5 Signs You Need New Windows

Too many people put off replacing the windows in their home until they have no other choice, which can cause damage inside your home and disrupt many aspects of your daily life. One of the major reasons why window replacements are often put off until the last minute is that most people just don’t know when it’s time to replace their windows, or aren’t aware of the many signs that indicate a window being on its last legs. Here are five of the surefire signs that it’s time to upgrade those drafty old windows.

1. You feel drafts and hear whistling wind

Drafts entering your home through old windows can drastically alter the temperature inside your home, which in turn affects your comfort and often results in higher heating and cooling bills. If you can feel a breeze coming from your window even when it’s closed or if you can feel cold air coming in from your window frame, your window is in rough shape and needs to be replaced. Hearing whistling through your windows on windy days is another major sign that you need to replace your windows, signaling that a major draft exists in your window frame.

2. Higher energy bills

When your windows aren’t working to keep your home warm or cool, the furnace or air conditioning will try to make up for the constantly fluctuating temperatures. If you’ve noticed that your energy bills have increased significantly, it may be due to drafty windows in your home causing your furnace or air conditioner to run when they’re not actually needed and waste energy. Wasted energy means that you’re flushing your money down the drain. Replacement windows will help to regulate the temperature in your home, keeping it cooler in the summertime and warmer during the winter, taking the burden off your utilities.

3. Condensation appears on your windows

Condensation appearing on your windows is one of the clearest signs that your windows need to be replaced. This generally happens during the colder months when warm air from inside your home meets with the cold glass on your windows to create condensation. The moisture generated by condensation can ruin window frames and create mold on your windowsills, even opening your home up to more substantial decay in your home’s wall cavities and attic. These potential major damages alone are more than enough to warrant installing new windows in your property. If you’ve noticed condensation between window panes, it could be a sign that the seal between panes is broken or not functioning correctly, which could necessitate replacing them.

4. Damaged window frames

When exposed to excess levels of moisture for prolonged periods, even the highest quality window frames and sills will succumb to rot or damage. Mold can also grow and thrive in damp frames and sills, leading to potential health complications and unsightly staining. If your window frames are showing signs of decay or have become damaged due to mold, it’s time to replace your windows.

5. Declining window performance

Your windows should open and close smoothly and reliably – if simple window operation has become a major strain on your daily routine, or if it feels like opening and closing your windows has started to replace your workout, you might want to consider installing new ones. Proper locking mechanisms is another essential thing to check for, both for the security they provide and for the added benefit of preventing air from escaping through your windows.

The experienced team at Muskoka Window & Door Centre make replacing your windows easy through expert consultation and superior product knowledge. No matter what you’re looking for, our team will help you find the perfect replacement windows for your home or cottage. For more information about Muskoka Window & Door Centre’s high-quality line of window and door products, visit our website or contact us today.

Common Door Installation Mistakes

Too many homeowners think door installation is as easy as fitting a door to a door frame and screwing in hinges. If this were true, there would be no need for professional installers. The truth is, there’s much more to proper door installation than meets the eye. Thinking door installation is quick and easy can lead to easily avoidable mistakes being made, creating major issues that can affect the overall integrity of your newly installed door. There are a number of common door installation mistakes that can make or break the effectiveness of your new doors.

Improper door measurements
The first step towards a proper door installation is to measure your door opening. Measuring will ensure that you buy a new door that fits properly, and that you won’t be wasting your time and money by purchasing a door that just doesn’t fit. Double and triple check your measurements before ordering a new door to ensure accuracy.

Starting the job without the right tools and hardware
Even the most talented installation experts can’t get the job done without the right hardware. Before starting the installation project, it’s important to ensure that you have exactly what you need to ensure a smooth installation. You’ll want to make sure that you have the right hinge screws to keep the door stable, door shims, a level, measuring tape, drill, and the appropriate hardware. One of the biggest advantages of using a professional installer is that they will always have the correct tools and hardware.

Not taking leveling seriously
Leveling is one of the most important aspects of door installations – ensuring that the door, wall, and the door frame are vertically plumb is essential to the overall look and operation of your new doors. Leveling everything prior to installation will allow you to fix any existing issues, as it’ll become much more difficult once the door has been installed.

Lack of insulation for exterior doors
Having inadequate insulation for exterior doors can be a very costly mistake, as it’ll cause your home to rapidly lose energy. Inadequate insulation means that air will escape from your home at a higher rate, causing your furnace and air conditioner to work overtime. Losing energy at this rate will see your utility bills rising rapidly, as your new exterior door isn’t working as it should be. Ensuring that adequate insulation is installed between the door frame and jamb will prevent energy loss and save money.

