It’s that time of year again Ontario! As the leaves keep falling and temperatures keep plummeting, the chill is beginning to turn into cold days and even colder nights.
As the first snow of the season hits, there is pressure to get the home prepared for the coming frigid season with blistering winds, hail, sleet and snow. One of the most critical parts of the house to get ready for winter weather is the windows! Since windows interrupt the continuous structure of dwellings walls, it makes sense that they are one of the main perpetrators of letting cold in, so being prepared is necessary to minimize drafts entering the house.
There are several methods to reduce the amount of a cold a window lets into the house. They include rubber weather sealing, insulation film, and adding heavy curtains to a window, but there are many other methods which are listed below.
Here are some steps you can follow as you’re examining your windows:
- A true and tried method of testing for drafts is the candle test. Just hold a lit candle or a lighter close to the area where you suspect the cold air is coming from outside.
- Inspect the caulking on the outside of the window. A broken seal can be one of the most significant contributing factors to heat loss in your home. It is also one of the cheapest and easiest fixes.
- Examine the quality of weather stripping. It is crucial in ensuring high energy efficiency inoperable windows. Hung and slider windows wear the weatherstripping down faster than other units, so pay extra attention there.
- Check windows for ease of operation. Make sure all the cranks, handles and latches work correctly. You shouldn’t be straining to open or close any of your units.
- Ensure the healthiness of your frames. Temperature changes can cause warpage and deterioration, especially in older windows. Pay close attention to corners and joints.
- See through the glass. Broken or cracked panes mean the unit isn’t airtight anymore. This is more than just an aesthetic issue and should be addressed as soon as possible.
- Monitor humidity levels in your home. Warm air contains more moisture than cold air. Your windows are more likely to get condensation in the winter time. Turning your thermostat down just a couple of degrees can help prevent condensation without sacrificing the comfort.
Ordinarily, having one or two of these problems doesn’t mean that your windows need to be replaced and the fix is often cheap and easy. What you need to be more concerned about is the longevity and efficiency of your units, so if you check them regularly and fix them before the problems accumulate, you’re ahead of the game. If you’ve had your Canadian windows for several years, it’s good advice to inspect them at least twice a year to ensure their longevity and efficiency.
With winter ready to hit us again in Ontario with a mighty force, remember that your Canadian windows are a long-term investment, so you want to be confident that they are ready for what lies ahead.
If you’re thinking of replacing, new vinyl windows are the perfect solution. They are the ideal material for frame and window hardware because it is virtually unaffected by the elements. Vinyl parts don’t deteriorate or rot over time, and most damaged hardware can be repaired piece by piece without needing to replace the entire unit.
Are you thinking about updating your outdoor space in preparation for next season? If you answered yes, have you given much thought to what kind of patio door you might like to install? For most of us, the patio door may not be at the top of our priority list, but when you consider all the trendy new designs that are out there, you realize that this is something you’ll want to think about.
Let’s take a look at a few of the designs that you might want to consider:
Sliding Patio Doors
Sliding patio doors are extremely popular. They make it easy to get in and out of your home and allow you to maximize the space you have on your deck or patio. Sliding patio doors are also great for your home’s interior, allowing so much light into the room. Usually sliding glass doors will also have a screen door so that you can let fresh air into your home without having to worry about bugs getting inside as well.
French Patio Doors
French patio doors are a little different because instead of sliding, they swing open on a hinge. French doors come in a variety of styles. The classic configuration is to have two doors side by side, but there are other options available as well such as three doors in a row. It depends on how wide your entrance is. Most French patio doors will have glass panels to allow in the most light possible.
Folding Patio Doors
This type of patio door is typically reserved for very wide entrances, but if you have the room, they can make quite a bold statement. Folding doors work like an accordion and usually consist of two or more panels on a track system. They can be full glass as well but
Material Options for Patio Doors
In addition to the style, you also have many choices when it comes to materials for your patio doors. The following are a few of the most popular selections.
- Vinyl – Vinyl is a popular choice both because of its appearance and durability. Vinyl stands up well to the elements including heat and cold. It will not fade, peel or rot. It’s available in a wide range of colours and finishes including faux wood.
- Wood – Real wood may be the most gorgeous material you can choose for a patio door. Keep in mind, however, that it is also the most expensive and requires the most upkeep. If not properly maintained, a wood patio door can warp or rot.
- Metal – Steel and aluminum are two more popular material choices. These can be very durable and inexpensive. Keep in mind, however, that these are also less energy efficient than other options.
- Fibreglass – Fibreglass is both lightweight and durable. In many ways, it is similar to vinyl but is usually more expensive.
Your patio door can become an important focal point of your outdoor space. So be sure to review the available options and choose the one that best suits your home and personal taste.
If you are looking for a little more coverage and protection for your patio, then you may have considered installing a permanent patio roof. At Jans Awning Products we provide a number of types and styles of these roofs including aluminum, acrylic as well as custom designed patio roofs.
But what are the benefits of a permanent patio roof?
Like retractable awnings, these permanent roofs protect from wind, rain, sun and snow. Because of this, they can potentially help you increase the amount of time that you spend outside. When the hot summer sun is at its most intense, you won’t have to worry about becoming sunburned, because you’ll have a nice shady location where you can chat with a friend, sip a refreshing beverage or curl up with a good book.
Likewise, when the weather gets a little unsettled and rainy, you can still enjoy the great outdoors and scent of freshly fallen rain.
Patio roofs not only protect people. They also protect your patio furniture and any other items you might keep on your patio. Over time, the elements can cause patio furniture to look old and worn. But with a permanent roof protecting your possessions, you can help to extend the life of these items.
Another benefit is that less debris is likely to get on to your patio, so that means you won’t have to sweep or hose it down as frequently.
Some people prefer permanent patio roofs to retractable awnings because there are no moving parts. This potentially means less maintenance. With a permanent patio roof, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you remembered to retract the awning.
These roofs are convenient and very durable. Some styles can be custom shaped to fit around structures of your home such as bays or chimneys. They can have built-in gutter systems to channel rainfall away from your patio.
Furthermore, there are many different looks and styles to choose from. We can help you pick out a patio roof that will look beautiful with your home.
Whether you choose to go with a retractable awning or a permanent patio roof will ultimately come down to your personal preference and lifestyle. One will offer you more options for sun or shade while the other has the potential to provide a more considerable amount of convenience.
Both, however, will give you greater control over your outdoor space and can look beautiful with your home. Furthermore, with protection from the elements, these roofs can make entertaining guests more enjoyable because you won’t have to worry about whether you’ll have to move people inside if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
If you would like more information about patio roofs, or would like to speak with one of our experts to determine whether this would be a good option for your home, we would be happy to chat with you. Call the Jans Awning Products team today at 905-335-3733.
Having a new deck railing installed can be an exciting addition to your deck. Along with the durability of today’s railings, the colour of the railing is probably one of your key considerations to decide.
Today’s railings are not only stylish and strong; they come in many different colour choices for you to choose from. They have exceptional resistance to stains, moisture, UV rays, decay and colours designed to complement almost any architecture or design aesthetic. So how do you choose the ideal colour for your railing?
Before you pick a colour, decide on your chosen railing material first. This will affect your colour options and availability. Vinyl and aluminum will all take on a different tone, and some have powder coating finishes that will affect the colour as well.
Not all rail styles are available in all colours, so keep that in mind if the colour is your most important feature. Some systems have components that can be mixed and matched to achieve a custom look. You may even consider choosing a colour or multiple colours to match or contrast with features on or around the home.
Another decision to be made is whether you want the railing to blend with the surrounding or contrast with it. Take a look around to see what features you want to enhance and call attention to such as the deck, trees, plants, walking paths, etc. Do you want your railing to be the predominant feature or blend in with the scenery? Also keep in mind that the darker the colour of the railing, the clearer the view through the railing.
