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Need new windows and doors? These experts talk buying products

Need new windows and doors? The market offers so much choice, you may have trouble deciding what to buy! The experts at Fortress Windows and Doors will work with your budget to complete your home project. George Kent can sell you different types of glass that work well with your home, while Brock Doors and Windows will provide expert service. 

When it comes to front doors, there are so many materials to choose from. Can you name me a few and advise on what’s popular?

Fortress Windows and Doors: Mercer works with the following materials:

  • Steel;
  • Fiberglass;
  • Natural wood.

“Steel is by far the most common simply because of durability and lifespan,” he says, adding fiberglass is another optimal choice, although they have a tendency to warp thanks to the cool winter weather. If it’s installed with a multi-point locking system which protects against warping, then you shouldn’t have a problem with it.

A natural wood door is another fine option, one that tends to be out of most clients’ price range simply because it’s the most expensive, says Mercer. “If you do get the real wood door, make sure it has a closed screen, otherwise it will absorb moisture and become very unstable,” he says.

The average price for a steel door is roughly $1,300, says Mercer. “Fiberglass is probably in the $4,000 range, and a real wood door is in the $6,500 to $6,700 range,” he says, adding either door is a good quality product, as is the installation. “It’s always the best quality.”

These prices are simply an average – the price depends on the material, size of the door, glass inserts, and other factors that should be discussed with the Fortress Windows and Doors team.

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Brock Doors and Windows: Kaileigh says the company offers steel and fiberglass doors.

“Fiberglass provides a beautiful wood grain finish,” she says. “Both look outstanding, but fiberglass keeps the charm of a wooden door for older city homes.”

It’s also roughly 20 to 30 per cent more in comparison to a steel door, Kaileigh says.

Speak with the experts at Brock to learn more!

These front doors make a statement!

These front doors make a statement!

Here’s Kaileigh herself talking about Brock:

George Kent: Palmer says steel doors are the most popular front doors on the market next to fiberglass and wood. “A wood door is expensive and that’s probably the reason,” he says of steel doors. Fiberglass doors are another suitable choice for a front door. The wood grain finish looks like wood without the price tag. “For half the price, you have a fiberglass door that looks like a wood door, but requires a little bit of maintenance. Not as much as a wood door,” he says. “It also won’t scratch as easily.”

Palmer says a wood grain fiberglass door is anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent more for than a steel door.

“But the steel door is still probably 80 per cent of the market,” says Palmer. “I think it’s more the price point today versus traditional wood or wood grain fiberglass.”

Steel also comes in unlimited colour options, whereas you’re limited when staining fiberglass.

The team at George Kent Home Improvement can show you what will work best for your home and budget.

Want to know about Brock's warranty? Keep reading!

Want to know about Brock’s warranty? Keep reading!

What’s your personal recommendation?

Fortress Windows and Doors: For Mercer, what’s more important than making a personal recommendation is working with a client to determine what they want to achieve with the front door and what their budget is. “Each client is going to be somewhat unique in that someone just wants a steel front door with half glass, half moon, or something inexpensive,” he says. “Certainly, some want something that’s going to have a little more ‘wow factor’ and move up to a fiberglass door.”

Clients living in a high-end home may opt for a wood door. “I have to determine what it is the client wants and can make a recommendation.”

Mercer can provide a price over the phone if a client requests one, and will visit the house afterward to discuss colour and styles.

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George Kent: Palmer will always recommend a steel door to most clients. But first, he’ll ask what they’re looking for. “If someone says they’re looking for a wood door, then right away, I go to the fiberglass,” he says.

Nevertheless, steel doors dominate the market. “Our sales are in the 80 to 85 per cent range because of the price,” he says.

The steel door is an economical option, but don’t mistaken it for being cheap. “It’s not the bottom of the barrel because it’s a high quality door.”

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A window isn’t just a window, right? What types of windows are on the market?

Fortress Windows and Doors: Clients have even more choice when it comes to window materials:

  • Aluminum;
  • Fiberglass;
  • Vinyl;
  • Aluminum-clad (window interior made out of wood but exterior is clad with aluminum).

The aluminum-clad window is a higher-end product geared toward those that aren’t afraid of a higher price point, says Mercer.

“By far, the most popular is vinyl. It’s the most economical in terms of price point,” he says. “It’ll give you longevity and reliability if you buy a quality vinyl window.”

No matter what material you choose, your home’s windows should last for 20 years – and Mercer can provide a stellar warranty on that. Keep reading to learn about it!

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Brock Doors and Windows: When it comes to windows, Brock provides two forms of installation: brick-to-brick and retrofit. Kaileigh recommends homeowners purchase brick-to-brick windows because it involves taking out the window in its entirety and cleaning the frame to ensure there’s a proper seal.

