3900 N Island Hwy, Nanaimo
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11 Dec 2018

Top 3 Signs That Say It’s Time To Replace Your Windows

We all know that we should replace our windows at some point, but when is the right time, really? Most windows have a reasonably long life span. Newer vinyl windows can last upwards of 15 – 20 years and will do their job well for the duration of that time. However, there are a few cases where you should replace them sooner. Here are our top 3 signs to watch for!

Windows Don’t Open, Close, or Lock

If you are having issues with opening, closing or locking your windows, you should consider replacing them. There are a couple of reasons why this is something you should watch for. Windows are important for your safety and for your comfort, so mechanisms that don’t work can be hazardous.

In the event of an emergency, such as a house fire, windows offer important exit points throughout your home. If they can’t open easily, this significantly impacts your ability to use them for this purpose. Windows that don’t close or lock properly also impact your home’s safety.

Windows also provide comfort to your home. Being able to close your windows in the winter lowers your heating costs and keeps you cozier when it’s cold outside. Opening your windows allows for natural cooling of your home by allowing hot air to escape in the summer, reducing your cooling costs. Windows that don’t work can actually cost you money in the long run!

Windows Are Leaky, Sills Have Damage, Or Collect Condensation

Damaged windows need to be replaced. If you can see significant damage in the sills or frames, such as rotting wood, it might be time to replace your windows. Light damage can sometimes be repaired, so if you’re not sure, book a consultation to confirm. It’s important to deal with rot right away though, as it can easily cause further damage to window structure if left alone too long.

Leaks or significant condensation are also an indication that your windows need replacement. Water damage is dangerous for your home’s structural framework, as well as your health. Consistently wet areas can harbour mould, which can affect your air quality. It can also cause hidden rot. While some condensation can be normal, significant condensation can indicate a problem, and should be looked at.

Energy Efficiency

If your energy costs are increasing, it may also be time to replace your windows. This can be a sign that the windows in your home have lost their insulative properties. Old windows, especially single pane windows, are extremely inefficient at keeping heat in during the winter. Replacing your windows with energy efficient ones can save you quite a bit, even more if they’re on the most efficient list!

Older windows may be the more obvious choice to replace but there are some cases where other types of windows can reduce your energy efficiency. Cracked windows of any type will lose their ability to insulate effectively and should be replaced. Sealed unit windows with condensation between the panes have also lost their ability to insulate and should be replaced too.

 

Windows are an important part of your safety and comfort, so if your windows are showing any of these signs, you should consider repair or an upgrade. If you’re not sure whether something should be replaced or repaired, or you’re ready to upgrade and want to book an installation, give us a call. Our team is highly skilled and experienced, and we’re happy to help! Contact us today!

28 Nov 2018

Winter Installations: Can You Install Windows In Cold Weather?

Installing windows in the winter is not often the first thing we think of when it comes to cold weather renos. Luckily for us, on Vancouver Island, we don’t experience the same level of cold as our friends from the Interior. Sometimes drafts and moisture issues only become apparent in the colder months, and your spring window installation might seem just a bit too far away. Since drafty old windows are nobody’s idea of a cozy winter, this begs the question. Can you install windows in winter weather? The short answer is yes, but let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t worry about booking your window installation in cooler temperatures.

Is it safe to install windows in sub zero temperatures?

Surprisingly, windows can be installed in cold weather up until about -20C. Since we live in the more temperate coastal regions of BC, window installations are definitely possible throughout the winter months. There are still some challenges when it comes to cold weather installations though. The vinyl in newer windows becomes harder to cut, so tricky windows with lots of cuts, like bay windows, might need to wait until the spring.

What about when it’s wet outside?

Rain is one of the most common winter elements we’re exposed to on the Island. In many cases, installation during precipitation is possible, but this will depend on a number of things. High wind and heavy rain can make installation difficult, as it can present a safety hazard for our team. It can also lead to moisture entering the interior of your home, which is what we’re trying to prevent with high quality windows in the first place!

However, we can assure you that our installers are experienced in all types of weather, and they know when to try again another day. If conditions are really bad, we’re happy to reschedule an installation at a time that works for you.

Why should I install windows in the winter anyway?