Trying to install doors yourself
A poor door installation will leave you with an unsightly mess of a door, high utility bills, and a number of problems that will have to be solved in the near future. Unless you know what you’re doing, it’s simply too risky to attempt to install doors yourself. Enlisting the assistance of a professional will ensure that your doors are properly installed by somebody who knows how to navigate through the installation process and avoid common mistakes. Professional installers have access to top of the line tools and hardware to ensure that doors are plumb and level, and that they’ll fit perfectly in their frame. When looking to install a new door, the only way to get the most out of its benefits is to hire an installation professional.

For professional door installation without the threat of costly mistakes, there’s Muskoka Window & Door Centre. Our experienced team makes replacing your doors easy by offering expert consultation, outstanding customer service, and superior product knowledge. For more information about Muskoka Window & Door Centre’s unparalleled line of window and door products, visit our website or contact us today.

Featured Product: Andersen A-Series Windows

For more than 115 years, Andersen has been pioneering some of the world’s highest quality windows and doors, setting unparalleled industry standards that other manufacturers have tried to keep up with. Muskoka Window & Door Centre, an official Muskoka region dealer of Andersen products, is proud to feature Andersen window units in our showroom. Though our showroom contains a wide variety of Andersen products, Andersen A-Series windows stand out as being truly remarkable. A-Series windows feature high performance design that will stand up to the elements, and have been designed with architecture in mind.

Andersen: An industry leader for over 115 years

Since its inception more than 115 years ago, Andersen has become one of North America’s premier window and door manufacturers, as well as one of the most highly recommended brands amongst homeowners. One of the company’s primary goals is to design products that empower homeowners, creating window and door units that allow for new and unique perspectives that fundamentally change the way properties look and feel. Andersen is also dedicated to sustainable improvement in every aspect of their operations, always looking for an opportunity to better understand the company’s impact on communities and the environment. All Andersen employees are encouraged to become involved in their communities, and given opportunities to volunteer for organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

High performance windows make them perfect for Muskoka

As part of Andersen’s Architectural Collection, the A-Series windows have proven themselves as the company’s best performing windows. A-Series windows have been designed with architectural authenticity in mind, featuring their most energy-efficient design to date. Options including triple-pane glass and Andersen’s HeatLock technology are also available for maximum energy efficiency. The Andersen A-Series is perfect for the Muskoka climate, featuring a weathertight design and impact-resistant glass that can withstand even the most grueling weather conditions – they’ve even been tested to ensure resistance to hurricane-force winds and long-term sea air exposure.

Available in a wide variety of styles

Homeowners can choose from a variety of styles including awning, casement, double-hung, picture, and specialty shaped windows. Each Andersen A-Series window features weather-resistant design and seamless operation, manufactured with high quality wood, fiberglass, and Fibrex composite materials that give you a practical way to make an architectural statement with your Muskoka home or cottage. All A-Series windows are also available in a wide variety of style finishes, including stained and painted wood interiors that offer architectural flare to make your home stand out from the crowd. In all, A-Series windows are available in up to 11 exterior colour options, six species of wood, and 14 finish options for the ultimate mix-and-match experience. Custom sizes, glass options, hardware, and insect screens are also available for use with Andersen A-Series windows. Muskoka Window and Door Centre is the official Muskoka dealer of Andersen A-Series architectural window products. Our showroom also features other great Andersen products, including E-Series custom-crafted windows, 400 Series windows, and 100 Series windows. For more information on the full line of high performance windows and doors available at Muskoka Window & Door Centre, visit our website or contact us today.

Preventing Flooding in a Window Well

Throughout the spring of 2019, the Muskoka region was impacted by flooding that forced some communities to declare a state of emergency. This flooding caused damage to homes, cottages, and businesses throughout the region, and caused thousands of dollars in damage throughout Muskoka.

With the threat of future floods looming, Muskoka cottage owners need to take proactive measures in order to be better prepared for floods, and to minimize damage to property. Preventing flooding in window wells is one of the best ways to protect your basement from flooding.

How window well flooding happens

Window wells are a great way to let natural light into the basement of a home or cottage, avoiding the “dungeon” look that often accompanies basements. They also go a long way to prevent damage to basement windows, and to allow a point for emergency escapes or entrances.