“The other option is to retrofit your windows. With a retrofit, you keep your existing frame,” she says, adding it’s a great option for older homes in order to keep its original look intact.

“With older homes, clients like to keep retrofit windows to keep the style, but we recommend brick-to-brick to ensure a solid fit to your house and a good seal,” she says.

Brock Doors and Windows also recommends clients purchase triple glass windows.

“It’s free to upgrade to triple glass right now,” she says. “It’s a third pane of glass that reduces noise and it’s more energy efficient. It’s the most energy efficient window on the market.”

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George Kent: Windows have come a long way from their past. Decades ago, wood and aluminum windows were the most popular. That became problematic because wood windows weren’t built to last. “Wood will decay overtime, moisture gets into the wood and if you paint it, over a number of years the sun will make it fade,” says Palmer.

But overtime, technology was able to produce vinyl and the market shifted to a vinyl window that was much less expensive and came in a wide variety of colours to finish the look and style of any home. The market shifted from wood and aluminum to vinyl.

“It’s less expensive, more dent-resistant, scratch-resistant, and lasts longer,” says Palmer.

The frame of a window is of course only one part of the window. The key is the glass. There are different glass options on the market, which makes it easy for homeowners to choose what’s best for their home.

“If windows get the most sunlight and it’s bothersome, we can tell you about different glass options to block out the UV rays for the sun,” says Palmer. “Glass is standard double-pane, but you can also buy triple-glazed. They’re more energy-efficient, there’s less heat leaving your house.”

To find out what window glass options will work better for your home! Visit George Kent Home Improvement’s profile on our website to contact them!

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Why should homeowners invest in good quality windows and doors?

Fortress Windows and Doors: Good quality windows and doors should last at least two decades. Invest in the right product the first time and you won’t have to worry about replacing them down the line. When it comes to windows specifically, Mercer recommends investing in windows that are CSA-certified. The CSA Group tests and certifies products to ensure they meet safety and performance requirements.

“If it’s not CSA-certified, I wouldn’t buy the product,” says Mercer. “If a window is certified, there’s a legal right to take it to the factory, test it to make sure it’s exactly the way we say it is.”

Without this third party random audit, a sales associate can describe the quality of the window you’re purchasing, meanwhile it won’t be held to the same standard.

“Having a third part randomly audit windows is absolutely necessary to make sure that the quality you’re getting is what the sales person says,” he says.

Not only does Fortress Windows and Doors install CSA-certified windows, but they can provide the best warranty in the industry, the best product quality, and installation.

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Brock Doors and Windows: Windows and doors can be a costly investment, but when a client spends the money once, they’ll have a product that lasts decades. In some cases, however, clients will opt for builder-grade windows because they’re inexpensive.

Kaileigh recommends purchasing a lifetime product, not purchasing a quick fix – and that includes evaluating the warranty the company provides.

“Some companies have no warranty to offer, or just a one-year warranty,” she says.

When homeowners purchase a home and find problems with the windows, they may have difficulty finding the company that installed them.

“I get calls frequently from people who have tried contacting the company that did the initial window installation and cannot reach or locate them,” says Kaileigh. “This leaves a person in a vulnerable situation because they have to purchase a generic product that will work with the original window.”

Brock Doors and Windows has been around for over 25 years and can easily provide service for the first clients who purchased products with Brock.

Kaileigh recalls doing work for a client dating back to the early 1990s. “I just installed all new parts for their windows, which were covered under the warranty and the windows look brand new. We’re still servicing those customers from 25 years ago. We can get them the parts for their windows no problem, and they’re covered under warranty.”

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George Kent: More important than investing in a product that’s built to last a lifetime is hiring a window installation company that will ensure it lasts a lifetime. “What’s equally important is the quality of installation,” says Palmer.

If it’s not installed correctly, air could leak out of the window, or it could break down, preventing you from being able to open a window. Not only that, but inexpensive hardware tends to break down easily, which will cost you more money in the long-run.

That’s why it’s important to hire a company that will do a proper installation and warranty  not only the window, but the hardware that goes along with it to ensure your investment is protected long-term.

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Customer service is very important. What do you offer your clients upon purchasing new windows and doors with your company?

Fortress Windows and Doors: “Warranty is huge, and service is huge,” says Mercer. “If you have a problem, does the company you purchased from actually going to care enough to come out and look after you without being harassed?”

Mercer says Fortress has a commitment to clients and if a service inquiry isn’t responded to after 24 business hours, Fortress will issue them a cheque for $100.

“I don’t know of any other company in the industry that has that offer,” he says.