Weather conditions aside, the winter is actually a good time to install windows. Installations in the winter don’t really have any disadvantages compared to the summer months and might even have some benefits. If you’re experiencing significant condensation or window leaks, waiting until the spring isn’t necessarily a good idea. Rain storms and high winds common to Vancouver Island can drive moisture deep into cracks and crevasses, causing lasting damage.

Installing your windows during the winter means that most of the issues you might have with a window will already be present, making it easier to find and fix them. Winter is a slower time of year as well, so you may have more options when it comes to installation dates.

 

In reality, while the weather isn’t as friendly, the benefits from upgrading your windows exist throughout the year. Replacing existing windows any time can give you energy savings and increase your comfort level. If you’re experiencing significant issues with your windows, waiting can even be detrimental. If you have window issues, such as leaks or cracks, don’t wait until the spring! Give us a call and book your consultation today!

23 Oct 2018

3 Tricks for Getting Rid of Window Condensation

As the weather gets cooler, it’s pretty common to get window condensation. There’s a simple reason this happens. Condensation is generally the result of temperature change. When the temperature drops, humidity tends to increase indoors along with the heat. Cold air cools your windows, causing the warmer, more humid air inside to condense as it hits the cold glass. It is normal to have window condensation, even with newer panes, if your home’s humidity is high. It’s a good idea to monitor window condensation and it can easily be removed with a soft towel. Regular removal can help prevent mould and mildew buildup from excess moisture. While drying your windows is effective, we’ve got a few tricks to help get rid of window condensation before it hits the glass.

Remove Humidity to Prevent Window Condensation

One of the easiest ways to help remove condensation is to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. If you have humidifiers, turning them down will reduce some of the condensation on your windows. If you experience high humidity without a humidifier, using a dehumidifier will also help reduce moisture in your home. Dehumidifiers come in many different models and sizes, so look for one that works for the space where you’re finding the most condensation. Common areas to find condensation include bathrooms and kitchens. Hidden humidity culprits include plants and fish tanks. Lids are available for most aquariums to prevent excess moisture from escaping and moving houseplants away from windows can help prevent condensation from building up.

Increase Air Flow to Prevent Window Condensation.

Increasing air flow will help to prevent window condensation, especially in problem areas like kitchens or bathrooms. Using stove and bathroom fans will help remove some of the warm air released when cooking or taking a shower. Ceiling fans will help keep warm air circulating. Keeping your windows open a crack can also help prevent window condensation. Another option is an air exchanger, which brings in fresh air from outside and removes stale, humid air from the house. While more expensive, there are several options available and these units can also help keep interior air clean.

Upgrade Your Windows to Prevent Window Condensation.

Upgrading your windows can help prevent window condensation too. Single pane windows are notorious for condensation, as they lack the extra insulating effect that newer windows have. Newer windows with condensation between the panes should also be replaced, as this is generally a sign of a broken seal. In any case, checking weather stripping around doors and windows is a good idea, as poor seals will contribute to moisture problems.

Preventing window condensation is an important part of looking after your home’s health. Mould and mildew buildup can cause many issues, so it’s necessary to control it. While these tricks can help prevent significant condensation, it’s important to dry off any remaining condensation with a soft towel often, which will also prevent moisture damage to your sills. If you’re experiencing excessive window condensation and are thinking of upgrading, we’ve got you covered. Don’t wait, give us a call today!

25 Sep 2018

Exterior Winter Prep: Getting Your Exterior Ready for a Long Winter’s Nap

Fall has returned, and with it comes the yearly list of exterior winter prep. Packing lunches and raking leaves is about to become the norm, and along with that, colder weather. Before the frost hits and the dark nights commence, keep your house cozy and your yard set for winter with these tips.

Exterior Winter Prep for Windows, Doors, and Gutters

Windows and doors play a pretty big part in your home’s performance, especially in winter. Windows and doors that are improperly maintained can add to your energy bill and keep you feeling chilly from
drafts. Checking for leaks around windows and doors is an important part of exterior winter prep. Airtight seals helps to lower your energy bill and keeps the heat in. Checking seals is particularly important for single pane windows. If your windows are in bad shape, it might be time to consider upgrading. New vinyl windows keep heat inside the house and reduce your overall energy consumption. Replacing damaged weather stripping is also part of exterior winter prep.

