Building houses in Canada: materials, technology, process


Canada is the world’s second-largest country with several climate zones. Not only the latitude and longitude, but also the proximity of the oceans, the presence of mountains, and many other factors influence the temperature here. The country’s main population and all major cities are located in areas with moderately cold winters and chilly summers, so detached houses in these provinces are constructed according to similar technology; the only difference is the insulation process. Let’s analyze the technology of construction of Canadian houses and the materials used.

What housing types are preferred in Edmonton and Vancouver?

There are some differences in the construction of houses in the most populated regions, and this is primarily due to differences in winter temperatures. Let’s take Edmonton and Vancouver as examples.

The first has a continental and dry climate, and the city is away from the ocean. The weather in Vancouver is temperate and humid, as the Atlantic Ocean is near. The average winter temperature in Edmonton is about -11°C, while in Vancouver it is +4°C; the difference is about 15°C.

Most of the houses in Canada have a concrete base and a wooden frame; they also use brick and siding as cladding. In colder regions, the cost of insulation is higher – you have to use more insulation, i.e. install energy-efficient windows. For instance, Edmonton’s popular Ecoline windows have three or two chambers and coated glass, while those designs installed in Vancouver, can have just one or two chambers, but theirglass always has an oxide coating. The window profile material is either PVC or wood.

Technologies of Canadian house construction

In Canada, every 9 out of 10 houses in the southern most populous provinces are built according to frame technology that uses mineral wool insulation. In northern areas (Alaska, Yukon), they build more expensive houses made of SIP-panels, whose main advantage is the high production speed.

The house building process according to frame technology can also be very different: some houses are built on-site by professionals, while others are partially or completely made in a factory, and then “fine-tuned” on the site. The ratio is about 85 to 15 in favor of the first.

Frame technology proved popular because of an important advantage: such a house is inexpensive and warm, which is a big plus for chilly Canadian winters. If you also install Ecoline windows somewhere in Edmonton or a more northern region, you’ll feel comfortable even in extreme cold. Heating bills in an energy-efficient house are lower than in other buildings, which is also very important.

It is believed that the house built on the site is of higher quality, which is why it is so popular. However, we think that factory-built houses are not inferior in this component.  Factory production techniques can be divided into three types:

·         Construction with partial use of factory components.

·         Construction of modular houses.

·         Installation of a fully finished factory house on the site.

In the first case, they bring a specific list of parts to the site, which are subsequently assembled into a single structure. These can be door and window frames, ceilings, roofing, floor joists, etc. This technology is of the mixed type.

In case of modular construction, panels of a certain width and length are produced at the factory, then delivered to the site and installed on an existing foundation with a crane. This method is fast and inexpensive, and allows you to build a house of various sizes and configurations. The technology is also used for high-rise construction.

The ready-made house is completed at the factory. It comes with electrics, plumbing, and even cabinets and other furniture at times. The building is mounted on a fixed steel chassis and delivered to the site with the foundation already prepared. After the installation, they wire up the house and get it ready for use. In such homes, they often install Ecoline windows from Edmonton, which are said to be highly energy-efficient. The main drawback is the lack of individuality: all buildings look generic. But it’s fast, convenient and cheap.

What kind of materials are used?

Frame production in Canada most often uses wood, and as for cladding – they use siding of various kinds. Why is wood so popular? It has several advantages over other materials:

·         Low cost: it is cheaper than other materials, even metal. So, with frame technology, such a house comes out cheaper than others.

·         Low weight: wood is a lightweight material, which helps save on foundation production.

·         Quality thermal characteristics: in a wooden house, no cold bridges are created; it takes less energy to heat it.

·         Eco-friendliness: it is a natural material, harmless to people.

Besides, the wooden frame is perfectly suited for cladding with siding or facade brick, and it allows you to build houses without limiting your imagination. Building houses from other materials, such as stone or brick, costs more and takes longer, so they are less popular. Although there are advantages (appearance, durability, etc.) in using them as well.

The Best Window Styles for Vancouver Homeowners

The Best Window Styles for Vancouver Homeowners

Are you looking for new windows for your house in Vancouver? If so, we bet it is pretty challenging. New units should look great, be energy efficient, provide excellent ventilation and complement the design of your residence. But with so many features to consider, the first step is to choose the right window style to bring you all the benefits down the road.

Our team has contacted Ecoline, Vancouver window replacement experts, to find out which styles are the most efficient and widespread among homeowners in the region. Moreover, we have also gathered some information regarding the pricing of different window styles to make it easier for you to decide what fits you best. Interested? Keep reading.
Casement Windows

Casement windows are units that have the sash (or panel) attached to their frame by hinges that are installed on the side. This window style opens as hinged doors do. Casement windows are a common choice for many Vancouver homeowners due to numerous advantages:

  • High energy efficiency
  • Ease of clean
  • Low maintenance
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Ease of operation
  • High versatility
  • Great security and hardware choice

Moreover, casements usually go with vinyl window frames. Vinyl is known for its durability, moisture resistance, and exceptional insulating properties. 

Sliding Windows

Do you have a fantastic view outside? Want to contemplate it every day, but your old units mess everything up? Then it is time to consider replacing them with new sliding windows.

Sliding windows (also called sliders/gliders) have a simplistic design. They are made of two or more sashes within a single frame and roll horizontally from left to right or vice versa. Hence, homeowners can operate the windows effortlessly, even with one hand, opening or closing these units as much as it is needed.

Because they are wide, gliders are a perfect fit for large spaces. In addition, they will provide an unobstructed view and good ventilation, something other window styles lack because of their separate panes.

Moreover, thanks to a large glass area, sliding windows can significantly boost the daylight amount coming to your rooms. As a result, sliders are super popular among Vancouver homeowners and bring you everything you want from new windows.

Picture Windows

A picture window is a big unit that is fixed, meaning that this window does not open up. Picture windows are here to provide homeowners with a clear and unobstructed view outside. While it does not offer ventilation, this style has many benefits to count:

  • The unobstructed view outside is the first reason many Vancouver homeowners buy these units.
  • Easier maintenance. Since these windows don’t have any moving parts, it is easy to clean and maintain them in their best conditions.
  • Perfect insulation. These windows are super energy efficient. Since picture windows are fixed, the heat does not go out. At the same time, cold air cannot get inside. This helps to cut on energy bills and enjoy cold during summers and warm during winters.
  • Excellent natural lighting. Picture windows offer a large area of glass so you can enjoy a lot of sunlight coming to your space, brightening up the rooms. 
  • No allergens. While these units allow sunlight in, they also keep out allergens. This is a great window pick for people who need to keep out bad air due to allergies.

Popular Window Styles: Pricing Comparison

Well, price is the first thing every homeowner looks at when shopping for new windows. And it is understandable. A penny saved is a penny earned. But in the case of windows, the cheapest units might give you more troubles than benefits. Overall, new windows can’t be cheap due to materials, labour force and other things being quite expensive. Treat getting new windows as making a long-term investment into your property. But enough talking – here is a table representing a typical price range for the window styles discussed above.

Basement$535 – $1,022$394 – $1057$315 – $1518
Bathroom$446 – $1,032$394 – $1033$388 – $1242
Bedroom$444 – $1193$437 – $1521$226 – $2324
Bonus room$676 – $1134$820 – $1248$420 – $2305
Dining room$550 – $1348$669 – $1957$316 – $2072
Family room$605 – $1999$490 – $1131$354 – $2661
Foyer$858 – $1999$465 – $778$338 – $1552
Front$583 – $1014$785 – $968$359 – $2933
Garagen\a$391 – $1085$334 – $1536
Kitchen$329 – $1356$394 – $1595$202 – $2179
Living room$484 – $1614$433 – $2327$226 – $2898
Master bedroom$545 – $1304$452 – $1810$335 – $2370
Nook$549 – $1149$658 – $1142$337 – $2440

How to Find the Best Window Company?

