How to Save Hydro at the Cottage

This past summer, Hydro One announced that electricity bills for their seasonal customers were set to rise by up to 129%, a shocking discovery for cottage owners everywhere. The massive jump in hydro rates came after the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announcement that it was exploring the idea of eliminating the seasonal rate class, which would affect cottage owners around the province. The changes would see Ontario cottage owners divided into R1 and R2 classes, depending on the cost of delivering power to customers. This means that around half of cottage owners in Ontario may see their bills double.

With these major changes to your electricity bill, it’s always a good idea for Muskoka cottage owners to explore ways they can save hydro at the cottage year round. Saving money on hydro can help you enjoy the cottage more during prime cottage season, and save you some stress during the off-season.

Close your cottage the right way before leaving for the season
The most effective way to save electricity at the cottage is by powering down before you leave for the season, and unplugging appliances and electronics between visits. Anything plugged in while not in use is using phantom energy, even if it isn’t actively turned on. These costs can quickly add up, especially with rates increasing for cottage owners. Before leaving for the season or just for the week, unplug any appliances and devices that don’t require being left plugged in. Doing this will help you save money on your hydro bill with a minimal impact on your overall enjoyment of the cottage experience.

Energy efficient windows and window treatments prevent energy loss
Depending on how old your cottage is and how often it’s used, your windows may be a major source of energy loss. Drafty old windows should be replaced with newer energy efficient windows that eliminate energy loss, demanding less of your heating and cooling systems to keep your cottage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. If window replacement isn’t an option quite yet, you can reduce energy loss by using energy efficient window treatments like blackout curtain, blinds, and awnings, all of which will work to minimize drafts and energy loss until you’re ready to replace those drafty old windows.

Tankless water heater
Traditional water systems are designed to hold and heat large quantities of water at any given time, using up far more energy than is needed. A great way to reduce your hydro bills going forward is to make the switch to a tankless water heater, which is an ideal water heating solution for cottage owners. Rather than heat large amounts of water at once, tankless water heaters are activated on demand, heating only what you need instead of wasting energy on heating water that is just going to sit in the tank.

Explore the possibility of switching to a small solar setup
Another option for cottage owners is to make the switch from traditional hydro to a small solar energy setup. Solar energy isn’t nearly as costly as it once was, with many manufacturers gearing solar energy solutions towards cottage owners, offering affordable solar panels and batteries that are perfect for powering your cottage throughout the bright summer months.

With plenty of solar energy dealers in the Muskoka region including Muskoka Renewable Energy, Greenside Electric, and Haliburton Solar & Wind, starter kits are easier to find than ever before, helping you kick start your transition to renewable energy that won’t be affected by exorbitant rate increases. Even a solar setup to only power certain items, such as a hot water heater, can save you money over time – especially with the new hydro rates.

To find out more about the high performance window and door products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, contact us today.

Insulating Your Windows for Cold Weather

If your home or cottage never seems to be warm enough during these frigid winter months, there’s a good chance that your windows are old and drafty. Older windows can turn any comfortable home into a nightmare of drafts and high heating bills during the winter, leading to homeowners trying just about anything they can to keep the warm air inside where it belongs. If you haven’t yet gotten around to replacing your old drafty windows, there are temporary measures you can take to keep your home warm this winter.

Apply caulking around your windows
Caulking is one of the most common ways to insulate your windows during the winter months, working to block drafts from entering from outside. You’ll have to begin by removing any old caulking, dirt, and grime around the window’s outer perimeter. Once the surface has been sufficiently dried, simply apply new exterior-grade caulking between your window’s frame and exterior trims boards or the siding. Exterior-grade caulking generally features silicone content that will stand up to the elements for a longer period of time.

Make smart use of window coverings
Heavy layered curtains and other window coverings like cellular shades and blinds are a stylish and effective way of reducing the effects of leaky windows. Window treatments reduce the amount of cold air entering your home through old drafty windows, adding some extra insulation to your windows. The downside to using heavy curtains and window coverings during the winter months is that on colder days you’ll be sacrificing letting sunlight into your home for insulating your windows against the entry of cold air.

Install weatherstripping around the window sash
Weatherstripping is a cost effective and easy to install solution that’ll help you close the gaps in and around your windows, serving as an air-tight barrier that will seal off many of the drafts in old windows. Weatherstripping comes in many different sizes and materials, with options that are ideal for windows of any type and size. While weatherstripping can last for long periods of time, regular window operation can cause it to wear down and detach from window sashes.

