Window Choice
Replacement Window Installation In Southern Ontario

905-461-2267


30
11
2013

Wood vs. Vinyl Replacement Windows


Vinyl Insulated WindowsWhen you decide to replace your home’s windows, you’ll find yourself faced with a big question: wood or vinyl? Window manufacturers use a variety of materials to make their products. Today, though, wood and vinyl stand out as two of the most popular options. Before you take a side, you’ll need to compare the benefits of wood and vinyl to decide which one will work best for you.

The Cost of Wood and Vinyl Windows

There’s no contest when it comes to affordability. Vinyl replacement windows almost always cost less than wood windows. The material costs less and the windows are easier to install. That means you can save hundreds of dollars when you get new windows.

Vinyl windows will also help you save money by lowering the amount of energy you use heating and cooling your house. Vinyl windows often have an interior honeycomb structure that offers better insulation. That means you lower your household bills so you can save money for years to come.

Wood and Vinyl Appearance

Some people feel that wood windows look better than vinyl windows. That’s an aesthetic choice that doesn’t have anything to do with whether one type of window works better.

Wood windows can look very attractive. So can vinyl windows. People who say that vinyl windows don’t look nice are usually thinking of the vinyl windows first made during the 1970s. Today’s manufacturers, however, have learned to produce vinyl windows in a variety of styles. No matter what kind of look you want for your home, you can probably find vinyl windows that match your preference.

Maintaining Wood and Vinyl Windows

Wood windows require quite a bit of upkeep. If you don’t repaint them at least once every few years, water can damage the frames. That can quickly lead to mildew, termites, and other problems that cost a lot to repair.

You never have to paint vinyl windows. They don’t require any paint at all. Vinyl products naturally resist the negative effects of moisture. This helps them look nice and protect your home for decades with little to no maintenance.

That’s a great option for busy families that don’t want to spend time and money painting windows.

Wood and vinyl windows both have their places. Most people, however, find that they get the best experience when they choose vinyl. Once they look at the lower costs, improved efficiency, and low maintenance, they know that vinyl is most often than not the right choice.

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29
11
2013

Installing Plastic Film – Good Idea or Short-Term Fix?


Energy-Efficient WindowsMany people are looking for ways to increase insulation and reduce energy loss in their homes. There are many ways to keep homes comfortable in the winter. Although replacing windows with energy-efficient ones is the best choice, many people cannot afford this option, especially for an entire house. Therefore, many people look to inexpensive options, such as installing plastic film.

Installing plastic film can be a good idea in certain cases. However, not every home will benefit as much from this idea. Could it work for your home? Here are the benefits and disadvantages to consider.

Benefits

Installing plastic film is almost like adding an extra window pane. A homeowner may see a significant decrease in heat loss – up to 50 percent in some cases. Plastic film can reduce condensation, which would make the window surfaces inside the home warmer. It can also reduce convective currents, meaning that drafts are less likely. This benefit allows your home to be more comfortable in the winter.

Adding a plastic film is an easy fix. It takes little time to do and is very inexpensive when compared to other options. A film costs only $8-$16, although some people can find it for as little as $4 – a great deal compared to thousands of dollars to replace windows.

Disadvantages

Plastic film works best on older windows. If you have newer windows, you won’t notice much in terms of benefits. It needs to be properly installed; if the seal is not smooth and continuous, the film will create condensation, which makes it useless.

Because it is made of plastic, the film is easily torn. Children and pets can damage it. Plus, installing film decreases visibility through the window.

There are other things to consider. Plastic film is not very attractive. If you are looking for a stylish way to insulate your home, curtains would do a much better job. In addition, plastic film can be used only in the winter, so the benefits cannot be seen year-round.

The Verdict

If you have older windows and have limited funds, then plastic film can be a good short-term fix. However, in order to reap more benefits, the wisest choice would be to save up for energy-efficient windows. If that’s not possible, then curtains or some sort of window coverings would be a better option to keep drafts out of the home.

Insulate Your Home the Right Way

The right windows and doors can keep energy costs down and help your home feel more comfortable. Window Choice offers a large selection of windows and doors to fit your needs. We have served many customers in the Ontario area and offer 100 percent customer satisfaction. We are proud to be your local experts. If you’re ready for new windows or doors, call us today at (905) 461-2267 or (866) 230-5115.

