2014 Entries by Northern Comfort Windows and Doors in Aurora

What Does the Colour of Your Front Door Say About You?

Posted by Northern Comfort on December 11, 2014

Your front porch is the first impression visitors have of you and your family. No wonder making even the simplest decisions, like paint colour or door fixtures, becomes difficult. If you are struggling with the design of your remodel or new construction, try taking a new perspective. Rather than focusing solely on how it looks, decide what it is you want your front porch to say.

What Colour Do You Like?

So—you have asked every friend, neighbour and relative which colour they prefer for your door and still can't decide. In fact, that made your decision even more confusing. One of the most popular struggles people have while remodeling is choosing the colour–no matter what it is they are painting.

The colours we like offer significant insight into our personalities. Psychologists have studied colour theory and how it affects our emotions. These theories are applied in several areas of design, including interior decorating. Advertisers use colour theory to subtly imply that their products will have certain effects on those who use them.

Some colours are bold and exciting, while others are calm and soothing. If you are struggling to pick a colour for your front door think about how you want your guests to feel when they come to your house. It's also a good idea to choose one that reflects aspects of your personality—although you may already have subconsciously narrowed your selection to ones that do.

Red

People who are naturally drawn to shades of red are usually more extroverted. In some cultures a red door is seen as inviting, friendly and welcoming. The psychological associations people make with the colour red vary depending on the tone and intensity. Dark red symbolizes willpower, determination and courage. Warmer shades of red give an earthly, natural appeal. Lighter, bold shades signify excitement, power and strength.

The colour red has shown to increase blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. People connect red to human life and love. This is a great and commonly used accent colour in design. Some studies show rooms decorated heavily in the colour red increase the energy in the room. Some designers even advise against using bold red paint in rooms where you want to feel calm—like the bedroom.

Red is a great choice for a front door if you want to add a splash of colour and make your door stand out to guests—welcoming them to come in and have some fun.

Black

Black symbolizes elegance, formality and mystery. People who are drawn to black doors might feel more private or introverted. Black projects sophistication and gives a more serious feel. It is a bold colour, not loud. It signifies a quiet determined strength.

This colour for a door offers a lot of versatility and is very functional. Some people opt for black to better accentuate the other colours of their house or décor surrounding the door. Designing with this colour may provide flexibility to your overall design. Black gives contrast against any other colour, making the opposing colour pop.

Black is a functional colour for a door because it hides dirt and damage better than lighter colours do. Like white, it is a classic and a very popular choice. If the aim of your design is luxury and elegance or convenient functionality—black is best for you.

White

White is the colour of light and purity. Advertisers and designers use white to imply cleanliness, safety and perfection. Those who are drawn to the colour white like the appeal of simplicity and peace. This classic colour is very commonly used for front doors. It is subtle which makes it pleasing to most people.

The functionality of having a white front door is another reason for its popularity. If the colour of your home is a bold colour, white will accent that colour without taking away or adding to it. White allows you to decorate with wreathes or holiday decorations more easily without colours clashing.

If you enjoy the freedom of being more versatile in your hardware or porch décor or wish to accentuate other elements of your porch over the door—white is a good choice for you.

Blue

The colour blue is associated with things we find calming and abundant, such as the sky and the ocean. Blues are a great colour to use in design—it is the most widely accepted and liked colour. It isn't loud so there is very little negative connotation with the colour blue.

Blue is associated with serenity and relaxation. Someone with a blue door might view their home as a place of refuge and guests might feel welcome and comforted to pay you a visit. Darker hues of blue signify structure and responsibility. A person who likes the color of navy blue might have quiet determination or a strong sense of loyalty.

Dark shades of blue are popular with front doors over lighter shades because they offer the same benefits that a black door would. Dark blue works well with several other colors, making it easy to decorate around.

If you view your home and family as a place of refuge or if you wish to mesh color with functionality—you can't go wrong with a blue door.

