Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about windows, doors, warranties, service, installation, maintenance, and more. Use the navigation below to jump to a specific section.
- How does replacing my old windows and doors save me money on heating and cooling costs?
Basically the older your windows and doors are, the more money you're losing in energy bills on a monthly basis. This isn't just due to modern products being of a higher quality with better thermal resistance, but the natural shifting of your home that occurs over the years causing gaps and voids. The very first thing that a new window and door installation does is reduce that heat loss through the window glass itself. The added advantage is when we open up the walls and siding, we can reapply and upgrade insulation while identifying exactly what's going on with the 'innards' of your home.
The savings are real too. The National Research Council of Canada reports that upgrading all the windows and doors in your home can result in a 16% reduction in utility bills .
- My windows and doors are rather old. Will replacing them with newer models give me a legitimate savings on my heating and air conditioning bills?
The immediate answer is yes! Just how much savings is hard to determine because there are other factors that go into utility bill costs such as the level of insulation in your home and the climate you live in. A good rule of thumb is that the older your current windows and doors are the more savings you'll achieve with a new installation. Modern products have evolved even from those manufactured 15 years ago. If your windows and doors are 25 years or older or more you're likely experiencing a very significant amount of heated and cooled air loss. It should also be noted that new windows and doors not only reduce utility bills, they also save wear and tear on your HVAC system which in turn allows it to last longer.
- Will my home comfort improve after installing energy efficient windows (and doors)?
The obvious answer is 'yes' just because you'll no longer feel the drafts that result from cold air entering through low quality windows. There's actually much more to an improved comfort level though. First off the insulation around your windows and doors is replaced with insulating foam which fills every void that might have been present resulting in more drafts. Window upgrades also keep your home more comfortable in the Summer by retaining cooled air and help to control indoor humidity throughout the year.
- How do I know new windows and doors I purchase are energy efficient?
All Energy Star products have a symbol and label on them that indicates they have been certified to meet stringent technical requirements. Always look for the Energy Star label when browsing for replacement windows.
- What does it mean when a product is Energy Star certified?
Energy Star is a program run by Natural Resources Canada that was created to monitor and regulate the efficiency of various home construction products such as windows, appliances, furnaces, etc. Manufacturers submit their products to be tested and certified. If compliant, it means that products rank in the top 15 or top 30 percent in the niche in terms of energy performance. Energy Star certified products not only save money on utility bills, they lessen the impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions released into the atmosphere.
- What do I need to know about vinyl windows?
Vinyl windows are one of the most popular in the industry because they are the ideal combination of performance with price. Vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free and can have excellent energy efficiency. Vinyl is also very durable. Vinyl is resistant to moisture and will not crack or peel even when exposed to the elements.
- Why is steel considered one of the best entry door materials?
Steel doors are known for their strength and durability and they are also your best choice if security is a priority for your home. Steel doors have become the most popular entry door in Canada because more people prefer not to have to deal with the need for regular staining, painting, and other maintenance. Steel doors protect against the elements while maintaining bright, contrasting aesthetics that improve your home's curb appeal.
- Is there a type of window frame construction that is more energy efficient?
According to Energy Star ratings and certifications, a vinyl window frame with a solid core mPVC construction is the most energy efficient on the market. This includes incorporating fusion-welded corners into the into design and using a wider 4-1/2” frame compared to 3-1/4”. On top of that, windows with a one piece frame are preferred because there is less potential for air leakage while also providing maximum visibility compared to a window with multiple panels that are glued or screwed together.
- When do I know that I need to replace my windows?
You can actively identify if your windows need to be replace by being aware of the following:
- You notice a fog, condensation, or moisture on your glass consistently. When the view through your window becomes hazy like this it usually indicates that a seal has failed.
- Certain areas of your home become faded from where the sun enters the window. This could be furniture, carpeting, or even hardwood and it means you need to upgrade windows because your current models are allowing harmful UV rays to enter your home.
- Your current windows are not rated for the new climate regulations. Colder climates require a higher ER rating to satisfy energy efficiency recommendations. Your windows are grandfathered in and a replacement isn't mandatory, but just know the amount of energy you are losing by having these lower quality units installed.
- If your windows are having difficulty opening, closing, and locking it could be time for replacement windows or at the very least a repair. Having a window that doesn't properly open is a violation of building codes and is a huge safety risk in case of a fire.
- Rotting or pealing wood means the windows are past their prime and ready for a replacement. The older your windows are, obviously the more likely this occurrence will be.
- When do I know that I need to replace my doors?
Knowing when to replace your doors falls under many of the same protocols as windows which includes:
- Drafts and cold air are noticeably entering the home under and around the doors.
- Doors don't properly open or close which may be caused by home shifting or just the doors becoming worn out./li>
- The door frame, panels, or other features are noticeably rotting, peeling, warping, and otherwise in vulnerable shape.
- Age. If your main entry door is 20-25 years of age a replacement is probably imminent.
- Are there times when windows and doors just need repairing and not replacing?
It is an incredible waste to completely replace a door when all it needs to regain function is a new part such as hardware or glass. At the same time, continually trying to repair a door that needs absolute replacement is just going to cost you more in the long run. The best approach is to contact your local window and door company for an in-home consultation so they can provide you with an assessment and options.
- Is there a difference between replacement windows and new build windows?
Replacement windows are generally of higher quality than new build windows. This is because new home builders are looking to reduce their costs wherever possible. In order for a contractor to maximize their profits they will go with the bare minimum in terms of warranty, energy efficiency, and other building code regulations. The warranty on new build home materials and products is as low as 2 years whereas replacement windows are typically guaranteed for a period of between 15 and 25 years.
- Do customers generally replace all their windows and doors at the same time?
