How the new building code affects you

We all love daylight. In fact, many offices even have special lights now that simulate daylight so the average office worker doesn’t get seasonal affective disorder. Yet there’s more to letting the light in than you think.

On Jan. 1, 2014, the new 2012 Building Code requirements came into effect for windows, doors and skylights. Essentially, the building code has created a coordinated approach for Canadian and U.S. standards for testing windows, doors and skylights. So what does that mean for your renovation?

If you’re considering replacing your windows and/or doors while the weather is cooperating, the biggest difference you’ll see will be with doors. Any doors installed in a new build or renovation for which a building permit is required must now be air-tight in both directions under a pressure load. This will likely require door latches on multiple points. With more testing and new product development expenses on the rise, you should definitely expect some price increases for these new compliant products.

If you’re trying to create a more energy-efficient space, upgrading your original windows and exterior doors to Energy Star-qualified models will reduce your total energy usage by about 7 to 12%, according to Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency. Homes with wooden or aluminum-framed windows are ideal candidates for upgrades because they are typically single-paned, allowing more heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Rising energy costs aside, your old windows may be working against your hydro bill.

No matter what size your project is, make sure your contractor is well-educated in all aspects of the renovation and knows the new building code requirements. A good contractor will identify the products that suit your needs and – perhaps most importantly – understand the impact they’ll have on your budget.

Darren Cavan is the operations manager for Classic Home Improvements. To learn more, call their Courtenay office at 250-941-6602 or visit

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