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Archive for the ‘Doors’ Category

Fall into Energy Savings!

October 12th, 2010
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The cost of gas and electricity are always on the rise and with what is predicted to be a more ‘traditional’ Canadian winter around the corner, it is important to try and reduce the amout of energy your home wastes. Also, you want to make the most of the free energy from the sun, whenever it is available. New glass technology makes this possible by trapping the solar heat in your home but reducing the amount of radiated heat lost in the winter. You can look up my previous article on Low-E glass for more in-depth information. Even if you have newer windows made of aluminum or vinyl, if they do not have Low-E+Argon glass, you may be missing out on substantial energy gains. Did you know that most newer windows have something called a dry glazing bead/glazing stop which allows the glass units to be serviced or replaced without having to remove the window from the wall or damage the interior of your home? For a fraction of the price of getting new windows, you can replace your glass units and have them properly sealed with silicone, affording you a quick and easy way to significantly improve your comfort and energy efficiency. How do you know if your window has such a feature? Just take one picture of the overall window and one photo of the corner of the window where the glass unit meets the frame and then send it to us at info@primaryseal.com and we will be able to tell you if the glass can be replaced.

If changing your windows is not in your budget, you should still do all you can to prevent heat loss. There are many products available at Home Depot for you to seal up old windows and get them to last through the winter until you can afford to change them next summer. We of course offer financing options that would allow you to get your windows now and pay for them next year with as low as 1.5% interest.

Finally, do not forget your doors. Most doors that I see on existing houses are in very poor shape when it comes to air sealing. You see a builder standard door that most houses have does a good job of insulating from the cold, however, if the weatherstripping or the bottom sweep are damaged or broken, air will stream in – cold air – and negate all the good insulation IN the door as the cold is going AROUND it. Silicone, weatherstripping, caulking and sweeps are all available at Rona, Home Depot, Lowes etc. Do yourself a favor and make sure that the door is sealing well. Also, doors often need their hinges to be adjusted as they have sagged over time. This should be done by a professional, but, in most cases it just involves drilling a couple of screws and it can go a long way toward making the door seal and close properly.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any of your door or window concerns as our highly knowledgeable staff is always looking to help. Better yet, drop by our factory showroom. As always I look forward to your comments and questions.

Doors, Energy Efficiency, Windows , , , , , , , ,

Why the HST will save you money!

July 28th, 2010
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You would think that with taxes going up from 5% to 13% the price of replacing your doors and windows would increase. I disagree. Maybe in the very short term the prices will be higher by 8%, but most companies already try to discount their products to give you prices that are as close to pre-HST as possible. However, the real savings comes from the fact that businesses can now write off many items that were not allowed before, meaning that their bottom line will improve, allowing for prices to eventually stabilise very close to what they would have been without the HST, taking into account inflation etc. Also, remember that in the case of renovations, most companies, including Primary Seal Windows are willing to negotiate the prices, and, given the decreased demand due to the HST, I am sure that you, the buyer, would have the upper had in those negotiations. While most people think otherwise, I assure you there is no better time to buy than when companies are struggling to get business. To stay afloat, many companies are willing to slash their bottom line and those savings would benefit you, the consumer.

The summer is not usually the time to get a good deal on windows and doors. As I have stated in previous articles the winter is the best time for deals. Nevertheless, we go back to the same point. The reason you get a better deal in the winter is because no-one is buying anything in the winter and the companies are on a starvation diet of customers.

In any economic downturn the people with the right vision and money still left in their bank accounts can become richer than ever. Going against the grain and buying windows and doors when few others are, puts you in the driver’s seat.

For more window and door information you may contact us through the phone or web.

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Want a professional window and door installation?

July 9th, 2010
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Well, you probably won’t get one. You see, most window and door companies say that they are giving you a professional installer but the truth is, only one in five installers is really a pro and even then, they may cheap out on product such as caulking or insulation, which you will only be able to tell years later but by then, they are long gone.

Some people even make the mistake to hire a separate contractor to put in the windows, and often not only does that contractor not install windows regularly enough to be a real pro, but if they do a poor job, the window company may no longer give you the same warranty on their windows if they deem that the reason the windows are having problems is largely due to a improper installation which was not done by them.

