Toronto Women’s Expo

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Mar 212017

Toronto Women’s Expo

This year we decided to rejoin the Toronto Women’s Expo, on Wednesday, March 29 at Paradise Banquet Hall.  7601 Jane St. in Vaughan, Ontario.

This show is a Business-to-Business (B2B) event for women to make contacts with women and mostly by women.  Open Door Windows and Doors Inc. is proud to join the Toronto Women’s Expo again this year as an exhibitor displaying our lines of Basement Egress Windows, Basement Window Vinyl Wells, Basement Egress Escape Steps and for the first time in Canada we will be displaying our Basement Window Well Covers.

Come visit us there to see our display of actual Wells, Steps, Covers and more.  We will also have more information about every product in our lineup and we will be happy to discuss any questions that anyone has about our company and product lines.

Vinyl Window Wells

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Jan 242016

Light Wells by Vinyl Window Wells

After some research and effort, we’ve managed to bring Light Wells by Vinyl Window Wells to Canada.

Good news for everyone in Canada who’s wanted something other then a traditional Steel Window Well for their Egress and/or Basement Windows, there is another option.  We’ve acquired the rights to bring to all of Canada, Light Wells by Vinyl Window Wells.  This will be the first time that Light Wells will be available in Canada commercially and in quantity.

Bringing Vinyl Window Wells to Canada

We are now the exclusive Canadian distributor of Light Wells and are able to install them, wholesale them to other window companies and also sell them to the public as Cash & Carry.

Full details on our Vinyl Window Wells page and images are available in our Vinyl Window Wells Gallery.

The advantages of Vinyl Window Wells

In Canada, the traditional Basement Window or Egress Window has a Steel Window Well.  While it is almost always necessary to have a Window Well, it has been the lack of options for the types of Window Wells that often drives people to get the Steel Window Well that everyone has, even though Vinyl Window Wells have a few advantages.

A better look

While most Steel Window Wells are a corrugated steel bent into the shape and size you need this gives you the structure and look of a Steel form.  Light Wells by Vinyl Window Wells are made from Vinyl and not Steel, so they can better match your style.

More light

Typically a Window Well is used when you have a window below the ground level and for various reasons and most people assume that this means it will help you to bring more light into your basement.  While Steel Window Wells do help to create the opening they don’t specifically help bring in more light.  Light Wells on the other hand actually help to increase the amount of light coming into your basement through the Window Well.

More Details

For further details please Email us at or fill out the Contact Form to the side and we’ll be happy to provide you with everything.

Jan 092014

Egress Windows in Ontario – Part 2

Continuing the discussion from our previous article, Egress Windows in Ontario, we will go into some more details here.

Being that Egress Windows are a feature of a home that is there for safety, there are various rules and laws in place to govern and restrict them.  Specifically in Ontario, there is the Building Code Act of 1992 which was updated in 2006 and again in 2012.  Starting in the 2006 revision, a set of minimum sizes and clearances where enlarge which are there to ensure safety.


In order to make a change to an existing home, you may need to discuss with your City Hall if a permit or inspection is required.  For example, if you bought your home with an unfinished basement and 3 bedrooms upstairs and you are now looking to sell your home, one of the ways to increase the value is to renovate the basement so you can call a section of it a 4th bedroom.  This allows you to sell your home now as a 4 bedroom home however, this means it has to meet the city and province’s Building Code to qualify as a bedroom and one of the requirements is a second Fire Escape Exit, which most people get an Egress Window for.

In order to put an Egress Window in your basement, there are two main ways.  You can either find an existing window there and enlarge it to meet the requirements or install a new window where there was not one before.  In either case you are talking about cutting into the cement frame your house is built on so there are regulations involved.

Since you will be making structural changes, a trip to your City Hall is required in order to check if any permits or inspections are required and this allows them to ensure you are meeting their requirements and those of the province of Ontario.  So if you think ahead to after you sell your home, the new owner can buy it knowing that anyone who sleeps in the basement should be able to escape in case of any emergency through a window which is big enough for the average person, easy enough to reach, and might have a Window Well that will allow them to escape from the home the rest of the way.

Permits and Inspections

At Open Door Windows and Doors Inc., we are pleased to work with you to get the proper permits from your City Hall and to help you deal with the City Inspectors in order to make the experience less stressful for you.  We are even willing to schedule a time to go with you to the City Hall to discuss the details.