Now’s a good time to remove any excess dirt and debris from window sills and tracks, and give the windows a good wash too. If your home experiences high humidity, it may also be a good idea to invest
in a dehumidifier or lowering the thermostat slightly, to prevent condensation. Prevent damage to exterior walls by giving them a scrub to remove dirt, mould and moss. Doing this as part of your exterior
winter prep can help prevent them from growing in the ideal conditions that wet winters bring. Gutters should be cleaned as well to promote drainage.

Condensation from humidity.

Exterior Winter Prep for the Yard:

Part of exterior winter prep is preparing tools and equipment for winter, as well as making sure that winter tools like snow shovels are easily available should you need them. Prep your equipment for the cool weather by removing gas from tanks and draining water from hoses and water features. Clean garden tools before putting them away to keep them from rusting or degrading. Bring out snow shovels or blowers, salt, and any other tools you need to make your job easier when the time comes. Doing this has the added bonus of keeping you from tripping over the beach chairs to get to them. Checking the roof on your home and the shed is also worth adding to your exterior winter prep, as missing or damaged shingles can allow water to leak into your home or shed.

Broken shingles allow moisture to cause permanent damage over time.

Exterior Winter Prep for the Garden

Another important part of exterior winter prep is the garden! Now is the ideal time to plant some colourful fall plants to liven up your space. It’s also a great time to plant bulbs that will bloom in spring. If you have any plants that need to be divided or transplanted, the cooler weather will make it easier on them. Mulching is another great addition to exterior winter prep, as it will help protect the soil and the roots as the temperatures get colder. Be sure to bring sensitive plants to a sheltered or indoor area to prevent stress. Doing the same with container plants will also keep pots from cracking if the soil freezes. Adding both these things to your exterior winter prep checklist will make the eventual switch to spring a lot easier.

Chrysanthemums and other fall flowers add brightness when other plants start to die off.

Taking the time to do a little bit of exterior winter prep will save you time, money, and a headache later. If you need windows or doors replaced, even in the dead of winter, we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s a new patio door, a sealed unit, or something else, we’d love to help you stay cozy this winter! Give us a shout today!

09 Aug 2018

Creative Mirror Uses

Outfitting small and dark spaces with mirrors is more popular than ever, especially with the many creative mirror uses available. With smaller spaces a regular occurrence today, visual space is a necessity. Mirrors have been used to brighten rooms for many years, but that doesn’t mean that using them is unoriginal. We’ve compiled a few creative mirror uses to help you brighten and expand your space, regardless of size.

Creative Mirror Uses: Traditional Locations.

Mirrors look anything but conventional these days, but they’ve been traditionally used to enhance spaces for centuries. One popular location is opposite a window or light source. In a small space or a dark room, a mirror reflects the nearby light. This creates a window-like effect, offering the perfect solution when renovations aren’t an option. Other traditional locations include the end of a small room, above a table or fireplace, and behind couches or chairs. Though these locations are traditionally pleasing, creative mirror uses include implementing a variety of shapes and styles to suit the modern home.

Creative Mirror Uses: The Great Outdoors

It is becoming less and less common for homes to have a large outdoor space, and creative mirror uses reflect this (no pun intended!). Many people have started using mirrors as a way of broadening their outdoor space. Hanging mirrors on an exterior wall helps to reflect gardens and deck designs to give the illusion of space. If your space has a small water feature, placing a mirror behind it can give you visual space while adding appeal to a small area. If you do choose to use mirrors out of doors, make sure that they are hung in areas protected from the rain, as the elements can damage the silvering.

Creative Mirror Uses: Functional Art

Creative mirror uses are perhaps most noticeable in functional art. Multiple mirrors in unusual shapes can be used to make an art feature in a hallway. Using mirror pieces as part of an indoor mosaic can add visual appeal to a room too. Framed mirrors can also be mixed with photos or paintings to create a feature wall.  Any of these ideas will bring light and space into dark areas while still providing beauty in your space. If you’re into DIY, mirrors have also been used to freshen up old furniture and transform light fixtures.

Creative Mirror Uses: Placement, Placement, Placement.

