Choosing windows for your Toronto home is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly as windows can completely alter the look of your residence. Whether you want to keep it simple or spice it up, windows can be the perfect accent for your style. Given the number of choices when it comes to materials finding something in your price range is also do-able, although quality and performance do have to be taken into consideration, as good windows will help to reduce your energy consumption, will be easier to clean and simpler to maintain.
Window frames come in a variety of materials including wood, vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum and hybrid versions.
Wood is by far the most expensive option when it comes to window frames and comes in many hardwood varieties. It can come in solid and composite forms. Some people opt to have wood frames on the inside but another material on the outside that will better stand resist the elements. For customers who want wood but easier cleaning and maintenance (less painting) the wood can be clad in vinyl, aluminum or fiberglass.
Vinyl is usually the least expensive option when it comes to window frames and requires very little maintenance. However, because it can’t be painted there are fewer colour options to choose from. Depending on the quality of the vinyl used, it can also yellow over time. However, when it comes to keeping the elements out, there is no difference between wood and vinyl.
Aluminum window frames are more expensive than vinyl but less so than wood. They are a very durable choice that doesn’t tend to discolour and as it can be painted, there is more variety than with vinyl.
Fiberglass is a relatively new material in window frame construction and its cost is significantly more than that of vinyl, however, it is a very strong material that requires no maintenance. They are very resistant to temperature extremes and moisture, making them good for cold climates and they also don’t rust or splinter. Despite the pros of fiberglass, it remains a little used choice.
After you have chosen the material for your window frames, choosing the style of window will also impact your lifestyle and the window’s energy efficiency. Remember that windows panes have a higher energy efficiency than the frames so the larger the number of breaks in the window pane, the lower the window’s efficiency. So casement windows will have a better energy rating than single/double hung windows.
There are a good overview of the different window styles over here //bit.ly/1cxBRL7.
Energy efficiency is another factor to take into consideration when purchasing windows for your Toronto home. The higher the efficiency of your windows, the higher the savings you will see on your energy bill every month. The government of Ontario website has an excellent review of energy efficiency and what it means.
Window shopping is more than just finding the right fit for you house – it is finding the right fit for your dwelling, your wallet, your style and your energy consciousness.