyl or PVC sections to size needed for frame—many window manufacturers purchase their vinyl or PVC from China and the United States. Ecoline buys them locally in Canada.
  2. Attach hardware to frame for assembly.
  3. Drain holes are drilled in frame to release excess water.
  4. Corners melted together to seal frame (not welded.)
  5. Spacers for the screen are installed and caulked for added insulation.
  6. Inner coverings are hammered into the frame to stabilize and seal it.
  7. Screen installed with a spline pressed into a channel to hold it in place.
  8. Sashes (frame inside the frame) are cut to size and seals are added.
  9. Hardware installed to allow the sashes to move properly inside the frame and are locked in place.
  10. Double-hung windows have two sashes that are each fitted with glass.
  11. Glass is secured into the sash and sealed (glass can have LoE coatings and can be double- or triple-pane and filled with Argon or Krypton gas for added energy efficiency.)—most companies buy their sealed glass units from big glass manufacturers that are based out of the United States. Ecoline assembles their own sealed glass units in Canada.
  12. Sashes are installed into the frame (double-hung windows slide up and down and also tilt for cleaning.)
  13. Locking/operable hardware is secured into place—many companies source their hardware from Turkey or China. The best quality hardware is based out of the USA and Ecoline buys the best quality parts from the leading USA hardware manufacturers.

“Product of Canada” and “Made in Canada” Designations

Guidelines have been established by the Competition Bureau Canada to assist consumers in determining whether a “Product of Canada” or “Made in Canada” declaration is accurate or meant to mislead a purchaser into buying their products.

In order to qualify as a “Product of Canada” it must meet these two conditions:

  1. the last substantial transformation of the product must have occurred in Canada; and
  2. at least 98-percent of the costs of producing or manufacturing the product must have occurred in Canada.

In order to qualify as “Made in Canada,” the criteria is a little less stringent:

  1. the last substantial transformation of the product must have occurred in Canada; and
  2. at least 51-percent of the costs of producing or manufacturing the product must have occurred in Canada; and
  3. an appropriate qualifying statement can include more specific details about the manufacturing origin, such as “Made in Canada with imported parts.”

Why It Matters

Claiming to be a “Local Window Company” comes with many built-in promises that you should expect from a reputable company. When the majority of window components are from Canada, you should trust that they are of exceptional quality, built to last, and meet the high standards established by the Canadian government. Products made outside of Canada may not adhere to the same regulations and may fail prematurely or have a limited lifespan.

Window prices should be competitive, not cheap. Be wary of prices that are “too good to be true.” Inferior components may be used to lure unsuspecting buyers with low prices. While Canadian-built windows may not be the least expensive, they should be comparable to other products with the same performance standards.

Local window companies will always offer high standard (Energy Star and NAFS-compliant) efficient windows that are specifically rated for your particular climate zone. By purchasing windows manufactured in Canada, you’ll obtain products that are well insulated to provide the optimum energy efficiency as administered by Natural Resources Canada for improved comfort and utility cost savings.

Dealing with a local window company provides:

  • Peace of mind by offering exceptional product knowledge, options and features.
  • Installation services will be provided by company technicians who specialize in full-frame and retrofit installations, not by inexperienced subcontractors.
  • You should be able to obtain a proof of record with excellent feedback from people in your area who received products and services from the company.
  • Financing options with no pressure to make a decision.
  • Local support team and a reasonable warranty for parts and labour.

Do Your Research

Now that you understand what it means to be a “Local Window Company” selling products that are a “Product of Canada” or “Made in Canada” you should research the company before you contract with them to do your window replacement project. Ask questions about where they get their vinyl or PVC material, do they buy their glass from a big glass manufacturer or make their own? Do they use quality hardware or is it imported from Turkey or China?

Be wary of companies that try to force you into making a decision or request a substantial deposit before the work is started. Cheap prices may mean inferior products with little or no recourse if the product fails. Ask for copies of warranties, phone numbers for customer service, and always request a complete quote for work to be performed with assurance of no additional or hidden fees.

By committing to using a local window company to do your home improvement window replacement you’re supporting your local community and protecting your investment for years to come.