What You Should Know About Window Frame Materials
The material you choose to frame your windows with deserves to be much more than just an afterthought in the window buying process. Your selection of framing material will impact the visual appeal, energy efficiency, and maintenance needs of your windows throughout their lifetime.
Let’s introduce you to the four most common framing materials: aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl and wood.
Frames made from aluminum are very strong and light-weight. Homeowners looking for a low-maintenance option may be drawn to aluminum because it won’t crack, peel, warp or bend. Aluminum’s sleekness complements homes with modern styling.
The main drawback of aluminum is that it naturally conducts heat, making it a poor insulator. For this reason, aluminum window frames will need to be insulated with a “thermal break” set between the inside and outside of the frame.
From a pricing standpoint, expect aluminum to be more expensive than vinyl or fiberglass and less expensive than wood.
Homes located in climates with extreme weather and temperature fluctuations can benefit from fiberglass window frames. Fiberglass expands and contracts at roughly the same rate as glass, so fiberglass frames maintain their structural integrity well even through hot summers and frigid winters. Fiberglass frames are naturally well-insulated and will minimize heat transfer.
A potential downside to fiberglass is that it can have a bit of a flat, dull appearance unless it is painted. The visual look of a fiberglass frame is very similar to vinyl, however since vinyl is considerably less expensive, some homeowners may opt for vinyl instead of fiberglass.
In general, fiberglass frames are less expensive than wood and aluminum, but more expensive than vinyl.
Vinyl window frames are made of the same PVC material as plumbing pipes and fittings. This material is a good insulator can be shaped to fit nearly every style of window. Vinyl windows tend to be preferred by homeowners who are looking for a budget conscious solution more than an aesthetic statement.
The downside of vinyl as a window frame material is that it isn’t necessarily the most strong or durable material. It also tends to have a more utilitarian look and feel than other materials do.
Vinyl is the least expensive of the 4 most common framing options. It provides a look similar to fiberglass, but at a reduced price point.
Wood is the most traditional of window frame materials. Homeowners who favor wood frames appreciate its intrinsic visual appeal and versatile styling options. They may also be drawn to the potential to repair rather than replace wood frames that have begun to wear.
The argument against wood frames is dual-fold. Wood frames require more maintenance than other styles of frames due to the need to repaint or re-stain them on a regular basis. This routine maintenance protects the wood from moisture and weathering that could otherwise rot the wood or cause it to warp.
Of the top four window frame options, wood tends to be the most expensive.
Decision Making Time
Would you like a professional opinion on what window frame materials may best suit your style and your budget? We offer in-home consultations to supply you with personalized advice and guidance on your framing needs. Schedule your free consult today!
Learn About 4 Factors You Should Consider If You Are About To Change Or Add A Door To Your Home
A door can provide many things in a home – safety, a thermal barrier, privacy or perhaps a decorative focal point. The primary purpose of your door, your budget, the style of your home and your personal preferences will all play a role in choosing a new door.
Before you head out door shopping, here are a few factors to consider:
What is the Primary Purpose of the Door?
To help narrow down your style choices, it can help to realize what the primary purpose of your particular door is.
Are you looking for a secure front door? A patio door that provides an expansive, uninterrupted view of your backyard? Perhaps your primary focus is on the door’s insulative value.
Going into your shopping adventure with a clear understanding of what you need your door to do will help narrow down the rest of the options.
What is Your Door Budget?
Door prices can range from around $20 for a budget quality, hollow core interior door without framing to $1,300 for a custom decorative solid wood door. With such a large price range, it is vital to establish your budget up front so you can shop for a door that fit within that budget.
Less expensive doors may save you money initially, but doors on the very low end of the price spectrum tend to be less energy efficient. You may end up paying more in heating and air conditioning bills later.
An expensive custom door may make sense for a single statement front door but not be as practical if you need to purchase multiple matching doors.
What Type of Material Do You Prefer?
The most common exterior door material choices are steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. Interior doors are most often made with some variety of wood product. Each of these materials has their own strengths and best applications.
Steel and aluminum are budget-friendly materials. These doors provide good insulation and are low maintenance if used in a location that is protected from the elements (think home-to-garage entryways). While the look tends to be more utilitarian, both steel and aluminum doors can be painted to match your color scheme. From a maintenance perspective, watch for rust on steel doors and dents on aluminum doors.
Fiberglass doors are popular for their elegant real wood look, high insulative values and low maintenance requirements. These doors have a faux wood grain and can even be painted or stained just like real wood. They function well in tough climates.
