Staying on top of design trends can seem as simple as selecting the right colours or contours. But when it comes to functional elements of your home, seemingly small decisions can make a big difference.
The Marvin Signature Ultimate and Modern collections lead their categories in beautiful design and aesthetics, but they also lead in another important area: durability. Signature window and door exteriors are certified to the highest standard available, with maximum resistance to fading, chalking and peeling.
“Dark colours are particularly vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays, and to expansion and contraction as they heat and cool,” says Ken Kussen, co-owner of Great North Windows & Doors. “With the current popularity of black exteriors, your windows need added protection.”
To get the highest level of protection, he says consumers and industry professionals should look for a rating of AAMA 2605 for aluminum products and AAMA 624 for fibreglass/composite products.
Ken has an intensive knowledge of windows and doors. His engineering and design background in the manufacturing side of the industry includes time spent managing a premium door company. That knowledge has allowed him to better understand what it takes to be a quality window manufacturer.
In 2017, Ken, along with sons Brad and Jeff, launched their own window and door business. Brad and Jeff are also no strangers to the industry. Jeff has post-secondary training and education in construction engineering technology and Brad has a background in business management and accounting.
“When an opportunity presented itself to partner with Marvin – which is arguably the world’s top window and door manufacturer – we knew we had to commit,” says Ken.
“They’ve been around since 1912, and they’re still run by the Marvin family. They’re still based in a small town, but they have over $1 billion in annual sales and 5,500 employees worldwide. They’re a big company, but one that’s run by people who care deeply about the quality of the products they’re making.”
“When we told them about our business – a family-run operation with a commitment to excellence and a multi-generational plan – they agreed that this was a good partnership.”
“Marvin has a reputation as the best for a reason,” says Jeff. “Few companies invest time and money into research and development the way they do.” The result is that they have the testing, certification, and field data to back up their claims.
“One of the most important components of any window is the insulated glass units,” Jeff says. “Marvin only uses the industry leader, Cardinal Glass. They have the lowest failure rate of any manufacturer – 0.2 percent after 20 years.”
Many of Marvin’s competitors make their own glass units in-house to reduce costs, but sacrificed quality may result.
Seemingly small details can make an enormous difference in the performance of windows and doors. And those differences are found at all price points in the market.
For example, aluminum-clad wood is generally held to be the best material available but even there not all products are equal. “Some high-end windows are made with roll-formed aluminum that’s similar to a pop can, which is wrapped right around the wood,” says Jeff. “Marvin uses extruded aluminum that’s as thick as a nickel, which also lets them add thermal breaks into the frame.” The result is better energy efficiency, and a much more durable product.
Even when a project does not require the absolute top-of-the-line windows and doors, small details still matter. Marvin offers durable fibreglass products at mid-price points, which is perfect when product options and sizes are less demanding.
“In addition to Marvin, we carry a wide range of other product lines at varying prices, and we can consult on which ones will work best for your project,” says Brad.
The same goes for doors. “We can source custom-built fibreglass and wood doors, full-lite aluminum, and even custom Trustile interior doors,” Brad continues. “It saves the client from having to shop all over the place and try to compare apples to oranges.”
The team has recently opened a new showroom in Bracebridge. For customer convenience, they can also meet clients at the Marvin showroom in Mississauga.
“We don’t want to sell you windows for now. We want our clients to still be happy in 20 years,” says Brad. “With Marvin, we know they will be.”
TEXT A. WAGNER-CHAZALON
PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN