Berdick Windows & Doors   595 Warren Avenue East • Penticton, BC   V2A 3M5

Berdick Windows

Windows and More…The 100% Best Buying Tips

Expert tips for buying new windows

Buying windows for your new home or renovation can be complicated. Let a specialist at Berdick windows and doors help you make it easy.

There are many different types of windows, and each window comes with a variety of options to suit your needs. We always recommend hiring a professional installer for your home improvement project. A professional can save you time, money, and headaches. If you are installing yourself, We hope the information in this article will help you with your project.

There are six points to consider before you meet with a salesperson.

  • Size
  • Series
  • Frame color
  • Glass type
  • Jamb extension (liner)
  • Grids, grilles, muntin bars, or simulated divided lite (SDL)


Providing the size should be simple right? Depending on the type of window frame or installation method, there can be at least three different ways to measure a window.

Typically, the best measurement to provide the salesperson is the rough opening size. The rough opening size is the measurement of the opening in the wall from stud to stud. Measure the right, middle, and left side and the top, center, and bottom of the opening and provide the smallest measurement. Sometimes the rough opening is not square, or the header or sill has sagged or warped. Providing the smallest measurement will ensure the window fits the opening properly. When you provide your measurements, clarify which measurement is the width, and which is the height. You wouldn’t want to purchase windows twice if your sizes get mixed up.

You could also provide the actual window frame size. This is also referred to as the outside measurement of the frame (OSM), or the heel size. Depending on the manufacturer, the window frame size is usually ½” – 1” smaller than the rough opening size. This will provide ¼”- ½” all the way around the window between the window frame and the rough opening. You should have enough space to fit your shims, insulation, building paper, etc.

In some situations, a type of renovation window may be used that comes with a brickmold (moulding) around the exterior of the frame. The 9000 Series window from Berdick Windows and Doors is designed to make finishing easier and increase durability and longevity.  When this type of product is used, the outside measurement of the brickmold (OSM brickmold) can be provided. This is especially useful where the frame and brickmold must fit into a home renovation with a brick exterior. The brick cannot be moved, so the window is made to fit just inside the brick opening.


Each manufacturer will offer windows that vary in type and quality. Common window types are non-opening, crank-out casement, awning windows, and sliding windows. Each type will have a different price, energy efficiency rating, and structural integrity.

Most homes have a mixture of non-opening and horizontal or vertical sliding (single-hung) windows, or non-opening and casement and awning windows. Decide if you want the windows to open, and if so, how you would like the windows to open. Not all rooms require opening windows, but bedrooms need a window large enough to escape out in case of a fire, or a door that leads directly to the exterior.

The size of the window dictates whether it would be best as a horizontal slider, vertical slider, casement, or awning window. Each manufacturer will have different parameters they need to work within, and a salesperson will be able to assist you with your selection.

Frame Color

White is the most common color for vinyl windows, but most companies now offer several color options. Beige, taupe, or desert sand colors are often available as an alternative to white. Some companies offer a painting service to paint the exterior and sometimes the interior of the window. Other companies may offer a frame with a variety of color wraps.

If you plan on ordering windows with a paint finish, make sure to do your research. If the correct paint and process are used, painted windows, like those offered by Berdick Windows, can look amazing and last a long time. It’s important the frames are correctly prepared, the paint is designed to adhere to vinyl, and most importantly, the paint contains particles that reflect the heat from the sun.

We do not recommend painting vinyl window frames yourself. Quite often the manufacturers warranty will be void if the frames are painted outside of the factory. If the wrong preparation process or paint is used, the paint can easily chip, crack, or flake off, and if a dark paint is used, the vinyl frames can get so hot they can warp.

Glass Type

Most windows sold today are at least double pane and come standard with high-efficiency low emissivity (low-e) glass and argon gas between the panes. Low-e glass has a very thin metal coating that helps to insulate and block heat and ultraviolet light. Argon gas is more dense than air and fills the cavity between the glass. Low-e glass and argon gas both help insulate your home and are often required to meet building code requirements.

Depending on where you live, you may need double pane, triple pane, or even quad pane low-e and argon windows to meet the u-value requirements for your area. U-value is the rate at which heat is transferred through an object. The lower the u-value, the more efficient the window will be. Currently, in British Columbia, all windows must have a metric u-value of 1.61 or less to meet building code requirements. Check with your local building official or window supplier to see what is required and select a glass and frame type that suits your needs.

U-values are often displayed as imperial u-values. A 1.61 metric u-value is equal to a 0.2836 imperial u-value. If necessary, you can easily convert back and forth between metric and imperial by multiplying or dividing by a factor of 5.678. For example, 1.61/5.678 = 0.2836 and 0.2836 x 5.678 = 1.61.

Besides low-e glass, there are many other tinted or obscure glass types available to block light or provide privacy. These glass types are used in combination with low-e glass and argon gas to meet building code requirements.

Learn more about glass at Cardinal Glass Industries.

Jamb Extension

A jamb extension or jamb liner is an extension attached to the interior surface of the window frame. A standard window frame is not usually built to match the depth of your wall. A jamb extension is attached so the window frame matches your wall depth and makes finishing easier.

The goal is to install the window so it comes flush with your drywall so the interior casing can simply be applied to finish the interior of the window. The jamb extension is required for most window installations and is usually applied in the factory, but it can also be applied by the finishing carpenter on-site.

Jamb depth is typically 4 ½” or 6 ½” and can vary based on wall type. Jamb liner materials include vinyl, primed finger-joint pine, hemlock, fir, or medium-density fiberboard (MDF).

Grids, Grilles, Muntin Bars, or Simulated Divided Lite (SDL)

Internal grids, grilles, or muntin bars are thin pieces of material applied to the glass as a decorative option to create divisions, panes, or lites. Typically, the grids are sealed between the glass and are made of aluminum. Several designs are available such as a top-hung grid, perimeter grid, or a full grid throughout the entire window. Common grid dimensions are 3/8”, 5/8” and 1”, and a number of color options are available. Since the grids are sealed between the glass, cleaning the windows remains quite simple. Internal grids are a durable, cost-effective way to add curb appeal to your windows.

Simulated divided lites (SDL) are similar to internal grids except they are adhered to the interior surface, exterior surface, or both the interior and exterior surfaces of the glass. They are one more decorative option that provide a more authentic way to divide the glass into separate panes without going to the expense of having actual separate pieces of glass. The SDL come in a variety of sizes such as 7/8” and 2” and usually match the color of the window frame. Since the SDL are adhered to the outside surfaces of the glass, cleaning will take a little more patience, but the improved aesthetic should make it worth your while.

Now that you know the basics, meeting with your salesperson should be quicker and easier. If you are acting as the professional and installing yourself, you are usually responsible for providing all the measurements and configurations. Make sure you understand every detail of your quote and ask a lot of questions. Windows can be expensive and take a long time to manufacture so you want to make sure everything is ordered correctly the first time.

Where to Buy

If you are located in British Columbia, check-out They are a family owned and operated window and door manufacturer that has specialized in windows and doors since 1973. Contact Berdick today for a free quote on products and installation services. If you are not in the local area, they can suggest many authorized dealers throughout British Columbia.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to read a few of our other articles that can be found here.