It's definitely more convenient to have all your windows and doors replaced at the same time but budget restraints won't always permit this. You will generally get a better price per window as well because it’s much more cost effective to have the installation team travel once to the home instead of many times.
- What is typically involved with an in-home consultation?
On average a home consultation usually lasts 30 minutes. If there are specific details you want to discuss or if your home is older or has a non-traditional layout, that meeting may last a bit longer. The consultation process involves taking measurements, inspecting your existing windows, asking some questions, and providing you with a printed estimate before we leave. Our goal is to make the in-home consultation as simple as possible, but we’ll take the time necessary to fully answer all of your questions.
- After a consultation, how soon must I make my decision on whether to install products?
Purchasing new windows and doors is a major investment and the last thing we want to do is pressure you into making this important decision. Our quote is valid for 30 days after it is issued. We never want our potential customers to feel pressured into making a decision.
- How do I choose a new door with so many options available?
There are many things to consider when buying a new entry door – styles, size, configuration, colour, hardware… We’ve developed an in-home consultation process that makes it easy to chose the door that is perfect for your home.
Installation of Windows and Doors
- How should I do to prepare my home for when the installation time comes?
We aim to make your new window and door installation as convenient and non-invasive as possible. Here’s what you need to consider before we arrive:
- Someone should be present at the home or other special arrangements will need to be made so that installers can access the interior of the house.
- Please clear the driveway so that we can park our work vehicles as close to your house as.
- Paths to each window being replaced should be cleared. This includes moving furniture away from the windows, removing pictures from walls in close proximity.
- Remove blinds, shades, drapes, etc. from the windows being replaced.
- Turn off all security alarms.
- Secure pets as entrance ways will be opened frequently.
- What condition is my house going to be in after the installation of windows and doors is complete?
We will install runners and drop cloths to protect the floor and keep debris to a minimum. Our installers clean up and remove all leftover materials. You may have to do a light dusting when your job is complete.
- If I have shutters and other features installed outside my home how will new windows affect them?
We may need to remove your shutters to gain proper access to install the new windows. We can re-install them after the installation is complete and this process will be included in your quote / estimate if necessary.
- What do your installers do with the old windows and doors from my home?
Consumer’s Choice will remove all your old windows and associated debris from the job site. If for some reason you would like to keep the old windows and doors, just tell our installers the spot you would like them and we'll secure them there before we leave.
- How long is the average installation job?
The project length will vary depending on how many windows and doors are being replaced. Many of our installation projects take one-day but larger jobs might require a number of days to complete. We'll provide you with a precise time estimate when we discuss your specific project.
- Are there advantages to your company using foam insulation as compared to fiberglass?
We use low expansion foam which has been designed specifically for door and window installation. This foam expands to fill in the spaces that a fiberglass batt insulation cannot reach. Foam acts as a vapor barrier that reduces leaks and seals gaps that may exist between your window frame and house. This foam also protects against moisture penetration.
- Does your company install windows and doors in the winter months?
Yes, we install our windows and doors year-round.
- Do you recommend purchasing the windows at a hardware store and installing them myself as a DIY project?
If you're comfortable with home improvement, do-it-yourself projects are certainly an avenue to explore. One thing to note is that windows purchased from hardware or 'big box' stores are generally lesser quality because they are designed for contractors looking for inexpensive materials. Contractors want to keep project costs as low as possible in this regard. When you install windows yourself so will also receive a shorter warranty because the manufacturer has no way of know if the windows are installed properly.
- Should my replacement windows be the same style as the original?
Our consultants can help you determine the most effective way to replace your windows. That may mean using the same style of windows, if available, or it may mean choosing a more modern look for your home.
- What do customers do if they encounter problems with the new windows and doors?
If you ever have a problem or concern with your windows or doors just give us a call. We’ll come by right away to resolve the issue.
About Our Windows
- What is low-e glass and what are the advantages?
Low-e glass stands for low’ emissivity.’ Low-e is a coating that goes on your windows to help with energy efficiency. The low-e glass is designed to limit the amount of harmful UV rays that enters into your home but at the same time permits the maximum amount of valuable natural light through the window.
- Why is argon gas used in windows and are there alternatives?
Argon gas is an insulating gas that sits between two panes of glass to reduce the heat loss to the outside environment. Argon is heavier than air and provides your windows an increased R-value. Argon insulation improves the u-value in a home by 10% or more while also applying soundproofing properties. Argon is the principle gas used because it is inexpensive, non-toxic, and odorless.
- What is a window's U-value?
U-value is a measurement of how effective a material is as an insulator. Higher improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.
- What is a window's R-value?
R-value is the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value the greater the insulating power.
- What are your warranty details?
Consumer’s Choice offers a worry-free warranty that has you completely covered. As we like to say, no bull.
About Consumer’s Choice Windows & Doors
- How long has Consumer’s Choice been in business?
Consumer’s Choice first opened our doors in 1989. In 2017 we became part of the Nordik Group of companies, Canada’s leading residential replacement window company.
- Can I see your windows and doors at a physical showroom?/dt>
We do have two showrooms that you can visit – please call ahead for business hours and to schedule a visit:
445 Finchdene Square
Scarborough, ON M1X 1B7
Toronto West Office
5900 Ambler Place
Mississauga, L4W 2N3
- Does Consumer’s Choice have a listing with the Better Business Bureau?
Consumer’s Choice has carried an A+ rating from the BBB.
- How do I find more information about Consumer’s Choice Windows & Doors?
If you have additional questions about the specifics of our windows and doors feel free to contact our sales experts during normal business hours of operation.
- Do you offer payment options for your purchase and installation?
Standard payments of cash, check, credit card are accepted for the purchase and installation of your new windows and doors.