The most traditional door material is wood. Wood doors are relatively durable, although they do require a certain amount of maintenance to keep them protected from moisture and the effects of extreme temperature fluctuations. Solid wood doors are sturdy, more expensive and feel luxurious. Interior wood doors are also available with a hollow core that lowers both the cost and durability. Wood doors may be painted or stained.
What Style or Design of Door Is The Best Fit?
The style and design of a door determine how it fits with the rest of the room. You can choose a very minimalist flush door that blends into the wall or a statement barn door that becomes a focal point. Do you have a specific look in mind? Share your design vision with us and we will help you make it a reality.
These Are The Things Window Installers Should Ask YOU When You Request a Quote
You are prepared with your list of questions to ask potential window installers, but have you given any thought as to what questions those installers should ask you when you request a quote? The questions installers ask can tell you a lot about their level of attention to detail as well as their quality and professionalism.
Here are the top questions you should expect a reputable installer to ask before providing you a quote:
What Type of Windows Do You Prefer?
Windows come in all sorts of shapes and styles. It is important for a window installer to know what type of window you are interested in prior to giving you a quote. If you aren’t sure which type of window you are looking for, a quality installer should be willing to discuss the window types and help you determine which is best for you.
What Size Windows Do You Need?
Larger windows and custom size or shape windows cost more than factory standard sizes. Manufacturers may also provide discount pricing on certain standard sizes if they have excess stock. If your windows are available at a reduced price, the installer should be able to pass those savings on to you.
How Many Windows Will You Be Ordering?
In general, the more windows you order, the more likely you are to get a price break. An installer should ensure they have a total window count prior to crunching the numbers. This will allow them to give you the best quote possible.
What Level of Efficiency Are You Looking For?
Windows come in single, double, and even triple pane. Each additional pane decreases heat transfer and increases energy efficiency. What this means for you is a lower heating bill in the winter and a lower cooling bill in the summer.
An installer should check with you to see if the upgrade to triple pane is worth it or if you would prefer to stick with dual pane.
What Floor Will The Windows Be Installed On?
If you have ever done projects while standing on a ladder, you know that it simply takes longer to do the same project while on a ladder than it does if you are standing on the ground. Window installation is the same. If all your windows are being installed on the ground floor, your installation will be faster and less costly than if you have second story windows that require ladders and other logistics.
Are You Aware of Any Structural Damage to the Areas Surrounding the Windows?
The installer will be able to calculate a reasonably accurate average labor cost based on how long they expect installation to take. The amount of time it takes to install windows is based on several known factors such as the type of windows, number of windows and what floor of the house the windows are being installed on.
The unknown variable that could affect the actual installation time, and therefore the labor cost, is any structural damage to the surrounding areas. If the building’s structure has water damage from old, leaky windows, the structural integrity concerns will need to be addressed prior to installation. By asking about any known damages up front, window installers are supplying you with the most accurate possible estimation of installation costs.
Don´t Miss The Window Trends of 2019
Fashionistas stalk the runway shows making sure they are on top of all the hot new trends for the year. As a homeowner, the new year brings another set of trends to watch: windows.
Before you were in the market for new windows, you likely didn’t give much thought to them. Now that you are getting ready to upgrade, have fun and draw inspiration from these top 5 window trends to watch for in 2019:
Modern window styling is here to stay and is a trend that will only grow in 2019. Modern windows feature very large panes of glass set in frames with minimal grid patterns. They have simple clean lines and the shape tend to be rectangular rather than rounded or curved.
The jumbo size panes of glass provide expansive, uninterrupted views and a brighter, airier house with more light flooding in.
Dramatic Colored Frames
The era of unobtrusive, neutral colored window frames is over. Rather than blending into the background in a utilitarian way, look for window frames to become a dramatic pop of accent color within a room.
Homeowners who love this trend are choosing statement colors like evergreen, dark bronze, painted metallics, dark brown, barn red and a nearly infinite palette of custom colors.
The most popular dramatic color for window frames this year is black. Black frames create a statement and go with both the black, white and grey as well as the black and gold interior design trends.
If you aren’t ready to make the move to statement frames, you can still give a nod to the current trends. Hardware is a great small-scale place to start. The most popular choice for hardware right now is brass.
An antique brass finish feels warm and inviting. It is reminiscent of Victorian and Colonial style with a high-gloss finish for a modern twist. If you are looking for something even shinier, go with a very highly reflective bright brass finish.
