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Part costume party, part workout, part ping-pong showdown—all for charity. It’s the Ottawa Charity Ping Pong (OCPP) event, sponsored by Verdun Windows & Doors, and it’s only 4 days away, and over 95 per cent sold out!
This year’s event will raise money for the Youth Services Bureau, empowering and supporting youth in Ottawa towards positive choices and well-being in physical, sexual and mental health; Operation Come Home, providing education, employment and support programs to prevent homeless youth from becoming homeless adults; Christie Lake Kids, changing the trajectory of disadvantaged childrens’ lives through sport, arts, camp, mentoring and leadership programming; andDo It For Darren (DIFD), raising awareness and inspiring conversation about youth mental heath.
Not a ping-pong pro—don’t worry! Players of all skill levels (even the “no-skill” level) are invited to pick up a paddle, or watch from the sidelines. Hosted at Ottawa’s first ping-pong bar, The Spin Bin (aka The Cabin) located at 310 Dalhousie, it’s guaranteed to put some top-spin on Friday night!
This year’s event is going to be bigger than ever, “serving” up a long-list of goodies for players and spectators, including drink vouchers, food (provided by the Manotick Village Butcher), swag and more!
- Access to the OCPP Venue
- Beverage tickets (5 for players, 2 for spectators)
- Burgers/Sausages/Pulled Pork Sandwiches/Cupcakes
- OCPP Headband
- OCPP Wristband
- OCPP Swag Bag!
- Rory Gardiner and The Pelts playing Live!
Players and spectators are encouraged to wear their best tennis whites (a great excuse to wear your whites post-Labour Day) with prizes for best outfit, and possible point deductions for dress-code violators!
To learn more, visit the Ottawa Charity Ping Pong website <www.ottawacharitypingpong.com>, and to get a taste of how much fun this year’s OCPP will be, watch the guys challenge hosts Kurt, Lianne and Jeff on CTV Morning Live.
Replacing an exterior door in your home (especially a front door) can be equally as dramatic an aesthetic change than replacing all of the windows on your house. Besides looks, carefully choosing a product can have security and energy efficiency benefits. Selecting something that covers the bases of look, function, and quality should be the goal of any homeowner, and the obvious benefits of competent installation are critically important. Paying top dollar for a product that is installed poorly negates the purpose of the exercise.
There are a variety of different styles and looks to an exterior door and you shouldn’t be limited to what a particular manufacturer simply has in stock. Ask and look through catalogues to get a sense of the spectrum of styles and designs you can consider. A new door can be arched, wide, or include added height. Transom windows above a door or an arched top can add dramatic effects to the overall look of your home. Doors are considered to make a statement about the home’s owners. Knowing and getting a sense of all of the options, and approaching a door purchase with functionality front of mind is key – but it does not need to come at the expense of the look.
Exterior doors are primarily made of three materials.
- Wood: Luxurious and old world charming – wood doors can add an element of warmth to a home and can preserve architectural aspects of older houses. They require a lot of upkeep compared to a good steel door or a fiberglass composite. Wood can also be sensitive to damage – more so than the other types – and they can be expensive.
- Steel: Steel doors are strong and durable – more so than wood or fiberglass – major factors in terms of choice. They’re often a very economical option and are a great choice if security is a priority. A benefit related to their strength is their impact rated options which give them the ability to protect your home against severe storm damage, including heavy winds, rain and flying debris. In addition, they won’t crack, warp, or come apart. They insulate very well, and come in a variety of styles – much like a wood door. They can suffer minor damage like dents, but are easily repaired.
- Fibreglasss composite: These doors can be made to look like wood with distinctive grain, colours, and other adornments. Durable and virtually maintenance free, they’re also lightweight, reasonable in terms of price, and last the longest out of the three options available.
Is your door primarily used for guests? Does it endure a lot of handling by kids and other high traffic? Is your door the only passage in an entrance for light? Are there fire retrofit or code requirements that you need to know about before replacing a door? These are all questions a knowledgeable expert will ask you and which you’ll need to consider before making a selection. We’re advocates of a good compromise between function/practical use first, and aesthetics a close second, and again – it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.
It’s essential to read the fine print on a warranty when purchasing a new window. Many companies that sell or install windows offer a manufacturer’s warranty on parts and labor, but only for the first year. Some companies will offer labour for another year on top of the manufacturer’s original warranty, but they’ll charge you for the replacement of small parts that relate to the window’s function. Not a great scenario to be in when the windows are essentially brand new. Also, interestingly – some companies will offer lifetime warranties - which sounds fantastic until you learn that the company has only been around for a couple of years. It’s kind of difficult to have comfort in a lifetime warranty with a limited track record to date.