So how do you get a professional installation? The answer is… by asking questions. The first question should be, is the installer a contractor or is he employed directly by your company? If the installer is not employed by the company, should anything go wrong the company will blame the installer, the installer will blame the company and you will be left in the middle with little legal recourse. The second question should be, do you or your company have a licence to perform renovations (which window installation is under)? If they don’t have a licence then you should steer clear. Finally, ask if the installer uses his own truck and supplies or if the company provides him with a truck and supplies. This may not be a deal breaker either way but it will tell you a lot about whether they were telling the truth on the first question. Often if an installer uses his own truck and supplies he is just under contract but does not actually work full time for the company. There are exceptions, but you should poke and probe to look for inconsistencies. Companies that are professional and have good quality products and good installers are proud of it and will advertise it, while fly-by-night operations will try to avoid those type of questions. If the sales guy raves about installation and is quick to offer you a tour of the factory or referrals of their installer’s work, you can rest assured they are at least selling windows for a reputable company.

Remember this one idea: when getting estimates for a job, be less concerned with price and more concerned with who is doing the job, as a few thousand dollars when compared to the cost of a home or a period of twenty years are almost meaningless, but, the cost of a poor product and installation, no matter how cheap it was to start, will far outweigh what you would pay for a proper job and a high quality product.

If you have any questions about windows and doors feel free to contact us via our website, call us or even just walk in to our showroom.

Doors, Energy Efficiency, Windows , , , , ,

Open Your Doors to Style and Savings

May 17th, 2010
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While windows are important to the appearance and energy efficiency of your home, front, side and back doors are often neglected by consumers. A new door will not only enhance the appearance of your home, but it may save you a surprising amount of energy in both winter and summer.

Many of the high-end custom homes that you see have at the very core of their look a large and attractive set of doors. Take that away, and the entire home would look unfinished and awkward. A new door can significantly improve the appearance of any home, large or small, by creating a visual focal point. Sure, you say, the look is nice but is it worthwhile to pay for a new door just for the sake of vanity? Well of course not.

A new door is more than a visual improvement, it works in many ways to save you energy, make you more comfortable and keep you safer. All new steel entry doors come filled with highly insulating polyurethane. Also, most decorative or clear glass units are available in ‘Low-E’ energy saving glass. Finally, new steel doors also come with a raised sweep and magnetic weather seals.

For many homeowners safety is a primary concern. That is why new steel doors are available with a multipoint locking system which is far superior to a single deadbolt. We also provide traditional deadbolt doors with a steel insert in the door frame which significantly inrcreases the strength of the deadbolt mechanism.

Ask any of our trained staff or customer representatives and you will find a number of benefits to replacing an old, leaky, drafty door with a secure, attractive and functional steel door.

If you have any additional comments or concerns, please contact us.

Doors, Energy Efficiency , , , ,

Sliding Your Way to Energy Efficiency and Security

March 15th, 2010
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Here at Primary Seal we get a lot of customers that come in and ask about replacing their doors. Many people, we’ve noticed, wish to have a beautiful front door with elegant glass and classy paneling. Often the doors they currently own are not terrible from an energy standpoint but they have become an eyesore. However, we rarely hear customers asking to replace their patio doors unless they feel there is something wrong with the door. Because these doors are located at the back of the house they seem to also find themselves in the back of the minds of consumers when they are planning home improvement renovations. This is unfortunate, as replacing a patio door is for the most part less expensive than a front door and can offer significant energy savings and a noticeable increase in ease of use and appearance.

The first problem with old patio doors is the frame. The majority of older patio doors are made with an aluminum or wood frame. The wood frame is prone to warping and rotting, while the aluminum frame conducts the heat and cold with little resistance. Also, the majority of older patio doors are made with several pieces of single tempered glass that offers little protection from the elements though is fairly resistant to impact. The track or sliding system of the doors is somewhat crude, making for difficult operation of the door. However, one of the biggest weaknesses of older patio doors is their lack of security. Most of the doors are equipped with primitive locking systems and were it not for the old cut off hockey stick at the bottom of the door the level of safety the older doors provide would be limited at best.