Good old fashioned insulation film will help reduce heat loss
Insulation film is the most popular way for homeowners to insulate windows during winter months, standing as a tried and true method of keeping cold air out. Insulation film is a plastic sheet affixed to the interior of your window with double-sided tape and then heated with a hair dryer to shrink it down to size and remove any wrinkles that may allow cold air to leak in. Insulation film is one of the most cost-effective ways of insulating windows, but comes with one major caveat – views are completely obstructed by the plastic film, and windows will not be accessible while the it is in place.

Draft stoppers
Another affordable but slightly less effective way of insulating windows for cold weather is to make use of draft stoppers. These can be quickly installed on the bottoms of windows and doors to lessen the flow of air leaks. Draft stoppers come in various shapes and sizes, acting as a cheap and dirty way to keep your home warmer until the spring. If your old drafty windows are making your winters more uncomfortable than necessary, it’s time for you to replace them. The winter is the perfect season to book your window replacement, as businesses become busier in the spring and summer, making it difficult to have your windows replaced before the cold weather comes around again. To book your free consultation with Muskoka Window & Door Centre, contact us today.

How to Eliminate Winter Window Condensation

Interior window condensation is one of the most annoying things to accompany the arrival of the heating season, obstructing the view to the outside and causing homeowners to constantly have to wipe down their windows. During the cold winter months, some homeowners will find that condensation is produced on the inside of windows. This problem can be extremely damaging not only to the affected windows, but to everything around it. If you’re plagued by winter window condensation, there are a few ways you can reduce or eliminate this annoying problem.

What is interior window condensation and why is it a problem?
Condensation happens when water vapor or moisture in the air is turned into liquid water. It happens after interior air that has been able to warm up and hold more moisture cools down and contrasts, reaching a saturation point where the excess moisture turns into liquid water.

Condensation happens on windows so regularly because the warm air circulating around your home makes contact with cold window panes, causing the air to quickly cool and reach its saturation point, releasing excess moisture as liquid on the surface of the window. Condensation regularly happens on window exteriors, especially during more humid summer months – that condensation is considered to be normal, whereas excess interior window condensation is not.

Condensation on window interiors can quickly become a major problem for homeowners, as it means that there may be excessive moisture in your home. This can eventually cause problems that include mold growth on and around the window, as well as visible rot and decay around the windows. The unchecked spread of mold, rot, and decay can cause damage to your home and to the health of those within it. If this is not remedied, it can cause irreparable damage to the windows and surrounding parts of the home, demanding costly repairs.

Monitor internal humidity levels and adjust accordingly
One of the first steps in eliminating window condensation is to monitor the humidity in your home with a hygrometer, a device that allows you to easily gauge internal humidity levels. Being able to determine how much humidity is in your home is key to deciding how to tackle the problem. If your home contains higher than normal humidity levels, purchasing a dehumidifier is recommended, as it will regulate internal humidity levels which has been shown to reduce internal condensation on windows. If you have a modern thermostat in your home, it may come with a built-in humidity meter.

Lower the temperature
While it may seem counterintuitive to lower the temperature during the winter months, doing so will go a long way to reducing buildup of condensation on windows. Warm air in your home contains more moisture, so lower the thermostat by even a degree or two will greatly reduce its ability to carry excess moisture. If you can spare a couple degrees, lower the temperature inside will reduce some of the humidity and condensation.

Improve ventilation and seal leaks
Improving the ventilation is another major way to reduce condensation on windows. To do this, homeowners can run fans while using appliances like ovens or dryers, or even during showers. Unblocking covered or blocked vents is another way to improve the ventilation in your home – this can be done by moving furniture away from vents and cleaning ventilation covers to ensure that air can easily move around your entire house. Vents should be cleaned if you notice large amounts of dust, as dust can impair ventilation and reduce airflow.

Changing filters and monitoring filter health is another recommendation to improve air quality and ventilation. It’s also recommended that you seal any leaky ducts that may exist in your home, as these leaks are responsible for a huge amount of air loss from your home. Fixing these leaks can improve the flow of air and improve air circulation, reducing humidity and condensation. With the right strategy, your windows can be free of condensation this winter. The winter season provides the perfect opportunity for homeowners to install new windows in your Muskoka home or cottage. Not only will upgrading windows reduce interior condensation, they also work to prevent energy loss, keeping you more comfortable and increasing your home’s overall energy efficiency. To find out more about the high performance window 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.