When it comes to picking the colour and style of your front door, consider your options and then go with your gut. Chances are, you already know what you like.

Why You Should Upgrade to Vinyl Windows

Posted by Northern Comfort on December 4, 2014

You've heard about vinyl windows and are wondering what the hype is about. Your friends are getting them, window companies are talking about them and contractors are recommending them. So what's the big deal?

You probably have aluminum or wood windows and want to know what the difference is. If you are thinking about replacing or upgrading your existing windows, here are some things you should know.

Homeowners with Aluminum Windows

If you have aluminum windows, you may be living with less energy efficiency than you need. Because aluminum is a heat conductor, aluminum windows act as a heater in the summer and a cooler in the winter, exactly the opposite of what you need. Here's some more information about aluminum windows as compared to vinyl windows:

  • Aluminum windows are generally considered unattractive, which means they can lower your property price
  • They do not have good insulation
  • When aluminum windows get old, they begin to creak and make noise
  • Aluminum windows are difficult to clean

Homeowners with Wood Windows

You are probably enjoying the aesthetically pleasing look of your windows. Wood windows are sought after for their classic, timeless feel. They can also be energy efficient. However, there are some downsides to having windows made of wood:

  • They require more maintenance than vinyl windows
  • They are subject to moisture retention and rotting

Why Vinyl Windows Are Beneficial

Vinyl windows are known as the energy-efficient, low-maintenance windows. They come in a variety of styles and colour options, so you can achieve whatever look you desire, matching the style of your home. Here are seven reasons why you will love having vinyl windows:

  • Vinyl windows don't require painting, staining, or refinishing like wood windows
  • They are easy to clean unlike aluminum windows
  • They have great insulation, saving you money on energy bills
  • They are less expensive than wood windows that have the same energy efficiency
  • You can use vinyl windows with wood trim to maintain the same elegant look of your previous windows-alternatively, the vinyl itself can be made to look like wood
  • Vinyl windows are easy to operate; they open and close smoothly- Vinyl windows maintain a scratch-free appearance

Still Not Sure if Vinyl Windows Are for You?

Call Northern Comfort Windows and Doors Ltd. today to discuss what window options are best suited for your home.

How to Decorate for the Holidays Without Damaging Your Windows

Posted by Northern Comfort on November 28, 2014

The holiday season is your home's time to shine. Christmas lights, candlelit windows and fresh garlands all help your home set the perfect winter mood.

Window decorations in particular draw attention to your house and spread holiday spirit. However, decorating without damaging your windows can be a challenge: tape is hard to remove from glass, and hammering nails into the window frame leaves unsightly gaps once you take down the wreaths and lights.

Don't use tape and nails to damage your windows and window frames each winter. Instead, read below to learn how to get into the holiday spirit without sacrificing your windows.

Window Wreaths

Exterior wreaths and interior wreaths both have their benefits. An exterior wreath draws more attention to your home, while an interior wreath will make the indoors cosier and more festive.

You don't need to hang your wreaths from nails hammered into the wall or the side of the house. Instead, follow the tips below to hang a wreath without causing any damage.

Exterior Wreaths

Before you purchase or make your wreaths, measure your windows. Make sure your wreath won't be too tall or wide to fit; the wreath's diameter should be around 25 centimetres (10 inches) smaller than the window.

First, purchase a length of sturdy, colourful outdoor ribbon. Since you'll be hanging the wreath outdoors, the ribbon needs to last—you don't want it to fray after a few days of bad winter weather. The ribbon should be wide enough to support the wreath, preferably around 6 centimetres (2.5 inches) or wider.

Many people choose red ribbons to complement their green holiday wreaths, but you should feel free to choose a colour you think will highlight your home's unique style. Your ribbon should draw attention to the wreaths and add a splash of colour without being overbearing.

