Home Improvement FAQs

Mark’s Windows & Doors in St. Catharines, ON answers the most frequently asked questions of homeowners. We have gathered various questions related to home improvement, from the ideal siding materials to popular deck designs. Below is a list of our responses.


Q. Should I repair or replace my windows?
A. Repairing windows could buy you some time now, but if there are water or rot problems it could cost you more down the road. It’s better to have a pro come out and help give you a good idea on the shape your windows are in.

Q. How do I know I am getting a good quality window?
A. Windows are only as good as the warranty they have. Check to see if the window company has been around for years and check to see how they have held up with their product service. Digressive warranties can cost you money down the road so make sure lifetime means just that. Not only providing the parts, but someone to fix the problem.


Q. What is the most energy efficient door I can buy?
A. You can waste a lot of energy through your door, especially if it’s old, uninsulated, improperly installed, and/or improperly air sealed. There is little choice of  doors on the market either is steel or fibreglass. In this day and age, buying a door from a big box company you’re going to get what you pay for. When choosing a door for energy efficiency, consider their energy performance ratings in relation to the local climate and your home’s design. I will work with you to help narrow your selection.


Q. Does Vinyl siding require any maintenance?
A. Vinyl siding requires very little maintenance. If you want it to keep looking like the day it was installed you will need to wash it. But this is not a requirement.

Q. Should I insulate my siding?
A. Siding should NOT be installed without some kind of weather protection, from home wrap to something with an R factor. (Insulation) if you have a home with 2 by 4 walls it is a really good idea to add insulation as it will help keep the heat in your home and save you money.


Q. How deep should a wooden fence post go into the ground before a being anchored in concrete?
A. Post footings need to be installed no less than 4 feet or 48 inches in the ground. Failing to do this will cause your fence to lift in the winter and it could fall over.

Q. What land surveys do I need to obtain before building a fence?
A. Surveys are only needed if you don’t know where your property lines are. But it is always a good idea to contact your local building department and ask them about height restrictions.


Q. Can I get a glass railing?
A. Yes you can have glass railing. It now comes two ways. First in sheets that gives you a clear view but limits air flow. It also comes in 8 inch slats. This also gives you clear views, but with the benefit of air movement. Glass is a very costly upgrade but will it is worth it.


Q. Do I need a permit to build a shed in my backyard?
A. If you want to build your shed larger than 10’ by 10’, you do for sure. It is always a good thing to ask your local building department as rules change. I like to think getting a permit won’t hurt anyone as it provides peace of mind. You will know it is built to code and that it will be allowed to be there, as it meets city zoning.

Q. What kind of foundation do you suggest my shed be built on?
A. This all comes down to what you’re using the shed for. Concrete slab is the best but comes with a higher cost. You can save a significant amount of money with a pressure treated floor.

Do you have any other questions? Call 905-327-3971  or send us a  message.