Window Choice
Replacement Window Installation In Southern Ontario

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15
04
2013

How to keep your replacement windows in great shape


Spending the money on replacement windows is definitely an excellent investment. If you have done so, feel free to give yourself a pat on the back. This is the mark of responsible homeownership, of thinking of your financial future and by keeping the biggest purchase you will likely ever make in good condition. The hard part is over, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your newly installed windows. This doesn’t mean you can’t take a moment to celebrate and relax, but it does mean you need to employ proper maintenance measures going forward.

There are a few tips that you can engage to make sure your replacement windows stay in as good of shape as they currently are. Although most manufacturers build quality pieces that are guaranteed to last decades, it is important to note that these estimates are typically gauged with ideal conditions in mind. In the real world, things are not so simple. Accidents can happen (i.e. if you have pets or children) and the climate will be sure to put your new windows to the test, especially if you live in an area where hot summers and cold winters are common. To ensure your replacements are functioning as they should and that you really are getting your money’s worth for the coming years, here is some helpful advice regarding proper maintenance.

The Installation is Over, Now on to Maintenance

  • Keep an eye on the frame; condensation and moisture build-up is the number one cause of window frame wood rot. If left untreated, this will ultimately result in the deterioration of the surface. Air leaks and safety hazards will be inevitable. You can prevent this by inspecting the frames every couple of weeks. If you do happen to notice mold or mildew growth, clean the wood with a bleach water solution to sanitize it. Insert wood epoxy to fill any holes that may have occurred and treat the wood with a quality protectant. This should be done even on new replacements to keep them maintained.
  • Replace and install new weather stripping and caulking when necessary. You can reasonably expect the materials on your replacement windows to last quite a while, but not forever.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint every few years or so to your windows to restore any blemishes and preserve their functionality.
  • Clean the glass regularly to minimize, dirt, dust and grime. Believe it or not, but these substances can have a dramatic impact on window longevity. If left alone, they can cause the glass to warp and lose its R-value.
  • Open and close the windows every so often to make sure all the mechanical parts are working well; this is the best way to avoid jams.
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12
04
2013

Why performing a home energy audit is a good idea


home energy auditThe importance of an energy audit cannot be stressed enough. Given that most people don’t live in brand new houses, the need to have an inspection performed to ensure your home is energy-efficient is critical. However, it should be noted that even newly built structures also often benefit from having one of these done. If you have noticed an increase in your utility bill in recent months or if you have found that your home feels colder in the winter and hotter in the summer, it is probably due to inadequate insulation. Remember, this encompasses a number of items on the energy audit agenda. From leaking windows and doors to drafty attics and poorly insulated walls, there are plenty of things that could be going wrong (likely all of them if your house is rather old).

There are many reasons why getting an audit is recommended. The main one is that it allows you to thoroughly assess the situation; after completion, the auditor will provide you with a list of items that need to be addressed, as well as what you can expect to pay for each. This is important, as it gives you something to work with and it allows you to focus on the top priorities. That being said, an energy audit is the best way to help you save money, as it is essentially a comprehensive analysis of your home’s energy-efficiency rating. Saving money is not the only reason why you should consider calling up your local utility company, however.

Why You Should Get an Energy Audit

  • You don’t know how much energy you’re wasting until you have had an audit; a majority of homeowners are surprised when they see the results, which is why it is an investment you definitely want to make.
  • An energy audit can help improve the air quality in your home; inspectors take into account the contaminants in the air that can cause breathing problems and aggravate conditions like asthma. Malfunctioning HVAC systems are often the culprit for these issues.
  • The return on investment is too good to pass up; the typical audit costs about a few hundred dollars, but the long-term savings that can be accomplished by correcting the reported problems will greatly surpass this initial amount.
  • The government often gives tax credits to people that make their homes more energy-efficient, which can help ease the cost associated with doing so.
  • Energy audits generally only have to be performed once; they are not something you have to pay for every year. Think of it this way. You will be spending a one-time fee to get the peace of mind knowing that your home is properly sealed. Your wallet will thank you as well!
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10
04
2013

What are the benefits of vinyl windows?


vinyl windowsIf you need new windows and are on a budget, vinyl will likely be your best friend. They are a cost-effective alternative to aluminum, wood and fiberglass models, but don’t think for a second that the price has anything to with the quality. The term “budget-friendly” often causes people to be a little on edge, as if the cost of a commodity determines its worth. While this may be true in some respects, it certainly is not with respect to vinyl windows. The benefits you can expect to receive when replacing your existing units with these are too many to list, but we will do our best to mention the most important ones. Let’s start with the basics then. What do most homeowners look for when buying new windows? If you are thinking energy-efficiency, then give yourself a pat on the back! Everyone wants to save money, and a good set of energy-efficient windows is a great way to do just that.

