Welcome to Gentek Canada’s MyDesign Home Studio, our home exterior improvement blog

Get tips and colour choices from our designers and learn about our latest windows, siding and home exterior products.

Is it Wood? Is it Steel? Why Distinction Wood Grain is the Next Big Thing

If you adore the look of real wood, but aren’t so fond of the upkeep, you’re going to love Distinction Wood Grain siding. While real wood siding requires a ton of maintenance and is prone to wreathing, Distinction Wood Grain offers the look of real wood, with the low maintenance and durability of steel siding. It’s an upcoming trend for traditional and modern looking homes alike, so strike while the iron’s hot!

Standout Features

There’s a few key reasons why Distinction Wood Gran siding is having a moment in the design world. We’ve already covered the fact that it’s low maintenance and high durability, but on top of that, it has a Class A rating against fire, you can choose between vertical and horizontal installation, and there are no visible screws, so your exterior design is never compromised.

Distinction Wood Grain siding is also coated with rust resistant paint for long term strength and resilience, and you’re backed by a 40-year limited warranty. It’s made with high strength steel and a high-performance paint system applied over G90 galvanized steel or Galvalume, and is available in 3 series of colours: Wood Series, Nuanced Wood Series and Granite Series.

Wood vs. Steel

Steel siding has become a go-to for homeowners and contractors due to its beneficial features. When compared to other siding options, it’s one of the strongest and longest lasting materials to use for your home exterior. It’s resistant to bumps, dents and dings that may be more prevalent with other materials, and it requires barely any maintenance. Wood, on the other hand, is prone to rot and insect infestation and requires substantially higher maintenance.

Get the Look

Distinction Wood Grain siding is a painted steel siding which elegantly imitates real wood and comes in a large variety of colours to suit any taste. Choose from colours like Urban Grey, Walnut, Cedar, Jet Black and Sequoia to enhance the exterior of your home, with unmatched durability. Not all colours are available in all provinces, so make sure you check with a Gentek representative for availability in your area.

Distinction Wood Grain siding makes it possible for you to get the look of real wood without the hassle of taking care of it. If you’ve been wanting to update your home design with an elegant wood aesthetic, this product is perfect for you!

Earth Day ENERGY STAR Canada

Earth Day (Sunday April 22) is quickly approaching, and it’s that time of year where we need to consider how our actions are affecting the planet. This goes for everything from our homes to our waste and recycling practices to our purchasing decisions. One of the best ways to protect our planet is to use energy efficient and ENERGY STAR certified products in our homes.

Did you know that an average household spends more than 40% of its annual energy budget on heating and cooling costs? ENERGY STAR certified products save energy, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, making the earth healthier all around.

ENERGY STAR is a government-backed voluntary partnership program that promotes environmental protection and energy efficiency in products, buildings and homes. Here are 3 ways to participate in the battle for a greener planet:

1. ENERGY STAR Certified Windows

New windows are definitely an investment, but when you think about how much money you’ll save on heating and cooling costs, you’ll see they’re worth every penny. Gentek windows are performance-engineered for advanced energy savings to help reduce fuel consumption for heating and cooling homes. For increased energy savings, Gentek windows are available with ENERGY STAR qualified glass packages for thermal protection and year-round energy conservation.

Gentek’s Regency and Regency 400 windows have been selected as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2017 for meeting meticulous ENERGY STAR performance criteria. Included in the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation are all Regency and Regency 400 windows built with EnergyPlus glass. Available in custom colours and decorative options, the windows feature fusion-welded masterframe and sash corners, dual-pane insulated glass technology, multi-layer weatherstripping and integrated insulating components for weathertight protection against energy loss.

2. ENERGY STAR Certified Patio Doors

Gentek patio doors are beautiful practical, and ENERGY STAR rated. Patio doors are a stylish way to fuse the indoors and outdoors, making your space more welcoming. Energy efficient patio doors help maintain comfort in your home and will help you save on energy bills. Gentek offers a full line of patio doors to suit any home design.

3. ENERGY STAR Rated First Impressions’ Doors

If you want to replace your front door with one that’s going to protect our planet, you’ll want to know about Gentek’s custom First Impressions’ doors. They’re designed to deliver superior energy efficiency and reduce consumption of fossil fuels for heating and cooling. They’re ENERGY STAR rated and their material is reused for other products to reduce environmental waste. Custom made with the exact measurements of your door openings and crafted with simple upkeep in mind, Frist Impressions’ doors are one of the best home investments you can make.

