Windows are a major home investment. They are extremely important household components relating to efficiency and home energy usage. They can be costly to replace and depending on the company you select, can result in a major discrepancy between quality and cost.
To help you navigate the ins and outs of purchasing or replacing windows for your home, the professionals at Royal LePage Your Community Realty have broken down the basics on everything from tell-tale signs that your windows need replacing to the questions you need to ask when selecting the right window installation company.
With the exception of historic homes, where renovations and changes to a property’s facade are limited and under a specific scope of options for an owner, aged windows in an older style
So how do you know when it’s time to replace your windows? While every home is different and the lifespan of your windows will vary based on several factors, there are some standard tell-tale signs to indicate that it might be time to evaluate your windows.
If you’re feeling a draft or hearing a whistle outside of your windows, check to see if there is any cold air coming through the frame into your home’s interior. If so, this is one very clear indicator that at the very least, your window frames need some attention. TIP: This red flag will be most visible during the winter months, as it’s easier to spot/feel cold air coming through.
The trouble with single-pane windows is that they lack in the properties needed to provide any insulation or proper soundproofing or energy efficiency. For those with existing single-pane windows, it’s worth investing in having them be double or triple-glazed, in order to decrease your energy bills and boost property value.
If your windows aren’t up to par, you’ll see their deficiency reflected in your energy bills. While your furnace works doubletime to try to keep up with the added demand brough on by windows lacking proper insulation, your energy bill pays the price. And this will be a year-round issue, first with the furnace and cold air in the fall and winter months, and next with the air conditioner and warm air in the spring and summer months.
Operating your windows should be a smooth process, with minimal effort required to seamlessly open and close, including the process of unlocking and locking, in the case of those windows which have locking mechanisms. As a note, locks are an added measure towards home safety as well as additional sealng benefits to protect against air getting in or out of your home.
Proper window operation should include some solid measure of soundproofing. And while everyone enjoys a little ambiance-style background noise (think: the soothing soundtrack to a rainstorm or the first signs of spring when the birds begin chirping) but in general, the more efficiently your windows work to keep outside noise where it belongs - on the outside - the better.
All window frames subject to the harsh extremes between Canadian seasons are prone to some damage and decay over time. From moisture-buildup to resulting mold issues, it’s not surprising that even the most high-quality window frames have been known to show signs of decay at some point or another. Mold and decay are instant red flags that it’s time to consider new windows.
Curb appeal will sometimes offer another indicator as to the aesthetic state of your windows. The overall look of your windows, including the style and size all contribute to the curb apparel of this very important component of your home’s exterior (and interior) aesthetics. Outdated-looking windows will make your home’s overall look seem outdated too. Nowadays, there are countless contemporary styles, including a wide range of materials and colours, to choose from as far as windows. If you’re taking the plunge at choosing a drastically-new style of windows, you’ll want to explore your options with the help of a professional, who can steer you toward window styles that will best compliment your home.
The costs of changing or replacing windows for your home will depend on a variety of factors from materials to labour costs, urgency of need and number of windows to be purchased or replaced. Typically, the range in cost for a single casement window can vary drastically from about $300 - $2000.
When you change or replace your windows, there are several factors to consider which will affect the overall cost of the windows and window-related work.
One of these factors is the materials. There are a variety of materials available pertaining to all facets of windows and window installation. As it relates to the windows themselves, materials like vinyl, fiberglass, aluminion and wood each come with their own benefits and best-use applications. The material selected will reflect your specific window needs and will have a direct effect on the cost of your windows and installation. Beyond cost, the materials used will also relate to the quality of windows installed.
The number of windows, size and other elements such as style and locking mechanisms also factor into the costs of windows.
Remember: when requesting a quote from potential window installation companies, be sure to ask for a detailed breakdown of where the costs are coming from, in order to compare services and fees between your various companies of consideration.
A reliable window supply and installation company should be one that has a professional standing and reputation in the industry. From all necessary accreditations to a good amount of references, there are my things to consider when making your choice of windows company.
When vetting windows companies, these are just a few of the questions you should be asking:
The Canada Greener Homes Grant is a Canadian government initiative aimed at helping homeovers save money and energy all while making their homes more comfortable. In making it easier for people to make their homes as energy-efficient as possible via grants and additional resources, homeowners will be able to save money, contribute to the fight against climate change, all while new jobs are being created across Canada for the roles of energy advisors.
The grants available range from $125 to $5,000 “to get back a portion of your costs for eligible home retrofits”.
There is also $600 available as “a maximum contribution toward the total costs of your pre- and post retrofit EnerGuide evaluations.
In order to qualify and apply for these grants, applicants will need to verify their local application procedures for their specific province and territory. You can learn more about your eligibility and grant process by selecting your province/territory and clicking the link on this page.
In Ontario, for example, the eligibility procedures is as follows:
In order to qualify for the grant, homeowners in Ontario will need to provide proof of ownership and verify that the home in question is their primary residence. Residents of Ontario can visit the Enbridge Gas website for a thorough list of eligibility factors. As a note, applicants do not need to be a customer of Enbridge in order to qualify.
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Looking ahead to the added time spent at home indoors this winter season might just inspire you to get creative and try your hand at some DIY home renovations. The home experts at Royal LePage Your Community Realty have compiled a list of popular winter home renovation projects that you can tackle this winter.