Here’s the kicker. Read this article by Clayton Dekorne at Remodeling. Did you know that 30% of the windows that are replaced are only about 7 years old? The article makes a few great points about the necessity to really read the fine print on the supported warranty with whoever you’re purchasing your windows from, as in many cases, it’s got conditions and exceptions that can be unreasonable and which don’t exactly work in your favour or reflect a quality product. This is a highly important aspect of things in our opinion. So important, that it should be front and center in terms of your decision on a purchase. Here’s a few bullet points from the article to look out for when reading the warranty paperwork on some of the windows you might be considering…
- “Non-prorated” warranties, which will cover the entire purchase price of the window for the term of the warranty. Remodelers are familiar with prorated warranties on roofs. But a well-made window shouldn’t gradually degrade with exposure as rapidly as roofing materials do, so there is little justification for such a warranty structure.
- “Fully transferable” warranties. These are a sign that the window maker means business. For a homeowner selling a home, it can be a value-added feature that the remodeler ought to make available when recommending a window. For the record, our warranty is fully transferable for it’s 20 year duration.
- “Non-glass” component warranty. Hardware, in particular, should carry a minimum 10-year warranty. A good window with bad hardware is a bad window, Mathis insists. If a lock breaks or the crank handle strips out, it will reflect poorly on the remodeler who installed the window. Think about the window manufacturer’s capacity to stock replacement parts well into the future.
- “Labor and installation.” Unless a certified representative of the manufacturer installed the unit, few warranties will cover the cost of installation. Some may, but largely this will fall to the remodeler who installed the window — even more reason for remodelers to stick with brands they can trust.
- “Exclusions.” Some warranties specifically exclude coverage for damage from environmental factors such as high humidity or salt spray, making installation especially inappropriate in many locations. Often the exclusion applies to the glass, as well as the hardware and finishes.
- “Finishes.” Coverage on finishes is rare, but some warranties do cover exterior coatings and finishes on cladding. However, painting or refinishing the exterior to match the home may null this coverage. This is particularly true with warranties on aluminum-clad and vinyl units.
With all of this to say, we’re not just shedding light on this without backing it up with our 28 years in the business and what many consider one of the best warranties in the industry. You can read about our warranty – here. We offer a 20 year warranty on our products that includes the parts AND the labor.
Replacing basement windows is slightly different than a regular window above ground in your home. Basements have a tendency to be dark, so the passage of as much light as possible is essential with any window you’re replacing. That’s not the only thing that’s important. Many home burglaries begin with a basement window, so security is also an essential feature that can’t be overlooked. There’s a variety of styles of window you can choose from – including sliding windows (open and close by sliding from side to side), and hopper windows (opens by tilting inward from the top), but we manufacture a window style that we believe is superior to these two alternatives. The awning window.
Awning windows are ideal replacement windows for basements for a variety of reasons. They’re considered more contemporary, stylish, and aesthetically pleasing than hopper and sliding windows. They open by swinging from the bottom out and are hinged to the top of the window frame and offer better protection from the elements because of the way they open. Awning windows allow for better passage of light and ventilation, and are generally considered very secure for basements. They can also be placed high on walls to provide good lighting for a room.
ENERGY STAR is an international symbol of energy efficiency. It indicates products that meet a premium level of energy efficiency as set out by guidelines by the Canadian Federal Government and the Office of Energy Efficiency. Energy Star labelled products exceed the minimum energy efficient criteria for the climate region you reside in – in some cases by as much as 40% – reducing home energy costs better than products that are not labelled with the accreditation.
As an example – for windows to qualify as an Energy Star product, they must meet strict technical requirements for both thermal and structural performance. They’re qualified based on either their U-value (the rate of heat transfer from a warm area to a cold area) or their overall energy rating (a scale that considers the U-Value, potential solar gain, and seal/air tight factor – as an example, Ottawa requires windows to be Zone B – an ER of 25 or more). The colder the climate you live in, the more stringent the requirement. Energy efficient windows also increase comfort, cut down noise levels from outside the home, have less condensation in cold weather than standard products, and allow fewer U/V rays to pass through glazed areas – protecting from sun damage.
Our reputation is key to the success of our business, and as such, from time to time, we like to share the stories of our happy customers. HomeStars.com is a rapidly growing online community of homeowners and home improvement companies throughout Canada and the U.S. It’s also a free service that enables home owners to find reputable service providers, contractors, and retailers based on reviews and discussion forums. Homeowners can have dialogue with each other regarding experiences and service they’ve received, and it’s become a forum for consumers to share and provide constructive feedback to those in the industry as well as with each other.