Newer patio doors have several advantages. First, a steel-reinforced vinyl frame allows for a good amount of rigidity while insulating your home from the elements. All new patio doors that Primary Seal carries are Energy Star rated for all four climate zones in North America and come standard with double pane thermal Low-E glass. The glass is also tempered for safety. Door operation is made easy by a raised track with a four-roller system that allows the door to glide effortlessly even though its weight is substantially greater than its single pane ancestors. Last but not least, security comes in several forms including a decent standard lock and options for a externally keyed lock (great for people who want to leave through the back door like those who live downtown and have their garage in the back of the house) as well as a multi-point locking system. Also, several “night-time” safety systems exist which are both elegant (no hockey sticks) and extremely resilient, not to mention inexpensive.

Often, for half the price of a front door, you can improve your energy efficiency, comfort and safety. A new sliding patio door will leave you feeling great while still leaving something in your pocket. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have about patio doors or check out our website for more information.

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Why Winter Installations are a Good Idea?!

November 10th, 2009
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I know what you are thinking. Everybody knows that the spring, summer and fall are the best times to get new windows and doors installed. Everyone that is, except those of us who want to renovate on a budget. The best part of a January or February installation is the price you will pay. You see, statistically speaking, most retail and renovation businesses have the slowest months in January and February because everyone is broke from Christmas and New Year’s and not to mention the less than pleasant Canadian weather we experience during those months. As such, many companies including Primary Seal, are willing to introduce incentives to attract customers as well as they are more flexible at the negotiating table. In June, when we are already booked up until August, is not the time to negotiate.

However, most of you are questioning how we can do a job in such cold temperatures without turning your house into an ice palace and having all our materials freeze and no longer perform properly. Well let’s address one issue at a time.

How do we manage to take out an old window or door and put a new one in without having your home exposed to the cold for a prolonged period of time? The answer is custom sizing. The windows or doors that we make for your home come already assembled from the factory and ready to install. Not only that but they are custom fitted to the size and shape of your existing opening in the wall, meaning that after removing the old window or door, the new one can go into the rough opening within a couple of minutes. In fact the process of taking a window (of average size) out and putting the new one into the opening takes about ten to fifteen minutes. The window can then be quickly sealed with insulating foam and heat will no longer escape. The bulk of the time required to install a window is taken up by the finishing, both interior and exterior. It is the same case with a door. While the door is more complex to adjust and takes a longer time, it can also be sealed within a reasonable timeframe and as such the amount of heat loss is not catastrophic. We also use a little trick and close all the doors to all the rooms which makes it harder for the heat to escape quickly, as well as we work on one opening at a time, which also reduces the heat loss.
Read more…

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Replacing your Windows the Smart Way!

September 8th, 2009
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While we are enjoying a run of great weather, and it still feels more like summer than fall, we all know (but refuse to admit for the moment) that the cooler weather is just around the corner.

A window which may seem perfectly fine during the summer may soon turn into a drafty, leaky, frosted mess when the temperatures dip. In fact, it is common during the fall to have mild days and freezing nights.

Now, most people will argue that changing the windows and doors in a house costs a bundle, and it does. Also they will argue that the money they save in heating and cooling costs will take years if not decades to pay for the cost of the windows. Again, they are right. However, there is one small but important flaw in that line of thinking: the idea that changing the windows and doors in a house is a one-time, all or nothing project.

What if it were possible to pay half of the money you have been or will be quoted for the entire house and enjoy energy savings and increased comfort in most of your home? Funny enough, consumers will approach their window and door job from the most expensive items to the least expensive almost without exception, while if they started from the other end, they would find that their money would go a much longer way.

Let me give you an example:

An average house with three bedrooms usually has the following window and door items: front door, side or patio door, three bedroom windows, a window in the bathroom, one in the kitchen, one living room and one dining room window, as well as four basement windows. Let’s say the homeowner of this imaginary home decides to replace his windows and doors. Which two window and door items will make up the better part of the cost of this job? The answer is the front door and the living room window or the window which usually faces the front of the house. Why you ask? Well because the decorative glass in the front door as well as because the window facing the front of the house is usually tall and wide. Windows are priced according to surface area, and a very large and complex window will cost far more than a small bedroom window.
Read more…

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