When selecting new windows for your home, choosing the right company is just as important as the windows themselves. We spoke with Steve Mercer of Fortress Windows and Doors, a company which was awarded the best window and door company in Toronto in 2014, about how to choose the right company to do the replacement.
When selecting a company, consider how long they have been in business. Read reviews online and check to see if they’re registered with eieihome.com or the Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization that registers consumer complaints against a company to help build trust between companies and consumers.
Ask if windows are CSA certified
Asking whether the company supplies CSA certified windows and doors will help ensure you’re getting a quality product. The CSA Group provides testing, certification and standards for windows and doors.
“As much as a sales agent may guarantee you that their windows are fabulous, if there’s no third party random auditing, then there’s no guarantee,” says Mercer, adding that there are numerous companies that do not provide CSA certified windows.
Ask about installer’s certifications
Is the company using summer students to install windows, or are they professional installers who are Window Wise certified? “Having a Window Wise certified installer will help to guarantee that your windows and doors are being installed properly,” says Mercer.
Take warranties with a grain of salt
Although we all like to get a warranty on products and service, Mercer warns a warranty is only as good as the company that is issuing it. Make sure you choose a company that has longevity, one that won’t be gone tomorrow when you have a problem.
Assess the company’s customer service
Does the company return your call quickly? This is a tell-tale sign that they will be easy to deal with. Fortress Windows and Doors has a 24-hour response time policy. “If you call with a service inquiry and we don’t respond within 24 business hours, we’ll issue you a cheque for $100,” says Mercer. “This is so you know we’re serious about what we do.”
As a homeowner, you know when you need to replace your windows:
- They’re very old;
- They’re broken and coming apart.
But that doesn’t mean you should wait until your windows are decades old before replacing them. Instead, Fortress Windows and Doors wants you to replace your windows for these reasons:
Increase the energy efficiency of your home
With the cost of electricity and natural gas on the rise, improving the home’s energy efficiency is on the minds of many homeowners. Replacing your old windows with new windows that are Energy Star certified can help to lower your monthly heating and cooling costs. Energy Star windows are more efficient at keeping cold air out of your home during the wintertime and hot air out during the summer, saving you as much as 20 per cent on heating and cooling costs.
Increase the value of your home
Mercer says replacing your windows is a good investment, especially if you’re thinking about selling your home. “Anything you can do to reduce the hard costs of operating your home, such as your heating and cooling costs, will have an impact on the resale of your home,” says Mercer. With today’s buyers concerned with energy costs, the more energy efficient your home is, the more salable it becomes. Plus, new windows automatically boost your home’s curb appeal, making it more attractive to potential buyers.
Improve the comfort level of your home
Do you find areas of your home drafty in the winter months? You likely have leaky windows. “If you want a more uniform temperature in your home, putting in a good quality window is key,” says Mercer. New windows can instantly improve the comfort level of your home by eliminating cold drafts and keeping the temperature in your living space more uniform.
If you think it’s time to upgrade your home’s windows and doors, speak to the team at Fortress Windows and Doors. With over 27 years of business, they have the experience and expertise to transform your home.