Clean, minimal looks dominate the window styles for most rooms this year with one very notable exception – the master bathroom. For a privacy-meets-statement aesthetic, homeowners are turning to decorative glass windows particularly in the prairie window style.
Decorative glass windows are a more interesting decorative alternative to simple frosted glass.
EnergyStar rated windows are increasingly becoming an industry standard. Efficient windows can help prevent thermal transfer and reduce your heating and air conditioning bills. You may even be eligible for a tax credit and your home will likely increase in resale value. All of those financial savings are definitely a trend worth following.
Properly Measure a Door: https://chicagowindowguy.com/home-tips/how-to-measure-a-door-size/
Measuring a door size sounds pretty basic, right? Just break out a tape measure and check the height and width of your old door. Yes and no. When it comes to measuring doors, there is actually a bit more to it than that. This infographic breaks down the steps you need to take to properly meaasure a door.
Read the full blog article here: https://chicagowindowguy.com/home-tips/french-doors-vs-sliding-doors-whats-the-best-option-for-your-home/
Two of the more interesting choices for doors which can open onto a patio or serve to connect two rooms are French doors and sliding doors. Each gives a different feel to the room and comes with its own set of logistical pros and cons. Do you want to learn more about french doors vs sliding doors? Let’s explore and compare these two options.
There is a certain appeal about buying new-to-you items. The allure of paying less than retail price and getting a discount can be very tempting. Sometimes buying used is a good deal and works out perfectly. Other times the decision that was supposed to save money ends up costing money instead.
If you are considering purchasing used sliding glass doors, you may wish to come prepared with knowledge of the potential problems that could arise once you get the door home.
Top 4 Things That Can Go Wrong With Used Sliding Glass Doors
All sorts of nasty things can get caught up in the wheels of sliding doors. Bits of pet and human hair accumulate over time and get wrapped around the bearings until the door doesn’t slide smoothly anymore.
If your used door comes to you with dirty rollers, you will be stuck with the unenviable task of vacuuming someone else’s hair out of the rollers.
Broken Or Rusted Rollers
Rollers are usually made of a combination of metal and plastic pieces. If the door has been in a consistently humid environment, the metal pieces may corrode and make the door challenging, if not impossible, to open.
The plastic portion of the rollers wears down over time and can break on older doors. This also prevents proper door function.
Replacing the rollers means completely removing the door, purchasing and installing new rollers, then reinstalling the door.
With heavy wear and tear over time, tracks may become bent. Whether the track bends inward or outward, it will create headaches for you.
An inward bent track pinches the rollers so that the door gets stuck and won’t fully open.
An outward bent track makes it much more likely for you to accidentally pull the door completely off the track when you are attempting to open or close it.
Fixing a bent track requires removal of the door and use of a strong pair of pliers (for inward bend) or rubber mallet and block of wood (for outward bend) to straighten the track.
If the seal around the glass has started to weaken, the pane may disconnect from the frame entirely and shatter.
Replacing the glass is very time consuming and involves fulling removing the seal and the remaining glass shards before installing a new pane.
Bottom Line: Is It Worth It To Buy Used Sliding Glass Doors?
If your used sliding glass door happens to have none of the most common issues, it may well be a good deal. However, if you wind up requiring professional repair work done on the door, based on the nationwide average you may spend up to $392.
Add to that price tag the intangibles – all the time spent finding a repair person, the hassle of scheduling the repair, and the lack of warranties on the product.
One of the most fun aspects of remodeling your home is the opportunity it gives you to completely re-imagine what the space could look like. Your choices in windows, doors, paint colors, and furnishings allow you to create your own world exactly as you imagine it.
Two of the more interesting choices for doors which can open onto a patio or serve to connect two rooms are French doors and sliding doors. Each gives a different feel to the room and comes with its own set of logistical pros and cons. Do you want to learn more about french doors vs sliding doors? Let’s explore and compare these two options so you can choose which is best for your home.
What Are French Doors?
French doors are two hinged doors set into the same frame. They can both be active (usable) or, in situations with limited room for door swing, can be set up so that only one of the doors is active. Doors may be set up to swing into or out of the room.
What Are the Pros of French Doors?
French doors are a classic, timeless choice. Their visual appeal complements both historic and contemporary homes.
If you will be moving large pieces of furniture in and out or hosting parties with large groups of people, the large width of a traditional two-panel French door with both sides functional is a major pro. It creates a much wider opening than a sliding door.
What Are the Cons of French Doors?