The long-term cost-savings that can occur by swapping out old, drafty windows definitely make vinyl a solid option. Thus, you get the best of both worlds; a low initial price and an excellent return on your investment for years to come. Isn’t it great when things like this work in our favor? If you are still unsure of whether vinyl is the best option or are simply unconvinced about their ability to compete with the other materials available on the market, here is a list that may (hopefully) change your mind. There is no reason why you should be burning a hole in your wallet if you don’t have to, particularly if your failure to select the right option is due to ignorance. Be informed and save money. This is couldn’t be more important than for someone who is planning on performing a full renovation. It is not uncommon for replacement windows to cost a few thousand dollars. Vinyl is just as good as wood and fiberglass (and much cheaper).

Why go Vinyl?

  • Highly energy-efficient; the insulation value of vinyl window is remarkably high due to the polyvinyl chloride material they are made out of. Also known as PVC, its R-value (the ability to prevent air from passing through) is unmatched.
  • Easy to install; their simple design allows even the most unskilled person to put up vinyl windows.
  • They come in a wide variety of colors and finishes; you can get choose a set that is fully customized to meet your personal taste.
  • Durable, maintenance-free and long lasting; this is the ultimate trio that every homeowner looks for. Vinyl windows are basically the “set and forget” types. Scratch, stain and UV ray-resistant, what else can you ask for?
  • Quiet; one major benefit to higher having windows with higher R-values is the amount of noise reduction they offer.
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08
04
2013

Tips for reducing energy consumption


Quality Windows and DoorsIn this economy, the majority of us cannot afford to be wasteful. Every penny counts; aside from earning more income, the key to making more money is by saving what you already have. In this regard, a great place to start is at home sweet home. There are many ways you can cut back on your heating and cooling costs, a number of which can be done without spending a dime. Many homeowners tend to think that making a home energy-efficient requires money, but this is only partly true. While buying quality windows and doors and adding insulation to your walls and attic will certainly improve reduce your energy usage, there are alternative ways to do so as well that are just as effective.

For instance, did you know that far too many people have their thermostats set to inappropriate temperatures? If not, you probably also aren’t aware of the fact that by just turning the dial down one degree, you could be potentially saving hundreds of dollars in the long run. The crazy thing is that this only takes one second to do; do you know of any other ways to make $100 in a second? That’s what we thought; bear in mind too that your thermostat is one small factor. There are plenty of other tips to go around. So if you want to stop being wasteful and start saving more of your hard-earned income, it’s about time you started being smarter about your energy usage. It is never too late to wise up about energy-efficiency, so let this article be a helpful introductory guide.

Saving the Money the Right Way; How to Lower Your Energy Usage

  • Dress appropriately; if the weather outside is freezing; there is no reason why you should be walking around inside your home in a t-shirt and boxers. The golden rule of thumb is to adjust your body to the house, not the house to your body. Cranking the thermostat up to 74 (even 72) is an unnecessary and costly. Too many people are unaware of the fact that they can comfortably live in a house that is 65 degrees, so long as they wear the right amount of layers. In this respect, socks are very important, as the body loses the most heat from its extremities.
  • Use fans to your advantage; while they do little to heat or cool rooms, fans are great for making you feel comfortable. This complements the temperature adjustment tip.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water and use a clothes line to dry them if possible. You will probably be surprised at how much money you save from doing this alone.
  • Don’t use the heated-dry option on your dishwasher; this wastes energy.
  • Unplug devices you aren’t using; electronics still draw energy even when turned off.
  • Keep your HVAC system maintained; keeping vents free of dust will improve airflow, as will changing out the filter regularly.
  • Install energy-efficient light bulbs and take advantage of natural light whenever possible.
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05
04
2013

How to prevent drafts in your home



Draft; the word alone is enough to send shivers up the spines of most homeowners (no pun intended). Come to think of it, this is a pretty accurate saying, because that is exactly what drafts do. These have got to be one of the most annoying problems one can encounter. They happen to the best of us, and can oftentimes unfortunately do get the best of us. After spending what can seem like an eternity of searching, the air is still coming in from somewhere. Sound familiar? Before you call it quits, there are some helpful tips you can utilize to get rid of that draft problem once and for all. This is not a job for the lazy or unmotivated though, especially if you live in a larger home (more potential for air leaks).