As with the inside of your home décor, outside lighting will greatly affect the appearance of your railing’s colour. Before you make any decisions on colour, examine the railing swatches throughout the day into the evening. You want to see how it looks in various exterior conditions such as dawn, bright sunlight, under clouds, sunset and evening. By taking time to do this exercise, you will get a better sense of what colour you want for the railing.
There are many colours to choose among, but many homeowners tend to stay with basics. Here are some examples of why.
- White looks especially striking in coastal settings or against a home with crisp, white trim. If you’re adding a railing to a front porch, this classic white is a can’t-miss choice.
- Black provides the perfect balance of traditional styling and contemporary flair. Just as a touch of black works with almost any décor, black railing works well with almost any home exterior: brick, stucco, cedar shakes or shingles, as well as fibre-cement or vinyl siding.
- Brown is perfect for those who appreciate a darker colour railing but don’t want black. If your lot is heavily wooded, then you might like the idea of your rail blending seamlessly with the surroundings.
In the end, the choice is yours for choosing the railing colour. Take a bit of time and do a bit of investigating because this is a long-term decision that affects the look of your home and outside surroundings.
You might have heard the terms roll shutters and retractable screens thrown around when looking for window treatments, but has anyone stopped to tell you the difference? Do you know which one is right for you? These terms might be used interchangeably by some companies but they are not the same thing, so before you make a large, potentially custom, purchase here’s what you need to know between roll shutters and retractable screens.
What are they?
Roll shutters are window treatments, like retractable screens. But unlike retractable screens, they are installed on the outside of a window or your home. They are offered in a variety of colours and are custom fit to the size of your windows to ensure that it looks as if they were meant to be there. Roll shutters are incredibly durable and come with manufacturer’s warranties but be sure to check out exactly what is and isn’t covered in the warranty.
How do I know if I need them?
Roll shutters are usually more for protection purposes. They are installed on the outside of your window to ensure the glass doesn’t break, and they help prevent damage to the frame. Many people who own cottages or cabins install these so that during the off-season they can protect their property from any inclement weather or hazards that would potentially damage or break windows. Often, retail shop owners with windows in the front of their property also use this style of window covering while business is closed to prevent robberies. Overall these are a great, decorative option to protect windows and frames from damage as you cannot always be at your cottage or business.
What are they?
Retractable screens are a decorative option that you can add to just about any window in your home. They are retractable so easily removed – either manually or automatically with a remote. These screens are installed on the inside of a window and act to provide privacy and even help make your home a little more efficient keeping the heat/cool in, depending on the season.
What’s so great about them?
Retractable screens give privacy without completely blocking your view like traditional blackout curtains would. They roll up into a 5” box, so they are easily out of the way if you want to let the light in, and you’ll save money with the added energy efficiency. These can be customized to the size of your windows. What’s great is that they work for areas even without windows – decks, patios, gazebos and even garages! These screens provide shade to enjoy the warm weather without having to sit out with the hot sun. These screens are best for those who enjoy spending time outside during the warmer weather but don’t necessarily want to be exposed to the sun’s rays for hours on end. Or, they could be used in a sunroom where the shade is occasionally desired.
Roll shutters and retractable screens will add so much to your home, cottage or business – you simply need to decide which option best suits your needs. Both provide privacy and protection from UV damage and can be customized for your home.
Among homeowners, roll shutters have become a popular choice because they are incredibly versatile: they come in a variety of colours, and they can be fitted over existing windows and doors. With this versatility, it means that no matter what style of décor your home has or what size windows were previously installed you can find roll shutters that will work for your home. If you still aren’t sold on the idea of roll shutters here are some benefits to help you decide if they are a good choice for your home.
Keep it Quiet
If you live in a busy neighbourhood, or maybe the kids in your area just make a whole lot of noise, you might find yourself wishing for a quieter home. Roll shutters – when closed over the windows and doors – can help keep noise out of your home and give you a more relaxing and calm environment.
Lower the Bills
Having roll shutters can increase the efficiency of your home by keeping the heat inside during the winter, and outside during the hot summer months. By keeping the temperature controlled and even, you will notice a decrease in the utility bills since your home’s heating and cooling won’t have to work as hard to heat up or cool down the same area.
