Man installing cassette roller blinds on windows

Full Frame versus Retrofit Windows

Many people do not realize that regardless of which replacement window you choose, there are two different ways to install the window. It is essential for you to know the difference between full frame window installation and retrofit window installation to get the right install for your home.

Full Frame Window Installation

Full frame window installations require that the existing window and all of its supports are removed, including the trim and sill. The new window is then installed right into the framing of the home. The trim and sill are then replaced, and sometimes the internal trim. Full frame replacement may be preferred if there are issues with the exterior or interior wall near the window. Occasionally, the interior or exterior trim (or even the windowsill) can been damaged or infested with bugs or mould. This is one reason to go with vinyl in the future-- vinyl can’t rot and is more durable than traditional wooden window elements.

The Pros and Cons of Full Frame Window Installation

If your window is damaged, it’s much better to start with a blank slate and correct the underlying issue. Remember, professional window installers will always inspect and look out for structural or cosmetic issues in your home that might impact the performance of your new windows. New homes are less likely to need full frame replacements. But, even if it’s not required, you may want a full frame install because it gives you more choice in window materials and style. Full frame window installation is more expensive than a retrofit window installation. It takes more time and extra materials. You also need to be careful to match the trim and sill to the style and colour of the rest of your home.

Retrofit Windows

The alternative is retrofit window installation. Also called an insert or replacement window. This window installation method essentially means placing a slightly smaller window into your old window’s spot. The trim and sill remain unchanged.

The Pros and Cons of Retrofit Window Installation

If there are no problems with the existing window elements you can have a retrofit window installed. It takes less time and uses the same trim and sill. This can reduce your costs significantly. However, this installation method requires more glass area. This might reduce your view and limit how much light comes through the window. If installed poorly a retrofit window may not be level, may not be sealed correctly, or may be difficult to open. That’s why you should choose the professionals and expert team at Thermo-Bilt Windows and Doors. You can rest assured your windows are perfectly installed every time.    At Thermo-Bilt Windows and Doors, we always take the time to understand your concerns about window installation, aesthetic design, and the energy performance you want. Our knowledgeable staff knows what kind of window replacement you’ll need to get the look and results you’re aiming for.  Call (905) 752-3536 or contact us today for a free quote!  
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Girl at window

Can Window Installation Be Completed In Winter?

We’ve had our share of customers ask us if we can complete a window installation for them during the winter. It may be surprising, but almost without exception our answer is yes! In fact, there are many benefits to having your winter window installation completed.

The Off-Season

Every savvy shopper knows that purchasing something in the off season comes with all kinds of savings. For window installations, expect less delay in getting specialty windows ordered, delivered, and installed. Our schedule is much more open in the winter too, so we can better meet your needs for emergency installs, quick installs, or installs during busy hours.

Ease of Installation

With only one exception, window installations are done just as well in the winter as they are in the summer. Vinyl barely swells with heat or cold, meaning it is unaffected by the yearly change of season (especially compared to wood). Also, we use suitable caulking to ensure the seal on your windows is perfect, even in cold temperatures. Unfortunately, the only downside is caulking cannot be applied at temperatures below -20°C (even the cold-weather resistant kind won’t seal). At extreme cold temperatures, caulking becomes brittle instead of forming into a thick and flexible seal. However, you don’t need to worry because it rarely drops to such extreme temperatures in Ontario. Additionally, below-freezing temperatures are also a benefit for window installation. It’s much easier to detect leaks around your window in the winter, because any external air will form moisture droplets as it moves in. Furthermore, you can precisely pinpoint entryways for cold drafts, which helps ensure a tight seal for your new window during installation.

Energy Reductions

Many of our customers are looking to replace their windows because they want additional energy savings. If that’s the case, why wait? You save the most on your energy bill from new windows in the winter, so start reaping the benefits of your investment now.

Heat Loss

Most customers are generally worried about how much heat their home will lose if they choose to install their windows in the winter. At Thermo-Bilt, we are professional and respectful of your time and your home’s energy resources. We take all precautions to prevent any heat loss during a winter window installation. We install each window one at a time, by preparing new windows before we take the old one out. This limits how much time your home is exposed to cold air. We also place plastic coverings over an empty window to further protect your home from chill. Generally, we recommend that the door to whichever room we’re installing a window remains closed. You can pile towels at the base of the door to help insulate the rest of the home. Furthermore, while your home may lose some heat during the installation process, you’ll find it warms up a lot faster once your new windows are put in place. Why be uncomfortable throughout the winter when you can get a toasty warm house with new windows? Contact us for a free quote so you can enjoy the rest of the winter season in comfort.
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windows and doors covered in blanket.