Though the saying goes “location, location, location”, with creative mirror uses, it should be “placement, placement, placement”. Since the right location could be anywhere, depending on where you need the extra boost, placement is the most important aspect of creative mirror uses. For enhancing light, take care to avoid too much of it, otherwise it will be too overpowering.  When creating space, your creative mirror uses should be positioned to give you the best view. You’ll be disappointed if you see nothing but carpet or power lines. Creative mirror uses aren’t recommended on frequently used doors and cabinets. Be tactful in private areas like bathrooms.

Regardless of what your creative mirror uses are, you can be certain that, done right, they will enhance your home. Be it outdoors or indoors, making your space brighter or bigger, there’s a creative mirror use for you. Need a hand with placement? Looking for a mirror to fit an awkward place? We can help! Our team is highly knowledgeable and can advise you on the best place for your mirror. We also offer custom sized mirrors and for that particularly tricky space, we can even cut holes for light fixtures and outlets. Give us a call today!

11 Jul 2018

Deck Designs – Things to Consider

Deck Designs on your list of things to explore this summer? Deck designs and patios are a great addition to any home. In addition to providing a comfortable space to enjoy the outdoors, deck designs can also make a statement! With the ever-increasing supply of products available, the options are nearly limitless to create a visually pleasing space that you feel comfortable in. If you are looking to spice up your patio this summer, we’ve got a few suggestions!

Deck Designs and Railings:

Aside from the obvious safety factors, railings can really bring patios to life. Upgrading or replacing your existing railings can freshen up older deck designs and patios. While there are many materials available for railings, from simple wood to classic wrought iron, glass is one of our favourites! Glass railings provide an uninterrupted view as well as a windscreen. Additionally, they tend to be relatively low maintenance, since they won’t corrode or rust like iron and they won’t require regular staining like wood. We can install glass railings with a top rail or without, so they’re also customizable. Regardless of what you choose, upgrading or replacing your railings can rejuvenate your outdoor space.

Deck Designs, Patio Covers and Awnings:

Patio covers and retractable awnings can go a long way to adding some life to your deck designs and your patios. Both choices allow you to use your outdoor space longer, as they provide protection from sun and rain. Patio covers are fixed structures and they can be made with opaque roof panels, glass, or a combination of the two. They are virtually maintenance free and have a long lifespan. Retractable awnings are not fixed, so you can use them when needed. They are constructed out of fabric and can be motorized or manually set up. Awnings are low maintenance, requiring only a small amount of cleaning to keep them functional. They have a long lifespan as well, though the fabric will need replacing with time. Either option will offer you more opportunities to enjoy your outdoor space!

Deck Designs, Containers and Planters:

Containers also make a statement for your deck designs and your patios. With so many different types and sizes now available, they can be a simple way to add style to your outdoor space. Some planters have directional designs, so if you have glass railings, make sure you like the back design too! Style isn’t the only thing to consider though; the materials your planters are made with can make a difference to how much maintenance you’ll need to do. Metal containers for full sun deck designs and patios may need additional watering as they’ll heat up quickly, and terra cotta or glazed pots may need to be stored during the winter to prevent cracking in freezing temperatures. Make sure your choices suit your deck designs, whether your look is laid back and low maintenance, elegant and sophisticated, or vibrant and fun!

Deck Designs and Plants:

Flowers and herbs can really bring deck designs and patios to life! Whether you want classic greenery or a riot of colour, plants are a quick and easy way to bring a fresh look to your outdoor space. While you’re choosing plants, you should consider whether you will have new flowers replanted every year or whether you will want plants that mature over time. Your local garden centre can advise you on the best plants for your deck designs, patio, and the look you’re going for. If you choose to house multiple plants in the same container, consider planting taller flowers or herbs in the middle of your planter. This is especially important with glass railings, since you’ll want to see your plants from all sides!

 

Deck Designs and Furniture:

Outdoor furniture comes in a wide variety of materials and styles. Many places carry outdoor furniture and can advise you on what materials will best suit your needs. Some considerations include durability, style, and required maintenance. If you already have furniture that you love, consider livening things up with outdoor cushions or a new coat of paint. Furniture makes a statement in your deck designs, so make sure it matches the feel of what you’re going for. Consider whether your style will work with weathering, or whether your look will need to be refreshed regularly to keep the feel you want. Do your research first!

