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Friday, December 8th, 2023

Buying New Windows for Older Vancouver Homes (Part 2) – From your Vancouver Mortgage Broker


Buying New Windows for Older Vancouver Homes (Part 2) – From your Vancouver Mortgage Broker

Choosing the right replacement window can be a more involved project than you might think. Windows come in variety of designs and use many different materials and properties.

Here, we will give some helpful hints so that you can not only choose new windows which meet your budget, but also help you find the best possible model that is energy efficient and matches the exterior design of your home.

In part 1 of this article, your friendly Vancouver mortgage broker discussed how windows were rated. Now, we will talk about the window frame design and construction and window glazing and types.

Window Frames

Many older Vancouver homes came were constructed with wood frames. Wood looks nice but falls prey to the elements over time and is not very energy efficient. You can still buy windows with wood frames if that is your preference, but just remember that they require a lot of regular maintenance to make them last.

Newer window models also come with frames constructed with metal such as aluminum, vinyl, fibreglass and composite materials.

Metal Window Frames

Metal frames usually do not require much maintenance if any. They are light and durable. Their main drawback is that the metal is a poor heat conductor and offers almost little in the way of insulation. If you are considering metal frames for windows then it is crucial you choose those which have a metal break, usually made of a strip of plastic, to act as insulation. This strip should be located between the outside and the inside of the sash and frame.

Vinyl and Fibreglass Window Frames

Vinyl frames is generally made from Polyvinyl Chloride and should contain ultraviolet light stabilizers to prevent the frame from erosion. They do not need to be painted and can resist moisture. Plus, they usually have cavities which can be filled with insulation.

Fibreglass frames have air cavities which can also be filled insulation material.

Composite Window Frames

These are usually made with composite wood products which could include strand lumber or even particle board. Although comprised of wood materials they actually have a greater ability to resist moisture and decay than standard wood frames.

Window Glazing and Glass

Since window glazing and glass is now so technologically advanced. You have the ability to choose different glazing or glass for different rooms or sides of your home to either let in more light, heat, or add shading – whatever you choose or need.

Windows and glazing come in a variety of selections such as:


  • Gas Filled – Some window types have the space between the window panes filled with an inert gas such as Krypton or Argon to provide greater resistance to the flow of heat than air alone.
  • Tints – Heat-absorbing tints not only alter the colour of the glass but reduce solar radiation and heat transfer. There are so many varieties and options that you can just about customize the window to achieve what you want or need for heat/light absorption.
  • Coatings – Coatings can also be selectively chosen. They come in several types which include 1) Low-emissivity coatings which control heat transfer for windows which have insulated glazing. 2) Reflective coatings which will block more light and admit more heat. 3) Spectrally selective coatings which can filter out as much as between 40 – 70% of the heat and allow a full range of light into the room.
  • Insulated Windows – These come with two or even more panes of glass and are sealed hermetically, and are very energy efficient.


This is a very brief overview of the selections you can choose from, so take it from friendly Vancouver mortgage broker – when choosing new windows, it is vital you do some careful research so you can ask a lot of questions to make an informed choice.