Why You Should Stay Away from Cheap Windows

Why You Should Stay Away from Cheap Windows
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Reviewed by Bryan Baeumler

When investing in windows, it is important to go towards quality. Cheap windows are never a good idea for the simple reason that they will not be able to stand up to the elements that we have here in Canada.

How to Tell If Your Windows are Cheap

There are three main ways in which you can tell if your windows are cheap.

  1. Materials

First and foremost, you will want to look at the materials that your window is made from. There are many window materials: vinyl, wood, aluminum, and even fibreglass are possible, but PVC and vinyl are the most common. To check if you are dealing with cheap windows, you will need to look at both the glass and the frame. You will notice a lack of quality weather stripping for a cheap window, flimsy framing and shortcuts everywhere, including exposed cheap metal that can rust, and plastic hardware. If you see this, you are probably looking at a cheap window.

  1. Ratings

Next, you will want to look at the rating of the window. A cheap window will probably not have an Energy Star rating, nor will they go through the process to get approved by Natural Resources Canada. You also want to take a look online for independent tests that can confirm your suspicions.

  1. Company reputation

Last but not least, some companies advertise themselves as cheap window companies. However, windows are an expensive endeavour at the best of times, and going cheap to save a couple of hundred dollars could cost you much more in the long term. Be wary of companies who make large claims, use pushy sales tactics, and do not provide in-depth information about the warranty, their role as a re-seller or manufacturer, or do not have a local office or showroom.

Why you Should Avoid Cheap Windows

Avoiding cheap windows is an important way to prevent issues down the road. Here are three top reasons why avoiding cheap windows will ensure that you won't face significant buyer’s remorse.

  1. Lack of energy efficiency

Whether double-pane or triple-pane windows, cheap windows will not deliver the same energy efficiency as quality windows. The reason for this is quite simple: the materials and the glass inserts will not be up to standard. Quality window brands invest in world-class glass inserts, as they know this is a real difference in energy efficiency. When you do your research, cheap windows are always at the bottom of the list, and even though they look the same, the results on your heating and cooling bills will be far different.

  1. Issues of build quality

Cheap windows skimp out on premium materials, and companies can do this in several ways. A company may use a cheaper PVC or vinyl that lacks the characteristics to deal with the extreme cold and heat that we see in Canada. Companies may also try to sell you a lacklustre window that does not meet Energy Star standards. Other features such as poorly designed plastic hardware or even a pre-fab window that does not fit your space are issues to be on the lookout for. At the end of the day, this low build quality could cost you energy efficiency and the life span of your window.

  1. Issues of having to pay for replacements down the line

Replacement windows are an expensive investment, and nothing is worse than spending the money to put in windows, only for replacements in a few years. The difference in build quality, installation, and the overall window's efficiency is shockingly different when comparing a cheap window to a proper one.

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Cheap Windows vs Quality Windows

If you are asking: are expensive windows worth it? Below, a simple chart will showcase the major difference between a cheap window company, a standard window company, and Canadian Choice Windows and Doors.


Cheap window company

Standard window company

Canadian Choice Windows and Doors

Build Material

Cheap vinyl

Vinyl or PVC

uPVC that is UV and weather-resistant


No, normally pre-fabricated

Maybe, it depends on the company



Knockoff brand, or unreputable brand

Household name brand

World-class glass makers Carinal I.G and Guardian Glass




DraftLOCK Polymer Space System



Plastic or Metal upgrade




Maybe, it depends on the company

Yes, we use an ASTM approved acrylic system that bonds the sealed glass unit to the sash

Energy Star?



Yes, and all of our window options exceed minimums as set by Natural Resources Canada

Built-in Canada


Maybe, it depends on the company



There might not be a better option in Canada than the great team at Canadian Choice Windows and Doors when it comes to quality. We are one of the local leaders in providing state-of-the-art replacements and new windows to clients across the country. Whether we are working with you in Ottawa, Calgary, or even Vancouver, our team is here to ensure you get a top-quality window without breaking the bank. If you are looking for new or replacement windows, give our team a call and experience the difference with our in-house free consultation.

Julia Gurevich
Julia Gurevich

Julia Gurevich is a versatile content writer with a passion for delivering captivating narratives through a diverse and attentive approach. Her eye for detail helps her craft content that resonates with audiences across varied home improvement industries, capturing the perfect balance between information and entertainment. As a content coordinator, Julia takes pride in delivering content that leaves a lasting impact through her ability to navigate seamless content strategies and collaborative projects between teams. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Toronto’s cultural landscape, visiting local parks, and getting to know members of the community through events and activities.

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Reviewed by Bryan Baeumler

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