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Window Comparisons Part 5 - The Hardware, Colour, and Accessories

Posted: 2012-05-25 Permanent Link

Windows vary dramatically in quality and price. Many people believe that all vinyl windows are basically the same, and that just isn’t the case. Think about this…..no matter what you buy there are all different prices, qualities and life expectancies. Anything from socks, computers, cars, furniture, flooring, appliances etc, etc. Windows are no different. There are 2000 manufacturers in Canada and the quality varies just like with everything else. Remember there have been a lot of improvements to windows over the years. Here are the basic things to consider when choosing a window.

Hardware – There are many, many different companies making hardware. It is good to stick with a well know name. Truth hardware is a North American company that has made window hardware for decades. They make 3 different qualities. The best one is Truth Maxim hardware. It is guaranteed for the life of the window. A lot of companies get the hardware from china and the quality and life is usually much lower then the good hardware.

Colour – Window manufacturers usually offer 5 or 6 standard colours. There are different technologies for applying the colour. Solar bond paint has the best warranty as it’s properties are UV reflective. It’s very important to consider this, especially on darker coloured windows.

Accessories – There are many accessories available for windows. Nesting hardware, (to accommodate blinds or shutters), snap in screens, retractable screens, internal grills, brickmould, jambs, simply clean glass etc, etc. It’s important to speak to the salesman about the different options in detail as many of them can’t be added later. Options that increase the curb appeal of your home are a very wise investment and can pay you huge dividends if you ever sell your house.

Stay Tuned for our next article in the series “Window Comparisons Part 6 – The Buyer”

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Window Comparisons Part 4 - The Seals

Posted: 2012-05-18 Permanent Link

Windows vary dramatically in quality and price. Many people believe that all vinyl windows are basically the same, and that just isn’t the case. Think about this…..no matter what you buy there are all different prices, qualities and life expectancies. Anything from socks, computers, cars, furniture, flooring, appliances etc, etc. Windows are no different. There are 2000 manufacturers in Canada and the quality varies just like with everything else. Remember there have been a lot of improvements to windows over the years. Here are the basic things to consider when choosing a window.

Seals – The seals on a window are generally made from neoprene. A better alternative to neoprene is santoprene. Santoprene has memory and will always come back to it’s original state. This provides a true seal each time you close your window. Over time neoprene loses it’s shape and begins to stay flat, which doesn’t provide as good a seal. There are a few companies who use santoprene seals, where most stay with neoprene to save on costs. There is also fly maze in the lower frame on a good window. This prevents flys or bugs from entering the drain holes and entering your home. This is not a seal to seal out weather but rather just to keep bugs out.

Stay Tuned for our next article in the series “Window Comparisons Part 5 – The Hardware, Colour, and Accessories”

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Window Comparisons Part 3 - The Spacer

Posted: 2012-05-11 Permanent Link

Windows vary dramatically in quality and price. Many people believe that all vinyl windows are basically the same, and that just isn’t the case. Think about this…..no matter what you buy there are all different prices, qualities and life expectancies. Anything from socks, computers, cars, furniture, flooring, appliances etc, etc. Windows are no different. There are 2000 manufacturers in Canada and the quality varies just like with everything else. Remember there have been a lot of improvements to windows over the years. Here are the basic things to consider when choosing a window.

Spacer – The spacer is what is used between the panes of a double glazed window. There are many, many different spacers on the market. The main idea of the spacer is to provide structure and to prevent the transfer of outside cold to the inside pane. Metal spacers are not a good choice for windows. They transfer the cold from outside to inside at a rate of about 950 times more then a good quality silicone/foam spacer. There are white, black and metal spacers. White is the best because it doesn’t absorb the suns heat and therefore lasts much longer. The best spacer on the market is the super spacer…..keep in mind though that there are 3 different qualities made by super spacer. The white s-class super spacer outperforms all other spacers on the market today.

Cheaper spacers are usually the reason for seal failures. If your double glazed unit fails you will get condensation in between the panes that you can’t clean. It also means that the argon gas will escape and the R value of the glass will drop in half instantly. Windows that are CSA certified are built so that you can change parts without replacing the whole window. Many manufacturers give a lifetime warranty on the glass but you still have to pay for the labour and service call. There are a couple of companies that offer a “labour Inclusive” warranty.

Stay Tuned for our next article in the series “Window Comparisons Part 4 – The Seals”

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