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.

Preventing Fires at Your Cottage This Winter

Fire Prevention Week might be over, but the focus on fire safety and prevention should continue all year round. Fires can have life-altering consequences, especially when your personal property is involved. Accidents at your cottage can occur anytime during the year, especially in the winter after you’ve closed your cottage. Being away from the cottage for the season means that you have to think ahead when closing the cottage, taking the proper precautions to avoid the very real threat of fire.

Take a walk around your property

Before leaving your cottage for the season, take a walk around your property and perform an inspection. You should be paying particular attention to any power lines surrounding your home. If these lines look like they’re being threatened by growing tree branches, you’ll want to have them professionally cut or trimmed before you leave. If you don’t own the utility poles on your property, you’ll have to contact your hydro provider to trim branches for you. While you’re considering branches that are at risk of interfering with power lines, remember that they’ll be weighed down by accumulating snowfall and may pose more of a problem than they might currently appear to.

Turn everything off and clean up the cottage

The biggest cause of winter cottage fires is baseboard electric heaters that have been left on over the season. It’s important to turn your baseboard heaters off before leaving for the season to eliminate the threat of fire. If your cottage is heated using central heating or any other type of heating, remember to turn your system down to the lowest setting, or turn it off completely. Take a walk around the interior of your cottage and unplug any appliances that don’t need to be on over the winter.

If you plan on keeping the heat running at a low temperature or appliances plugged in, be sure to clear away any flammable material that may pose a hazard. Fire hazards might include papers, rags, clothing, fuel, firewood, combustibles, and anything else that could catch fire while you’re away. It’s also wise to clean your fireplace, chimney or wood stove if applicable, as it’ll save you time in the spring and reduce the chances of a fire breaking out after you reopen the cottage.

Consider a remote alarm system and proactive road maintenance

For Muskoka cottage owners who are still worried about the possibility of fire over the winter season, a number of alarm systems offer remote fire monitoring that can detect the outbreak of fires and alarm the nearest fire department. Taking proactive measures like this can greatly minimize damage to your property in the event of a fire. It’s also a good idea to consider what might happen if the road to your cottage isn’t taken care of over the season. Snow blockage can slow the approach of the fire department and other first responders to your cottage. In some cases, cottage country fire departments lack the equipment entirely to get into an unplowed road. If your road isn’t currently plowed during the winter season, it might be worth looking into regular road maintenance after storms and major snowfalls to ensure accessibility.

No matter what precautions you’ve taken before leaving your cottage for the winter, it’s recommended that you take photos of everything in and around the property. Doing this will make insurance claims far easier in the event of a fire, theft, or damage to the cottage.

For more information about the high-performance window and door products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, visit our website or contact us today.

Winter Cottage Care: Snow Load on the Roof

When closing up cottages for the winter, most people set it and forget it. Unfortunately, this can lead to disastrous results, especially with the heavier snow loads that are expected to hit Ontario this winter, combined with colder than normal late-winter temperatures. This means that your cottage roof is going to be accumulating more snow and ice this year than usual. If you don’t intend on checking up on your cottage throughout the winter months, you may want to reconsider or be faced with an unpleasant surprise in the spring. Heavy snow and ice load on your roof can be enough to damage it, or even cause it to cave in. Here’s what you need to know about snow on your cottage roof.

How much snow is too much?
While this might seem like a simple question to answer, the truth is that there’s no definitive answer to how much snow on your roof is too much. Different roofs will be able to sustain longer periods of time with larger snow loads, and others will become damaged depending on the density and depth of the snow load. The slope of your roof is another important element, as steeply pitched roofs tend to throw snow off of them and avoid heavy drifts, whereas roofs with a slight pitch (or no pitch at all), allow for more significant accumulation of snow and the creation of large drifts.

The answer to this question will also depend on the age and condition of your roof and its components, and whether or not it’s been affected by snow accumulation in the past. While there’s no way to truly know how much snow your roof can handle, you can easily determine if your roof has been affected by a heavy snow load.

The signs of a damaged roof
One of the surefire ways to determine whether or not a snow load is affecting the integrity of your roof is to head to the attic and check on the condition of your rafters. If the rafters appear to be bent, there’s a good chance there’s too much snow on your roof. While you’re checking the attic, listen for any unusual sounds – if you’re hearing popping or cracking, it’s probably time to consult a professional. You can also look for signs of damage by checking if interior doors are sticking or have become difficult to open and close. If they have, the snow load on the roof is probably starting to distort your home’s door frames. Looking for new cracks in drywall is another way to spot damage.