The amount of ribbon you'll need depends on your window, so do some experimenting. Cut the ribbon deliberately long for your first wreath; you can always shorten it afterwards if you need to. For a medium-sized window, you will probably need around 1 to 1.5 metres (4 to 5 feet) of ribbon per wreath.

Next, loop the ribbon through the wreath. It's easiest to knot the two ends of the ribbon together, but you can also glue the end of the ribbon to the length of ribbon just above the wreath.

Now, open the top of the window wide enough to slip the wreath through. Position it just the way you want to. If it hangs too far down, trim the ribbon. After you carefully place the wreath, close the window over the ribbon while holding on to the knotted end, which will remain inside. The ribbon should be thin enough that you can lock the window after placing the wreath.

If you don't want to use ribbons, simply use a suction cup. First, cut a piece of slim floral wire, then loop it around the top of the wreath. Twist the ends of the wire together to seal the loop. Use hot glue to fasten the wire to a wood, foam, or wire wreath frame.

Then, dab a paper towel with cooking oil and grease the inside of a suction cup that has a hook attached. After cleaning your window, gently but firmly push the suction cup against the window's surface for at least a minute. Finally, hang the wreath's wire loop from the cup's hook.

Interior Wreaths

If you have a curtain rod, loop a ribbon or fishing wire around the wreath, and then fasten it to the rod. You can also remove the curtains and slip several wreaths onto the wire for a decorative theme. If you'd rather attach the wreaths directly to the windows, use the suction cup method described above.

Window Lights

You might already have exterior lights hanging from your roof, but interior lights add just the right holiday ambiance to any room. Interior holiday lights look particularly nice when framing the window; the trickiest part is figuring out how to hold the lights in place without drilling holes or nailing them in.

Instead of adding holes to the wall that you'll only have to patch later, purchase a small, decorative, adhesive clip or hanger. These adhesives should peel easily off the wall, but read the instructions thoroughly before use. Don't apply adhesives to the window glass itself—they can leave sticky marks on the glass that will be difficult to remove.

Place the adhesive clips around the window frame. Your strand of lights should fit comfortably into the clips. If they still droop or if you're worried they could snag on someone's clothes, use wall-safe transparent tape to secure the strand to the wall. Always check that the type of tape you choose is safe for your wall, including your wallpaper or paint.

For lighter strands, you should only need one piece of tape between every six or seven lights. Heavier lights or more complex light designs might need tape between every two or three lights. Never tape the lights themselves directly to the wall—just the bundle of wires that connects the lights.

As with wreaths, make sure to measure your window before picking out a strand of lights. You should also measure the distance from the window to the outlet and plan accordingly, since you might need an extension cord.

You don't need to risk window damage to give your home a festive glow. Instead, follow these easy tips to hang wreaths and lights inside and out. Spare yourself the hassle of window damage—instead, let your beautiful holiday decorations spare your windows while bringing you holiday cheer.

How Do I Know When I Need New Windows?

Posted by Northern Comfort on November 24, 2014

We all dream of owning our own home. It's a wonderful feeling to have a place that you call your own; however maintaining a home is not an easy undertaking. With all of the daily tasks that come with the responsibility of owning a home, sometimes renovations get overlooked.

When was the last time you thought about your windows? Are they secure enough? Are they easy to open in the event of an emergency? Windows can play an important part in the safety of your family, so it is vital they work properly and are up-to-date. Energy efficient windows can also help reduce the cost of energy bills.

There are also functional and aesthetic advantages to replacing your windows, especially for older homes. It's important that your windows work properly, to keep you and your family safe. But you also want them looking nice. Deteriorating windows can make a home look aged and damaged, which affects the resale value.

What Are the Signs That It's Time for New Windows?

  • Poor Performance: When windows get old, opening and closing becomes difficult or even impossible. Air leaks through cracks and condensation builds up between glass panes. You will notice your energy bill increases because your windows are not capturing solar heat like they should.
  • Appearance: You may start seeing chipped paint, cracked glass or frame, peeling caulk or seal, or rot, mold and decay inside or outside windows. The design may simply be out of style and in need of an update.
  • Effort: The glass doesn't sparkle and shine like it did when it was new, even after you clean it. If you need to replace parts, they are difficult or impossible to find because of how outdated the style is.

Whether you are looking to increase the value of your home, attempting to create a safer environment for your family, or trying to reduce energy costs, the best way to accomplish this is by replacing your old windows.

What Are the Benefits of New Windows?

The benefits of new windows greatly outweigh the costs. Your family will be more secure with windows that open and lock properly. The increased energy efficiency of your new windows will save you money on your energy bill throughout the year. In addition, your updated windows will look stylish and increase the value of your home.

Northern Comfort Windows & Doors Ltd. has installed thousands of high energy efficient windows. We are the window experts that you can trust. Call us today to schedule your free in-home estimate at +1 888-220-2221.

Spruce up Windows with Stylish Window Coverings

Posted by Northern Comfort on November 13, 2014

If your window space is looking drab, don't fret. There are as many decorative treatments as there are windows. Just be creative and liven up your windows with these foolproof tips that are sure to pack a punch:

Think Elegant

One of the benefits of window dressing is being able to balance out your room with an element of design. Make sure to match your room by staying true to its function. Elegant trimmings (like heavy brocade curtains) should be reserved for dining and formal living rooms. If money isn't a problem, choose luxurious fabrics—silk—to add the right touch of timeless elegance.

Think Neutral

Neutrals have the ability to even out any space. They will make your home look classy, clean and de-cluttered (no matter how much is stored in it). Draperies in ivory, nude, or flesh tones will create a white space that any room will benefit from.

Our eco-friendly world provides many materials that are both neutral and natural: bamboo, matchstick blinds and natural woven shades. When you're in the neutral mindset, it's not hard to see that less is truly more.

Think Bold

When did a little color ever hurt anybody? If you're bored with your space, the time has come to add some drama. Whether you want to add creative designs or implement modern textures, you'll never regret doing it in a way that is sure to grab your guest's attention and satisfy your need for flair.

If you want to add a bit of spice to your space without all the color, choose patterns. Bold patterns, either on curtains or shades, will stand out without sticking out entirely. Make sure to complement the patterns and colors with the different objects in your room (pillows, couch coverings, lamp shades) so as to avoid pattern competition and to maintain congruency throughout.

Think "You"

There is one rule of thumb when contemplating a room makeover: trust your instinct. Oftentimes, remodeling brings a lot of hesitation with it. Don't let that be the case when you choose to revamp your windows. Even the smallest touches (how easy is it to install a curtain or window shade?) have the ability to make the biggest difference.

Whether you want to add to your look with bright colors, complement it with bold patterns, or even it out through neutrals, window treatments are fast, easy and affordable. If you're in the market for window coverings, browse through our selection of windows and see which one will go best with the style you have in mind.

How Glass Windows Are Made

Posted by Northern Comfort on November 10, 2014

While gazing out of a perfectly smooth, clear glass window, have you ever wondered how it was created? Many people don't realize that the beautiful windows they use every day in their homes, cars and office buildings went through an incredible process to reach the size and shape they are in now.

Let's start with the process of creating glass, and then move to how that glass becomes the windows you see every day.

How Glass Is Made

Glass windows are manufactured in a factory, undergoing an intense process where temperatures reach up to 1500 degrees Celsius. Here's what happens:

  • Glass-making materials are combined. This includes sand, soda ash, dolomite, limestone and salt cake.
  • These materials are mixed together with surplus glass and heated in a furnace to 1500 degrees Celsius. Furnaces can hold more than 1200 tons of glass.
  • The glass melts, and will then be brought to a temperature of 1200 degrees Celsius.
  • The glass is fed into a bath of molten tin. Tin is ideal for the glass-making procedure because it mixes perfectly with the glass.
  • The glass floats onto the tin surface, transforming into a sheet. The temperature is reduced, and the sheet is lifted onto rollers. The differences in flow speed and roller speed create glass sheets of different thicknesses and widths.
  • The glass is cooled and reheated slowly to increase strength and prevent shattering. Or it is tempered, meaning it is reheated and chilled with sudden blasts of cold air.
  • The glass may be glazed and coated with insulated window glazes, heat absorbing tints, or other coatings.

How Windows Are Made

Now that the glass has been created, how does it become the window in your home? Here's what happens at a window-manufacturing plant:

  • Dimensions are entered to fit a particular window. The glass is cut by machines to fit the desired size.
  • The glass is cleaned with a high-pressure cleaner.
  • Panes of glass are sealed together.
  • Pieces of frame are cut and welded together.
  • The frame and glass are assembled.

As you can see, the process of making windows is complex and requires intricate machinery and experienced technicians.

Northern Comfort windows are manufactured for maximum energy efficiency and durability. We would be happy to help you find the perfect windows for your home. To place an order for your quality windows or for a free in-home estimate, call us at +1 888-220-2221 today.

Use Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal

Posted by Northern Comfort on October 2, 2014

Who doesn't want to boost their home's curb appeal? One of the easiest ways to do just that is by investing in a new front door. A modern, upgraded front door has the ability to increase your resale value while transforming your home's exterior from boring to beautiful. What's not to love about that?

Front doors seem to have an awful lot of swaying power when it comes to finding success after putting your house on the market:

  • Most real estate agents feel a buyer's first impression starts at the front door
  • Most buyers are looking for energy efficient (modern) doors in home listings
  • Most real estate agents will advise sellers to update doors
  • A recent study showed that a home enhanced with one of our brand-name doors (Therma-Tru) added to its perceived value by as much as five times the cost of the door itself

In today's market, most home buyers are interested in saving money. They seem to place the most value in doors that will reduce bills by being energy efficient. Most doors that are manufactured today are just that—energy efficient (and therefore wallet-friendly).

The more sturdy and durable your door is, the more it is worth. In our harsh Canadian climate, weak and worn doors could crack, split, or rot. Don't even give your door that option. Durable doors won't let you down when the harsh winds blow and the rain comes pounding down. Fibreglass and steel doors (though a bit pricier) are a good option—they are strong and secure while being bold and beautiful:

  • Fibreglass: Beautifully crafted, these energy efficient doors are easy to maintain. As a durable alternative to wood or steel doors, they are very well suited to Canada's unforgiving climate. They will not dent or rust—thus maintaining their original, natural beauty.
  • Steel: Energy efficient, steel doors will save you major money on your bills. They will also withstand extreme weather so they won't need to be replaced.

Whether you want a front door that is energy efficient, bright and beautiful or simply more secure and easy to maintain, take the effort to spruce it up so that it will stand out. Don't shy away from trying to achieve a one-of-a-kind look with your new front door.

We offer an enormous selection of front doors that you can tailor to your needs. Browse around our site to pick your new front door—it's sure to become the envy of the neighborhood.

Saving Energy, Saving Money: How to Choose the Right Energy-Efficient Windows for Your Home

Posted by Northern Comfort on September 18, 2014

Where is your home most vulnerable to heat and energy loss, wasting your money and the earth's resources? Windows might not be the first thought that comes to mind, but they're effectively glass-covered holes in your home's structure, so they have the potential to suck huge amounts of energy out of your home. Old and thin windows only make the problem worse.

Replacing old glass with energy-efficient windows can save you money by lowering your energy bill. When heat from your home isn't lost into the outside air, your heater doesn't have to work as hard to keep your home warm, so it uses less energy trying to heat up your home.

Knowing what type of energy-efficient window to buy can be difficult—there are so many options that it's hard to know where to start. Fortunately, the most eco-friendly windows are marked by several key signs that can point you in the right direction when it comes to replacing your windows.

