A guide to window shopping seems like a bad idea. It’s not that difficult – you glance through the window of a shop, stare longingly at things you can’t afford, then move on your way when the store owner walks outside and gives you an impatient “Can I help you?”.
…Oh, you’re looking for a guide to shopping for windows! That we can help you with:
What windows are for
At first glance, you might think the purpose of windows is pretty obvious. They let sunlight into your home, and you can open some of them on warm days to feel the air.
That’s all true, but there’s more to consider than just those two factors. Windows are an essential part of what’s known as the building envelope – all the parts of your home that keep outside air out and inside air in.
As most of our readers know, it can get really cold in Calgary in the winter, and really hot in the summer. That means good insulation is a must – and your windows play an important role in keeping your home insulated.
Windows act as a thermal barrier – they can also act as a barrier to sound. People who live close to a highway or who are under flight paths might benefit from thicker windows for soundproofing. Exactly how those windows are thickened is something we’ll address in the next section.
You’ll also have to consider by-laws when you’re selecting new windows. There are laws surrounding the use of windows in basements – egress windows (windows you can exit in case of a fire) need to be a particular size, they need to be easily opened, and they can’t be blocked by any outdoor obstructions.
And now you know – there’s a lot more to windows than just letting sunlight in. Onto the next topic!
The right windows for you
Without knowing your exact needs and the layout of your home, we can’t give you specific window recommendations.
But we can take a couple of guesses. You almost definitely live in or near Calgary. That means you’ll probably benefit from a couple of things:
First, you’ll want to think about your window frames. You don’t want to go with a material like aluminum – it doesn’t insulate well enough for our climate. Instead, opt for wood, fibreglass, or vinyl.
Second, you might want to consider triple-pane windows, especially if you’re in a noisy area. A pane is one sheet of glass, so triple-pane windows have three sheets of glass. Triple-pane windows often have an inert gas between them – argon and krypton are popular options. This provides extra insulation – these gasses prevent heat transfer pretty effectively.
Finally, there are a number of different window vendors in Calgary, so it’s definitely worth shopping around a bit. You can find windows that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional – it’s worth the effort to do a bit of window shopping.
As for us – well, we offer roof repair in Calgary. When you’re looking to renovate your home, be it as simple as installing windows or as complex as getting your whole exterior overhauled, we can help.