 

Ultimately, whether you choose to upgrade your railings, buy new containers, plant a herb garden, install some shelter, or repaint your favourite chair, make sure you choose something you’re going to enjoy. If you’re comfortable with your deck designs, you’ll be using those deck designs for a long time to come!

11 Jun 2018

How Do I Clean My Glass?

We’re surrounded by glass. It’s present in many different aspects of our lives, from windows to showers, mirrors to deck railings, sunrooms to windshields. No doubt about it, glass is a big part of our spaces! The question, though, is how to keep it clean. With the wide variety of glass available, it’s no surprise that there are different ways to keep different glass types clean. Regular cleaning can prevent a host of difficult scrubbing, and what you’re using makes just as much of a difference as when you’re cleaning.

 

Shower Doors

How often do I clean glass shower doors? With how often showers get used, the easiest way to keep them clean is by cleaning them daily or weekly to prevent soap scum and water stains from building up.

What do I use? Using a squeegee on your glass every time you’re done showering is the most efficient and doesn’t require any additional cleaning products. If you do choose to use a product for daily or weekly maintenance, use a soft cloth that won’t scratch the glass while you’re cleaning. Some cleaners, whether commercial or homemade, can damage stone or tile surrounds, so make sure that the product you’re using is safe for your shower.

 

Mirrors

How often do I clean mirrors? Mirrors see a lot of daily use and they can get dirty quickly. Cleaning them daily or weekly will keep them sparkling and prevent any spots or splatters from building up.

What do I use? A diluted vinegar solution or glass cleaner along with a soft cloth will make the job easier. Pre-treating any large droplets or spots before you completely clean the surface will prevent them from adding streaks.

 

Exterior Glass

How often do I clean exterior glass? Exterior glass, like windows, patio doors, glass railings, and sunrooms, will have different cleaning requirements depending on where you live and what season it is. Homes in dry dusty areas will have different cleaning needs than homes near the sea, and a rainy fall season will have different cleaning needs than a sunny, pollen-filled spring. Generally, monthly cleaning can go a long way to reduce the amount of scrubbing required, but depending on your home, you may need to clean them more often or less frequently.

What do I use? For exterior glass surfaces, a squeegee and a bucket of warm water and soap will do the best job, though it may take a little bit of practice to be efficient at it. Protect windowsills with a towel and keep the bubbles to a minimum for best results. Protect door jambs and windowsills with a towel and save cleaning for when the glass isn’t hot. Hot glass will dry cleaning solution quickly, leaving you with streaks and a lot more work to do. If you decide to use a spray cleaner instead, make sure the one you choose is safe for nearby surfaces, and use a soft cloth or sponge that won’t scratch the glass. Paper products can leave lint and they often move dirt around rather than removing it, so use them sparingly.

 

With the right equipment and regular cleaning, you can keep the glass around your home sparkling clean for a long time to come! In addition to maintenance, some glass surfaces can also be installed with coatings that can increase the time between cleanings, such as Clearshield for shower doors, or CONSERVAGLASS SELECT™ for sunrooms. Happy scrubbing!

05 May 2018

Make The Most Of Outdoor Living

West Coast, best coast as they say. It’s true. One of the many perks to living here is the mild temperatures that we experience for most of the year. Of course, that’s also accompanied by sudden weather changes. If you’d like to get more of the outdoors without getting wet or sizzling in sunshine, we’ve got you covered. Literally! Sunrooms and patio covers are a great way to take advantage of west coast outdoor living. We install Four Seasons sunrooms and patio covers for superior quality and style. While both sunrooms and patio covers keep you sheltered from sun and rain, they are each unique in their own way.

 

Sunrooms are a complete addition to your home and they are useable all year round. They can be easily adjusted to seasonal changes, sealing in the winter, and ventilating in the summer. As all the windows have screens, they’re also perfect for keeping the bugs out. Sunrooms are quite customizable. Multiple options for roofing allow you to decide how much light to let in, and once it’s built you can furnish it the way you would an interior space. The structure itself can also be made from multiple types of materials. However, since sunrooms are a permanent attachment to your home, location can be a limiting factor and they can be quite expensive to build.

