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Basic or builder-grade windows are typically installed during construction to lower costs for the developer. Premium-grade windows, by contrast, are high-quality products offered by window manufacturers. Here’s a look at how these two window types compare.


Builder-grade windows are an inexpensive option for contractors because they’re made of low-quality materials and standard hardware. In contrast, premium-grade vinyl windows are made from resilient polyvinyl chloride and generally sealed with high-quality caulking. Although this difference in quality isn’t visible at first, the materials used to make premium-grade windows hold up much better over time. ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Builder-grade windows tend to just barely meet the minimum Energy Star energy-efficiency standards. Premium-grade windows, however, provide superior insulation due to their effective weatherstripping that seals dense, thermal efficient gas between multiple panes of glass. Additionally, premium windows usually have a low-emissivity coating that reflects heat and helps regulate indoor temperatures. FEATURES

Builder-grade windows are stripped-down products that only include standard features. This means they won’t meet the needs and preferences of every homeowner. Additionally, this type of window offers little or no protection against UV rays that can fade or damage furniture. Premium-grade windows, on the other hand, are highly customizable in terms of colour, special coatings, sizing and decorative grills. INSTALLATION

Builder-grade windows are typically installed by framers during the construction of the house, whereas premium-grade windows can be purchased from a company that specializes in window installation and likely offers a labour guarantee. Keep in mind that even high-quality windows won’t perform optimally if they’re not properly installed. DURABILITY

The lower-quality materials used to make builder-grade windows don’t withstand wear and tear or the elements nearly as well as premium-grade alternatives. Their seals usually start to break after five to 10 years, which can lead to fogging between the panes. The hardware also tends to rust or break down around this time, making the windows difficult to open and close. In comparison, premium-grade windows are more likely to come with a decades-long warranty in addition to their longer lifespan. QUALITY VINYL WINDOWS IN THE OTTAWA AREA

If you’re ready to upgrade the windows in your home, the experienced staff at Canadian Comfort Windows & Doors can help. We offer reliable window installation and replacement service in Ottawa and the surrounding communities, including Nepean and Kanata. For more information about our high-quality products, or to request a free estimate, contact us today.


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