By Dave Sneyd

Dear Renovator,

We’re considering a major renovation of our older (1920) home, and it will need new windows throughout. We have no idea where to start. What are some of the main things we should consider?

Dear Homeowner,

Well, there are certainly lots of things to consider, so it’s no wonder you hardly know where to begin.

Deciding on the right windows for the right house ‒ windows that will suit the age of the house as well as its style, and windows that will not only last but look and behave beautifully for many years ‒ is a major part of any renovation.

When you’re choosing your architects and designers, be sure they are fully aware of all the products available to you. You might ask if they have attended updating and learning sessions hosted by window experts, and if your windows professionals offer these sessions. There are always wonderful new improvements and products in this industry, and it’s important that your renovators stay aware of them.

Take the time to visit windows showrooms. You might be surprised how much you’ll learn about what’s “out there”. It can be a huge learning experience in itself. When you’re well-informed, decisions will come more easily and confidently.

Before you begin, you’ll want to know what sort of windows will fit into your budget. Will you do all the windows in your house at once, or will you take it in stages?

When you’re doing this preliminary “homework”, check out your windows experts. What kind of service do they offer? Which manufacturers? What about warranties? Are they members of recognizable professional groups? Will they take the time to teach you about quality, longevity, and function?

If you’re just at the beginning of your renovation journey, don’t make any decisions quickly. Take your time. Become informed. Ask questions. Visit the showroom. Read the testimonials. Get the reviews. Study the websites.

Once you’ve done all that, you’ll know what to do.

Dave Sneyd is president ofWindow Works, Ottawa. He began at the business back in the 80s, and several years ago he bought the company. He knows the beauty and practicality of really great windows and their impact: on comfort, energy costs, and house resale values.