How to Winterize Your Windows & Doors

Winter is here, along with it is an increase in your heating expenses. Are you looking for ways to keep your home warm this winter without spending a fortune? Take the time to check your home's windows and doors – a good place to start is your home’s main entry points.

Find Drafts in Your Home

Drafts are a killer on your home’s energy bill. If your home has drafty windows and doors then you’ll see a substantial increase in your energy bill every month. As cool air sneaks into your home, your furnace will be working twice as hard to keep your house warm, which can significantly reduce the life of your furnace. How can you determine if your home has drafts? Take a candle and place it near a window or door. If you see the flame dancing or flickering, it's likely a draft is getting through the window or door. If this occurs, you’ll need to do some extra work to prepare your windows and doors for the winter.

Block Drafts

Your local hardware store will have draft snakes to place at the bottom of your windows and doors. Draft snakes are effective in preventing warm air from escaping and cold air from entering your home. If you’re on a budget, try this do-it-yourself option instead: Roll up several old towels and tie elastics at each end to keep them in their tube form. This is an inexpensive but temporary way to stop drafts. The best way to keep your house warmer and save on your energy bill in the long-term is to replace your drafty and leaking windows and doors with new ones.

Check Your Caulking

Caulking helps maintain a tight seal around your windows and doors. Using caulk is a huge defence against cold air entering your home and warm air escaping. Unfortunately, over time even the best caulking eventually develops cracks and gaps. Luckily, it’s easy to seal up cracked caulk or gaps around your window’s seal. Depending on the severity of the problem you might need to remove the old caulking and replace it with a new one. However, if the caulking is in adequate condition with minimal damage, you can simply patch up any problem spots.

Plastic Film is an Affordable Fix

Many homeowners place plastic films over their windows. During the winter months, this protects against the cold and helps to maintain warmer indoor temperatures. Clear plastic film is a more affordable option since it can be found at most local hardware stores. It’s held in place using double-sided tape and doesn’t block your outdoor view (although you won’t be able to open your windows). However, plastic film should be used with caution. Natural Resources Canada points out that some people are sensitive to the plastic used in heat-shrink film. To prevent damage plastic film may not be the best option for households with small children or pets. For safety reasons, it should be kept away from strong heat sources.

Take The Screens Off

It’s also a good idea to remove your screens at the beginning of the winter months. This ensures your screens are protected from harsh winter weather and make them last longer. Furthermore, having them on hand will make them easier to clean when spring arrives. Make sure you store your screens in a warm and dry space until winter ends.

Keep Warm, Winterize Your Home

Protect your windows and doors this winter. You’ll find it easier to keep your home warm and cozy with these simple tips – which you’ll appreciate when you need a break from the cold. Contact Thermo-Bilt to get started on winterizing your home!
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woman sitting on window reading a book.

How To Choose The Best Windows For Your Home

Considering almost every room in your home has windows, you probably rarely think about the design options that are available to you. Need a change in your home? Your windows and doors may be the perfect place to start.

Identify Your Needs

First, when deciding on the best windows for your home, it is important to identify your needs. Start off by asking yourself these questions:
  •    Do you need windows that provide a lot of natural light?
  •    Do you have a beautiful view you would like to take in?
  •    Do you live somewhere cold and therefore need windows that insulate well?
  •    Do you open your windows often to let fresh air in?
  •    Do you care about your windows being purely functional or would you like to add some aesthetic value to your home as well?
Your answers to these questions will help you determine the best windows and doors for your home.

Consider your options

Once you recognize your needs, it can be overwhelming to wade through the mass amounts of options that will be available to you. Follow the guide below for a breakdown of some popular types of windows.

Bay Windows

If you have a beautiful view outside your home that you want to take in from the comfort of your living room, a bay window is a great option. Their large size allows for a tremendous amount of visibility and natural light. Bay windows also help create a cozy space to snuggle up and read a book while basking in the sunlight.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are a must have for anyone who enjoys letting fresh air into their home or who does not have central air. Awning windows have cranks that easily turn to open and close the window on a hinge. Another function of the awning window is that because they usually open along the top edge, they create an awning that will keep rain from getting into your home in the case that you accidentally leave them open during a storm.  

