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Kick Your Holiday Off the Muskoka Way

Now that the leaves have fallen and we’ve had our first snowfall, it’s safe to say that the holiday season is fast approaching. The holiday season is Muskoka is unlike any other, featuring dozens of fun festive events for the entire family. This year’s season officially kicks off on Friday, November 29th, when communities throughout the Muskoka region will be celebrating in style with Christmas walks, tree lighting, night shopping, and so much more. If you’ve never experienced the start of the holiday season in Muskoka, this is the perfect year to join in on the fun!

Huntsville – Christmas Tree Lighting and Santa Claus Parade
Where: Downtown Huntsville ON
When: Friday, November 29th: Tree Lighting at 6:15 PM, Santa Claus Parade at 7:00 PM
Cost: Free

Bring the whole family for an unforgettable night in Huntsville’s historic downtown. The festivities kick off at 6:15 PM on the steps of Huntsville’s town hall, where the annual Christmas tree lighting will take place. This year’s tree measures 15 feet tall and will feature plenty of lights and ornaments to adorn the steps of the town hall throughout the holiday season. Once the tree has been lit, the focus will shift to everybody’s favourite jolly old Saint Nick as the annual Santa Claus Parade kicks off at 7:00 PM. The Parade route will go along Main Street and King William Street, beginning starting at Centre Street and ending at Huntsville Mall. This year’s holiday kickoff celebration is sponsored by Downtown Huntsville, the Rotary Club of Huntsville, and the Town of Huntsville.

More information about the Christmas tree lighting and the Santa Claus Parade is available on the Downtown Huntsville website.

Gravenhurst – Christmas Tree Lighting and Black Friday Deals
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House, Gravenhurst ON
When: Friday, November 29th from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM
Cost: Free

The holiday season kicks off at the Gravenhurst Opera House with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. The tree will be beautifully decorated with lighting and ornaments and is sure to wow everybody in attendance. After the tree has been lit, the whole family can explore the downtown area and take advantage of some great Black Friday deals. Stores are set to be open late, giving shoppers an opportunity to stock up on Christmas gifts until at least 8:00 PM. Add in carollers and delicious treats, and you have a recipe for a perfect holiday season opener.

For more information about the Christmas Tree Lighting, visit the Downtown Gravenhurst website.

Bracebridge – Santa’s Festival of Lights and Shopping Party
Where: Downtown Bracebridge ON
When: Friday, November 29th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Cost: Free

Santa’s arrival in Bracebridge will kick off the holiday season on a high note, bringing with it fireworks, beautiful sights, shopping, and so much more. Santa is set to arrive in town at 6:00 PM, with fireworks to follow at 6:45 PM. You and the entire family can enjoy sleigh rides all night long, running from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. In addition to Santa’s arrival, downtown Bracebridge will get an opportunity to enjoy caroling, living window displays, live entertainment, kid’s activities, and some late night shopping. There’s a little something for everyone to get you into the Christmas spirit.

For more information about Santa’s Festival of Lights, visit the Downtown Bracebridge website.

Bala – Bala Tree Lighting and Carol Sing
Where: Bala Community Centre, Bala ON
When: Friday, November 29th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cost: Free

Bala gives Muskokans another great chance to witness the magic of a tree lighting festival with the annual Bala tree lighting event at the Bala Community Centre. A barbershop quartet will be in attendance to help you ring in the holiday season, singing all your favourite Christmas classics. All are welcome to attend and sing to their heart’s content!

Find more information about the Bala Tree Lighting event at the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce website.

Save Time and Money By Renovating Your Home This Winter

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your home or cottage in the near future, the winter season is one of the best opportunities of the year to see it through. Increased contractor availability, end of season sales, and less disruption to your overall lifestyle are just some of the reasons to explore the possibility of renovating your home this winter. Winter also provides you with a great opportunity to outfit your home or cottage with energy efficient windows and doors, and to take on some of those small interior upgrades you’ve been waiting all year to get around to.