Keep the Windows for Longer
Having roll shutters will help to maintain your windows which means a noticeable amount of time will extend the lifetime of your windows. They will also keep them looking super clean by keeping dirt and debris off the windows.
Options, Options, Options
Roll shutters are designed to open and close to let a lot or a little light in, but how you achieve that is totally up to you. Some roll shutters are operated via remote; some are done automatically (on a timer), and others are controlled manually. The options for how you achieve your desired result are completely endless – plus the styles and colours to choose from make it that much better.
Affordable Window Covering Option
Sometimes drapes and curtains can be incredibly expensive, depending on the size of your windows and the style you’re looking for. Roll shutters are an affordable option to many of the window treatments available out there, especially if you prefer to not have any drapes or curtains on your windows when you want the sun shining in.
Control the Light
Sometimes you want the sun shining in, and sometimes you don’t. You might even want to have a little bit of light during the day without the full sun shining in. With roll shutters, you can control the amount of sun you allow into your house at any given time.
Protect Your Home
In areas that are prone to harsh weather – storms, hurricanes or blizzards – roll shutters can work as protection. By closing the shutters, they will prevent windows from being shattered or debris coming through the windows.
Roll shutters add both style and function to your home, and they can replace expensive window treatments should you decide you don’t want that as an option for your home. No matter what your style is, there are so many options for colour and type that will suit your home.
With spring and summer right around the corner, our thoughts turn to those warm sunny days in our backyards. What better way to lull the hours away than under the comfort and shade of a retractable awning.
You can comfortably enjoy time on your patio during the warm summer months because an awning can provide maximum protection from the heat of the scorching sun. Adding an awning to your exterior space is a very inexpensive way to extend your outdoor living area.
Awnings offer both protection and beauty to any patio while helping to reduce energy costs. They can add charm and personality to your home and transform a plain façade into something special. Awnings can increase the value of your home because they set your home apart from the rest.
In addition to their attractiveness, awnings keep your home cooler during the summer months. They help reduce air conditioning costs by decreasing the amount of heat that infiltrates the inside of your home by as much as 77%. Awnings protect the interior furnishings from bleaching out by the sun’s rays and reduce sunlight glare through your windows by 94%.
Even with these advances in technology and material, extreme weather including sun, rain and wind can wreak havoc with your awning’s longevity, so caring for your awning canopy is important. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Cleaning the Awning
You want to make sure that the fabric is cleaned, looking fresh and dry before retracting the awning. With a gentle spray from the hose, or a broom, remove any leftover loose debris on the awning and begin cleaning the awning from the bottom up. Wash all parts of the awning before tackling the cleaning of the fabric.
If there is dirt on the awning, use warm water and a soft bristled brush along with a mild soap, like Ivory Flakes, but be certain that the water is just warm, not hot, and no more than 37 degrees Celsius. Stay away from any harsh detergents because this can damage the fabric of the awning.
Once the cleaning is completed, rinse thoroughly to remove any residue on the fabric since leftover soap will leave marks and a chalky appearance. You will also see any missed spots once it’s dried. Always allow the awning to dry out naturally and completely before retracting it.
Cleaning the Frame
To prolong the life of the frame, you first want to wipe it down with a soft cloth after washing it down and before retracting. Be sure to check that the bolts and nuts are not loose in any way from their use during the summer months. By checking the mechanics, you will have an awning ready to properly extend the following spring.
Since the gear operation (aluminum components) has a durable finish and the joints are self-lubricating, there is no requirement to lubricate; however, lubricating the moving parts yearly with a silicone lubricant is a good idea for maintaining a quiet operation. The common spot for lubrication is at the end of the roller tube and opposite of the motor.
Since the valance has the ability to flap around during windy, inclement winter weather conditions and tear over time, some homeowners tie down the valance to prevent this from happening. There is also the option to purchase an accessory called The Sunboot. As its name implies, it is a cover that encloses the entire retracted awning. The cover protects the awning from nasty weather conditions, keeping it clean and dry until you’re ready to use it again.
