6 Things to consider when shopping for windows in Canada

by Guest

Are you planning a house renovation? Then window installation is probably on the top of your list. Not only do new windows add aesthetics and improve energy efficiency and comfort, they also significantly boost the market value of your house.

It’s important, however, that units installed are high quality and meet Canadian energy standards.

If you want to know how to choose the best windows and ensure the highest return on your investment for a window replacement project, then read on.

  1. Decide on the right window style

Choosing the appropriate window style for your installation project is vital. As a rule of thumb, homeowners usually go with the same window type they currently have since it does not require them to make changes to rough openings, leaving the original house design. 

Many Calgary window companies still recommend consulting experts on what works best for your house though. For example, your current casement windows might not ensure the optimal level of ventilation, and you may want to change them to sliding or hung windows. The most popular window styles in Canada are:

  • Sliding windows: Ensure the best level of ventilation and unobstructed views outside due to their huge glass area.
  • Picture windows: These are non-operable windows usually installed in living rooms to provide maximum energy efficiency.
  • Casement windows: Excellent ventilation, high energy efficiency and traditional look to match any exterior make these units a bestseller in Canada.
  1. Type of Glass

This step is essential if you want to install windows that will ensure maximum energy efficiency, hence savings, for your house. The current standard in Canada is double pane windows with LoE coating, but triple-glazed units will work better for you if you live in colder regions. These products can be up to 50% more efficient than windows with only double glazing but cost 15% more per unit. 

That is why analyzing your climate, energy bills and current insulation of your house is vital to decide whether it is worth extra investments.

  1. Window frame material

Choosing the right frame material is not just about the look of your new windows, it also impacts their overall energy efficiency. 

You have plenty to choose from:

  • Wood
  • Fibreglass
  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum
  • Composite

Even though there are many materials to consider, homeowners usually strive to install Canadian vinyl windows since they come as a middle ground for energy efficiency and cost. 

  1. Energy ratings and certifications

The standard rule here is buying only Energy Star-rated and NAFS-11 tested windows. If your window company does not have products tested & labelled by these authorities, your new windows won’t perform according to national energy standards and won’t qualify for government rebates or grants for any green home renovation projects. 

For example, Canada Greener Homes Grant offers up to $5000 for new window installation, but the units should be Energy Star rated and meet specific energy rating requirements to qualify. 

That is why asking your company about their products in detail is vital to get the best windows and to claim some money back from government initiatives.

  1. Painted or laminated windows

Long story short–choose painted windows only. While many window companies claim laminated windows are better in durability and other aspects, it is far from the truth. 

Why choose painted windows?

  • Colour flexibility: Homeowners can choose any colour they want, either in or out, easily matching new windows with the interior and exterior. 
  • UV-resistance: Modern water-based paint ensures high elasticity that adapts to temperature variations, improving your windows’ longevity.
  • Easy maintenance: A quick touch-up to water wash is okay to keep your painted profiles shiny and good-looking even years after installation. 
  1. Make sure to get the best quote for your project

Finding a reliable window company might be challenging, but finding the one that offers you the best quote for your project is even more complicated if you are on a tight budget. After all, window installation is not cheap.

That is why you need to consider multiple offers, and check the company’s background, reviews and past installation projects. Your quote should include all the information about your new windows, cost, delivery time, energy rating specifications, installation and warranty.

To avoid common pitfalls, you need to ask questions in advance, asking your installers to explain every detail of your replacement project. You can do this at your quote appointment with the company sales rep, and it’s very wise to prepare a list of questions in advance.

Are you curious about what to expect from your quote appointment? Watch the video below.


Window installation is a great renovation project to boost energy efficiency, comfort and aesthetics of your house. Hopefully these tips will help you choose the best windows to enjoy the new look of your home.

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