Earth Day is coming. Use Gentek products to make your home greener and our environment healthier!

Using the Gentek Visualizer to Renovate Your Home Inside and Out

Have you ever wanted to see what your home would look like with a renovation, before you actually do the renovation? We’ve got just the thing for you! The Gentek Visualizer and MyDesign Home Studio allow you to explore design possibilities for your renovation or new construction project before making the investment.

While the Gentek Visualizer lets you use a photo of your own home to complete a digital remodel, with MyDesign Home Studio, you choose a home from our online gallery that best suits your own. It’s crucial to test out what you think you want before you go through with it. You may think you want one thing and end up getting the exact opposite, or you may completely fall in love with your vision!

The Gentek Visualizer

The Gentek Visualizer is so easy to use. All you have to do is upload a current photo of your home, create an outline, and use the simple tools to create a new design. Try different products and colours to find your signature look. There’s also a collection of sample homes you can check out to start viewing all our products immediately. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can leave it to the Gentek team to do the work for you! Easy as that!

My Design Home Studio – Siding

The Siding Design Studio allows you to explore our extensive line of siding products from Vinyl siding options to Specialty siding, Aluminum siding and more. Pick the sample home that most represents your own, and take your pick of siding, exterior accents, entry doors, trims and shutters. You’ll also get to see a wide variety of classic and contemporary colour options to get a full picture of what your exterior will look like. Whatever you envision in your mind, you can create with the Siding Design Studio, and then print your design to use as a blueprint for your remodel.

My Design Home Studio – Window

With the Window Design Studio you can create and customize your window preferences based on your home interior. The tool is extremely easy to navigate, and allows you to choose from a wide range of window styles, room options, colour options and grid and v-grooved cut glass styles. You can visualize our products and explore plenty of options so you can feel confident in your remodel.

Although these tools are extremely helpful to guide your renovation, due to variables such as individual monitor settings, we suggest making final decisions using actual product samples.

If you’re planning to renovate your home, use the Gentek Visualizer and MyDesign Home Studio to check out our products and design possibilities!

5 Reasons to Deal with a Window Wise Dealer

Need to replace your windows? Don’t leave your home’s future up to chance. Unfortunately, in the window replacement industry, you don’t always get what you pay for. There are poorly trained installers and poor quality products that can leave you in a worse place than when you started off.

When you deal with a Window Wise manufacturer, like Gentek, you can rest assured that you’re getting top quality windows that are installed by top quality contractors. Window Wise manufacturers and contractors have been tested and certified so you can be confident in your investment.

Here are 5 reasons to deal with a Window Wise dealer.


Window Wise audits and certifies contractors and window manufacturers, and conducts window installation training seminars for installers. A Window Wise certification means there’s a full 5 year transferrable guarantee; there will be a trained, certified window dealer and window installation contractor; high quality, energy star efficient windows; random inspection for contract workmanship; and registration of your window replacement job to ensure all criteria have been met.

2. Peace of Mind

Using a Window Wise dealer will give you peace of mind that your window investment will be one you can be proud of. It will be a lasting investment that you don’t have to worry about. Plus, you can be sure that the tradespeople installing your windows are of the highest quality. The window manufacturer and contractor are protected by an industry-backed guarantee, so you can sleep easy at night.

3. Tested

Window Wise manufacturers have all been tested and exceed building code standards for everything from energy efficiency to water leakage and strength. This provides you as a buyer with an extra sense of ease when you invest in your new replacement windows.

4. High Quality

There’s no point replacing your windows if they’re not going to be superior quality. Windows are an investment and the last thing any home owner wants is to buy windows that are going to need to be replaced in a few years. Window Wise manufacturers like Gentek only sell high quality windows that feature water leakage and strength, air filtration, and significant energy saving benefits.

5. Protection

One of the main benefits of windows is that they protect your home and keep it secure. They prevent air loss, keep noise out, and maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Dated windows can have trouble keeping outside noises from entering your home, but quality replacement windows, like the ones you can find with a Window Wise dealer maximize your privacy and quiet so you can live your life peacefully and undisturbed. This is especially important if you live in a noisy area.

If you’re looking to replace your windows, deal with a Window Wise manufacturer to ensure you get top contractors and the highest quality windows. Gentek offers a wide range of Window Wise windows that will suit your home needs!


Are You REALLY Saving Money on Windows?