Contractors have increased availability
One of the biggest advantages of renovating your home in winter is that contractors often have increased availability during the winter months, especially in Muskoka where they are booked solid from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving. Many people live with the misconception that winter is the worst season to schedule their renovations for, meaning that they wait until the spring and summer seasons to get work done. The sooner you can book your renovation projects, the more likely it is to be done before the end of the winter – this is advantageous for cottage owners who are looking to get the most out of their spring and summer by the lake.

Take advantage of seasonal sales
The winter season can sometimes mark the end of a product’s official lifespan, seeing retailers around the country reduce their prices to make room for new products. This is a great time to explore your possibilities and try to score a great deal on things like furniture and building materials to get you ready for your next big home improvement project.

The least disruptive season for cottage renovations
If you’re looking to get the most out of your stay at the cottage this spring and summer, there’s no better time than now to get things done around the property. Winter renovations will save you from having to block off areas of your property during the busy cottage season, ensuring that you and your family can enjoy the entire house during prime summer days. Less disruption to your routine means that your summer will be breezy and stress free, the way it should be.

Great opportunity to focus on energy efficiency
The winter season is the best time to make your home more energy efficient. Old windows can account for up to 25% of total heat loss in a home, shooting your heating bills through the roof. This can be curbed by replacing those drafty old windows and doors with high performing energy efficient models that save you money by demanding less of your heating system over the winter. Energy efficient windows and doors will keep your home warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer, lowering your utility bills and improving your overall enjoyment of time spent indoors. Improving your home’s energy efficiency means that you and your family will be more comfortable all year long, no matter what the weather’s like.

The ideal time for small interior upgrades
Launching your home improvement projects during the winter doesn’t mean that you have to throw your life into chaos and disorder. The winter can be a great time to start those small interior upgrades you’ve always wanted to tackle. New kitchen countertops or backdrops, bathroom tiles or fixtures, more closet space, or that personal office you’ve always wanted – these are just some of the renovation projects you can take on this winter. The winter season is the perfect time to install new windows and doors in your Muskoka home or cottage. Upgrading doors and windows prevents excess energy loss, keeping you more comfortable during cold winters, and increasing your home’s overall energy efficiency. To find out more about the high performance window and door products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, contact us today.

Upgrade to Triple Glazed Windows for Superior Comfort

There are many factors to consider when looking into upgrading your home’s windows, including function, energy efficiency, noise reduction, and durability. The most important factor, however, is whether or not new windows are going to make you and your family more comfortable. Triple glazed windows are the best way to ensure superior comfort and performance, letting you enjoy your Muskoka cottage all year round, no matter what the weather outside is like.

What’s the difference between triple glazed and double glazed?
Triple and double glazed windows are the two most popular types of energy efficient windows found in most homes and cottages. Despite their popularity, it can be difficult to understand what the differences are. The true difference between the two windows is a pane of glass and the inclusion of some extra insulation, but these seemingly small additions make all the difference.

Triple glazed windows feature three panes of glass separated by airtight pockets of argon (or sometimes krypton) gas, which provides increased insulation – double glazed windows feature two panes of glass, and only one pocket of insulating gas. The extra pane of glass and layer of insulating gas makes triple glazed windows more energy efficient than their double glazed counterparts, keeping the cold outside during the winter, and inside in the summertime.

How triple glazed windows can make you more comfortable
The increased performance found in triple glazed windows eliminates air pockets found below your windows, meaning that your home is insulated from the cold air outside and, as a result, is more comfortable no matter how cold it gets. This also means that you can spend more time enjoying the view, even in the cold Muskoka winters. Not only are triple glazed windows more energy efficient than double glazed, but they’re also much more soundproof. Triple glazed windows work to reduce sound pollution from making its way into your home, letting you and your family relax in peace, helping you get a better night’s sleep and enjoy quality time with your loved ones without distractions.

