Quality windows are a vital part of any home or cottage. And not simply because they protect you, your family, and your investment from the elements. Good windows installed by experienced professionals who understand your property and lifestyle will greatly enhance the energy efficiency of the building.
And modern windows can even be installed with glass that is self-cleaning, noise reducing, and shatter-resistant.
The first step is to ensure the windows are correctly sized – customized if necessary – and sealed correctly to prevent drafts and moisture infiltration, explains Paul Travis of George Kent Home Improvements.
“Incorrectly installed windows can lead to serious issues,” he says. “Not only will it negatively affect heating and cooling costs, but moisture getting into your structure can cause mould, mildew, and rot.”
When retrofitting windows into an existing building, Paul and his team will take a close look at the framing in the wall to ensure the new windows will be adequately supported. And whether the building is new or old, all gaps around the window need to be carefully sealed with caulking and caps.
The George Kent team consists of a large group of tradespeople, some of whom have been with the company for over 35 years. They bring an expert attention to detail to every project they work on and are one of the reasons the company has been in business since 1949.
They are also fully licensed and insured, carrying all the proper WSIB and general liability coverage, with Window Wise-certified installers who have many years in the industry.
While installation is key, having strong and durable windows is also essential. George Kent Home Improvements have their own industry-leading brand called Enerview, which come with shatter resistant glass for safety and to discourage break-ins.
The windows can be made in a variety of tones to match any décor, although the traditional white and trending black continue to be the most popular.
Other features include insect-trapping fly maze, a maintenance-free vinyl trim package, foam-filled frames and sashes, laminated sound reduction glass, and more.
George Kent windows also come with Neat Glass, a self-cleaning glass that uses a special coating to prevent organic materials like dust, dirt and other airborne particles from sticking to the surface. Because the particles remain loose, they wash away from the exterior when the rain comes or can easily be wiped off with a dust rag on the interior.
“The special coating actually loosens these materials when activated by the sun’s UV rays,” explains Paul. “The result is a much cleaner window surface.”
Just like with windows, doors need to be properly measured, installed, and sealed to maximize their effectiveness. To maximize security, protection from the elements, and energy efficiency, the best options are either insulated steel or fibreglass doors, says Paul.
Insulated steel doors provide great practical attributes. They’re tough and durable and look great. But Paul says that fibreglass is the top choice that blends both form and function.
Fibreglass doors are more energy efficient, have a long lifespan, are low maintenance, and come in almost any style, colour, or grain pattern you can imagine. Plus, you can always paint them a different colour if you feel like a change.
“No matter what you choose, it all comes back to making sure your windows and doors are expertly installed to get the most value from your investment,” says Paul.
Greener Homes Grant
If you’re looking to upgrade your windows and doors, the time is right. Through the Canada Greener Homes Grant, the federal government is providing plenty of rebates for energy efficient upgrades throughout your home or cottage. Homeowners can get up to $5,000 in rebates under the new grant program.
For windows and doors, homeowners can receive between $125 and $250 for upgrades to each rough opening – replacing an existing window or door with a more efficient model.
But there are eligibility requirements to be considered, including getting an energy audit from a certified auditor and using approved materials and contractors.
Other requirements include purchasing all equipment in Canada or from an online distributor based in Canada and keeping the Energy Star labels on the windows and doors until after your post-retrofit evaluation by the energy auditor.
Retrofitted windows, sliding doors, and hinged doors must be at an energy rating of 34 or better to be eligible for rebates.
George Kent can provide Enerview windows, as well as a selection of doors, and installation under the Greener Homes Grant.
“The grant makes it an even better idea to get your windows and doors project started now,” says Paul. “The potential rebates and increased long-term energy savings make it a sensible decision.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI