Frequently Asked Questions
Are you considering replacing doors and windows in your house? Find out more about the subject from the experienced team at Northern Comfort Windows and Doors.
Quotes and Estimates
Are estimates/quotes really free?
YES! All our estimates are free! We want to provide you with the best possible experience when it comes to buying your new windows and doors. Whether it's in one of our two showrooms or in the privacy of your own home our sales representatives are ready to give you the most informative quote to help you make the best purchase for your home.
Why can't I get general pricing for the windows or doors or other products I am looking to purchase?
Here at Northern Comfort Windows and Doors we know that all homes are unique. The best way to get a fair estimate for YOUR unique home is to have one of our knowledgeable sales representatives come out to your home so we know exactly what we're dealing with and which products will look the best with your home.
How long will the estimate take?
We know your life is filled with much more exciting things than getting an estimate for your new windows and doors. Estimate duration will depend on what you're looking to have replaced. We can get it done as quickly as half an hour or it can take a little bit longer. A full house of windows will take anywhere from 2 hours to 3 hours depending on the size of your home.
Do I need to be at the home for my free estimate?
Yes, we want the owner(s) at the appointment and you should want to be present too! This will ensure you fully understand what you're getting in your quote and that you and your sales rep are on the same page when it comes to which products you are looking to purchase.
It is important that both partners are present so everyone is on the same page when making a decision. Windows and Doors today have so many different options and benefits that it becomes difficult to make decisions if both of you are not home during the free estimate.
How effective will my new windows and doors be for noise cancellation?
This depends on whether you had single pane windows prior to your purchase of new windows. Double pane windows hold twice the amount of noise disruption as single pane so any window you upgrade to double pane windows will help with noise reduction. If you live on a busy street we highly recommend purchasing triple pane as they will help with noise cancellation that much more.
What brands do you supply?
Our main manufacturers are Armor, North Star, Reliance, Sky Reach, Sunview, KV, Tru Tech, Amarr and Eclipse. However for more specifics, the manufacturers are listed in our products section under each specific product.
Why change from aluminum or wood windows to vinyl windows and what is the difference?
When you buy wood windows you always run the risk of having them rot away with time and aluminum windows will begin to oxidize as time goes by. With vinyl windows you can be rest assured that they won't deteriorate compared to your old aluminum/wood windows. Vinyl windows are maintenance free.
What is the difference between retrofit and full replacement of the frame?
Having your windows retrofitted means that we will leave your old frames inside the current opening and put the vinyl window inside of that. This is a good alternative to a full replacement if your old frames are still in good condition. It is highly recommended that you have a full replacement if your existing frames have begun deteriorating in any way.
What are the advantages of custom-made windows vs. stock windows you have pre-ordered in your store?
Custom-made windows are the only way to go if you're looking for the most energy efficient outcome. If you use stock windows from our warehouse they will not fit as tight in the opening as a custom window will. This means you'll need to use more insulation during the installation which could potentially lead to more areas that energy could escape once the process is complete.
How do I know if I need new windows?
There are many tell-tale signs that you need windows. Here are a few:
- Your house has become drafty, with clear air leakage through or around the windows;
- Excessive condensation/icing on the inside of the window panes;
- Windows rattle in the wind;
- The paint has started to chip or peel;
- It has become difficult to open or close your windows.
- You can't see clearly out of the window due to steam between the glass
Where are your windows made?
The three main window manufacturers that we carry are North Star, Armor and KV Windows. North Star products are made in London and St. Thomas, ON, Armor is made in Woodbridge and KV Windows are made in Vaughan.
My old windows never had condensation, why do my new windows have it?
When you have new windows and doors installed you're basically tightening up any holes that were present with your old windows/doors. Now the humidity inside your home has lost its escape route to the outside world. When you see condensation on your new windows, what you're actually seeing is proof that your new windows/doors have eliminated air leakage points throughout your home.
What is Low-E glass?
Low-E stands for low-emissivity. Emissivity is a measure of how much a glass surface transfers radiant heat.
Will Low-E help with reducing condensation on my windows?
Yes, but it won't eliminate it entirely!
What does U-value mean when you're looking at energy ratings?
U-value is important during the winter heating season because is describes how well a product prevents heat from escaping a home or building. Ratings usually fall between 0.2 and 1.2. The lower the U-value, the better it is at keeping heat IN.
What does R-value mean?
This value describes how resistant a product is to heat flow. It mainly measures the effectiveness the insulation has to stopping heat flow. The higher the R-value the better it is at resisting heat flow.
What does Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) mean?
SHGC is important during the cooling season because it measures how well a product blocks heat from the sun. SHGC measured between 0 and 1. The lower the number, the better the product is at blocking solar heat.
What does the Energy Rating (ER) number represent?
A windows ER rating is based on three factors: 1) solar heat gain; 2) heat loss through frames, spacer and glass; and 3) air leakage heat loss. This is a simple and easy way to compare the energy performance of windows.
Will replacing my old windows really cut down on my heating bill?