If you’ve ever bought windows for a new home or had to replace your windows, you know they’re quite the investment. Windows provide your home with light, ventilation and increased comfort, but they can also negatively impact your home’s energy efficiency. Replacing your windows with windows that are energy efficient can save you money on energy bills, while making your home more comfortable.

To improve energy efficiency in the home, the Ontario government has launched a program that can save you $500 per window up to $5,000. Available in Ontario only, the GreenON Rebate is an energy saving incentive program that allows residents to earn GreenON Rebates when they purchase qualifying high-performance windows. Gentek’s Regency high-performance windows and Regency 400 Series windows qualify for the program.

Energy Savings with Regency and Regency 400 Windows

High-performance, energy efficient windows can reduce energy loss, condensation and outdoor noise, increasing the comfort of your home and saving you money on heating and cooling bills. With Regency high-performance windows and Regency 400 Series windows, you’ll get increased thermal protection against energy loss, enduring strength and easy upkeep. New energy efficient windows can also increase the value of your home for resale, combining beauty with function, and enhanced curb appeal.

How the GreenON Rebate Program Works

In order to participate in the GreenON Rebates program, you must live in a detached home, townhome or semi. If you rent your home, you’ll have to get written permission from your landlord to replace your windows. You can then choose a Window Wise certified contractor for the purchase and installation of qualifying energy-efficient windows.

Gentek’s Regency and Regency 400 windows with select EnergyPlus or Solar Shield glass packages that are designated as ENERGYSTAR Most Efficient can meet the program requirements. The rebate applies for each rough opening. A bay or bow window with more than one glass unit qualifies for one rebate. Once the window replacement is finished, the contractor will submit your GreenON Rebates on your behalf.

And note: The windows’ rating stickers/labels are required as part of the GreenON Rebates application, so your contractor must keep them when they are removed from your windows.

Finally, once you validate that the window replacement has been completed, you can submit your proof of purchase and you’ll receive your rebate cheque in the mail in 8 to 12 weeks.

If you’re an Ontario resident and your windows need replacing, the GreenON Rebates program will help you maximise your energy savings year-round, and also help you save money on your windows and energy bills. Is there anything better?

If you have any questions, you can ask your Gentek window dealer or contact GreenON support at 1-888-728-8444 or email info@GreenON.ca.

Cottage-Style Front Doors: Yes or No?

Your front door is the first impression your home gives to guests and passersby. It sets the tone and style for your home, making whatever statement you choose to give off. Cottage-style front doors give character to your exterior, and make a quiet and welcoming statement. With different styles and colours, you can give your entrance way that charming cottage character you’ve always dreamed of.

A beautiful door conveys the personality of the homeowner, and is able to draw people in with its warmth. Curb appeal is so important whether you plan to stay in your home or eventually sell. The cottage-style door trend isn’t for everyone, but if it makes you swoon, here are 3 ways to incorporate cottage-style front doors.

The Colour

The colour you choose for your front door will have a big impact on the rest of your exterior, and will help give off the vibe you’re going for. If you’re looking to create cottage character, you want a colour that compliments the quaint, charming and rustic vibe of a cottage. Gentek offers a wide variation of paint colours so you can choose one that fits your style best.

Colours like Wedgewood Blue and Old World Blue reference seaside hues found at coastal cottages, while shades like Venetian Red and Black will give a more vintage, charming feel. You could also go with Slate or Dover Gray for gray hues that are warm and welcoming.

The Style

Gentek’s classic doors come in plenty of styles to choose from. The grid windows give off that cottage charm, and decorative glass provides a welcoming facade. If you have certain cottage style in mind, you can always customize your door with Gentek’s First Impressions doors. This will allow you to design the door the way you please, giving you the cottage look you envision.

The Details

The accessories and furnishings you use around your front door can also give it that cottage feel. Think about adding a porch swing or pillow-plumped bench in the same colour as your door to give your porch an extra cozy vibe. You can also use accessories like flower pots and boxes, a basket or watering can, or a wicker chair with comfortable throw pillows. All these details will enhance a cottage-style front door to give off the charming vibe you desire.

So, what do you say? Are you digging cottage-style front doors? What look do you envision for your home?

How to Know if You Need a New Roof

If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably running in and out of the house, with little attention paid to your roof. But regular roof inspections will keep your home safe and prevent costly repairs down the line. Just like siding and windows, you need to make sure you replace your roof with quality materials when it comes time for your renovation.

Here are 6 things to look for to determine if you need a new roof.