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21
11
2013

How to Fix Cracked Caulking


Cracked CaulkingCaulking is used to seal in gaps around windows and doors. Caulking not only covers these gaps and cracks, but it also keeps the house insulated by keeping drafts out. Just like other things inside a home, caulking may need to be replaced over time. Heat and cold can cause your home to expand or contract in some places, causing the caulking to become brittle and cracked.

When this happens, you should repair it in order to keep your home energy efficient and looking like new. This project is not very time-intensive. Depending on how much caulk needs to be replaced, it may take an hour or so of your time and cost only a few bucks.

What to do First

First, gather your supplies. You will need new caulk, a putty knife or razor knife to remove the old caulk and some towels to clean up the excess. If you hate getting your hands dirty, you may want to get some gloves as well.

Once you have your materials, the first step is to remove the old caulk. It can usually be done easily with a putty knife, but if the caulk won’t budge, you may need to cut it out.

Add the New Caulk

Once it’s removed, add the new stuff. Make sure you are using silicone caulk that works for the area you are trying the fix. For example, there is caulk for the bathroom and kitchen. White is the most common color, but if it will look weird, opt for paintable caulk.

To add the new caulk, cut a tip that is slightly smaller than the crack, then angle your tube and squeeze. Remember: less is more when using caulk. It can look unprofessional and messy if you use too much. You can always add more if needed. Once you have applied the caulk, smooth the line with your finger. This may seem messy, but it’s a necessary step.

Clean Up the Mess

The next steps are basic cleanup. Wipe up any excess, wash your hands and you’re done! If you’re not satisfied with the way it turned out, simply wait for the caulk to dry and repeat these steps. The tube of caulk will tell you how long it takes to dry. Most take at least 30 minutes. Once it’s dry, you can paint it, if desired.

Windows and Doors Are Our Specialty

At Window Choice, we understand that windows and doors are important parts of your home. Keeping them properly framed and caulked is an important step in order to keep your home insulated and in good condition. When choosing a company that offers reliability and professionalism, choose Window Choice. We do our best to satisfy our customers and we stand by our work. If you have questions about windows and doors, we have answers. Contact us at (905) 461-2267 or (866) 230-5115 with questions or concerns.

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15
11
2013

How to Check Your Window and Doors for Drafts


Windows & DoorsSome homes, especially older ones, are prone to drafts. Drafts can make a home uncomfortable because hot air is able to come into the house during the summer, making the house even warmer. In addition, hot air can escape the home during the winter, causing the inside of the home to become too cool. This energy loss can cause increased bills, since you are using additional air conditioning or heat to keep the home comfortable.

The good news is that by getting rid of these drafts, you can decrease your energy bills by up to 10 percent. With a little time and effort, you can keep your home well-insulated and save money in the process. Here are some tips to help.

Check the Windows

Checking for drafts in the windows is a fairly easy task. Simply move your hands in front of them, especially near the edges. If you feel a breeze, then you have a draft. You should also try rattling the windows. If they move at all, you may possibly have a leak. Another test is to look for light around a window frame. If you can see daylight, there’s a draft.

Check the Doors

You can check for drafts around doors in the same manner. You can move your hands around the doors’ edges to feel for any breezes. Try the rattle test with doors and look for any light around the frame. You can also light a candle and walk with it around the house. If the flame goes out, a draft is likely nearby. Many energy companies are willing to help customers reduce energy costs. You may want to consider having an employee come out for a free inspection.

Fixing a Draft

Heavy curtains around a window can help keep a draft at bay. Weather stripping and caulking are also effective options. If the windows and doors are older, you may want to consider replacing them with newer ones. Although this option can be pricey, the money you’ll save in energy costs may make up for the added cost.

For doors, there are a few other options. You can keep drafts out of the house by putting in a door sweep. This is placed on the bottom of the door. If you can afford it, an even better option is to install a storm door. This type of sturdy door does an excellent job of keeping drafts out.

Get Help from the Window Experts

If you need new windows or doors, you can trust Window Choice to do a professional job. We have more than a decade of experience serving customers in the southwestern Ontario area. We take pride in our work and have many positive references to prove it. Contact us at (905) 461-2267 or (866) 230-5115 for a consultation.

