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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to replace all my windows and doors or just the ones in bad shape?

No you don't and yes you can. Quite often the south and west exposure windows and doors will be in the worst condition due to the increased exposure to the sun. Although it is desirable to replace all windows and doors with the same product for consistency in the appearance, design, operation and energy efficiency, sometimes it may not be in the budget.

When should I replace all my windows and doors?

If all your windows and doors are in bad shape and you are losing great amounts of heat in the winter months, it is advisable to replace all the units to save your hard earned dollars by drastically increasing the energy efficiency of your home. Some added benefits would include a quieter home (less detectable noise from outside), a more comfortable home in winter (less cold drafts, decreased furnace activity) and a more comfortable home in summer (less heat from the sun, decreased air conditioner activity, better air flow through opening windows).

If you choose to upgrade your old windows and doors over an extended period of time, this staggered upgrade method is best if you plan to stay in your home for the foreseeable future and not if you plan to sell your home. Besides the kitchen and bathrooms, your windows and doors are the most valuable upgrade in determining the current market value of your home and thus its selling price..

Should I consider a company specializing in window and door replacements or will any contractor or framer be fine?

Anyone specializing in any kind of service related industry should be more qualified than those that perform more general services. Do you believe that your vehicle's dealership is more qualified to service your vehicle than a tire dealer? Would you place more trust in a specialty import garage in finding a mechanical issue with your imported vehicle than your local Ford or GM dealer? When it comes to installing your windows and doors, does your contractor or framer research the construction industry to determine which specialized products are best for installing your new windows and doors? New products are being developed all the time and we continually research the industry to determine the best installation products available.

The windows in my seven year old home have serious condensation issues in the winter and I believe the builder installed cheap windows. Would you replace them?

Not necessarily. The first step would be to perform a humidity check with a humidity tester to determine if the window is at fault or if there is a humidity issue. Most often it is not a fault of the windows and replacing them would be an waste of money. So lets look at:

Is upgrading to triple pane windows an option I should consider?

Yes, as quite often the cost difference, on a whole home window and door upgrade, is only between 8 and 15% yet increases more than 40% in R-Value over new dual pane windows. Better resistance to condensation and decreased noise from outside are also added benefits.

Replacing windows and doors costs more than we thought. Do you have any financing options available?

We have partnered with the professionals at Dominion Lending Centre Regional Mortgage Group to help find various ways to finance your renovations. Each customer has different needs for financing and DLC Regional Mortgage Group will work with you to find the financing that best suits your needs. A new first mortgage, second mortgage, line of credit or simply an unsecured line of credit, DLC Regional Mortgage can help you make your home renovation an affordable reality.

I am developing my basement and I am wondering what the requirements are for bedroom windows.

People asleep in a bedroom are not as aware of the occurrence of a fire in their dwelling unit as when they are awake. By the time they are able to respond to a smoke alarm the suite may be filled with smoke and their escape route from the bedroom blocked. For reasons of life safety the code requires that either an alternate escape route be provided or that the fire be automatically controlled by the use of sprinklers. Unless a bedroom has a door that leads directly to the building exterior, or the suite is sprinklered, each bedroom must have at least one window openable from the inside without the use of tools or special knowledge. This window must provide an unobstructed opening with a minimum area of 0.35 m2 (3.77 sq.ft. or 543 sq. inches), and no dimension less than 380 mm (15").

Basement egress windows present an added challenge. Besides the height, width and overall area requirements that the window must meet, there are certain requirements for the window well surrounding the window.

It is important to note that if a window opens into a window well a clearance of at least 550 mm (about 22") between window and wall of the well is required. An awning style window opening into a window well may pose a challenge in maintaining this clearance and could interfere with the occupant�s ability to exit through the window well. The required clearances must be maintained when the window is in the open position.

The 1997 Alberta Building Code (ABC) states the following for bedroom windows and window wells: Bedroom Windows

  • 1) Except where a bedroom door provides access directly to the exterior or the suite is sprinklered, each bedroom shall have at least one outside window openable from the inside without the use of tools or special knowledge. (See Appendix A.)
  • 2) Windows referred to in Sentence (1) shall provide unobstructed openings with areas not less than 0.35 m2 and with no dimension less than 380 mm. (See Article and Appendix A.)
  • 3) If the window referred to in Sentence (1) is provided with security bars, the security bars shall be openable from the inside without the use of any tools or special knowledge. Window Opening into a Window Well

  • 1) Where a window required in Article opens into a window-well, a clearance of not less than 550 mm shall be provided in front of the window.
  • 2) Where the sash of a window referred to in Sentence (1) swings towards the window well, the operation of the sash shall not reduce the clearance in a manner that would restrict escape in an emergency.
When you have safety-related questions, please contact either your local municipal safety codes officer, or the Safety Services Branch. Safety Services can be contacted by:

Telephone: 1-866-421-6929
Email: safety [dot] services [at] gov [dot] ab [dot] ca

Conent for article "I am developing my basement and I am wondering what the requirements are for bedroom windows" provided courtesy of www.albertapropertyinspection.com
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