Windows and doors have to withstand environmental conditions such as rain, snow, wind, and exposure to ultraviolet light, which eventually take their toll. Yet windows and doors are not just ornaments put there to make your house look pretty. They are important parts of the building whose role extends beyond adding to the aesthetic design as they are crucial in controlling moisture and increasing energy efficiency inside the home. For that and other reasons we’ll get into below, it’s important to understand what window replacement and door installation are all about. When do you need to have your window or door replaced? What types of doors and windows are available and which are the right ones for you. We’ll try to answer all these questions here.
Signs that the Windows and Doors in Your Home Need to Be Replaced
Are my windows and doors operating properly or do I need to replace them? A good rule of thumb that will help you decide is that if the home is older than 15 years, then it’s time you did a thorough inspection of your windows and doors. When the level of sheen starts to fade, edges show wear and there are indications of water exposure to raw timber, a replacement is needed. Here are other telltale signs that it’s about time you called a good contractor:
- Your door groans when you open it and your windows moan in agony.
- Your pets have left scars on your door that time cannot heal.
- You can’t do without the storm windows.
- You find it hard to open or close your windows or doors.
- There’s always moisture on the inside of the door and windows.
- If you stand behind the closed door or window you can feel a cold draft.
- It’s always noisy in your home though nobody is making any noise.
- Your furniture, pictures, and artwork look much older than they really are.
- You’re paying excessively high electricity bills.
- The windows are icy to the touch and the door leaks.
- The door is falling apart and the windows are rotting.
- Neither your door nor your windows look the way you want.
Benefits of Replacing Doors or Windows:
You might ask yourself, why do I need to replace the door or have a new window installation? They might leak but they’re still working. And is the squeaky window the real reason I’m paying high electricity bills? Here are some benefits of having your faulty window or door replaced:
Increase Energy Efficiency
If you live in an older home with single-pane glass windows, then more likely than not your window freezes shut and gets cold outside. This means your home is not energy efficient and your electricity bills are soaring. Replacing those old windows with tight-fitting, energy efficient ones will help you save energy and cut down up to 25% on energy costs. You can get windows with insulating features like heat-reflecting low-E coatings and argon gas between panes.
Cut Down on Noise
If your home is next to a school or a child care centre or you’re one of the unlucky ones who live near an airport, then you must be getting a lot of noise. Dual-pane or laminated glass windows can help reduce the noise in your home.
Protect the Furniture
Carpets, artwork, and furniture are prone to fading if exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Any materials with organic fabrics can lose their sheen if sunlight from the windows or patio door falls on them. Extend the life of your valuable belongings using efficient windows with glass that blocks 95% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
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Take Down the Storm Windows
Imagine if you didn’t have to go through the pain of installing and removing storm windows every year. Wouldn’t that be great? Now you can when you replace your windows with more energy efficient ones.
Block Out the Weather
When you have faulty doors and windows that leak and allow cold air to enter your house, then you have a big problem. It’s not just the high heating and cooling costs, but the mold and mildew in your home can be a health hazard. Replacing that leaking patio door or that aging window can help protect your home and your family from the weather outside.
Improve the Look and Appeal
Your home is beautiful and you spent a lot to make it look like that. Except for that haggard door and those faded windows. Increase the value of your property with new and beautifully designed windows and doors.
Is it difficult for you to close that door? Do these windows get stuck half-way through opening or closing them? What if there’s a fire in the house and you can’t get out? Or what if you can’t close that window shut at night and a burglar uses it to break into your house? Replace them so that you can sleep better at night.
Easy to Clean and Handle
If you have one of those old double-hung windows you know how hard it is to clean them. You can only clean them from the outside. The new windows have a sash that can be titled inwards. This allows you to reach the glass and clean it from the inside with less hassle.
Save Money on Maintenance
Those old faded window frames that need to be repainted every couple of years? You don’t have to do that anymore. When you use the aluminum-clad or vinyl-clad windows with extra trim, you’ll eliminate the need for painting and repainting.
Window and Door Replacement Tips and Precautions
When planning a door installation or window replacement you will need to look for the right contractor to get the job done right. And even though you won’t be doing the installation yourself, better leave that to the professionals, it’s important to know and pay attention to the following:
- Use only products designed to meet the performance levels as recommended by the manufacturer. A product that is not suited to extreme weather conditions would not only fail to function, but it might create a hazard risk in the future and put the lives of those inside the building in danger.
- When installing energy-efficient windows and doors, rebalancing HVAC systems is of the utmost priority. This allows an accommodation to ensure reduced levels of air infiltration take place. Otherwise, the high pressure within the building would draw air from the outside through small holes and cracks in the structure, which lead to whistling and howling noise. Water might also infiltrate the building due to the high pressure inside. So always make sure HVAC systems are properly rebalanced.
- Exterior glass doors for multifamily units should take into consideration:
– The minimum clearance width of the door has to be 32 inches.
– Exterior door thresholds and sliding door tracks shouldn’t exceed ½ to ¾ inch high.
– The minimum clearing width of a route inside a unit is 36 inches.
– All doors leading in or out of balconies and patios have to be wheelchair accessible.
- Another safety regulation warns against allowing windows to jut out beyond the face of the building. This regulation governs public spaces and ensures that surface-barrier wall systems are safe to use. And when in doubt please consult with the local building code official.
- Remember that there’s no such thing as one-size fits-all in installation. So if you plan on doing something that contradicts the manufacturer’s installation instructions, you’d better consult with the manufacturer first.
