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7 Deadly Sins of Window & Door Planning

Choosing windows and doors when you are building your new house can be a daunting task.

HPE-108-BAs an architectural feature, your windows and doors are one of the most important elements of your home. They give your home character, showcasing your unique sense of style and personality. They allow in light and set the ambiance for your rooms. They connect your interior living spaces with the outdoors. They also have a significant impact on the energy performance of your home.

It is essential for you to be aware of some of the common mistakes that can be made when considering your window and door options. Below are some pitfalls to avoid. We call them the 7 Deadly Sins of window and door planning.


In today’s world, reducing energy consumption and costs are a priority for everyone. You can maximize the energy efficiency of your home by careful planning of how your house is angled and how the sun’s light hits the walls, windows, and doors. Ideally, your house should be orientated to the east-west (in North America), with the longest side facing south. Locating your most frequently used rooms and largest windows on the southern side will maximize the available light and heat energy from the sun. In the winter, this will lower your energy needs by helping to keep your home warm and cozy. To aid in keeping your home cool in the summer, plan for landscaping that provides shade or use an overhang to shield the windows from the sun’s rays.

Talk to your architect or building contractor on the best ways to accomplish this. For some in depth information about house site orientation and window/door placement, read these two articles below:
Siting with the Sun: Passive Heating and Daylighting from Green Building Advisor, and
Orientation / South Facing Windows from Green Passive Solar Magazine

Technological advances in the manufacturing industry has afforded us with many choices in the types of windows and doors available to us. Doing a little research before you begin to narrow your options will help you make an informed decision. The three most common window and door materials are: vinyl, wood and fibreglass. Each of these materials have their advantages and disadvantages.

Vinyl windows are low maintenance, energy-efficient, and available in many styles. Since the corners are welded, they do not leak. Vinyl ranges from cheap PVC to high-end uPVC, and pricing varies depending on quality. However, they are not as strong as wood or fibreglass unless they are steel-reinforced, and the colour cannot be changed later on.*

Wood windows are versatile, energy efficient, and convenient for retrofit projects. The cost of wood windows varies widely depending on quality, but are usually expensive as softer wood is aluminum clad on the exterior, adding to the cost. They also require a lot maintenance, and are vulnerable to moisture and insect damage.

Fibreglass window are also low maintenance, available in many styles. They are strong and durable, and can usually be re-stained or re-painted. While fibreglass has low thermal conductivity, window profiles are usually extruded with fewer chambers than vinyl windows, making them less energy efficient. Mechanically connected corners also mean that the seal will deteriorate over time, leaking air and water.

Learn about the pros and cons of these types of window systems, and talk to your builder or window sales consultant to determine which type of system will best suit your needs. Ask about our 1400-series casement windows and our 4600-series tilt & turn windows – made from high-quality REHAU® uPVC, and our uPVC-fibreglass composite 4700-series which uses GENEO® profiles made from high-tech RAU-FIPRO®.

*Our windows are available in many colour options and finishes — including our popular EuroWood™

We all want our windows and doors to be as energy efficient as possible. Understanding the basic concepts of thermal performance will go a long way to make sure that you will be getting what you expect from your investment. Find out what climate zone you live in and check to make sure that the windows and doors you choose meet the requirements of your particular area. Read about Energy Star ratings and what they mean for your choices. Ask your sales consultant about the energy-saving options that are available for their products, such as LoE glass, gas fills and triple pane units. The initial cost of a higher performance window and door system will pay off in the long run.

Energy Efficient Windows & Doors — A Guide to Thermal Performance from REHAU (pdf)
Consumers’ Guide to Purchasing Energy Efficient Windows and Doors – National Resources Canada (pdf)

Think about the purpose of the window or door in the room it is located in. Do you need the window to open for ventilation or cleaning? What about safety? Do you require enhanced safety glass or restrictors? What about the view — do you want an unobstructed view of your back yard or frontage? Don’t forget about egress requirements and other bylaw restrictions you may need to know to ensure that your home passes inspection. Talk to your architect/contractor for advice about the codes in your area.

Check out our Products page — from European-style tilt & turn windows to North American-style casement windows, we manufacture quality custom-made windows and doors made to your specifications.

No one wants to think about an intruder entering their home. Learn about the security features of the windows and doors you are considering before you buy. How easy would it be for a burglar to break into your home through a window or a door? Is the glass shatter resistant? What about the frame, can it withstand an attempt to smash through it? Consider the hardware — is it made from steel — does it have multi-locking points? Watch our Break-In Test video.

That old adage “you get what you pay for” applies to window and door purchases, too. Quality, high performance window and door systems may cost a little more, but will usually last longer and be more energy efficient, increasing the comfort inside your home.

Windows and doors are an investment and you want them to function properly — open easily, close or latch properly, fit plumb and square. Making sure that your contractor knows the correct method of installing your windows and doors is crucial. Better still, have the window company who sold you your windows install your products if possible. Their installers understand and are experienced in working with their products. Remember, improper installation may void your warranty.

By avoiding these “seven deadly sins” you can make informed choices and have the windows and doors that are perfect for your dream home — both in function, performance and aesthetics.

Visit our showroom – we love to talk about windows and doors!

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