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Making the case for window replacement

Big ticket components have large impact on home comfort and appeal

By: By Lucy Haines

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 06:00 am

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  • LARGE INVESTMENT – Windows are one of the costliest replacement items for the home, but they can add security and energy savings.
    LARGE INVESTMENT – Windows are one of the costliest replacement items for the home, but they can add security and energy savings.
    Supplied photo
  • CURB APPEAL – Windows and doors have a big impact on a home's curb appeal, experts say.
    CURB APPEAL – Windows and doors have a big impact on a home's curb appeal, experts say.

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Are you feeling a draft come through your home’s windows? Do the panes ice up each winter, or are they tricky to open and close at any time of year? These issues are a sure sign your windows need attention, but even if there’s not an evident problem, homeowners may want to give thought to replacing or upgrading this fundamental piece of the home.

Yes, windows are expensive (costs vary greatly, but can average around $500 per window to replace), which is why people often make do with older, inefficient ones for as long as possible. But with energy-efficient technology and more style choice than ever before, it’s a good time to consider updating. And if those windows are more than 20 years old, replacement will have to come sooner rather than later, say industry insiders.

Trevor Derewlanka, regional renovations manager with All Weather Windows, said homeowners replace windows and doors for several reasons: to reduce utility bills, increase comfort and security level in the home, eliminate maintenance (no more painting), and increase the home’s value.

“Replacing your windows and doors can make a large impact on a home’s curb appeal and interior finish. The return on investment on this type of renovation is significant and can help keep the number of days your house may sit on the market to a minimum,” said Derewlanka.

That’s good to know when it comes time to sell, but even if you want to enjoy those windows here and now, know that costs vary according to installation fees and product quality. A simple vinyl single-pane slider won’t set you back as much as a coloured, aluminum clad exterior window, or double-hung or casement styles.

Industry experts agree that whether you choose wood, vinyl or fibreglass –single, double or triple pane – buyers should consider the manufacturer and installer when making this costly investment. All Weather Windows favours what it calls the best performing windows on the market, ones that use V-Weld technology in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) windows.

“V-Weld inhibits wind and water leakage by welding joints together,” said Derewlanka. “There’s no need to manually band combination windows together with caulk or screws. It’s an option consumers should consider. But, there’s no price variation for installation – with a tight budget or large estate home, our installation procedure is the same.”

Windows can be replaced at any time of year, though temperatures need to be warmer than -15 C. While installers replace one unit at a time to limit home exposure to the elements, spring and fall are the busiest times in this competitive business, with sales and promotions in full swing right now. All Weather Windows, for example, is running a spring deal with cash back rebates or free triple-glazed windows with an order. And with lead times of four to six weeks to order windows, early planning is advised.

Like the competition, Hometech Windows and Doors offers spring specials, transferable warranties and its own installers – no subcontracting – to insure quality control of its product.

“Windows and doors are some of the costliest items in the home, so homeowners should set a budget and work with a reputable company,” said Hometech operations manager Eugene Weig.

“The windows can be good, better or top-of-the-line, but ultimately you want to choose a company that will stand behind its work.”


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