More benefits of upgrading to triple glazed windows
The additional layer of glass and insulation allows triple glazed windows to function at a higher level than traditional double or single glazed windows, decreasing the amount of energy your home loses all year long and lowering utility bills by ensuring that your heating and cooling systems aren’t working without purpose. Triple glazed windows become especially useful during the cold Canadian winter months, actively working to keep cold air out of your home and to keep warm air inside. Condensation is also eliminated by properly installed triple glazed windows, giving you a completely unobstructed view no matter how nasty the weather gets. The showroom at Muskoka Window & Door Centre features a number of triple glazed window units manufactured by Andersen, Ostaco, and other reliable window manufacturers. Upgrading to triple glazed windows prevents energy loss, sound pollution, condensation, and keeps you more comfortable all year long. To find out more about the high performance window and door products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, contact us today.

Where Am I Losing Heat In My Cottage?

Cottage owners around the Muskoka region are settling in for another long winter season. As the bitter cold moves in, the stress on our heating systems increases, usually bringing with it a significant rise in utility costs. The rise in heating costs can often be blamed on homes and cottages rapidly losing heat through a variety of sources, increasing the strain on your heating system and your wallet. Cottage owners can take proactive measures to pinpoint and correct sources of heat loss before the blistering weather arrives.

Roof and walls are two of the leading causes of heat loss
The roof and walls account for a combined total of around 60% of heat loss in your cottage. Rising heat escapes through leaks and holes in poorly insulated roofing, causing most experts to recommend that the roof be one of the first places you tackle when looking to eliminate heat loss. It can be curbed by insulating the roof, as well as by sealing any existing leaks or holes that are causing increased heat loss. It’s also a good idea to check out your attic’s ventilation (if you have one in your cottage, of course), as improper ventilation can cause too much heat to escape.

Your walls, which can account for 35% of total cottage heat loss, are a slightly more complicated problem. Heat loss through walls is often caused by overdue maintenance, typically clogged gutters and drains that cause walls to become damp and cold. Reinsulating walls is another recommendation for lessening heat loss, though it can come at a much higher cost than reinsulating the roof – because of this, it’s a good idea to eliminate other potential culprits first.

Leaks are one of the biggest causes of heat loss in your home
The potential percentages of heat loss through your walls and roof are calculated assuming that your windows and doors are in tip-top shape. The presence of leaks or drafts in your windows, doors, and walls are the primary cause of heat loss if you have them since they are a direct conduit to the cold – it’s estimated that up to 25% of heat is lost through drafts, windows, and doors. These drafts often go undetected because they can be extremely subtle – even the smallest gaps around windows and doors can become an uncontrolled source of heat loss.

Some of the biggest trouble spots in old homes and cottages are old or poorly installed doors and windows that have developed small gaps. When these leaks go unnoticed, they can let in as much cold air as a small hole in your wall. The recommended fix for drafts in windows, doors, and walls is to seal cracks with caulking and install weatherstripping around windows and doors, though this may prove to be only a temporary fix to a year-round problem.

High performance windows and doors can drastically reduce heat loss
While fixes like caulking and weatherstripping will do a decent amount to stop the loss of heat through draft windows and doors, the most effective long-term solution is to replace them. The majority of new windows are energy efficient, drastically reducing the amount of energy lost from your home.

Energy efficient windows save you money by keeping warm air inside during the winter months, and cool air during the summer, demanding less of your heating and cooling systems and keeping you more comfortable year round. Upgrading your windows and doors is an investment that continues to pay back year after year, not only saving you money, but keeping you from having to spend your time wrapping windows in plastic, installing weatherstripping, and sealing air leaks every single winter.

The winter season is the perfect time to upgrade your home with new windows and doors, saving you money by eliminating heat loss in your cottage, and keeping you more comfortable all winter long. To find out more about the high performance window and door products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, contact us today.