Skylights

Skylights help you maximize your natural light intake during all hours of the day. Many people prefer adding skylights over additional windows because they allow extra light in without compromising wall space or privacy. That’s why they’re so popular in washrooms.

Entry Door Windows

Your front door is often the first thing people notice about your house so combining windows with your door is a great idea. Putting windows around your door can make the entry way look more visually appealing while also providing a clear view of the front yard, making it possible to see who is knocking on the door before you open it.

Energy Efficient Windows

No matter which design style you choose when it comes time to replace your old windows with a newer model, consider investing in energy efficient windows. There are many energy efficient options available now that will substantially reduce your utility bills each month. Speak with a professional today to start your journey to new windows and doors!
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Energy efficient windows ratings.

Energy Efficient Windows: A Comprehensive Guide

How do you know which energy rating is the best? What do the ratings mean? In Canada, energy-efficient windows are rated based on their U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and air leakage grading. Generally, the common rule of thumb is the higher the number of the energy rating, the higher the efficiency of the window. You may also see a letter rating on the windows, which is the North American Fenestration Standard. This indicates which type of building a window is best for; R is for single-family residential buildings. LC is for low rise, CW is for mid-rise, and AW is for a high-rise. For the Canadian rating system, there is a lot of technical information included. Therefore, you'll want to make sure you do your research and look into it the best window that meets your needs. We've made it easy to understand. Simply follow our the rating explanations below:

What is U-Factor?

U-Factor is always examined in energy ratings. It is the rate of heat transfer from the product's warm area to a cold area. Usually, you want your window to transfer this heat slowly, so you’re not losing heat to the outdoor environment. The lower the U-factor number, the more energy-efficient your windows will be.

What is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient?

This ratio describes how much of the sun’s heat passes through a window, warming up the interior behind the window. The higher the number, the more solar heat the window provides. In a passive home, you would want a high solar heat gain coefficient to help the home stay warm in the winter.

Air Leakage

This factor is more straightforward. Air Leakage measures how much air leaks out of a window. For obvious reasons, you don’t want air to leak through your window, as it lets your heat (or air conditioning) escape into the environment. If your windows have high air leakage, it’s time to get them replaced.

What is R-value?

The R-value factor is not a concern under the energy rating, but it’s often used as an indication of energy efficiency in windows for industry experts. It measures how much resistance there is to heat transfer in the glass, or the amount of heat retained by the window. The higher the number the better the glass, indicating high heat has trouble passing through the window.

What is the difference between Argon and Krypton gas?

Energy efficient windows are filled with either argon or krypton, both are non-toxic gases to help insulate the panes. While argon is the cheaper gas, krypton is a better insulator. Sometimes the gases are blended so the windows can meet specific energy standards, while still being easy on your wallet.

What are Low E-coatings?

These glazings are applied onto the glass to block additional heat transfer. The three most common choices are Low-E 180 (a standard application), Double Low-E (which provides better efficiency), and Low-E 366 (which is meant for windows with intense sun exposure).

What is the ENERGY STAR® Certification Program?

Administered by Natural Resources Canada, this certification is meant to help consumers identify products which are energy efficient. Every year, ENERGY STAR® gives out accolades to the products with the best energy efficiency. Do you have more questions? We can answer all your inquiries about energy efficient windows – from glazing, ratings, and different window types to fit your home's needs. Contact us today for a FREE quote!
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winter windows for the cold season

Preparing Your Home’s Windows and Doors for Winter

Winter is right around the corner with its harsh winds, cold temperatures and winter storms. While it’s pretty to look at from a distance, you want to make sure you keep winter outside of your home. To keep the cold out, it is important to make sure you properly prepare the main entry points -  your windows and doors for the wrath of winter.

Check for drafts

It is important to check your windows and doors for drafts. If drafts are being let into your home, your energy bill can increase substantially every month, as your furnace will be working twice as hard to warm the cool air from entering your home. Unsure if your windows and doors are keeping the cold air out? If you have drafts take a candle and place it near any area you are worried about. If you see the flame dancing or flickering, it is likely because there is a draft coming through the window or door. This is a tell-tale sign that you should do some extra work to prepare your windows and doors for winter.