An awning can last for many years if properly cleaned, lubricated and protected. They are designed for durability so that you can enjoy their beauty and protection from the sun’s harsh summer rays. With a little time and maintenance care at the end of each season, your awning will perform flawlessly and to your highest expectations.
The decision to buy your home might have been largely influenced by the size and functionality of the backyard it comes with, but what you might now have realized was that space isn’t always accessible due to the overhead sun or any of the other elements you might face in your city.
Having a large space outside your home can provide you with a lot of extra living space when it’s used well and designed in a way that allows you to use it almost all year round. Adding an awning to your home can provide you with this extra living space, for a few reasons, so that you can enjoy the outdoors as much as you want almost any time you want.
Here are some tips, information, and reasons why adding an awning over your existing patio will provide both function and style to your home.
Patio Awnings Provide a Polished Look
Having a patio outside your home is great – it gives you a designated space to have outdoor furniture and host parties and BBQs at your home. Adding an awning, though, can bring your outdoor space together for you. Awnings are available in multiple colours and styles, so you can find one that either matches or compliments the outside colour of your home. This will make your backyard look like it’s styled and polished, plus it gives shade from the sun or protection from a summer rain.
Awnings are Not Necessarily a Permanent Fixture
With awnings, you can select to either have a permanent one (if you want), or a retractable one. Sometimes you might want to sit in the sun and take in the rays, other days it might be too hot, and you just want some shade while enjoying the warm weather. A retractable awning allows you to have the option. Retractable awnings are available in manual and power – so you can either have a switch to move it in and out or use a lever-type system to roll it out. When you make this purchase, you can decide what’s right for you.
Patio Awnings can Work with Existing Features
If you already have a gazebo or pergola, you can buy an awning to work with what you have. You don’t have to get rid of the structure already on your patio – especially if you love it – in order to create shade and a cool place to spend time during those hot days. You can purchase retractable awnings that will attach to or cover existing patio features like these, so don’t worry – you don’t have to choose!
Protection from the Elements
Awnings – whether fixed or retractable – will provide protection from the sun during those hot summer months. This means you and your family can enjoy the outside without being constantly exposed to UV rays, but it will also protect your furniture from being exposed and prevent fading.
Whether you want to add a fixed or retractable awning to your home, you can do so without compromising the look of your outdoor space. Even if you previously weren’t able to use your backyard because it’s too hot and the sun is just beating down on you, then an awning extends your living space by creating a cool, functional and gorgeous space to enjoy the warm weather without being exposed to damaging UV rays.
Awnings provide both function and style to any outdoor space, and since they come in a large variety of size, patterns and colours. To have an awning installed in your Burlington, Oakville or Hamilton home, contact Jans Awning Products today.
You can improve the look and exterior living space of your business by installing a retractable awning. Not only will it offer maximum protection from the sun, it will enhance your business brand when you add distinct colours reflective of your company. By adding a memorable coloured awning to your business storefront, you are creating a unique branding opportunity.
An awning strategically placed on your building creates sustainable savings from the merciless summer heat through lowering cooling costs. In addition to people noticing your vibrant, branded awning, your return on investment accrues over time with a controllable way to manage your interior cooling expenses. Regardless of whether your business is an office building or a store-front retail space, your establishment will benefit from both its exclusive, vivid appearance and utility savings.
Awnings can Create a New Look
Adding a retractable awning to your business gives you the opportunity to show off a new look. A retractable awning allows you the chance to change the face and feel of your commercial space with a customized appearance. A customized coloured awning provides a dramatic effect to the outside of your company and offers the impression of a major renovation that can attract customers.
In addition, an awning affords a business owner the unique opportunity to expand their outside space into a more usable environment. It can provide shade and shelter for both customers and employees alike. In the case of restaurants with patio or cafes, retractable awnings are particularly beneficial because they provide their customers with more comfortable surroundings as a shelter from environmental factors.
The Power of Colour
Any strategic marketing team will tell you that colour plays a significant role in our thinking process. Whether we realize it or not, our minds are programmed to respond to colour. When colours are used commercially, it is an instantaneous method of conveying a message and makes branding more powerful.