 

If you don’t fancy a full addition, a patio cover might be just the thing instead. Patio covers are extremely versatile. They can be installed on any kind of house, and configuration possibilities are endless. Roofing materials come in several options, so you can choose the right one for your needs. They can even handle lights and ceiling fans in many cases! Patio covers are easier on the wallet, but since they aren’t enclosed they won’t be useable year round.

 

If you’re worried that choosing a patio cover excludes sunroom possibilities down the road, take heart. Patio covers can be turned into sunrooms, as long as the cover’s assembly is strong enough to handle the additional sunroom structure. An insulated roof will also be required so the new sunroom doesn’t “sweat”. Regardless of which one you ultimately decide on, patios and sunrooms alike will have you enjoying the West Coast outdoors in comfort.

23 Mar 2018
frosted-glass-budget-glass

Benefits of Frosted Glass in the Office

Office space design trends come and go. From the era of the cubicle, to full-on open-concept, and today’s newest trend is an amalgamation of the two. Frosted glass office partitions are the perfect way to offer both a private and open feel in your office space. Here are some of the benefits of frosted glass:

Openness and Natural Light
Frosted glass office partitions offer a happy medium between blocked off opaque walls and fully open clear glass. Frosted glass offers privacy and separation while still letting in natural light and maintaining a sense of openness. The more natural light coming into your office, the less artificial lighting you will need. This will save you money on your monthly utility bills and help boost the mood and productivity of staff.

Open Yet Private
Frosted glass office partitions give your office or cubicles privacy with a modern look and open feel, it’s the best of both worlds.

Low Maintenance
Frosted glass partitions are long lasting and low maintenance. With a simple glass cleaner and cloth, you can keep your office looking sharp with ease.

Protection
Frosted glass also has the added benefit of blocking harmful UV rays that will fade your furniture over time. If your office furniture is exposed to a lot of sunlight during the day, frosted glass will help protect the chairs, couches, and wood in your office space from fading.

Durability
While glass has a reputation for being fragile and breakable, frosted glass office partitions are made of sturdy tempered glass that is safe and durable.

Versatility
Frosted glass is a neutral, sleek, modern option that will complement any colour palette and interior design scheme.  

Whether you are designing a new office space or looking to spruce up an existing one, frosted glass partitions, doors, and walls will create that private, yet open concept design you’ve been looking for.

 

Contact Budget Glass for a frosted glass quote today!

17 Feb 2018
Energy star windows

Lower Your Winter Heating Bill with Energy Star® Windows

Even though windows, patio doors, and skylights do not consume energy, they can be a major pain point on your winter heating bill if they are not energy efficient.

What are Energy Star® Windows?

  • Energy Star® certified windows contain special low-e coatings and insulated frames that help keep the heat in and the cold air of your home.
  • Energy Star® windows are either double or triple glazed, which make for better insulation and also helps with noise reduction from outside.
  • These windows also feature special inert gases between the panes.
  • Energy Star® windows are tailored to your Canadian climate zone.

Benefits of Energy Star® Windows

  1. Save Money
    1. Natural Resources Canada states that compared to standard windows,  Energy Star® rated windows can save you an average of 8% on your energy bills.
    2. Windows that qualify as Energy Star® Most Efficient add to up being 40% more efficient than a standard window.
    3. Efficient windows, doors, and skylights may be eligible for BC Hydro energy savings rebates.

  2. Increased Comfort:
    Energy efficient windows will help keep your house feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. No more shivering at the window seat or getting wet from window condensation. Also, the added insulation in your windows will block out a lot of exterior noise.
  3. Increased Home Value
    Not only do new energy efficient windows look great, but they add more value to your home. BC Hydro states that Energy Star® rated homes save up to 20% on their energy bills each year. That number alone is a huge selling factor for a lot of home buyers.
  4. Eco-Friendly
    When it comes to helping the environment, every little bit counts. Since you are using less energy to cool and heat your house, you will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from your home.

What is your average monthly heating bill? Budget Glass can help you lower your monthly costs with our wide selection of Energy Star® rated windows and expert installation.