Caulk the windows

Caulking is the main line of protection used against cold air entering your home. The unfortunate reality is that even the best caulking can eventually form cracks or gaps. Having said this, it is an easy procedure to seal up these mishaps. You can either start from scratch and peel back the old caulking and replace it or you can simply patch up any problem areas.

Apply plastic film

Applying a plastic film to your windows can help insulate during cold weather. According to The Daily News Miner, insulating your windows with a plastic film can help retain up to 50% of the heat you generate inside, equivalent to adding an extra window pane! The plastic film is clear, allowing you to maintain a full view of the outdoors and is held in place using double-sided tape.

Use draft blockers

You can purchase effective draft snakes to place at the bottom of your windows and doors to prevent any warm air from escaping or cold air from entering your home. Hoping to save some money? Try a do-it-yourself option and roll up some old towels and tie elastics at each end to keep them in their tube form. This simple and inexpensive way to stop drafts will keep your house warmer and help you save on your energy bill.

Take your screens off

Your screens can get damaged from the snow that collects on them during the winter months. It is best to take your screens off and store them in a warm and dry space until springtime. This will ultimately protect your screens from weather damage and allow them to last longer. Winter is beautiful and you will want to look at it through your windows or head out your front door to experience it, but make sure you also remember to protect your windows and doors this winter. Contact Thermo-Bilt to keep your house as cozy as possible for when you need a break from the cold.
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Vinyl windows improve home make room bigger

Top 4 Ways Vinyl Windows Improve Your Home

If you are looking to upgrade your home, opting for vinyl windows can greatly improve the overall appearance of your living space, in addition to the countless benefits they provide. Windows are a central feature of any home or building, so it’s important to take care in making a decision before undergoing a replacement. From their exceptional durability to their insulating capabilities, and of course, their striking appearance, vinyl windows can drastically improve your home. Here are the top 4 ways vinyl windows improve your home:

Enhances Visual Appeal

Vinyl windows can have a dramatic impact on the aesthetic appeal of your living space. They are highly customizable and come in a variety of colours, styles, and textures so you can find something to suit your home and your personal tastes. Windows play a key role in the look of a particular room so upgrading to a quality vinyl windows can really enhance an area while adding a contemporary or classic fair to complement existing elements of your home.

Boosts Your Home’s Durability

Vinyl windows are highly durable. They require hardly any maintenance so you can rest assured they won’t be contributing to your seemingly endless list of property maintenance to-do’s. As well, vinyl is far less porous than wood which makes it harder for dust and dirt to get trapped, so an occasional wipe down with soap and water is sufficient to keep your windows looking like new. Unlike wood which requires a significant amount of preservation and maintenance, vinyl windows are not susceptible to rotting.

Increases Your Energy-Efficiency

One of the most significant advantages of vinyl windows is their insulating capabilities. In comparison to other materials like aluminium, vinyl is better able to keep heat from escaping during the winter months while preventing hot air from entering during the summer. When paired with a double-paned glass, their effectiveness is heightened even more so. In addition to helping the environment, you will also experience a significant reduction in energy costs when it comes to heating and cooling your home.

Increases the Value of Your Home

Renovations and investments such as vinyl windows can significantly heighten your curb appeal and raise your home’s value. They give your home a clean and fresh appearance as old window panes tend to lose their clarity over time. If you are considering selling your home in the future, vinyl windows are highly regarded by prospective buyers due to their minimal maintenance and attractiveness. Also, they are a fairly economical choice in comparison with other materials such as solid wood and fibreglass which can be expensive to install and maintain. Vinyl windows are top quality and can save you money in the long run due to their low upkeep, which is also well-regarded by buyers. If you are looking to upgrade your home, vinyl windows are an excellent choice. To find out more about their benefits or to get a free quote, call us at 416-756-0798.
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fiberglass doors a good investment

6 Reasons to Invest in Fiberglass Doors

If you’re on the market for a new or replacement door for your home – look no further! Whether you’re looking for something durable, aesthetically pleasing,  or both, going with fibreglass guarantees you practicality and beauty all in one. Our experts have outlined the top 6 reasons why fiberglass doors are the best investment for your home:

Fiberglass Doors are reliable and durable

Fiberglass doors have been used by building contractors since the 1990's. They've become more increasingly popular among homeowners over the last twenty years. They are a much more practical choice than their wooden counterpart as they are not susceptible to water damage, rotting, or cracking. Fiberglass is comparable to steel in terms of strength and durability. So if you are an extensive traveler you can have some peace of mind about your home’s security knowing that a fiberglass door is sturdy and resistant to physical force. Plus, they are better at resisting extreme climates than wood and steel – a must for our harsh Canadian winters!