1. How Old is Your Roof?

Most roofs last between 20 to 25 years. If you moved into your home after someone else, it’s important to find out how old your current roof is to determine when you need to replace it. It could look good from the ground, but there may be underlying issues after this long. If all the homes in your neighbourhood were built at the same time and your neighbours are replacing their roofs, it’s likely time to get a new one yourself.

2. Curling or Cracked Shingles

Take a look at your roof to see if your shingles are starting to curl. Curling can happen in two ways: When the edges turn upward and when the edges stay flat and the middle starts to come up. These are both signs of weathering and signal that it’s soon time for a new roof. Cracked shingles are also a telling sign. If it’s only a few cracked shingles, go ahead and replace them, but if you notice random cracked shingles across the exterior, you should think about getting a new roof.

3. Missing Shingles

Missing shingles are also a sign you need a new roof. If it’s only a few missing shingles here and there, you can likely get away with replacing them. The only problem is you probably won’t get an exact colour match with your old ones. The bigger issue arises when there are lots of missing shingles to be replaced. This is when it’s time to replace the whole thing.

4. Trouble Shingles in the Roof Valley

If your shingles are falling apart or missing in the roof valley, it’s time for a roof replacement. Valleys are crucial for the performance of your roof since rain and snow fall through them and into gutters. Once the valley is compromised, you could be susceptible to roof leaks, which can cause a tremendous amount of damage.

5. You See Granules in Your Gutters

Granules play an important part in the role of a solid roof. They help keep the sun off the asphalt, but once they start falling off, the shingles start to bake. After this, you’ll no longer have a roof you can fully rely on.

6. Your Roof is Sagging

This is the most problematic issue of them all. If you notice your roof is sagging, this could mean a structural issue that you need to fix as soon as possible. Get the help of an expert as soon as you notice a sagging roof. It’s a lot easier to fix when the problem is small than when it gets bigger.

If you’ve noticed any of these issues with your roof, it’s time to determine your next step. Don’t ignore the signs; it could be time for a new roof!


Top 5 Window Seat Ideas

Window seats offer cozy and stylish spots that elevate your home. Whether you live in a country house with 5 kids, or a 2-bedroom high rise with your significant other, window seating blends style and function to give you a space you’ll love to cozy up in.

Window seats are often multi-functional, offering a spot to sit, as well as extra storage for your home. Place them in the rooms that make most sense for you and your lifestyle.

If you’re outfitting your home with new windows for your window seats, take a look at Gentek’s vinyl and aluminum windows. Available in a wide variety of styles, shapes and sizes, you’re sure to find the perfect one to fit your space.

If you’ve been thinking about window seating for your home, here are 5 ideas for how to go about it.

1. Breakfast Nook

Do you have a nook in your kitchen that you know can be used for more than just empty space? Create a breakfast nook with comfy window seating. Add a small table so your family can come together over morning coffee. It will also provide a nice spot to hangout throughout the day, catching up after work or eating dessert later at night.

2. Built-in Book Case

A built-in book case is a great addition to a window seat in your living area. It can run the length of the window seat, or you can cut it off where you see fit. Top the seat with a comfortable cushion and throw pillows and it will transform into the perfect reading haven. Peruse through a magazine while enjoying the gorgeous view out your window.

3. Children’s Sanctuary

A window seat in your child’s room is a fun and functional décor trick. It offers another place for him/her and their friends to sit and play, as well as a spot to daydream, colour or read on their own. You can also add drawers into the window seat to store clothes and toys so they’re not sprawled all over the room.

4. Party Seating

If you love to host parties, big or small, a window seat in your living space offers additional seating for your guests. They can mix and mingle, and not have to worry about getting a spot on the sofa. Outfit your window seat to match the rest of your room, but give it some unique pops so it stands out as a focal point.

5. Mudroom Saviour

The mudroom is often a space that’s a little out of order. Use a window seat to create extra storage for bags, boots and shoes. It’s a clever way to enhance practicality and function in a room that is known to get messier than the rest.

These 5 window seat ideas will add comfort, style, and function to your home. Combine cozy seating with the perfect window and you’ll have a space that wows.

Where to Place Your Plants: Shade Vs. Sun? It Matters

Placing plants in your home can bring joy and life to your space. But not all plants are easy to care for, and if you’re not sure whether your plants need sun or shade, they’re not going to last long. Some homeowners buy plants thinking lots of sun and water will do the trick, but it’s important to educate yourself on how to look after your plants properly if you want them to flourish.