What to Look for in Energy-Efficient Windows

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the best energy-efficient window will keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A good way to determine which windows will insulate your home the best is to view their energy performance rating, which differs depending on the climate you live in and how your house is designed.

There are three basic criteria in determining energy performance ratings:

  • Direct conduction is the immediate loss of energy through the glass, glazing, frame, or door. This relates to the U-factor, or the rate at which windows conduct heat: the lower a window's U-factor, the more energy efficient it is.
  • Air leakage occurs around and through windows. A window with a low air leakage rating is more energy efficient than one with a higher air leakage rating.
  • Heat radiation enters the house through the sun. The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is the measurement of the solar heat that enters the house through a window. Windows with higher SHGC ratings collect more heat radiation during the winter, naturally keeping your home warmer. Windows with lower SHGC ratings, in contrast,are better at blocking solar radiation, which keeps your home cooler in the summer. The rating you want for optimum energy efficiency depends on where you live and where the window is on your house.

Triple glazing

Triple glazing (triple glass) is a three-pane window system available for homes that offers special LE coatings and Argon or Kripton Gas—materials used to ensure effectiveness of your windows year round. This installation dramatically affects efficiency within homes because it allows less noise to come in, it keeps homes warmer and it provides significantly less or no condensation issues.

Triple glazing has already become common in some European countries and are soon to introduce standards that will encourage the adoption of triple glazed windows in an attempt to conserve valuable energy resources, and although it is not mandatory in Canada yet—it is a worthwhile investment as it will save you money long-term with heating your home, keeping condensation to a minimum and providing a less noisy environment for you and your family.

**Northern Comfort is currently offering FREE upgrades to Triple Glass. You do not want to miss this opportunity. You can upgrade to Triple Glass for no additional cost until September 30th, 2014.**

The Energy Star program is a voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that many international companies participate in. Old windows replaced with Energy Star-certified windows can lower energy bills by 7-15%.

Window Wise is a similar program based in Canada focused specifically on windows. Any window certified by Window Wise has better-than-average energy efficiency, advanced protection against water leakage and air infiltration, and the potential to save you an incredible amount of money.

How Northern Comfort Energy-Efficient Windows Can Help

While design is crucial in becoming as energy efficient as possible, installation is just as important. No matter how energy-efficient your new window is, if it's installed unprofessionally it won't matter: you'll still lose all that energy from the resulting gaps.

This is where Northern Comfort can help. All our windows are all Energy Star and Window Wise certified, and all of our professional installers are both factory-trained and Window Wise certified.

When you work with Northern Comfort, you can rest assured knowing that your windows are as energy efficient as possible. Your energy bill will start descending immediately, your wallet will thank you and so will Mother Earth. Call us today.

North Star Spring Promo

Posted by Northern Comfort on March 26, 2014

If you're in the market for windows this spring and would like to add some colour to the exterior of your home and give it some WOW!!! factor, without any extra costs, then you should be checking out North Star Windows Spring Promo.

  • They offer 7 Designer Colours, with their newest colour being Espresso.
  • North Star's exterior colours are designed to last, they won't chip or peel like paint!
  • You'll Save Money while adding Value to your home

Hurry though, this sale ends at the end of April, so book your free in-home estimate before this offer is gone!

Top Choice Awards Nomination

Posted by Northern Comfort on March 13, 2014

For the last 7 Years Northern Comfort Windows & Doors has won the prestige Top Choice Award of BEST WINDOW & DOOR COMPANY in the City of Barrie.

It's all because of our loyal and valued customers who have taken a few moments to simply vote online for us.

Thank you, Barrie!

So we once again are reaching out to our customers to vote for us: we would love to make it 8 Years in a row.

All you need to do is click below and answer a few simple questions, verify your email and you are done.

You will also be entered into a draw offered by Top Choice for $3000 towards your Dream Vacation! (Full contest details are available on the link below.)

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