They are aesthetically pleasing

Many people are under the misconception that fiberglass doors cannot possibly look as beautiful or luxurious as wooden ones. Technology has advanced over the years & fiberglass can now adapt & imitate other materials. In fact, your door can be stained or coated to look just like wood – you won’t be able to tell the difference!

Affordable and long lasting

Although the upfront cost of a fiberglass door is more expensive than steel, they are a much more worthwhile investment. These doors last longer and are more resistant to harsh weather conditions. In comparison to wooden doors, fiberglass are more affordable and durable. So it ends up being more cost-effective in the long run.

Fiberglass Doors are low-maintenance

Fiberglass doors generally require very little maintenance; scuffs or marks can be removed by simply wiping the door’s surface with soap and water. Unlike wooden doors which are difficult to redecorate, a fiberglass door can be refinished or repainted relatively easily. Steel is susceptible to rusting and chipping in extreme heat or cold, whereas fiberglass does not. This minimizes the need for constant upkeep and repair.

They are highly customizable

Fiberglass doors are extremely versatile; they can be made in a number of different colours and designs to suit your personal tastes. You can choose from a variety of traditional, contemporary, and Victorian styles. There are wood finishes and paint finishes to pick from along with options to add windows, panels, columns, and other designs or detailing. 

A good choice for the environmentally

As a result of their improved temperature regulation, fibreglass doors are better at regulating the temperature inside your home compared to wood. Thermo-Bilt doors have a polyurethane foam core to provide insulation that’s seven times better than a wood door. Most importantly, fiberglass is a synthetic man-made material which means no need to chop down any trees! Visit Thermo-Bilt Windows & Doors to get a free quote, or give us a call at 416-756-0798 to find out how we can build a beautiful and practical fibreglass door for your home.
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slider windows

Slider Windows: Popular Choice for Homebuyers in Greater Toronto Area

If you’re looking for a great combination between quality and affordability, then slider windows are certainly the type of window for you! Aside from operational ease, slider windows feature a smart design that can adapt to virtually any space. Especially useful in smaller spaces that won’t suit a window that projects from the exterior of the home. It’s these features that have made slider windows a popular choice for home buyers in Toronto and the surrounding areas.

Living in Toronto

When you live in a city like Toronto, amongst all it’s beauty, you’ll want to showcase the view of the city from your home. Slider windows provide an unobstructed view when you’re looking out; it also allows natural light to flow through the room, making smaller areas appear more spacious and bright. For the most part, people who live in Toronto homes have very unique architecture and design features, including smaller living spaces. Brand new windows make a world of a difference in any living space.  

Why Replace Your Windows?

When you install brand new replacement windows, it's a smart investment because it adds value to your home. It also saves you money on your energy bills over the long term. But windows shouldn't be something you want to constantly fuss about or maintain often. Believe it or not – it happens. A bad window installation job done can end up being a nightmare due to maintenance, repairs, and poor ventilation. Slider windows provide more functionality, less maintenance, and are overall aesthetically pleasing to any home. As opposed to a conventional window, you'll find its less upkeep to maintain and more cost-effective. Another benefit is the ability to clean the exterior side of the windows from the inside. This can save you money from having to hire professional cleaners to do it for you. We recommend reading our window cleaning tips, so you can safely clean your windows at home.

Choose The Experts

When you choose Thermo-Bilt Windows & Doors for your replacement windows, you can expect your new windows to be constructed with 100% pure high-quality PVC. Which is made to be extremely safe and durable for any environment. Slider windows are great for any home’s living room or bedrooms. Designed with maximum efficiency in mind, and its ability to fit into tight spaces, is what makes these great. Whether you’re debating between a single or double slider window, our custom design experts can walk you through all the style options to help you make your design ideas come to life. Our knowledgeable staff are highly trained and experienced with installing slider windows on many unique homes in Toronto. We provide homeowners a clear view and a brighter living space. Be amazed at how brand new shiny windows can instantly transform your house into a modern home. Contact Thermo-bilt Windows & Doors to find out if our great products are right for your home. Get a free quote today!
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