With French doors, there must be room for the door to swing inward or outward. This takes up space in your room or on your patio and affects furniture placement options.
French doors are more expensive than sliding although the final price depends on the exact doors you choose. If you like the idea of French doors and want to know more about pricing, contact us for a quote.
What Are Sliding Doors?
Sliding doors consist of two large glass panes installed in a track. One of the panes remains stationary while the other slides back and forth to open and close. That means that the functional opening width is equal to the width of one of the panes.
What Are The Pros of Sliding Doors?
Sliding doors are mainly glass, so they let in plenty of natural light and provide great views of your yard.
Sliding doors don’t swing into the room, so they need far less space than French doors. They also don’t affect furniture placement within the room or on the patio.
Sliding doors vary in price depending on the quality and manufacturer, however, in general, they tend to be less expensive than French doors.
What Are The Cons of Sliding Doors?
Sliding doors can look very modern in a contemporary home, but they may not suit the timeless nature of a classic historic home as well.
Sliding doors need a track to slide in, so this means that the threshold is higher than it is for French doors. This may not be too big of a concern, however, if someone in your household uses a cane or wheelchair, the threshold height may be a consideration. We would be happy to discuss wheelchair accessible door options with you.
Learn How To Measure A Door Size
Measuring a door size sounds pretty basic, right? Just break out a tape measure and check the height and width of your old door. Yes and no. When it comes to measuring doors, there is actually a bit more to it than that.
What measurements you need to take will depend on whether you are replacing just the door or if you are also replacing the frame and hinges.
Learn how to measure a door with these tips:
Interior Door Slab
If your frame and hinges are in good condition and you want to keep them, you can replace just the door (known as a door slab) itself.
To measure for an interior door replacement:
Pre-hung System/Net Frame
If the door frame is damaged or if you want to replace it for aesthetic reasons, you will want to measure the rough opening dimensions as well.
To prepare to take measurements, first use a pry bar and putty knife to gently remove trim from around the opening. Use the putty knife to remove any insulation from between the edge of the rough opening and the door slab. This will allow for more accurate measurements.
Once you have obtained these measurements, you will be prepared with the information you need to select the right size doors. Contact us with your measurements and we will be pleased to provide you a quote on one of our many popular door styles.
Before finalizing your window purchase, would you like to hear about the window replacement process from the perspective of someone who has recently been through it? Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for a window installation can make the entire process smoother for both you and your installers.
In order to bring you real stories of real customers just like you, who have recently gotten their windows replaced, we reached out directly to our wonderful customer base.
Stephanie Sullivan is one of our customers who agreed to share her story.
Stephanie Sullivan is a Window Guys customer from Evanston, Illinois. She is a realtor who recently purchased a two-story home in need of some replacement windows.
Stephanie is currently living on the bottom floor of her home and renting out the upstairs.
Stephanie hired Chicago Window Guys for the manufacturing and replacement installation of 27 windows of varying sizes throughout her new home.
The focus for Stephanie when it came to product selection was to choose the best product at the best price.
Window Guys quoted Stephanie a great rate on their most popular and highest quality window – the Climate Solutions 8000 series.
The Climate Solutions 8000 series windows are double hung windows which are optimized for year-round comfort and energy savings. They feature an insulating argon gas filled chamber between the panes for insulation. The panes themselves come with three layers of low-E coating to reflect heat while allowing light to pass through.
Climate Solutions has given a lot of consideration to form as well as to function. The 8000 series windows come in 6 standard interior and 5 standard exterior color choices from white to cherry or royal brown.
If none of the standard colors are doing it for you, Climate Solutions also offers a large assortment of designer finishes and colors to match any décor.
Stephanie elected to go with a classic, timeless white color for both the interior and exterior.
Everything went smoothly and Stephanie’s window replacement project took a total of three weeks from start to finish. This included one day for window installation and capping.
Product & Installation Warranty
Being a realtor herself, Stephanie appreciates the increased resale value her new windows will add to her home. Climate Solutions windows come with a lifetime warranty that covers both materials and workmanship.
As an added bonus, if Stephanie decides to sell her home one day, the buyers will benefit from the window warranty too. In the case of home sale, the window warranty is fully transferrable to the new owners.
Lake Bluff, Illinois' top provider of quality replacement windows and doors. My name is Russ Armstrong and I focus on offering energy efficient options for any home. All of our products and services are backed by a lifetime guarantee. Call us today for a free estimate and to find out how you can save money on your heating and cooling bills.