Most plants are happiest in indirect light, but there are a few plants that thrive in sunlight. These plants love having plenty of light, so will grow best in rooms with lots of natural sunlight from windows. The level of water, humidity and sunlight required varies among plants, but as long as you do your research, your plants are sure to thrive!

Benefits of Houseplants

Along with looking great in your home, houseplants also come with health benefits. They reduce carbon dioxide levels and pollutants like nitrogen dioxide. They also reduce airborne dust levels and increase humidity, preventing dryness in your skin, throat, nose and lips. Plants make breathing easier and purify your indoor air, boosting your overall health.

Plants That Crave Sunlight

Some plants bloom when they’re in direct sunlight. If you have rooms with large, gorgeous regency windows or a room with patio doors that let lots of light in, they’re the perfect spots to place these sun-loving plants. Have a south-facing room with lots of windows? Even better! Plants that crave sunlight need minimum five hours of sun, but up to 12 hours is ideal.

Most full sun plants are tolerant to arid conditions, making them perfect for potted environments. Take your pick from plants like succulents, cacti, geraniums, the dwarf citrus, and the garden croton. Most of these plants do well with a higher indoor temperature, and remember to keep them out of the way of drafts and extreme weather. If you notice your sun-loving plant isn’t growing, move it closer to the window to enhance the level of sunlight it gets.

Plants That Need Shade

If you have a room in your home that doesn’t have a lot of windows, that’s a good place to place plants that love shade. They thrive in low light conditions and grow well in dry environments. If you have a north-facing room, or a room with no windows, this would be considered a low light room.

Plants like the dieffenbachia, the Chinese evergreen, the peace lily, ivy, the staghorn fern, the ZZ plant and the snake plant can all handle low light with ease. Another option if your room does have windows is to add a sheer curtain to cut down on the light, or move the plants around so they’re not directly in front of the windows.

Plants are a gorgeous way to outfit your home. Just remember to do your research on how to thoroughly care for your plants to ensure they live as long as possible!

5 Signs You Need New Siding for Your Home

Siding is one of the most important features of your home. Not only in terms of aesthetics, but it protects your home from the elements and ensures you and your family are kept safe. Replacing your siding isn’t always at the top of mind for homeowners, but you need to know what to look for to keep your home protected.

Siding does get worn out. It cracks, it rots, it fades, and if you’re not careful, it may start to leak. Once leakage starts, the damage may already be done and it could be too late to prevent other major repairs.

But don’t fret! With Gentek’s amazing selection of siding options, you can replace your current siding with beautiful durable siding that will last you for years to come.

Here are 5 telltale signs you need new siding for your home.

1. Your Siding is Rotting

Take a close look at your siding to see if there’s any rot. Once your siding begins to rot and even crumble, it can no longer protect your home like it’s supposed to. If it’s situated in one spot, you may be able to mend the area, but if it covers a large part of your exterior, it’s time for new siding. Vinyl siding is known for its long-lasting durability, and if you want something with extra strength, check out Sequoia Select siding for enduring protection for your home.

2. Too Much Maintenance

If it has gotten to the point where you can’t keep up with the maintenance for your siding, it’s time to replace it. If it’s taking too much time and energy to maintain it, it’s time to look for low-maintenance siding you don’t have to worry too much about. There are plenty of low-maintenance siding options to consider, from Grayne siding to Concord siding. Vinyl siding is known for its low-maintenance since it doesn’t have to be painted; just hosed down from time to time.

3. High Heating/Cooling Bills

If you’ve noticed your heating/cooling bills have gone up substantially, it’s time to take a look at your siding. If your walls and windows are feeling drafty and you’ve ruled out a leaking roof or lack of attic insulation, you could need new siding. This will create more comfort in your home and save you money on your bills. Gentek’s insulated Sequoia Select EnFusion siding is crafted with energy efficiency and protection, and is fortified with expanded polystyrene rigid foam insulation.

4. Cracks and Holes

Cracks and holes in your siding are never a good sign. If it’s only in one or two pieces of siding, it may be possible to replace them, but if a substantial section of your siding has cracks or is loose, it should be removed and replaced. Without replacing it, water could seep in and lead to major problems down the line. 

5. Warping, Bulging or Bubbles

Notice warping, bulging or bubbles in your siding? These three things could mean big trouble. They’re likely an indication of serious damage beneath the siding, such as water that has been trapped. Get an expert in immediately to take a look.

If you’ve noticed any of these problems with your home, it’s time to replace your siding! Now the question is, which one will you choose?