Often a builder simply chooses a home’s windows and doors, and the homeowner doesn’t realize they could have made their own selections. But with so many styles and custom colours out there, it’s a great way to add your own personal flair to your home.
Bob Wood, owner of Revolution Windows & Doors, says this is the time of year when homeowners think about ways to make their house more snug before the next winter – keeping out air and water infiltration.
Wood says there are energy-efficient options available at every price point, but homeowners tend to opt for high-end
solutions if they’re going to be staying in the home for a while.
They’ll be showing off their Laflamme Hermetica doors at the Real Home Show, and Wood says these steel or fibreglass door steels are thought to be the tightest door on the Canadian market.
“They’re extremely airtight and water-tight because they have a redesigned, ultra-durable vinyl sill that’s on a slope,” says Wood. “A typical door sill is flat, but this sill allows water to drain off – and instead of a sweep, they’ve created a water drainage system.”
“There’s also a lip that goes over the door so any rain drains over it like a waterfall. There’s nothing like it.”
Whether you’re building or renovating, Wood says it’s important to think about the placement of your windows – and the surrounding environment – before deciding what to purchase. If you choose the right windows for your home, Wood says you can control unwanted solar gains in southern-facing rooms, and make the most of the sun’s heat in chillier rooms.
“Casement windows have better air and water tightness than windows that slide up and down or sideways, because when the wind blows, it’s pushing on that weather-stripping and making it tighter,” says Wood.
If you’re in the market for new windows, he recommends choosing ones with stainless steel exterior hardware – rather than the cheaper, painted hardware. Wood says homeowners can expect to start seeing thicker frames on vinyl windows, which
allows for more air channels – creating a more structurally-sound piece.
Although function is the defining factor, Wood says the aesthetic of your windows and doors is also extremely important. A vibrantly-coloured front door system can increase a home’s curb appeal by up to $10,000 – compared to a plain white door – because of the “wow” factor. Black, red, orange, and blue are among the top front door shades.
Fibreglass doors are the fast-growing segment of Atlantic Canada’s door market, with homeowners buying five times as many as they did two or three years ago.
“A fibreglass door looks like an authentic wood door, but it doesn’t have the maintenance problems of a wood door. It’s also more rust-resistant and dent-resistant than a steel door,” says John Arsenault, Director of Sales for Peter Kohler Windows & Entrance Systems. “They’re a warmer door, and they look better.”
Arsenault says fibreglass doors come in 25 standard colours, but can be painted or stained any shade – and rich, wood-like tones are especially popular.
So many homes have standard white windows, so Arsenault says adding custom-coloured windows has a dramatic impact on your curb appeal. His clients immediately jumped on board when Peter Kohler began offering PVC-coated windows in custom colours, and he says black is by far the most popular shade.
“The black is nice. It really does catch your eye.”