Have your heating bills gone up within the past couple of months? Do you hear sounds coming from the windows and doors whenever you open them? Has it been a good 15+ years since the installation of your windows?
Do not worry, you are not crazy for thinking something is wrong with the bills or for hearing noises. All of these occurrences may just be signs that it is time to consider investing in a replacement window - an excellent vinyl window replacement.
Not convinced? Below is a list of warning indicators that could change your mind.
- Sound permeability - Have you noticed an increase in outside noise coming through? Your windows acoustic insulation has most likely deteriorated over the years.
- Visible damage - This should be one of the more obvious signs. If you notice any chipping on the sides, stains, rusting, broken mechanical parts etc. it is certainly time to start scouring the markets for a replacement.
- Higher energy bill - One of the main jobs of any window is to insulate and keep your house from feeling drafty. The loss/gain of heat passing through the air leaks of windows can account for 25% - 30% of heating/cooling costs.
- Fading treatments - Investigate a little. Do you notice the colour fading? Are the treatments doing a comparatively poor job compared to their initial performance (i.e blocking out UVB light, minimizing heating/cooling costs etc.)? It might be time to find a suitable vinyl window replacement.
- Old window variety - If the windows are of the single pane type, there is little doubt they have been around for 45+ years. In the modern world of construction, the majority of the time only double or triple pane glass are used as the standard.
Types of Replacement Windows
A Casement is a type of crank window hinged on one side and is able to be opened up to 90 degrees horizontally. These sorts of replacement windows shine and stand out when placed where ventilation is needed yet inconvenient to push a sash upwards (e.g above countertops or kitchen sinks ).
- Highly cost-efficient - Casement windows are arguably the most cost- and energy-efficient windows on the market. Upon closing, the sash pushes firmly against the frame creating an airtight seal that obstructs the air flow outside from entering. This all equates to minimal air leakage and great sound reduction.
- Ventilation - This crank window is excellent during those hot and stuffy summer days since it can be opened sideways, a full 90 degrees, for some windy ventilation (less spent on air conditioning!).
- Cost - While not the absolute cheapest, casement windows are still suitable for those scouring for a window replacement on a budget.
Luckily, the cost is kept minimal thanks to the creation of vinyl windows.
- Size restrictions - Considering the structure is meant to be capable of "cranking" open, builders usually set a weight/size limit; ensuring the product is not heavy and not too wide. The standard is 1'2" to 2′ 11.5" width and 1'5" to 6'1" height. The height always being greater than the width.
- Higher maintenance - Since casements function using a crank and other additional mechanical parts, they do require a little more care to continue working smoothly than a simpler variety (i.e a slider window).
- Side-by-side conflicts - The sashes of casement windows placed next to each other will end up obstructing the other when the swings are reversed.
- Light reflection - If the sash is positioned at a certain angle, the sunlight may end up bouncing off the glass and reflect into the home residence instead; occasionally delivering unwanted light.
An awning is similar to a casement in the sense both belong to the crank family and are capable of moving at an outward angle of 90 degrees.
However, the major difference lies in the placement of their hinges and the direction in which the frame travels. Unlike their cousins, awning windows are hinged at the top and open out vertically from the bottom.
- Ventilation - This window holds the major advantage of opening upwards creating an awning effect (reason for the name) that permits air ventilation even during a light rain/snowfall session.
- VersatilIty - Awning windows can be made in varying sizes and designs, some of which are extremely small. For this very reason, they are perfect for installation in any place whether it be at arms reach or somewhere high up without the capacity to fit comparatively larger windows.
- Clear view - This sort of architectural creation has an edge on the other window frame types since it only possesses one sash and no dividends. This design allows for a clear view with the maximum amount of light shining through.
- Difficult emergency escape - Cross out escaping through this type of window as a backup plan. Unfortunately, they are relatively small compared to the human body and the opening they create is a measly couple of inches. Furthermore, screens and storm window are usually inserted on the inside making escaping in the case of an emergency exponentially more difficult.
- Exposure to environmental factors - The sashes being frequently opened and exposed to the outside puts it at higher risk of rusting and breaking off due to unaccounted extreme weather variables (Strong wind, hail, heavy snowfall, rain...). This risk is raised when living in countries, like Canada, where the weather forecast is highly temperamental depending on the season.
- Space requirements - Be wary of any shrubs, trees, branches, traffic lights and obstacles found in the perimeter of the window opening.
- Higher maintenance - Pushing the sash outwards leaves it completely exposed to the outside world, inevitably resulting in faster dirt/dust build-up in the crevices. To keep everything looking and feeling pristine, regular cleaning should be scheduled every or every other month.
Single Slider Windows
Popular for their minimalistic and elegant appearance that manages to add a certain level of class to any chosen room, sliders (also called gliders) are one of the highest in demand windows in modern-day society.
This being said, a distinguishing characteristic that sets these single-slider tilts apart from the regular sliders is their ability to glide horizontally on the sash track and tilt open. A rather handy feature that comes with its own benefits.
- Minimal space occupation - In view that this window design does not require opening outward for ventilation, it is excellent for rooms with little free space to spare.
- Clear view - The single fitted sash is capable of supporting a clear screen insert, allowing for a completely clear/transparent viewing experience.
- Air ventilation - Slide and tilt the sash for quick and easy air flow.
- Simple usage - Making use of this window's mechanisms truly requires little to no thought. Simply push or pull everything open.
- Easy cleaning - Thanks to the window sash being able to tilt inwards, cleaning becomes a lot faster and easier.
- Increased opening/closing difficulty - The sash tracks are what enable the sashes to be operable, gliding left to right and/or tilting inward. If the tracks or any other mechanical parts begin to rust or deteriorate for any reason, opening and closing the window can become a hassle.
- Cost - A single sliding window typically costs between 250$ and 950$. It is slightly more expensive compared to other operable window varieties due to the complexity that comes with possessing multiple sashes.
Single Hung Windows
- Facilitated cleaning - The single hung tilt features an operable bottom sash that has the ability to move and tilt in which encourages residents to conserve some energy as they scrub away.
- Ventilation - The lower sash can be opened to bring in some fresh air.
- Affordable - Single hung tilt windows were found to be on average 10%-20% cheaper than their doubled counterpart.
- Energy efficiency - This variety - although slightly better than double hung versions - is sadly not as energy efficient or airtight as casement or awning windows. If purchased, weatherstripping would be highly recommended.
- Limited ventilation - The entire task of aerating the room is left to the operable bottom sash due to the top being fixed in place.
- Cleaning - Cleaning the lower sash is easy. However, the same cannot be said about the one on top. Unfortunately, the upper sash is stationary and can not be moved or tilted in for a quick wash, therefore washing the window conveniently from the inside is not an option.
Slim fixed windows usually showcase a low profile and simple design that avoids drawing attention away from the beauty of the outside world. These architectural light apertures are easily distinguishable by their narrow frames fixed in place.
- Cost efficiency - Fixed windows are hands down the most cost-efficient products in the industry. As does any other fixed type, they are not operable and therefore do not open.
- Easy customization - The simplicity of this piece enables architects to create and customize them freely into a variety of shapes.
- Unobstructed viewing surface - This slim window frame encourages the maximization of the glass' surface area that provides a wider and undistracted view of the outside world in the end.
- No ventilation - As aforementioned, this window frame type is fixed and cannot be opened. Although cost-efficient, these provide practically no help when it comes to ventilation. In fact, it may worsen the situation by trapping heat gain during particularly warm days,
- Inconvenient cleaning - Cleaning the exterior will certainly be a hassle especially if this window is situated somewhere hard to reach.
Reminiscent of the Victorian era, bay windows manage to add dimension, attract attention, and elevate the style of almost any building in which they are installed. To put it metaphorically, they are the Kardashians in the world of windows.
The physical appearance of a bay window is that of an arc extending beyond the walls of the building at an angle of 90, 135 or 150 degrees. This ark is consists of a flanker on the left and right side of a larger picture window.
- Attractive appearance - Bay windows always find some way to stand out and attract onlookers located from inside and outside of the home. This window creates an interior alcove that can easily become the main focal point of attention and enhance the residence's overall appearance.
- Increases house resale price - Consumers shopping for clothes are attracted to and will buy beautiful pieces that stand out. This same principle/concept carries over and applies to buyers of real estate. A gorgeous arc is a sure way to attract more customers. Additionally, bay windows are not only fashionable, but they also add square footage to the house. Which inevitably bumps up the estate's selling price.
- More light - Being tall with a large amount of glass surface area, it only takes common sense to realize that plenty more natural light will be shining through from the other side.
- Increases space - As bay windows protrude and form an outward arc rather than staying at level with the walls, they free up more space by creating a cozy little alcove inside.
- Treatment difficulty - The configurations and dimensions of bay windows raise the installation of treatments difficulty level up a couple of notches. To avoid provoking any damages hired experts are suggested.
- Purchase price - Quality bay windows usually lean towards the more expensive side. In Canada, the cost range is approximately $2,600 to $3,500. Please note that various factors (i.e size, location, builder…) come into play when determining the final price.
- Installation problems - The topic of price occasionally scares off clients on a budget from employing professional services. However, this is not a wise move unless one is looking to pay more down the road for lesser quality. A poorly executed attempt at a "do it yourself" project will, without a doubt, end up facing structural issues (e.g leakage, sagging...) as time goes on. Not only will the savings go for naught and the house value diminish, but residents will be forced to pay more to restore the integrity of the house.
Best replacement window?
Many clients can become overwhelmed with all this new information being thrown at them. Questions like "What replacement window is the best ?" are often posed.
To this, there exists no definite answer. The response to this inquiry is highly dependant on the resident's/owner's needs, preferences, and budget.
Is cost-efficiency a priority? Consider crank or fixed windows.
Does appearance rank high in importance? Bay or Bow windows may suit this particular requirement if there is no strict budget.
Where to purchase in Ottawa?
Before searching for help, it is important to make sure clients know what they want and need by objectively judging for themselves if the hired window replacement companies are truly reputable and trustworthy.
This task may appear daunting, but there is no need for anxiety. Below are a few key questions and guidelines that may help to keep in mind prior to making an order:
- Has the business been around for a while?
- Are the ratings and reviews positive?
- Does the company manufacture everything itself? If not, what is their source?
- Are the prices reasonable?
- Do their products meet or exceed quality standards?
Over here at Big City Windows (a window replacement company Ottawa), we pride ourselves in replying to all of the above with positive reaffirmations and nothing to hide.
Feel free to drop by at our main locations 1417-A Cyrville Rd. Ottawa, ON, K1B-3L7 and 7243, 6ième Avenue Montréal QC H2A 3E6 Canada or give us a call today at 613-737-0077, 613-707-8477 (Ottawa) or 514-688-1348 (Montreal).
It's time to consider brand new quality replacement windows Ottawa!