August 23, 2012
Silvana Longo chats with Peter Khatami, co-owner of Nostco Construction, about what to look for when choosing a new front door and when it’s time to replace those windows.
Q The first impression of your home is defined in large part from your front door. Chances are you will live with it for many years so it makes sense to invest in this project wisely. Choosing a new front door comes with a myriad of choices and styles. To help us navigate through the various options, could you review the pros and cons of steel, fibreglass and wood doors?
A Fibreglass is the most popular choice for residential construction due to its superior thermal insulating qualities, strength, and ease of maintenance. Steel is typically the slightly less expensive alternative, boasting no great advantage over fibreglass and notorious for rusting at the bottom. Wood is by far the most expensive, elegant, maintenance-demanding option offering the least thermal insulating protection.
Q The front door seems like an ideal starting point to update and express the style of your home and who lives there. From hardware, handles, locks and sidelights, every detail contributes to the overall look. What would you recommend as far as quality, longevity (sustainability) and an on-trend portal and is there a way to achieve this custom look without it becoming a budget buster?
A All of the top exterior door manufacturers offer several series of doors, each with a myriad of options in design. Panels, glass, sidelights, transoms, wrought iron details, hardware and finish can all be brought together in various combinations to match your budget and aesthetic desires.
Q When is it time to replace your windows? What are the tell-tale signs that you need to update them? And is there a circumstance to tackle replacing a window on your own?
A Replacement windows are widely accepted as one of the top Return On Investment (ROI) renovations/upgrades that a homeowner can make. Performance and looks will determine when the time is ripe for replacement. Look for indicators such as poor operation (opening and closing the window are difficult tasks), air leaks, condensation or fogging between the panes of glass, chipping, deterioration, or water stains around the window. Window and door openings are notorious thermal loss zones (areas of air infiltration) in your home. Any breakdown in the insulating barrier of your home can represent a significant increase to your heating and cooling costs and should be the first criteria in determining when the time is ripe for replacement. If replacement windows are called for, I recommend professional installation to ensure minimal air leaks.