Doing home renovations this summer? Consider new windows and doors, design consultant says – National

House Renovation

Hollie Cooper and her husband had just bought a new home and knew extensive renovations were in store. “Part of those renovations were that we wanted indoor/outdoor living. It was really important to us,” Cooper says.

To make that happen in their home, they began looking at window walls as an option. But early research showed that walls like these were out of the couple’s budget.

Then Cooper, an interior stylist who owns Toronto-based Hollie Cooper Interiors, heard an advertisement for a company called Magic that promised windows with retractable screens and folding window walls — exactly the kinds of things she was looking for and what she ultimately ended up purchasing to include in the renovations.

Perhaps, like Cooper, you’re renovating a new home or, given the time you’ve spent in your home in the past year, you’ve been thinking about investing more in the space you live in. You wouldn’t be alone. According to the recent How We Live report from insurance provider Aviva Canada, 13 per cent of Canadians plan to make changes to their home through renovations in the next 12 months.

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In partnership with Magic, a Toronto-based window and door maker that’s been manufacturing in Ontario for 40 years, we look at why installing new windows and doors is worth the investment.

For Cooper, the retractable insect screen built into Magic’s window wall is one feature he appreciates. “That way, we don’t have to have the screen on all the time. We have a lot of greenery in our backyard, and mosquitoes can be an issue. So it was really important to us that there were screens but that we didn’t have to see them all the time,” she says. The screen also proved simple to operate and pulled easily into place, another detail that was critical for Cooper.

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READ MORE: Backyard makeover: Tips to update your outdoor space this season

The installation came with one surprising feature she hadn’t necessarily thought to look for. While most window walls stack up on one side of the house, the wall from Magic includes one panel that acts as a door. “This way, we can have access to the backyard without having to open everything else up. Nothing else we looked at had that option,” Cooper says.

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Window walls and bi-folding doors can be a concern for Canadian homeowners given the nature of our heat-to-cold climate. But Magic window walls are four-season-rated, and free of hinges and other mechanisms that could malfunction in extreme temperatures. The wall’s airtight seal makes it an energy-efficient choice, too. (Citing the Appraisal Institute of Canada, CIBC reports that energy upgrades are not only a popular trend with home renos, but they also typically bring a 50 to 75 per cent return on resale.)

READ MORE: Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s new home retrofit program

For another customer with some background in design, retired ad agency partner Michael Wurstlin, patented and exclusive features of Magic’s windows are what stood out for him when he chose to install them twice in the past 15 years: once when retrofitting an old building and once for a new build. He says he appreciates that the model he has can be opened like a door or tilted like a window.

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The windows were also the low-upkeep solution Wurstlin was looking for. “My first priority has always been that I don’t have to paint it. So even though it’s an antique style, you still want something that’s maintenance-free. But there are also such a great range of materials that you can use,” he added.

Not only is the maintenance piece important to Wurstlin, it shows that Magic is a family-owned business and operates as such. “They don’t put your windows in and walk away. If I didn’t understand something or needed a fixed piece, they’re always very responsive,” Wurstlin says. “They stand behind their product, and it feels like a family-run company rather than some big corporation. That feels satisfying.”

To learn more about Magic’s innovative windows and doors, or to arrange a free consultation and see how they could fit in your home, visit the Magic website.