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14
11
2013

Winter Door Decoration Ideas


Decorated Winter DoorUnless you live in a place that has a warm winter climate, the changing seasons mean fewer plants that bring your home to life. Just because your flowers, shrubs, and trees start to lose their colors, though, doesn’t mean you need to have a drab home. These winter door decoration ideas will make your home’s entrance beautiful and welcoming.

Get Creative With Winter Door Wreath Materials

Door wreaths can add a decorative element to any home. Don’t feel that you have to use a traditional, circular wreath made of evergreen leaves. Get creative by using different materials and shapes that will make your home special.

Some interesting materials that you could use include:

  • apples
  • pine cones
  • feathers

You can also use materials that will add a fresh scent to your home’s entrance. Including fragrant items will look and smell nice. Some easy-to-find materials include:

  • cloves
  • herbs
  • oranges

Don’t be afraid to try something new. The cold temperatures should prevent food items from rotting quickly.

Hang a Garland Around Your Door

Garlands can complement wreaths, or they can stand on their own as door decorations. Most garlands are made of short evergreen branches covered in leaves. You can choose living wreaths or artificial wreaths that will last for years.

You can even make the garland more beautiful by adding lights (battery-operated lights work best because you don’t have to plug them in), and ribbons. Use these materials to personalize your wreath. It will make your door look welcoming and attractive.

Use Ribbons and Wrapping Paper to Create a Festive Look

If you want to add a lot of color to your door, try wrapping it like a present. Wrapping paper and ribbon doesn’t cost much, so you can decorate your door without spending a lot of money.

To wrap your door, tape wrapping paper over one side. The tape should adhere easily to the sides of your door as long as you don’t slam it shut too hard. Cut holes for any windows, door knobs, or knockers. Then you just have to tape a ribbon and bow on top of the paper. Even if you haven’t done this before, it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.

Do you have any winter door decorations that have gotten a lot of comments in the past. Share your ideas to inspire other people. The more decorations your community has, the happier your winter holidays will look and feel.

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07
11
2013

The Energy Star Rating for Windows Explained


Energy-Efficient WindowsHave you ever taken a close look at the windows in your home or office? If so, you may have noticed a small star with the words “energy star rated” or something to that effect. Whether you are thinking about buying a home or are in need of replacement windows, products that have this symbol should definitely be at the top of your list when it comes time to buy. The reason being that they have been manufactured to meet or exceed the governing guidelines set forth by the Energy Star affiliated association. In Canada, this entity is the Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE), and it essentially gives the seal of approval on all energy-efficient products sold in the country.

In particular, there are a number of factors are criteria which must be met in order for a product to qualify, especially for windows. Such high standards force manufacturers to consistently produce better quality products. Since energy conservation is one thing the Canadian Government works hard to promote, it offers incentives to homeowners who buy and install Energy Star windows, doors and appliances. As well, due to the fact that these products provide long-term savings to buyers, there is a lot of incentive to purchase them over competing products on the market. Thus, it is the aim of every manufacturer to make windows that will meet the mark, and listed below are the factors which are taken into account during the evaluation process.

An Overview of the Energy Stay Rating System

  • All windows manufactured in Canada are inspected and assessed on a performance basis. There are multiple climate zones in the country, all with varying rating levels. The higher rating a window has, the more Energy Star zones in the country it can qualify for. The four regions or zones range from A to D, with the latter being the highest and subsequently located in the northernmost region.
  • While all windows are required to list their U-factor rating (the rate at which heat can escape) and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (measures the amount of solar heat that can pass through to the inside), for Energy Star qualification to occur, companies must also list the Energy Rating number. This is essentially a simplified version of the latter and is the resulting combination of the U-factor, SHGC-factor and air filtration rating.
  • The ER rating scale ranges from 0-50, with the high-end of the spectrum being granted to those windows which are deemed very energy-efficient and vice versa.
  • To provide some insight into the requirements for each climate zone in Canada, a window can pass the Energy Star test in Zone A if it has an ER rating of at least 21 or a minimum U-factor of 13. In comparison, Zone D requires windows to have a 34 ER rating or a minimum U-factor of 25, which is nearly double its counterpart.
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