Not all windows are created equal…nor will they pass inspection!

Significant changes in the building code take effect July 1.

By Steve Nixon

If you are considering a home improvement project or new construction for any project that includes the purchase and installation of windows or doors and is one that requires a building permit, you should be aware of significant changes in the building code that will take effect July 1.

With Canada leading North America in its commitment to energy efficiency, the Canadian government is requiring all window manufacturers to comply with the new and stricter manufacturing, testing and labelling requirements.

“The focus of these new changes is to minimize the amount of air and wind that can penetrate through a window,” said Bob Kamerbeek, a representative of All Weather Windows. “If a customer purchases windows without the new labelling after July 1, the building inspector for that project will most likely require replacing the new window with one that is compliant with the new requirements.”

While these new changes are on the federal level, B.C. is the only province that already requires windows be low-e and argon-filled. Island homeowners and contractors should be sure any newly purchased windows comply with that requirement as well.

The new technology that is incorporated into these new specifications is only the minimum required for a window to be government-regulation compliant.

Many homeowners choose to add additional features that vary by manufacturer. All Weather’s SunStop is one of their most popular features that keeps homes cooler during the summer and warmer in the winter by increasing R Values, as compared to clear glass.

For a product category that many think of as a commodity—one window is the same as the next—it is important to know how much window/glass technology has evolved in the last decade. Window manufacturers around the world are investing huge dollars into R&D to gain the competitive edge in energy efficiency and other features, as simple as built-in blinds.

Be sure to do your research with a local company that not only can provide you with information about government requirements, but also about features. Also, make sure your installer is aware of these building code requirements, installs windows that are compliant, and stands behind his or her work.

And, don’t forget to read the fine print in warranties or ask questions of your retailer. Some manufacturer warranties even have stipulations in the fine print about the validity of the warranty in and around salt water.

Steve Nixon is owner of Black Creek Farm & Feed Supply in Black Creek, which carries an array of windows and doors for various building projects.

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