Renovating your home is exciting, but before you sign any contracts or start pulling down wallpaper, be sure that the change you’re making will result in a good return on your investment.
Do you have your heart set on updating your master bath? Don’t rule it out completely, but depending on the age of your house and how long you plan to live there, new windows and entry doors might be the smarter investment.
What to Expect From the Best Chicago Door & Window Companies
Reasons you might need new windows and doors
The best window contractors in Chicago won’t try to sell you products you don’t need. In fact, the companies you request quotes from should send a representative to your house to look at the condition of your current windows and verify that replacement windows really are the best choice for you.
Be mindful of the following signs that your windows and doors need to be replaced:
- You’ve noticed your heating and cooling bills steadily increasing
- Your double- or triple-paned windows are foggy or cracked
- You’ve noticed deterioration or signs of rot on the inside or outside of the window or door frame
- Your windows and/or doors are drafty or leak during wet weather
- Your entry door is warped and difficult to close, open, or lock properly
If the thought of replacing every window in your house is a little overwhelming, start small. Replace the windows that are in the worst shape first, and then gradually update the rest.
Professional window replacement process
Depending on how many windows you’re having replaced, the entire process can take several days. Your contractor will be able to give you an estimate based on the size of the crew and the scope of the job.
Don’t worry too much about the job being delayed because of weather. Unless temperatures are truly extreme or one of Chicago’s spring thunderstorms has settled on your area, most professional installers will proceed with the work. The pros know which caulks and adhesives to use for each season, and they work quickly and efficiently to minimize any loss of heated or cooled air.
Here’s what you can expect during a typical window replacement:
- Take measurements and more measurements. Your window contractor will take precise measurements before ordering your new windows, but the installers should take one more quick measurement of each window to ensure that the replacement will fit correctly.
- Remove the existing windows. The install team will likely work window by window, removing and replacing one at a time. If you want to keep any of the old windows or their components, such as sash weights, speak up before they start working.
- Prep the opening. The installers will scrape away old paint, caulk, and adhesive; repair any areas of rot or deterioration; and use spray foam insulation to ensure that the new window will fit well.
- Install the new window. The installers will caulk the window opening, place the new window, and then fasten it in the opening with screws. They’ll use shims to make sure the window is even, and then they’ll reinstall the frame.
- Paint or stain the new window. If you’ve chosen wood or wood-clad windows, they will likely need to be painted or stained to match the rest of the house.
Depending on the type of window you choose, your install team may have a slightly different procedure. Replacement window inserts, for example, typically involve a less invasive installation than full-frame replacement windows.
Ask your window and door contractor to guide you to the best option for your home and budget.
The Best Picks for the Top Chicago Window Companies
Replacing your home’s windows and doors is a fantastic investment, but it’s a decision that requires a lot of thought and research. That’s why the Best Pick Reports survey team reaches out to Chicago homeowners each year to find the best window and door replacement contractors in your area.
All Best Pick companies are fully vetted on an annual basis for high-quality work and outstanding customer service. We verify all state-required licenses and insurance every year, too. Our rigorous qualification process ensures that the companies we recommend are indeed the best of the best, and we’re proud to present that information in a format that is straightforward and simple to navigate.
Proper installation is essential to your new windows and doors looking good and increasing your home’s efficiency, so make sure you work with the best. You’ll have an excellent experience with a Best Pick pro—we guarantee it!