Yes! It also depends on the state of windows you have upgraded from. Any upgrade in windows and doors will help keep heat in and cold out. During the installation process, our installers are closing up old air leakage areas and ensuring your heat stays inside during the cold winter months
Delivery and Installation Services
How long does it typically take for the delivery and installation?
This is always a hard question to answer because things can happen that are outside our control with the manufacturers. Typically you can expect to have an installation date set 6-8 weeks after the final re-measure—we can't order any product until we have our final measurements—this is to ensure we get the product right the first time!
Do I need a professional to install my new windows and doors?
We highly recommend having a professional install your new windows and doors. This is the only way to ensure your products functioning to the best of their ability.
What are the advantages to having a professional do my installation vs. doing it myself?
There are many advantages to having one of our professionals install your new products. The best one being they have much more experience in the area of installation than you may. They are fully trained, know which products to use in different weather conditions and how to deal with problems if they arise.
Can my products be installed during the winter?
Yes! Our trained installers know how to use all materials so they function properly in both cold weather AND hot weather. Installers will never leave an open hole in your home over night and openings are usually closed up within a couple hours. Installers use drop sheets on every installation so you never have to worry about outside elements coming inside!
Do I need to be home for installation?
We always tell our customers to be home for installation. While we treat your home as though it were our own you may have certain questions to ask the installers during the process and vice versa.
What should I do to prepare for installation day?
The best thing to do to prepare for installation is remove furniture from any openings the installers will be working around. Also, if you have purchased windows you need to remove all blinds and curtains from the openings the installers will be working on. Other than that we use our own drop sheets to protect your floors so no need to worry about that!
Does weather affect installation of windows and doors?
Typically, no. Our installers are trained to work in all types of weather conditions so long as there isn't a hurricane raging outside your home. Our products are made to withstand harsh condition.
What do I do with my current interior trim?
If you wish, you may take off your interior trim yourself. This saves one extra step for the installers to complete when they arrive at your home.
What if my current windows have security alarms?
In order for your security alarms to work properly after your installation process you will have to contact your security company to have them disable the alarms PRIOR to the installation date. As well, they will have to return after the windows/doors have been fully installed. We cannot be held liable for any damage to security systems that have not been properly disabled prior to installation process.
Do you take the old windows away?
We remove all old windows and debris that may have accumulated on your property during the installation process leaving your home in the same condition it began in (hopefully better!).
Do you offer service on your products once installed?
YES! Here at Northern Comfort Windows and Doors we have an entire department dedicated to the service of our products. You never have to worry about running around to subcontractors to have them service the products they installed – just give us a call and we'll take care of it all!
Do you service windows and doors that have been installed by other companies?
We only service the products that our own installers put into your home because they are covered under warranty.
What is the estimated return on investment for new windows and doors?
According to Vanessa Roman at Homes-Extra.ca in an article she wrote on the three top renovations to consider for your property the estimated return on investment for replacing the windows and doors in your home is 70-80%. She says: "windows and doors keep out cold and draughts, can save you money on energy bills and can enhance the security of your home."
Do you have a showroom?
Yes, in fact, we have TWO! Our main showroom is located in Barrie just off of highway 400 and the other is located in Newmarket at Mulock Dr./Bayview Ave.
What products/services do you provide other than windows and doors?
Here at Northern Comfort Windows and Doors, we pride ourselves on being a total exterior home renovation company. We offer services on windows and doors, garage doors, siding, interior and exterior shutters, porch enclosures, and sunroom creations as well as commercial properties.
Does Northern Comfort Windows and Doors use subcontractors?
We do not use subcontractors! We have all our own installers and service repairmen so you never have to worry about tracking them down if something ever goes wrong.
Do you offer financing?
Yes we do! We currently deal with SNAP financial. You can find all our information on financing under the FINANCING tab at the top of the page.
How experienced is your staff?
Your Window is only as good as the installation. You can have the best window but if it's not installed correctly, it won't be energy efficient. As dedicated craftspeople, our installers take great pride in their work and job well done. With meticulous attention to detail, they strive to complete each job to your complete satisfaction.
Our Sales Representatives
Our dedicated sales staff have all worked in the business for over ten years or more. All of our sales representatives are ready and willing to answer your questions and give you the guidance you may need to make the right buying decision for you, with no high pressure sales techniques. We strive to keep our sales staff educated about new products and services so that we can best serve you.
Our Office Staff
Northern Comfort Windows has been a family owned and operated business since its inception in 1996. As a service oriented industry, we strive to create a great experience for each customer and to exceed their expectations.
How competitive are your prices REALLY?
Although you might see other companies with super low prices, you need to take into account all of their services. Do those prices include installation; will that company service your products after they are installed if you ever run into a problem? Will all of our services provided, we believe we provide the best quality service at the lowest price!
Who owns Northern Comfort Windows and Doors?
Northern Comfort Windows and Doors is a family run business and we always treat your home as if it were our own. We want to leave you feeling as though we're part of your family, kind of like the great uncle that no one ever sees but everyone loves!