In order to get rid of the issue, you should be prepared to perform a thorough inspection of all your doors, windows and any other areas where the draft could be coming from (cracks, holes, attic, basement, etc.). It is always a good idea to keep your eyes on the prize; for motivational purposes, just know that a draft-free home is one that feels more comfortable and which saves you a lot of money. Energy-efficiency is one thing every homeowner needs to take seriously, because it can have a serious impact on your bank account at the end of the day. That being said, here is what you need to know about how to detect, fix and prevent drafts once and for all.

What to do if you have a Draft Problem

  • Manually inspect every possible culprit area; walk through your house and pay close attention to any hot or cold zones (i.e. near windows and doors).
  • Run your hand around the edges to see if you can feel air coming through. If you are unsure or if the draft appears to be undetectable, hold a lighter near the crevices. If the flame goes out, you know air is leaking.
  • Buy a tube of caulking and insert it around the entire base of the window/door frame. Bear in mind that even newer energy-efficient windows are known to have draft problems caused by insufficient or poorly installed caulking. Another great product to use is rope caulk. This simply unravels and can be rolled down the frame as you go along.
  • Shrink wrap your windows; plastic film is always a popular option, but bubble wrap actually works better. It has been found to greatly increase R-values and is cheaper than most commercial sealing kits. In addition, it is very easy to install and take down. Simply spray the surface with a small amount of water; the wrapping will stick and can easily be pulled off later on.
  • Weather strip both doors and windows. For the base of your doors (common draft problem-areas) you can buy a foam barrier or cut a piece of fabric the width of the door. Be sure to leave enough slack so the cloth touches the floor.
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03
04
2013

Bay vs. Bow Windows: the pros and cons


Bay and Bow windowsThinking about getting a new window for your home? If so, if you want to get creative and buy something unique that will be a beautiful sight to see, you may want to consider choosing a bow or bay window. These types of windows are often regarded as the epitome of class and luxury; they certainly know how to make an impression. Their massive size, curved shapes and ability to allow plenty of light into a room is why most people dream of owning a home with these windows. Not many houses these days are made with them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have one installed. Given their size and ability to attract immediate attention, bay and bow windows are typically best suited for living areas, but they make for great bedroom accents as well. Think of the turret towers that Victorian homes are best known for.

You are probably wondering what the difference is between these two window types. Don’t worry; many of us cannot tell them apart. However, there are some key distinguishing elements that are worth mentioning, particularly if you want to choose a window to complement your interior design efforts. While both windows will be sure to increase the spaciousness and size of the room where they are installed, it pays to know what makes each of them unique. Here is some helpful information regarding bay and bow windows, as well as the benefits they offer and the ideal scenarios in which they work best.

Bay vs. Bow; Which Should You Buy?

  • Bay windows consist of three or more large panes of glass that are installed at an angle. They project outward, meaning the window itself extends off the exterior of the house to a certain degree.
  • Bay windows are originated from Victorian architecture. For this reason, they are best suited for homes that were built during this era. However, manufacturers now make many types of bay windows that look just as great on modern houses; the key is to find the right one for yours.
  • The downside to bay windows is that most cannot be opened (although they fare better than bows in this respect). Since they are fixed, you may not want one if you are looking for a way to ventilate the room.
  • Bow windows are comprised of casement windows that are installed together in a curved shape. In contrast to bay windows, you won’t need to hassle with adding extra structural support for these (especially if installing on in an upper level room).
  • Bow windows allow more light in to spaces due to the multiple panes of glass that are present.
  • Due to lack of space for a window opening system, you will need to have a bow window custom fabricated if you want to be able to open them.
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