- Rule IBC 2003 states that safety glazing is required when a pane is greater than 9 square feet, the bottom edge is less than 18 inches above the floor, the top edge is greater than 36 inches above the floor, or when a walking surface is within 36 inches of the glass pane.
- It’s equally important that sealant should be used correctly. Drainage planes of the window or door are critical in preventing leaking air and water infiltration.
With so many window options you might wonder what works for you and whether you should go with a vinyl or a fiberglass window. Here’s the lowdown on the different types of windows available:
With their great insulation qualities and their affordable price compared to fiberglass windows, vinyl windows are an excellent choice for your home. Vinyl refers to the frame which is made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which combined with other elements like metal makes for a sturdy frame. Since vinyl windows don’t rot or attract bugs and you won’t need to paint them, maintaining them costs next to nothing.
Check our Vinyl Guard Windows Catalog
Double Hung Windows
The main advantage of double hung windows is that you can easily clean them. You can slide open the upper and lower sashes and tilt them to clean them from inside the house. They have solid vinyl frames for maximum energy efficiency, double-barrier fin seal weatherstripping, stainless steel constant force balances, and exterior drop-in glazing which adds to the exterior design of the house. They also come in different styles and colours to complement the decor of your home.
Unlike flat windows, bay windows allow in more light and add a unique architectural feature with their exceptional shape and design. If you have a great view outside your house, then you can enjoy it from the comfort of your home with a bay window. They save on energy with their 3-inch pre-insulated seaboard and both the head and seat-board are finished in Oak or Birch veneer and are ready for painting.
A casement window is a window joined to the frame by one or more hinges and opens outward to the left or right. They’re usually equipped with precision-engineered hinges that make them easy to clean from inside. But perhaps their biggest advantage is the large outdoor view they offer and the bevelled exterior sash with its attractive finish. Casement windows allow breezes to pass through interior spaces for fresher and cooler homes and they’re generally considered more secure than other windows since breaking in is much more difficult.
The main advantage of basement windows is to allow in more light while keeping humidity out. There are many choices, from the basic hopper window to the slider and awning window. Your basement is more secure, well ventilated and bug-free with a solid and sturdy basement window.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for from the above options, then custom windows are what you’re looking for. Choose from a wide range of custom-made windows designed specifically to suit your needs and enhance your home’s exterior and interior design. Whether it’s wood windows, clad-wood windows or steel, and aluminum windows, you’re guaranteed to get a one-of-a-kind window that meets your requirements and falls within your budget.
Doors are categorized based on their location in the house (entry, patio or interior) or the material they’re made of (such as fiberglass or steel). Here’s a summary of each type and when to choose one over the other:
As the focal point for your home’s exterior, the entry door has to be exceptionally durable, energy efficient and with a unique design to match. Weather conditions also play a role in choosing the right entry door so you need to keep that in mind when shopping for one. And since you don’t want to have the same door as your neighbour, a touch of personality and heightened curb appeal will go a long way in making your home stick out.
Compared to wood, fiberglass entry doors have the advantage of being more durable since they resist dents and nicks. In terms of energy, they’re highly efficient against air and water infiltration and will not be affected by extreme temperatures. Fiberglass doors also don’t crack, split or rust. And with their clean lines and modern styles, they’re designed to last a lifetime with all the performance, strength, and insulation benefits of fiberglass.
Patio doors are more than a passageway for guests, they can reflect your own personal style and character. They come in many shapes and styles, from the retro wood doors to the sleek, glass designs that flood your home with light and allow you to enjoy the view outside. You can select from sliding, gliding or hinged doors to make a statement with a signature door that complements the rest of the house.
With steel doors, you get both rugged durability and beauty of design. It’s easy to create a unique entry door utilizing the high-definition panelling and distinct styles. Add decorative glass, coordinate with the transoms and sidelights, and finally match them all with the garage door to add to the curb appeal.
Common Installation Mistakes
A botched up job during windows and doors installation can lead to air infiltration or moisture leaking into the house and poor overall performance. This wouldn’t happen if you choose your contractor wisely. However, here are a few common, and quite serious, mistakes to watch out for during installation:
- Make sure the drainage path at doors never gets blocked. Water and moisture build-up leads to mildew and mold.
- When applying alarm systems, never drill through window or door frames. This will allow water and moisture to get into your home and increase the risk of mold.
- Don’t use film on the door or window glass. Doing so might lead to heat being trapped or may damage the glass.
- For patio doors don’t block the weep holes. Either shim the door or use a starter sill.
- Breather holes are important for air circulation; blocking them might damage the unit.
- When welding after installation, shield the frame and glass to protect it from weld flash.
- End dams on sub-sills should be sealed properly, as well as metal-to-metal joints.
- Sealants need to cater for expansion, contraction or displacement between stories. Check the guidelines for maximum and minimum temperatures for sealants.
- Never use the finished door or window opening to deliver materials. Debris falling inside the frame can lead to malfunctioning doors or windows.
- Don’t expose the framing surfaces to cleaning solutions containing sulfuric acid or mortar. These corrosive materials can damage the frames.
When looking for a contractor it’s best to go with the one who is certified, has plenty of experience, references, and history. The last thing you want to do is put your home and your money in the hands of a shoddy installer. A poor installation can ruin the look of your house and cost you plenty in energy bills and ruined furniture and health-hazard mold. A new door and window are there to increase the curb appeal of your home, protect it from the elements, reduce the noise and cut down on that high energy bill. With the right contractor, you can get all of that as well as increase the value of your property.
Contact leading Toronto Doors And Windows Company @ 647-932-3667