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Brock Doors and Windows: Kaileigh says Brock provides a lifetime warranty. “It covers all parts of the window and seal failure in the glass,” she says. “It’s a really good program with our manufacturer North Star.”

When a client purchases new windows, Brock will provide them a customer information package to so they can register with the manufacturer.

If new homeowners purchase and move into the home long after the windows are installed, they’ll have no problem finding out who did the installation.

“If new homeowners have an issue, they’ll look at the window and see a North Star label. They can contact the manufacturer directly, who will be able to look up the address and transfer the warranty to new name, as well as direct them to Brock for service,” Kaileigh explains.

It’s a common issue people run into – who made the windows? “They’ll contact the manufacturer, but the manufacturer could say I don’t know who your dealer is,” says Kaileigh.

This system allows homeowners to contact Brock or the manufacturer directly and there will be a record of the products purchased for that home.

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George Kent: George Kent will give you a lifetime warranty on the installation, and a lifetime warranty on the window,” says Palmer. “The homeowner has total peace of mind, which is really what they should be looking for.”

Palmer uses this analogy: “If you buy a flat screen TV, and they only give you a one or two-year warranty on the project, you know it’s going back,” he says.

George Kent can offer a lifetime warranty on their products and installation because they’re designed to last a lifetime.

“I could not have made that claim as far as 5 or 6 years ago offering lifetime on installation because we weren’t sure the product would hold up,” he says. But George Kent is working closely with a window manufacturer that allows them to offer that warranty because the product is that good.

Enerview Windows & Doors are made to the highest standard, with an emphasis on efficiency and design. Palmer says they’re high-quality windows at very affordable prices.

Where’s the lifetime warranty now? Read below to find out!

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Why should clients hire your company when they need new windows and/or doors?

Fortress Windows and Doors: “Here’s what I tell our clients: a company can give you lip service, we will give you real service. In my company, there are no excuses period. if there’s a problem, we will handle it and install it. We value our clients, we respect our clients and to us, service is paramount. It comes second to none.”

Brock Doors and Windows: “We have a project coordinator system in place,” Kaileigh explains. “Clients are assigned a project coordinator. They’re given a letter with information about what to expect from beginning to end of their project. Any questions, comments or concerns, they can call their sales rep or project coordinator.”

After our contract is signed, Brock will do a re-measurement to ensure products are ordered correctly. “And that same installer who does re-measurement will do the installation,” she says. “You meet the team doing your installation from the start.”

The project coordinator will know what you’ve ordered and it prevents the client from going through several people over the phone, says Kaileigh.

“You can call or email that person at anytime,” she says.

George Kent: George Kent can provide lifetime warranty on the window because the company installs superior products built to last. More importantly, the lifetime warranty applies to the installation. “Our guys are all trained by the Window Wise program,” explains Palmer. “It’s the only program in Canada. They do ongoing training in house to make sure the quality stays high.”

What advice can you offer homeowners when purchasing new windows and/or doors?

Fortress Windows and Doors: “Be careful! There’s a lot of competition in the marketplace, a lot of people who operate their business out of the back of their truck,” he says. “Here today, gone tomorrow.”

A company may offer an extraordinary rate, but Mercer warns if the price is too good to be true, there’s a reason.

“They’re going to give you a low quality window, installation, low quality service, or all three,” he says. “I’ve seen it happen numerous times.”

Mercer will get phone calls from clients after they’ve hired a company with the lowest rate because they’ve spent thousands of dollars and didn’t receive what they were looking for.

“Do your homework, do your research,” he says. “People deserve the right to gather information, go over the information and make a decision.”

Brock Doors and Windows: “Do your research, and not even just research on the types of windows and doors, but background research on the company you’re hiring,” Kaileigh advises. “You purchase windows and doors today. Is that company still going to be around in 10 years?”

Kaileigh says to invest in a company with a lifetime product.

“People aren’t spending a couple hundred dollars, they could be spending a couple thousand,” she says, adding clients shouldn’t have regrets about who they hired.

“Have it done right with a good product with a long-standing company.”

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George Kent: “I can’t advise enough: read the fine print,” says Palmer of warranties. “Is the whole window covered, just the frame?”

Palmer says a lot of big-box stores will tell you there’s a one-year warranty for installation. “They don’t want to have to pay for repairs to fix your window in 3 years. It’s going to cost more to fix it than what was paid the first time,” he says.

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If your home needs new windows and doors, then consider speaking with these window experts! These experts know what they’re talking about when it comes to windows and doors. Need help making your decision? Fortress Windows and Doors has been in business for over 27 years and has an extensive portfolio on our website to show it.  George Kent Home Improvement has a ton of reviews for you to read through, while Brock Doors and Windows has reviews and videos for you to look at!

More in Windows and Doors

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