The list of features in an ideal window is long. You want beauty and energy efficiency, of course. But you also want innovative features like automatic locks, smooth operation, ease of cleaning, creative venting solutions and more.
Unfortunately, too often you can find yourself having to choose between options rather than getting it all.
“Lots of companies have one or two of these features. Only Marvin windows offers you every one of them,” says Ken Kussen.
Ken and his sons Jeff and Brad own Great North Windows and Doors. Between them they have decades of experience in the industry, so when they decided to go into business together, they knew they wanted to offer products from Marvin.
“Their products are simply the best, in so many ways,” says Jeff. “Their performance ratings are second to none, and the list of features is endless.”
Marvin offers several lines of windows and doors at various price points, including their two Signature lines: Ultimate and Modern.
“Modern is what the name implies: modernist style, with clean, minimal lines and aluminum interiors,” says Brad. “These are stunning windows for a modernist home or cottage.”
“Ultimate has a bit more of a traditional profile, with either classic shadow lines or with flush sashes and frames. Together these lines let us offer a superb window or door to suit any architectural style.”
Ultimate windows and doors feature wood interiors and aluminum clad exteriors, combining a soft, warm look inside with efficient exteriors that will stand up to any weather for many years.
Marvin also offers several lines that take advantage of the benefits fibreglass can offer. “Marvin has been leading fibreglass technology in windows and doors since 1996,” says Ken. “It has slim profiles and its finish, durability, and energy-efficiency exceed competitive aluminum clad or wood windows and doors.”
No matter what the style or material, Marvin offers a range of innovative design features. One of the most surprising is a venting picture window. At first glance, it looks like a classic non-operating picture window. But release the catch and the entire window moves outward a few inches, allowing air to enter the home on all four sides through a hidden screen. “It provides passive airflow, but lets you enjoy a completely unobstructed view,” says Ken. “From the street, you can barely even tell that the window is open.”
Casement windows are a popular option, but cleaning them can be a challenge. Marvin’s casement windows offer an easy-wash mode, which lets you flip them around so the exterior can be cleaned as easily as the interior.
They offer retractable screens, which vanish into the frame when not in use, letting you enjoy the view to the utmost. Or for the ultimate in an open view, consider a French casement: two casement windows hung with no central stile, so the entire opening is clear when the windows are open.
Got a window looking out on a patio or deck, where people will be walking? An interior opening casement might be the solution – they can swing a full 180 degrees, so they’re completely out of the way when fully open. Or perhaps a glider window (also known as a slider window), which is so perfectly built and balanced that it will slide open with just one finger.
Don’t want rectangular windows? No problem: Ultimate windows come in hundreds of geometric shapes, many of which are available as operating windows.
“There really is an Ultimate window for every conceivable home design and application,” says Ken.
Marvin also offers a full line of interior and exterior doors. And – no surprise – they too are packed with innovative features.
One of the biggest design trends in recent years is the wall-of-glass effect, which lets you blur the lines between indoors and out during the summer. To achieve that, Marvin offers some of the widest openings in the industry: sliding doors can be installed in openings as wide as 48 feet and as high as 12 feet, letting you truly open an entire wall to the outdoors. The doors can be stacked or can vanish entirely into wall pockets.
Or if you’d prefer, why not go for bifold doors, with openings as wide as 55 feet – one of the largest opening spans in the industry.
When winter comes, Marvin’s superb construction quality and best-in-industry glazing will ensure that the warmth stays indoors, where it belongs. “We’re numbers guys, and we look closely at the performance metrics of all the products that are out there,” says Jeff. “Marvin is at the top in every metric that you can imagine.”
Great North is based in Bracebridge, and offers installation services throughout Muskoka, Simcoe, and Southern Georgian Bay. But they recognize that many of their clients are seasonal residents, and don’t necessarily want to spend their precious cottage weekends shopping for windows. “That’s not a problem,” says Ken. “We have access to a showroom in Mississauga, and we’re happy to meet our clients there and discuss the options.”
“The goal is to get you perfect windows and doors, no matter what your home or cottage is like.”
TEXT A. WAGNER-CHAZALON | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN