Home Building 101: Builder Grade Windows
Big building projects involve a lot of decisions and planning, from large-scale decisions about style to smaller decisions about the tiniest details. If you are building your house from scratch or replacing structural elements in your old one, you know how much thought you have to put into the decision-making process, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
For many homeowners, renovating or building brand new often means juggling between costs and quality. Reducing costs can be done in many creative ways, but sometimes builders get pressured to lower the final costs so much that they invest in short-term solutions. One way to lower the cost of building or upgrading your home is to choose builder-grade windows and doors for your home.
What Does the Term ‘Builder Grade’ Mean?
In construction work, the grades you hear about refer to the quality of the materials and components of structural items. Often, contractors and developers keep their prices competitive by offering the most basic building materials, also known as builder-grade materials. Some common materials that contractors may offer at a builder-grade level include doors, windows and other generic fixtures. While typically more plain looking, builder-grade materials perform their basic function and offer the fantastic advantages of affordability and availability.
3 Different Grades of Windows
If you have a construction project, you will likely hear about these three grades of windows and doors.
- Builder Grade: As mentioned, this grade is the most elementary, offering only the most basic materials and non-customisable sizing.
- Premium Grade: The materials for premium grade products have higher quality (ex.: timber windows and aluminium windows), the craftsmanship is superior, and they might come with additional features such as free installation, warranties, and more varied colour palette.
- Custom Windows: For homeowners with distinct preferences, contractors can also customise your windows based on your preferences. Custom windows can have particular dimensions, shapes, glass types, filters, energy-saving features, or security films.
The Pros and Cons of Builder Grade Windows
All window grades have specific advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your situation, each level of the window offers different options. The following are the pros and cons of builder-grade windows:
Pros of Builder-Grade Windows:
- Made using materials that are readily available
- Are highly affordable
- They look fantastic when new and are easy to replace
Cons of Builder-Grade Windows:
- Have a short lifespan and will need replacement or repairs in 5-10 years
- Limited options for colours, models, shapes, and features
- Use inferior finishes and technology
Overall, builder-grade windows, doors, or fixtures are not necessarily the worst choice you can make. There are circumstances when builder-grade elements can come in handy, such as when you are on a tight budget.
Over time, you can also gradually replace your builder-grade windows with premium or custom products. Better products can be a wiser investment in the long run because they are more efficient for energy-saving, add value to the property, and provide more comfort.
If you’re looking to upgrade your builder-grade windows or simply install new custom windows, Valley Windows is here to help. Our team has decades of experience in the window manufacturing industry, and we are happy to help with all your window needs. Contact us today for a free consultation!