Okay, so you have decided to replace your old units with new ones. You have selected the window style, frame and other add-ons. So what to do next? Of course, find a reliable window company to install your new units. And before we proceed, we should warn you – do not go DIY. Installing a new window requires a lot of experience and expertise, and if you have no needed skills, you may mess up the process and even damage your new windows. We highly recommend hiring professionals. But how do you know the company is trustworthy and reliable? Here is a checklist to go through before dealing with any window installer in Vancouver:

  • Make sure the company follows CSA guidelines and your local building codes
  • Check whether they offer you Energy Star and NAFS-11 tested units
  • Clarify what the warranty covers
  • Check online reviews and reputation
  • Ask your friends and family for references
  • Make sure you get the best quote

Manufacturing windows at the factory

window factory

The manufacture of PVC windows is a complex process, requiring the use of advanced equipment and quality control at all stages of production. Compliance with the production technology alone ensures that the final product meets the standards of environmental friendliness and has high-performance characteristics. A lot of people wonder about the window manufacturing process at the factory. We will try to answer this question in our article using the most popular PVC constructions as an example.

Main phases of production of windows made of PVC and other materials

The window manufacturing process involves multiple steps. Here are the basic ones:

  Designing a construct.

  Cutting and armoring the profile. Filling.

  Welding window frames and sashes.

  Mounting fittings.

  Installing double-glazed windows.

  Checking the finished window for quality.

Now let’s take a closer look at each of the steps.


Sure enough, there are some standard designs used to make most of the goods, but some companies need custom windows, so in these cases, new designs are made. For this, they use special software. In this program, they enter the dimensions and other parameters of future products, such as type of profile, the shape of double-glazed window, the types and number of fittings, etc.

Once all the data are entered, the tool will automatically calculate the amount of material required to produce a single unit and estimate the cost of the window. This considerably speeds up the design process and simplifies it.

Cutting and armoring

This is the stage where they work with the profile and cut the frames and sashes to the right size. A traditional piece of equipment used for cutting and parting is a double head saw that cuts from both sides at once. With this technology, you can achieve the exact cut geometry, which is especially important since the subsequent welding process makes the joints smooth and tight.

Once cut, they arm the profile, thus increasing its strength and insuring against deformation.

Condition of armoring:

  They use galvanized steel. Its thickness for standard window sizes is 1.4-1.5 mm or higher for larger products.

  The reinforcement steel should have a regular n-shape and a bend at the sash. 

  The workpiece should be reinforced solidly, from edge to edge.

  The reinforcement steel must have a regular n-shape and have a bend at the sash.


This is the stage where they drill holes to install fittings, fasteners, condensate drains. Special attention should be paid to drainage devices that automatically drain water from the construct into the outside environment.


After milling, the workpieces are sent for welding – typically on a 4-head welder (although other types of equipment can also be used). The welding is required to heat the profile edges to the melting temperature of the material used, which is 230-260⁰C (440-500 ℉) for plastic. Next, they joint the edges.

A four-head unit helps you to connect all four corners simultaneously so that the frame geometry is close to perfection. Once welded, the construct is conveyed via a traveling belt for deseaming.

What is important is that seam durability should be close to that of the base material. For this, they check the corners for rupture. There are standards for each profile thickness, so it is best if the figures are twice as high as the standard ones.

Installing seals and fittings

Next, they proceed to the installation of fittings and seals. The latter is just as important as other window elements. Heat and sound insulation – the main characteristics for all windows – depends on the quality of the seals and their installation. You need to ensure that the seals retain their properties when exposed to extreme temperatures.

Through fittings, we open and close windows, install mosquito nets, and ventilate the room. So, the service life of the window depends on the quality of its installation, because the fittings break down the fastest.

In addition to the basic fittings, you can also add:

  Handle rotation lock.

  Anti-burglary elements: locking pins, strikes, etc.

  Handles with locks to prevent children from falling out.

  Step openers, etc.

Installing double-glazed units

Not only window glass helps to provide visibility and limit airflow from outside, but also to save energy. For this purpose, double-glazed units with a tin-silver coating are produced. The glass surface is first coated with a composition, then the glass is installed, and then argon is injected into the air chamber. For conventional windows, the production task is somewhat simplified, which lowers the price.

If the insulated glazing unit is installed incorrectly, the sash may be skewed, which will affect the service life and quality of the functions. During installation, the insulating glazing must be properly wedged with welted inserts and laying. Wedged glazing units are fixed by means of glazing beads.

In the final stage, the finished product is subjected to quality control and shipped to the customer.

Based on this information, we can conclude that this is a complex, multi-step process, requiring the qualifications of workers and the use of modern equipment. Following the technology guarantees a good quality of the final product.