We were honoured to be the recipients of the Windows and Doors award for 2011 recently. You can find out profile at Home Stars here:
We’re serious about manufacturing products that are of a renovation grade and that maintain a standard of excellence, however, we wanted to shed some light on something very important. Regardless of how well a window is made, keeping them clean is important. Sounds obvious, right? You’d be surprised how infrequently many of us actually clean our windows. Sometimes never!
Why is this important? We’ll explain.
Window glass appear to be smooth but they’re actually porous if you were to view them under a microscope. Glass contains many microscopic peaks and valleys that can capture and trap debris, road salt, pollen, rust, and even calcium deposits. Windows glass that has never been cleaned can become water spotted and appear weathered over time. These things can gradually etch the window and lead to a loss of integrity within the glass itself.
Windows are designed to provide an “R-Value” – also commonly known as the value that indicates it’s resistance to heat gain or loss – it’s “efficiency”. This value is based on the assumption that windows are clean. The accumulation of debris in the porous element of window glass can compromise the R-Value of even the most expensive and most energy efficient windows on the market. Keeping your windows clean can improve this resistance to heat gain or loss and allows the glass to better regulate the effects of the exterior temperature. There’s a great article on cleaning your windows at TLC Home. Read it here. We recommend cleaning your windows at least twice a year.
Many of our customers visit us at what they consider to be the optimum time of the year to consider a window replacement – the spring or the summer. There’s a common misconception out there – that you need to get your windows installed during the warm months. We’re here to tell you that simply just isn’t the case.
How do we manage to remove an old window and replace it without having your home exposed to the cold for a prolonged period of time? We manufacture your windows on site in our factory within the greater Ottawa area, meaning, that we custom size at the point of measurement, and create a product that is literally and perfectly fabricated for the opening it is being put into – regardless of the season. After the removal of your old product, the new one can go into the opening within minutes. The process of taking an average sized window out and replacing it is a 20 to 30 minute procedure. The finishing – both interior and exterior- is what takes time, but at that point, insulating foam has already been applied and heat is no longer allowed to escape. The same principles also apply to a door replacement. We also use silicone based sealants, which are tolerant to freezing temperatures during the curing cycle.
The best part about considering a window replacement in the winter months is that installation schedules are typically less busy during these times. In other words, you get your windows installed faster. Through a combination of efficiency, precision, and other heat retention techniques on site through the course of a replacement installation, our winter customers are often surprised at how simple it can be even if snow is on the ground.
We came across this great article by Shelley Busey at the Edmonton Journal. She talks about federal and provincial home energy grants, the “Your Home As A System” approach to energy audits for those who are concerned about consumption when renovating their homes, and the importance of speaking with a qualified energy advisor prior to planning out the work. What particularly attracted us to this article was her call out about how a window – if installed properly – can change your home and how it works as a unified and efficient system. You can check out the this link from the Canadian Home Builder’s Association to get a bit of a better understanding of the philosophy.
In short – it explains how items and functions in the home are more interconnected than previously thought when considering how heat circulates and how energy is consumed. As an example, a simple window replacement is but one area to start if looking at the house on the whole in an attempt to reduce energy consumption. A qualified energy advisor will help you look at other considerations – like ventilation, draft proofing, window coverings and decoration, and weather stripping.
You can read the article here: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/homes/Look+picture+before+renovating/5487651/story.html
Condensation is water that forms when warm, moist air hits a cooler surface. In homes, it might occur on surfaces such as windows or on cold-water pipes. Excessive humidity is what causes condensation. Is it bad beyond some irritating fogging up? Yes. Excessive condensation can eventually damage windows and may also eventually lead to mold – and no one wants that.
When interior humidity levels are too high in comparison to the cooler outdoor temperatures, condensation can form on the coldest surface in a room – often times the glass in a window or door. While windows and doors do not cause condensation, they may be one of the first places it shows up.
Can you control or reduce window condensation? Yes. Here’s some tips:
- Monitor the furnace humidifier and employ and monitor a interior humidifier.
- Ensure vents for the attic, basement, and crawl space are open, adequately sized and cross-ventilated.
- Run the exhaust fans for kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms for longer periods.
- Make sure exhaust fans vent directly outside and not into attics or crawl spaces.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for venting gas appliances.
- Make sure your furnace is in proper working order and is serviced regularly.
- Open a door or window for several minutes each day to refresh the inside air.
- Open window coverings – like blinds or drapes – during the day to increase airflow over the glass.
There’s also a great link here concerning condensation and humidity from Natural Resources Canada.
Contact us or request an estimate if you’re considering replacing the windows in your home. Our team can answer your questions about window condensation and how you can prevent it further through product selection and other considerations prior to the purchase of replacement windows.