Allowed Egress Windows

In order to be an Egress Window, the window must be opened with one simple operation (slide, lift or swing open/up.)  It cannot require pinching, squeezing, tilting or turning.  It also must not require any key, tools, hardware, or special knowledge *

* Note: It is important to note that the term “special knowledge” is interpreted as one simple motion to unlock the window and one simple motion to open the window, without the use of special tools, keys or knowledge.

Common Window Types for Egress Windows include a horizontal slider (Single Slider Lift Out or Double Slider Lift Out), a Casement Window **, or Inside Hopper Window.

** In case of having a Window Well outside of an Egress Window where a Casement Window is used, then the size of the Window Well has to increase.

External Links

Some source material has been provided by the following link(s):

Egress Windows in Ontario

 Egress Windows  Comments Off on Egress Windows in Ontario
Jan 072014

Egress Windows are a legal requirement, a safety measure for your home, and a good way to add value to any home.

What are Egress Windows

Whenever a home has a basement or any space at all under the ground, there are now legal requirements regarding fire escapes.  In Ontario the Building Code was updated in 2006 to require that any Living Space (a bedroom or any room where someone sleeps) to have a primary Fire Escape Route (the inside stairs up) and a second Fire Escape Route just in case the fire prevents anyone living there from reaching the stairs up.  In case of needing to leave the home quickly from underground, you would need to Egress from the basement, so the second Fire Escape Exit is called an Egress Window or Egress Door.

Added benefits of an Egress Window

Firstly, adding a new window or enlarging any window will add more light into the room.  This has a number of benefits including reducing lighting costs, and making the room seem bigger.

Secondly, the new or larger window may allow you to open it and this will help you to ventilate your room and your entire home plus the added benefit of helping to cool that room in the summer.

Thirdly, if the new window is an Egress Window then it also provides an emergency exit which can allow you to legally call a room a bedroom, whether you are just making repairs, or looking to upgrade your home for its value.

To Be Continued…

Our next post goes into further details.  Keep reading on Egress Windows in Ontario – Part 2.

Egress Window in Aurora

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Jul 172013

Egress Window in AuroraEgress Window in Aurora

Going out to see the home owner I found that he has two windows in the back of his house; in the basement, and he wanted to enlarge one of them. This would be an Egress Window in Aurora.

After submitting the drawings to the City of Aurora‘s Permits Department, we found a few problems:

  • The total cut out of both windows has to be within a specific ratio of the total wall length.
  • The depth of the new dig cannot be over a certain depth, so that it will not disturb the pressure on the foundation of the house.

Later we found other problems like the air conditioning was close to the new dig site and we had to verify that it would not move once the earth was removed.

The actual window had to be cut; down into the ground; to fit a 30” by 30” window so it would fit a standard fire escape size; also known as an Egress Window; and to do that it had to satisfy two things:

  • Minimum square foot of clear opening has to be at least 4.1 square feet.
  • The minimum length of the shorter side has to be at least 18”.

We chose a Double Slider Lift Out Window for the Egress Window in Aurora, since this window allows both sides to be removed out of the frame in one motion and the total clear opening came out to be 26.5” X 26.5”.

The window’s sealed units have low-E film and Argon gas filled to get the Energy star high thermal insulation.

To do this installation, we needed to dig a hole for a well, install a drain pipe to the weeping tile and test it to make sure that the weeping tile is not blocked and that when it rains hard, the basement is not going to be flooded.  Then we did the cut, down to the right size and installed a lintel on top to prevent the bricks from dropping down.

The lintel according to the city has to be an angle iron L shape and sized to be 3.5 x 3.5 x 0.25 inch and when installed above the window it has to sit on each side at least six inch from the end of the cut out.

After the lintel was installed we inserted a brick veneer and secured it with screws to the cement to cover all four sides all across from the outside to the end of the dry wall, and only then could we install the window and use spray foam to insulate the frame before we used white aluminum capping all around including over the lintel so it’s all sealed and we will not have leaks into the house.

Egress Window in AuroraOnly then did we installed the metal well wall in the dig following the city guide lines:

  • Minimum projection from the wall is 22 inch.
  • The inside of the well will have the top 4 inch made of gravel (crushed stone).
  • The top of gravel to be 4 inch below window sill.
  • The bottom of metal to be 12″ below window sill.

Pictures from various Cut Outs and Egress Window installations are available at these links.