Frequently Asked Questions

President Greg Martineau has the answers.

Have you ever wondered how to clean the tracks in sliding doors? Concerned about painting your own doors? How do you match the stain of a new window with the surrounding woodwork? How long does it really take to install a new window? Here's where you can find out from an expert installer with more than 20 years experience.


Do my windows or doors need to be replaced?

Even if your home is less than 15 years old, the original windows, doors or siding may deteriorate simply because of time and the elements, especially in a harsh climate like Alberta. Advances in technology coupled with innovative materials means that new windows and doors may provide increased energy efficiency and reduced maintenance, as well as enhanced aesthetics. Our sales team can guide you through the decision making process, with a no-obligation presentation.

What is the difference between full frame replacement windows and insert windows?

Full frame replacement windows are the recommended approach when you decide to replace your windows. Full frame replacement means the entire window, including frame and sash(es) are replaced. In most cases, customers decide to replace their windows after noticing deterioration over the years, or they simply want a low maintenance solution or an energy efficiency improvement. Generally, we do not recommend an insert window style replacement (where your existing frame remains intact, and new sashes are installed into it). Insert windows tend to underperform, due to compromised seals, in comparison with full frame replacement.

What size of windows are standard?

All our products are custom made to fit your needs — there is no standard size. To ensure a proper fit, your existing windows are measured and each window is then manufactured to your specifications.

Do you only sell one manufacturer's products?

Greg Martineau Projects offers a variety of product lines to choose from in terms of windows, doors and siding. We always recommend the best products for the job at hand, depending on budget. After many years of experience, and thousands of installations, our favoured suppliers are as follows:

For windows and doors:
We recommend PlyGem, whose broad range of products are specially engineered for our harsh climate; and Gienow, who specialize in vinyl products. Other manufacturers will be considered when we have assessed your home and your planned renovation.

For siding:
We recommend James Hardie, the inventor of the premium fibre cement siding known as HardiePlank. Again, other products can be sourced, but Hardie products are very suitable for our climate, especially where hail is a problem. For vinyl siding replacement, we recommend Royal Building Products, from Ontario.

You have options on exterior and interior colour, hardware colour, and glass type. You can, if you wish, order up your own hardware; just let us know in advance.

A sales representative will explain all your options to you.

Can I install windows myself?

Greg Martineau Projects only offers the service of supply and installation. We provide only the full service to ensure the best customer service and a full warranty. We strongly recommend the use of professional tradespeople, whether or not you choose GMP.

If you decide to install windows yourself, please take great care when using ladders or scaffolding. Read manufacturer's instructions very carefully. Pay very close attention to the fabric of your exterior walls — damaging the envelope of your home could result in serious moisture, dampness and heat loss problems in years to come.

How long will it take for my windows to be installed?

An average home installation, with several windows, takes about one week. It takes approximately two hours to change out a single window. A single entry door takes around three hours. Of course, there are other variables that depend on the particular layout of your home.

During your appointment with one of our sales representatives, a tentative installation date will be given to you. You will be contacted by our scheduling department once we have received your product. We book two to three days in advance and will confirming an installation date and time that will work with your schedule as well. Please note that installation dates are tentative and cannot be guaranteed, due to delays that are unforeseen.

What's the best window option for a kitchen sink?

Your kitchen is probably the busiest and warmest room in the house. So it's vital to control the light and the air flow here. Every kitchen should have a window, and the one safe bet is that you have one in front of your sink. This is where most homeowners dream of having a nice ledge to support a couple of flower pots.

This ledge requires what what the industry calls a kitchen bay. It replaces your existing window over the sink with a window that extends out from your exterior wall 12" to 16" on average.

It comes in two styles: a 90 degree bay or a 45 degree bay, or occasionally 30 degree. That means that the flankers (the two small windows that make up the side of the bay) are either built straight out (perpendicular) from your existing exterior wall, or constructed at a 45 degree angle.

When choosing a style you should consider that the centre window of the three light bay window is what you look out the most. It becomes smaller in width when using the 45 degree bay. The upside is a beautiful showpiece to enhance the kitchen but there are a couple of downsides.

If you want this window open, you often have to use a stool to reach the opening mechanism because it is set so far back from where you stand in front of the sink.

It can also be a cold window in the winter because that warm air coming out of the vent that is at your feet in front of the sink doesn't make its way up to your glass very easily. The result is that glass and window can be cooler especially if it is on the north side of the house. That can result in a window prone to condensation when temperatures drop.

What's the best window for a bathroom?

Before the 40's, bathrooms were outside; the only window you needed was the half moon cut out of the door! It's a different story today with all homes having at least one, and the majority having two or more, bathrooms. And they are indoors, of course.

To properly discuss the bathroom window we have to be very specific about the kind of bathroom we are talking about. It can be the main bathroom, the master bedroom bathroom, the downstairs bathroom, the guest bathroom or the master bathroom half bath and so on.

The common most important thing about any bathroom window is privacy. Size can have something to do with this, so can the type of glass and the style of window you select. All three of these conditions have to be thought out when choosing a bathroom window.

Size is important; why put a floor to ceiling window next to the toilet?

Type of glass is important, as well. If you have no view but like light, put in obscure glass (glass that is manufactured so you can't see through it). If you have a view and you can sit in the tub and look out, don't install obscure glass, think drapes for privacy.

The style of window is the second most important part. It shouldn't matter how small the bathroom is, try and get a venting window into it to vent odour and excessive humidity, especially if that bath has a shower or tub in it.

How can I stop furniture from fading?

Configuration of furniture in your home is crucial. Is there a couch right under the window? Where do you plan to put the TV? Solution: Upgrading to triple-pane glass will increase the comfort level in a room by reducing the radiation coming off the window.