Blog > Category > Posted: 2022-Jun-28, Updated: 2023-Nov-27

Premium-grade vs builder-grade windows

Builder grade verses Premium grade vinyl windows - can you tell the difference?

Are you settling for subpar windows? Don't be fooled by the initial appearance of builder-grade windows - the true test of their quality lies in longevity. After just 5-10 years, signs of wear and tear may leave you with a less-than-ideal view.

Builder grade windows

Builder-grade windows, also known as contractor windows, may look stunning in a new house, but appearances can be deceiving. Builders and developers often opt for these lower-quality windows to cut costs. However, the allure fades quickly.

Here are some characteristics of builder-grade windows:

  1. Poor energy efficiency:
    Lacking advanced insulation, they can lead to higher energy costs and less comfortable living conditions.
  2. Limited durability:
    Prone to fading, cracking, and warping over time.
  3. Higher maintenance:
    Frequent upkeep, such as repainting or resealing, is often required.
  4. Limited customization:
    Available in a restricted range of sizes, styles, and colours.
  5. Poor sound insulation:
    Inadequate noise reduction affects living comfort.
  6. Limited security features:
    Lack of advanced locking mechanisms or tempered glass options.
  7. Potential for leaks:
    Improper sealing can lead to air leaks and water infiltration.
  8. Poor performance in extreme temperatures:
    Unable to withstand extreme conditions.
  9. Lower resale value:
    May not add as much value to your home, impacting resale value.
  10. Shorter warranty period:
    Usually prorated within a 10-year period.

Overall, while builders-grade vinyl residential windows may be a more affordable option initially, they often come with a range of potential negative characteristics that can impact your home's comfort, energy efficiency, and overall value over time.

Premium grade windows

Transform your home with premium-grade windows - the epitome of quality and customization. Bayview Windows offers personalized, expertly crafted windows with warranties ranging from 20 years to a lifetime.

Characteristics of premium quality residential vinyl windows:

  1. Superior energy efficiency:
    Advanced insulation minimizes heat transfer and air leakage, reducing energy costs.
  2. Durability:
    Built to withstand harsh weather conditions, resisting fading, cracking, and warping.
  3. Lower maintenance:
    Resistant to scratches, chips, and stains, requiring minimal upkeep.
  4. Aesthetically pleasing: Customizable with various colour and style options.
  5. Sound insulation:
    Designed to reduce outside noise, it provides a quieter living environment.
  6. Advanced security features:
    Equipped with locking mechanisms and tempered glass options.
  7. Custom sizing:
    Can be tailored to fit any rough opening.

Overall, premium-quality residential vinyl windows provide homeowners with superior quality, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal, making them a smart investment for any home.

The cost dilemma

While premium-quality windows may have a higher upfront cost, they offer long-term savings through increased energy efficiency, reduced maintenance, and enhanced home value. On average, they can cost 10% to 50% more than builder-grade windows.

Comparison: Builders grade vs. premium grade

Builders Grade
Premium Grade
Typical warranty
10 years prorated
20 years to life
Special glass coatings
Glazing options
2 pane
2 panes +
Premium vinyl
Deluxe option
Exterior & interior colours
Colour options
Gas fills
Professional Installers

Replace or repair? that’s the question!

If you own a house with failing builder-grade windows there are only 2 options to solve your problem.

  1. Replace the Glass or Operational Parts: This can be an ongoing process with a prorated 1-3 year warranty.
  2. Replace the Entire Window: Upgrade to modern energy efficiency for long-term savings with a 20 to a lifetime warranty.

Choose wisely!

Not all premium-grade windows perform at the same specifications, be sure to do your homework. Compare ratings and ask about the best options to meet your requirements.

Some local companies wrongly refer to their competitor’s products as builder-grade windows. One of the best indicators that you are not buying builder’s grade windows is the warranty - if the warranty is over 20 years or a lifetime, they are more than likely “premium grade” not “builders grade” windows.

Related topics

The best window warranty in the window business

Bayview Windows - Lifetime Labour Warranty

How to choose the best window

Bayview Windows - Product Warranties

Need more information?

Upgrade your home's windows today and experience the benefits of premium-grade windows. Contact Bayview Windows to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help enhance your home's energy efficiency, noise reduction, and overall aesthetics.

Request information | 613-838-2211 | Request a quote