Water entering your home through basement window wells can be devastating to your property, causing damage to windows, walls, paint, furniture, and home appliances. Window wells usually flood when they’ve been improperly installed, or when they have inadequate drainage to deal with heavy amounts of water from flooding, heavy rain, or snow melt.

Maintaining window wells

Maintaining your window wells will help to extend their lifespan, and can prevent flooding caused by poor or no maintenance. It’s recommended that cottage owners regularly inspect the condition of window wells, especially in the fall and after winter seasons when damage is most common. Debris should be cleared from window wells immediately, as leaves, branches, and dirt can quickly create a blockage in window well drains. If drainage isn’t functioning properly, pooling and flooding will occur, leading to serious window damage and water making its way into your home.

In addition, the caulking on window well liners should be reapplied if it has started to pull away from the foundation. Extreme weather and excessive snow and ice load can lead to caulking being damaged or pulling away, and can lead to water and debris entering drainage holes. While inspecting your window wells, be sure to confirm that your window well cover is in good condition, that it meets safety standards, and can still be easily removed in the event of an emergency.

Preventing flooding in window wells

Before taking measures to ensure that your window wells won’t flood, it’s important to ensure that your windows have been carefully fitted in order to prevent water from entering your windows – even the smallest gaps in the frame can let in large amounts of water. Once you’ve ensured the correct fit of the window and that gaps have been filled, one of the recommended preventative measures, especially during ongoing flooding, is to cover your ground level windows up using plywood and a rubber hose, as detailed here. Covering up your windows will ensure that they aren’t damaged by the increased pressure from the presence of water, and from floating objects.

Installing a dry well is another effective measure to direct water away from your windows and the foundation of your cottage. This can be done by digging a trench to direct excess water into, or by directing the water towards a sump pump that will pump water away from your cottage’s foundation. A contractor can do it, or you can rent the equipment to do it yourself.

Since 1988, Muskoka Window & Door Centre has helped customers see Muskoka as was meant to be seen with high performance window and door products. For more information about Muskoka Window & Door Centre’s high quality line of window and door products, contact us today.

Should You Replace Your Windows Yourself?

Choosing to install replacement windows in your Muskoka cottage or home brings with it a wealth of benefits, including reduced energy bills and increased energy efficiency, a quieter home, and added aesthetic appeal. It’s often tempting for homeowners to choose to install their own replacement windows, but doing so can sometimes result in poor or improper installation, leading to reduced window performance. It’s important to not take this decision lightly because it can make such a profound difference in the look and performance of your windows. Before you choose whether to install your new windows yourself or hire the services of a professional, it’s recommended that you consider the following.

The argument for DIY window replacement

If you have experience in home renovations, you might naturally assume that you have the skills needed to replace your own windows. The process appears simple, especially if you already have the tools needed to get the job done. Doing your own installation will help you avoid expenses incurred by hiring a professional, as well as time spent looking for and communicating with an installation professional.

Before deciding to go the DIY route, take into account the amount of time you might save yourself by hiring a professional, and how complex the overall job is – how many windows are being replaced? What kind of windows are being installed? Do you know what to do if anything should go wrong during the installation? Installing your windows will also see you foregoing any installation warranty, which is another major consideration. You may quickly come to find that hiring a professional will be an easier, more time-consuming option.

The case for professional window replacement

A professional window installer is far more convenient than attempting to do it yourself, saving you countless hours of planning and labor, and the potential embarrassment that can come with a botched installation. It’s also important that your windows be installed properly to ensure that drafts don’t let air escape from or enter your home, and that moisture is controlled. An installation expert will be able to detect any problems in your new windows and will know how to effectively seal them against the elements.

Window and door companies are well-versed in a wide variety of window types and have handled complex installations in the past, greatly increasing the chances that your installation will be correct the first time. A proper installation free of drafts will save you in future utility bills, as your furnace and air conditioner won’t have to keep up with fluctuating temperatures in your home. If your windows are faulty or mistakes are made in the installation process, your installation warranty will cover the work needed to fix the problems – performing the installation yourself won’t afford you this luxury. Your professionally installed windows will perform flawlessly for years to come, and you’ll be thanking yourself for not taking the much riskier DIY route. The experienced team at Muskoka Window & Door Centre make replacing your windows easy through expert consultation and superior product knowledge. No matter what the size or scope of your window replacement project, our team is ready to get the job done. For more information about Muskoka Window & Door Centre’s high-quality line of window and door products, visit our website or contact us today.