Custom Windows: Are They Better Than Stock Units?

When shopping for new windows doing your home renovation project, it is often vague which units homeowners should choose – custom or stock?

Photos By: Unsplash

Of course, you can just come to the retail shop and pick the first units you like if they fit your rough openings, but in fact, there is much more to analyze when deciding regarding new windows for your house. That is why we have reached out to Ecoline, custom window types experts, so they share some of the latest insights about choosing the best windows for your house and which units will work best for your home – custom or stock. Interested? Keep reading! 

Custom vs. Stock Windows Explained

Well, the meaning of stock windows is obvious. Basically, stock units are made according to the popular rough openings sizes, and you can easily buy these windows from your retailer’s shop on the spot.

With custom windows, everything is different. They can not be bought instantly and should be discussed with your local window company, ordered, manufactured, and delivered. Usually, it takes about 7-8 weeks for a manufacturer to construct windows according to your preferences and deliver the units ready for installation. But what is so special about custom windows? The answer is simple – they can be manufactured taking into account every tiny detail, matching your house design and your personal preferences perfectly. 

Sizes and Measurements

Quite often, Canadian homeowners tend to order custom windows when they want to change the type of windows they have in specific rooms. But of course, changing the window style requires the rough opening to be changed as well, making it wider, for example. Stock units come with predefined sizes that fit the most popular replacement projects, but custom windows would be your best pick if you want something unique to match your house exterior.

Glass Options

That’s another super important point to consider. Usually, stock units come with double glazing since it is the most popular option among homeowners, taking into account the ROIs when installing new energy-efficient windows. But if you live in a region with harsh weather or your overall house thermal performance is not that good, considering 3ple glazing with Low E coating and other aspects for energy efficiency is a must. That’s where custom windows come in handy since you can easily choose the type of glazing, spacers, and frame for maximum energy conservation.

A Combination of Windows

If you have a specific house design and want to complement it with a combination of windows like bay or bow units, you would definitely need to consult with the experts and order custom windows to match your expectations. The installation of these windows is usually challenging, and the manufacturing process might take longer than usual.

Hardware, Painting, and other Custom Features

It goes without saying that you can choose how to paint your new windows and what hardware to install when ordering custom windows. When buying stock units, you are to go with the standard hardware and colour options that might not always be up to your preferences.

Custom vs Mass-Produced Windows – What to Choose?

After reading the information above, you may feel that getting custom windows should be your only solution. Still, it really depends on what you want to achieve when doing your home improvement project.

Pick custom windows if:

  • You strive to install a non-standard window style;
  • You are really after unique painting, frames and hardware to match your house exterior;
  • You want to cut down on annual energy bills by getting windows that bring the best thermal performance components – glazing, gas and other window treatments;
  • You want to increase your property value.

Buy and install mass-produced windows when:

  • You know what you are up to in terms of sizes and window look, and all these are obtainable on the market;
  • You have no time to wait until the custom windows are manufactured;
  • You are on a tight budget, and paying a lot for custom units is not an option for you.

However, do not forget to buy only Energy-Star rated windows regardless if you are aiming for custom or mass-produced units. Energy Star label makes sure the windows are of high quality and will serve you for many years to come. 

Moreover, dealing with a reliable window company to install your new windows is vital. Even the best units will go out of service if installed or maintained poorly, so make sure to find experienced local installers to do the job for you. 

The Bottom Line

Shopping for new windows might be really challenging, especially if you do this for the first time and are unsure what will work best for your house. Getting custom windows would be definitely the right choice since they will fit your home perfectly. But in case you are not ready to pay a lot for your renovation project or do it for a rented property, for example, stock units still might be an excellent option for you due to their availability and cost-effectiveness.