Commit to removing snow, or find a contractor before it’s too late
The most effective way to avoid snow from damaging your roof is to periodically check in on your cottage throughout the season, removing snowdrifts whenever you feel is appropriate. This can be done by using a roof rake to pull accumulated snow and ice down from the roof while taking care not to damage the shingles or flashing. Remember that you don’t have to remove every inch of snow from your roof in order to get the job done – alleviating the snow load will do enough to prevent damage.

If you want to avoid the hassle of having to check on the cottage after each major snowfall or aren’t confident in your ability to remove snow from the roof, you might want to find a contractor to manage the snow load for you. If this is the case, it’s always a good idea to get in contact with somebody sooner rather than later. Schedules tend to fill up quickly during the winter, especially when snowfall is projected to be heavier than normal. Being proactive about hiring a contractor ensures that your cottage will be in good hands all winter, and will save you from having to make a day trip to the cottage. For more information about Muskoka Window & Door Centre’s high-quality line of window and door products, contact us today.

Closing Your Muskoka Cottage for the Winter

Whether you like it or not, the fall season has arrived, which means that you’ll have to start seriously thinking about closing up your cottage for the winter. Effectively closing your cottage ensures that it’ll be safe throughout the winter months, and will increase its longevity. Failure to close your cottage properly can result in serious damage to your property and a major headache in the spring. Here’s what you need to know about closing your Muskoka cottage for the winter season.

Take a look at the exterior and attend to the chores you’ve neglected
The first step to closing up your cottage for the winter is to take some time out of your day and examine the exterior of your cottage. Make sure that you clean and repair your gutters and take a look at the roof – heavy snowfall can wreak havoc on your cottage property if these things aren’t done proactively. While you’re on the roof, you might want to put a cap or cover over the chimney (if applicable) in order to keep pests from entering through the chimney. Take a walk around the property and look for any openings where pests can easily enter your home, and be sure to seal them to thwart any unwanted winter visitors.

Wrap the pipes, turn off the water and check the sump pump
The next step involves doing something that very few people want to do – you’ll need to go into your crawlspace to wrap any water pipes. Wrapping pipes is an essential part of winterizing the cottage, and will keep the pipes from freezing easily. Using foam or other insulating materials to wrap the pipes will allow you to continue visiting or using the cottage during the winter months, and will make re-opening the cottage in early spring much less of a headache. If you don’t plan on using the cottage over the winter, be sure to shut off the water and drain the pipes. Leave one faucet on to ensure that there’s no water in your pipes, otherwise they run the risk of bursting and causing serious damage.

Another crucial step in closing the cottage is to ensure that the sump pump and septic tank are in good working order. Without a working sump pump, there’s a good chance that your basement could flood over the winter, which could be disastrous for your property. If you’re planning to turn off the power for the winter, consider running the sump pump on a backup generator to cover any unexpected failures. If you haven’t serviced your septic tank in recent years, now might be the best time to do so, allowing you to have a much more relaxing experience when opening the cottage in the spring.

Unplug everything and turn down the heat
If you aren’t planning on visiting the cottage during the winter, there’s no reason to keep appliances plugged in and consuming phantom power. Go through the cottage and unplug anything that doesn’t need to be running over the winter. This will save you from unnecessarily high utility bills over the winter season. Some choose to power down the entire cottage for the season, but doing so runs the costly risk of sump pump failure. While you’re going through this step, turn down the heat in the cottage to ensure lower utility bills, while at the same time avoiding frost buildup in the cottage. If you have gas heating, turn it off before you leave.

Give your insurance company a call
Before you leave for the season, be sure to give your insurance company a call to ensure that you’ve done everything expected of you. Different providers will expect various things to be done before heading off for the winter,, so it’s a good idea to make sure you haven’t missed anything. This way, you’ll be covered in the event that anything disastrous happens, giving you peace of mind throughout the winter months.

What do I do with my windows and doors?
Windows generally don’t need much pre-winter maintenance. You’ll want to make sure they are closed properly, and that’s about it. If you have basement window wells, make sure water and melting snow are directed away from them so they don’t fill up during the Spring melt. For your doors, check the seals around them. If they look worn then replace them.

For more information about Muskoka Window & Door Centre’s high quality line of window and door products, visit our website or 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 labour, 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.