Surveys show that colour is the first thing that people remember most about a brand. The next items remembered are shapes, symbols, numbers and words. Research suggests that 60% of the time, people either like or dislike a sign on colour alone.
Colour also plays a significant role in purchases made by consumers. This notable fact is important because colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80%! A recent study, entitled “Impact of Colour in Marketing“, concluded that consumers make a snap judgment up to 90% of the time for a product or service based on colour.
Businesses need to recognize the impact of colour choices when deciding how to market their companies. Choosing the right colour should be the most important consideration when empowering your business. Additionally, there is a definite correlation that exists between brands and colour. This connection also hinges on whether there appears to be a perceived appropriateness of the colour being used for the product or service being sold.
While companies have a huge selection of colours available to choose among to define their businesses, here are a few basics and descriptions taken from the article by entrepreneur.com.
- Red demands to be noticed as a physical, strong, high energy colour, which calls for action.
- Orange is optimistic, social, inspires enthusiasm and suggests affordability.
- Yellow is illuminating and uplifting, which stimulates analytical processes and mental clarity.
- Green is associated with nature, health, and healing. It balances the emotions and inspires compassion.
- Blue is sincere, trustworthy and loyal and dislikes confrontation. Blue exhibits an inner security and confidence.
Marketing Your Business with Awnings
A distinctive, memorable retractable awning can help to enhance your marketing and advertising because branding and awnings go hand-in-hand. They make your business stand out in comparison to other local enterprises, giving your company a unique look while enhancing the attractive architecture of your building.
Business Awnings in Burlington, Ontario
Although installing awnings on your commercial property might appear initially costly, it’s a long-term investment that you’ll be glad you did to enhance your branding power and get you noticed. You reduce energy costs, renovate your space with a new, fresh look and advertise your business with a colourful, unique, tasteful custom awning that will help drive customers to your location.
For awning installation in the Hamilton, Toronto, Burlington and Oakville area, contact Jans Awning Products today.
You probably know that replacing your windows can not only make your home look better but that it can also help you cut your utility costs when those new windows are more energy efficient than the ones you replace. What you may be less clear on is what all those numbers or window ratings mean. Many customers find themselves puzzling over these ratings as they try to compare products.
Not to worry though! Below we have compiled a quick guide to understanding window ratings.
Energy Star Rating
Simply put, when a product qualifies for an Energy Star Rating, it means that it is best in class (typically in the top 15-30% in its category) for energy efficiency. Each Energy Star rated window comes with a removable sticker that tells you its rating, the climate zone for which it’s certified and materials that are used.
The Energy Rating (ER) is a number assigned using strict criteria by an independent organization to tell the customer how well the window rates regarding solar heat gain, heat loss, and air leakage. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the window is.
U Value/U Factor
The U Value tells the customer how well the window performs in terms of keeping heat inside the home. This is especially important for homes in colder climates. The U Factor generally ranges from 0.2 to 1.2 and the lower the rating is, the better the window’s performance.
The R-Value is a measure of heat resistance or how well the window works at preventing heat flow. The higher the number in the R-Value, the better the heat resistance.
CR stands for condensation resistance. The higher the CR Value of a window, the more resistant it is to having condensation form on it. CR Value works with a scale of 0 to 100. For this rating, it is better to look for a higher number.
Visual Transmittance (VT)
Visual Transmittance refers to the amount of light (and therefore heat from the sun) in the visible spectrum which can pass through the window’s glazing. In the case of the VT rating, a lower number is better because it means that less heat is allowed to pass through the glass.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) refers to the amount of heat which is absorbed by the glass and transmitted into the home. This rating is between 0 and 1. The lower the number is, the less heat that is transmitted. In other words, a lower number on this rating means a more efficient window.
With all the various energy efficiency ratings that are given to windows, it can be confusing for a customer to know which windows are best for their home. Hopefully, this guide will prove useful as you make your choice. Of course, for more personalized help, the team at Jans Awning Products in Burlington, Ontario is always happy to answer any questions you may have!