So you’re in the market for some replacement windows for your home in the Chicago area. You’ve got some tough decisions to make in terms of which window company to choose, what color you want your windows to be, what types and styles of windows that you need and more.
In this helpful buyer’s guide to replacement windows in Chicago, we’ll go over everything you need to know before moving forward. We’ll cover everything from the different types of windows available, what makes a window energy efficient and also what you should look for when choosing a window company in Chicago.
Looking to save time and money on your Chicago window replacement? Get a free quote on windows from Feldco right now.
If you live or work in the Chicago area, you know that our seasons are sometimes a little crazy. From 100+ degree temps in the summer to below freezing blizzards in the winter. But what does that mean for your windows? They take a LOT of punishment over the years.
That’s why you need to consider energy efficient windows for your home’s window replacement. More than likely, you’re replacing your current windows because they have become drafty, ugly, hard to operate, broken entirely or all of the above. The good news is that new windows are vastly improved over windows that were made even 10 years ago.
You should probably consider getting either double pane or triple pane windows to replace your old ones. The difference is insulation. For example, most double pane windows contain two panes of glass with Argon gas sealed between them. This sandwich of glass and gas maximizes energy efficiency provided that you get your new windows installed properly.
Wood windows are authentic and beautiful but they can cost an arm and a leg upfront and even more down the road in maintenance costs. Vinyl windows are extremely durable, affordable, come in a variety of styles and colors and are perfect for Chicago homes.
If you really love the look of wood, but want the price point of vinyl and the added durability, there are windows available with amazing wood grain finishes that look and feel just like the real thing.
We recently wrote an article about windows for Chicago homes but we’ll break down each style of window below as well.
Double hung windows are the most popular style of window available. Chicagoans love double hung windows because they’re stylish, energy-efficient and super easy to clean.
A double hung window operates with two sashes – those are the two framed glass parts of the window that move up and down. They also are capable of being tilted in, which means that cleaning them from the inside of your house is very easy. Most double hung windows are available in both double pane and triple pane options. Each pane of glass is sandwiched by a layer of Argon gas that acts as an insulator.
Casement windows give you lots of open glass area and the functionality to open and close them on a hinge.
Picture windows don’t open or close. They’re used often when there are windows that are higher up on a wall or as part of a bay or bow window.
Sometimes called slider windows, sliding windows slide open from side to side like a sliding glass patio door.
Bay windows have 3 windows and bow windows consist of 3 to 5 windows. These types of windows are usually configured with picture, casement and/or double hung windows and typically are the main feature of the front of a home.
Awning windows are great for when it’s raining outside. They are hinged from the top and create an “awning” so you can have them open rain or shine. They’re also great in combination with other windows as well.
Basement windows are similar to awning windows but are turned upside down. They are hinged from the bottom and open inward. They’re typically smaller than other types of windows and that makes them a great fit for basements. These are also sometimes called hopper windows.
Having a garden window is a gardener’s dream. You can grow fresh herbs, flowers or other plants inside this greenhouse-like window. They do extend past the exterior wall of your home for a unique look. These are commonly used in kitchens.
Need a window in a special shape or size? These windows are typically inoperable and feature some unique designs.
Energy efficient windows that will lower your heating and cooling bills are made possible by more than just the window. Everything from the material used to create the window, the glass itself and the installation make for an energy efficient window for your Chicago home.
Argon is an odorless, non-toxic gas that goes in-between your window’s window panes to act as an insulator. This is called insulated glazing or sometimes double glazing. Think of it sort of as wall insulation that goes inside the drywall of the exterior walls of your home. The difference is that Argon gas is clear and is used in windows.
Low-e or low emissive glass is treated with an invisible metallic oxide coating. What this does is create a window surface that reflects heat while still allowing natural light to filter in from the outside. On a hot summer day in Chicago, you will be glad to have chosen Low-e glass as the difference is remarkable.
Below is a video that offers a very thorough explanation of how Low-E glass can benefit your home in Chicago.
Caulk is a flexible material that is commonly used as a waterproof and weatherproof sealant for everything from doors and windows to bathroom furnishings. Caulk is used in windows as a way to seal air leaks through gaps in the frame of the window. If not caulked properly, a nasty draft could occur, making your home less comfortable.
Weather stripping acts as a sealant for the moving parts of your window like the sashes or around the frame. It keeps cold air out during Chicago winters and warm air out during our summers.
The price for replacement windows can vary significantly depending on which window style, material and size that you need. It will also differ from company to company as well.
For example, a vinyl double hung window at a particular size will most likely cost significantly less than a wood double hung at the same size because of the materials used. Additionally, options such as color, finishes and grids can also change the price of a replacement window in Chicago.
If you’d like a free quote on replacement windows for your home, click here.
Vinyl is an attractive material used in the manufacture of windows, both in looks and in price. It’s very durable, nearly maintenance free and very cost effective. Vinyl also makes for a very energy-efficient window. You can buy vinyl replacement windows in almost any finish, including wood at a fraction of the price.
Solid wood windows can be very expensive but also very beautiful as well. Wood is a natural insulator and can be stained to almost any finish. Although a true wood window is tough to beat, the price point and continued maintenance over the years isn’t very desirable. Over time, wood windows can warp and crack if not maintained, unlike vinyl.
Fiberglass windows make for a strong window with good insulation. Fiberglass, like when used in doors, can take on a very accurate appearance of wood if that is your preference. Fiberglass windows are similar to vinyl in that they are durable and require little maintenance. However, fiberglass windows are typically more costly to produce than vinyl and sometimes even wood.
Aluminum is a very lightweight and durable material, but not very good for energy efficiency since metal transfers heat and cold very easily. You won’t find many window companies in Chicago or anywhere else that carry aluminum windows because there are too many drawbacks for them to be a good replacement window option anymore.
If you’re versed in installing windows, it could pay off to install them yourself vs. hiring a Chicago window installation company. However, for the rest of us, letting the professionals take care of the window installation is the right way to go. The costs involved in installing windows yourself could also be problematic. By the time you’re done buying all the materials and tools you need, you could have potentially paid for professional installers to take care of your window installation.
It’s important to know what to expect from the people that are installing windows in your home ahead of time. Always make sure to ask your window company about the installation. Here are some basic expectations for the window installers that are working on your job in Chicago.
One mandatory expectation for most people is that the installers take the necessary steps to protect your home. These steps include wearing booties while inside your home, covering the floor area near your existing windows with tarps, making sure not to knock over any possessions that you have while working and taking care of the landscaping while working on your windows outside.
It’s one thing to stick a window in a rectangular hole in the wall and another to create a professional fit and finish that makes it look like the windows are meant to be there. The kind of detail work necessary to achieve this includes trimwork, neat caulking, and proper shimming for a tight fit in your window opening.
The most important part of any window installation is making sure that the window is properly insulated. Buying an energy-efficient window means nothing without a proper installation that ensures that the window will not be leaking cold or warm air into your home. A professional window installation crew will make sure that everything is sealed and caulked up so that there’s no chance of any drafts coming through the window opening.
Check out our video below to get an idea of how Feldco does replacement window installation:
Obviously, we’re a little biased. No matter which Chicago window company you choose, make sure that you are getting the very best for your money. How do you do that? We’ll explain below.
Not all windows are created equal. You want to make sure that you are getting a window that is built with quality materials and is custom fit for your window opening. We also recommend going with double pane windows since they are very cost effective for what you’re getting and double panes will keep out the harsh Chicago cold and reflect the summer heat. Going with Energy Star windows like the ones we offer can save you quite a bit of money in energy savings per year.
The company you choose should have a clear warranty plan covering the cost of the product itself, in this case, windows. You’ll want to choose a window company in Chicago that offers a long-term warranty or a limited-lifetime warranty.
Don’t settle for a fly by night window company just because they may be a little bit cheaper. After all, what good is a warranty if the company issuing it won’t be around 5 years from now?
By now, you hopefully have all of the tools and knowledge needed to make an educated buying decision for your new windows. The process of replacing windows in a home usually isn’t very simple and can be a very hard decision to make.
We’ve been trusted to replace windows, siding and doors for over 350,000 homeowners across the Midwest. Feldco offers fast and friendly service, great products and professional installation at affordable prices. We also offer financing to help with your purchase. We welcome you to get a free quote and see what Feldco has to offer.