Damaged Exterior Gets Mature Craftsman Update

Another beautiful siding and roofing upgrade completely transformed this home’s exterior into a cosy, craftsman-styled masterpiece!

exterior remodel

After a nasty hailstorm, Debra*  was stuck with storm-damaged siding and shingles. She wasn’t sure if her home insurance would cover the repairs, but after talking to Peoria Siding and Window, she decided to give them a call. She found that her replacement siding and windows would be partially covered by insurance. This time, she was going to spend a little extra on her exterior so that she would never have to worry about storm damage again.

Replacement Roofing

Repairs started with replacing the damaged roofing shingles. The roof is now protected by GAF Timberline HD Shingles in Weathered Wood. These shingles are sealed with Dura Grip Adhesive and have been warranted to withstand wind speeds up to 130 mph. During the next storm, this homeowner won’t be seeing any loose shingles flying off her roof. After speaking with one of our design consultants, the homeowner chose a warm Adobe Cream color to finish her fascia, gutters, and door & window capping. The creamy hues blend perfectly with her new GAF shingles in Weathered Wood.

GAF Shingles

Replacement Siding

Before the repairs, the home was covered with an old white vinyl siding. The white exterior looked crisp and fresh when Debra had bought the home, but now years of dirt and wear showed easily on the exterior. The windows were flanked by thin red shutters with heart cutouts. At first, Debra loved the quaint touch of the shutters but soon grew tired of the outdated accents. After the storm, the home was covered in Preservation Vinyl Siding in Deep Moss. The colors Debra chose brought out the craftsman features of her home and gave her exterior a mature look. These upgrades aren’t just beautiful, but will increase the home’s resale value and lower the homeowner’s energy bill with superior insulation technology.

exterior remodel


If you’re facing storm damage and don’t know where to start, give us a call. Our customer service department can discuss your claim with your insurance provider to ensure you have fair coverage. Our design consultants can help you pick the best styles and colors to suit your new home. To receive your free, in-home estimate, give us a call at (309) 717-0105 or fill out the form below.

*Homeowner’s name changed for privacy.

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Replacement Windows Give Home a Much Needed Update

These customers updated their Greater Peoria home with Preservation replacement windows! White windows and shutters makes this home’s blue exterior pop, but doesn’t distract from the homeowners’ amazing landscaping.

casement_windows

These double casement windows can swing open in the summer to catch a cool breeze. In the winter, double-pane EnergyMaxx® glass and ClimaTech Plus insulated glass will keep this home warm and lower its energy bill.

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These windows are fan favorite of the homeowners, neighbors, relatives and even their pup Macy.

vinyl_windows

The homeowners’ favorite upgrade is the addition of a four lite picture window that looks out onto their newly planted garden.

picture_windows

These windows look great inside and outside. They are a natural fit with the modern farmhouse decor of the home.

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If you’d like to update your own home with new windows but don’t know where to start, give us a call at (309) 717-0105. We’ve been installing windows for over 40 years! We have installation and design experts that will be with you throughout your entire home improvement process. If you’d like to receive a free, in-home estimate, please fill out the form below.

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Exterior Renovations Brighten Private Country Home

exterior_renovations

This beautiful country home received a major curb appeal boost with gorgeous exterior renovations from Peoria Siding and Window.

Durable_Entry_Door

We started with a beautiful fiberglass entry door by Paragon. The faux wood grain brings subtle elegance to the entryway.

Faux_Wood_Entry_Door

Two side lites and a door lite illuminate the interior naturally.

Patio_Door

A new Illuminations Patio Door by Preservation will lower the homeowners’ energy bill and allow immediate access to a lush landscape view from the master bedroom.

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The homeowners’ rotting bay window was replaced with two casement windows and a picture window.

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Fiberglass insulation and EnergyMaxx glass will make the kitchen a bright and warm space for the family to gather.

The home is finished with two double-hung, vinyl replacement windows. The black shutters compliment the home’s elegant entryway


The homeowners are loving their new exterior, and you will to! If you have a home improvement project, we’d like to help. Give us a call at (309) 717-0105 or fill out this estimate form:

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Which Pergola Style is Best for My Backyard?

All pergolas are basically constructed the same way and for the same function- to provide outdoor shade. The hard part is deciding which details are important to you. Column style and beam design may not seem important if the pergola is providing shade like it’s supposed to. However, minute differences in pergola style can confuse your outdoor aesthetic. Make sure you choose the right pergola for your best backyard style.

Roma Style

The Roma pergola brings bold sophistication to your backyard with squared posts. This pergola style is best for modern homes that don’t need the flair and frills of fluted columns. There is no capital on the Roma; instead the column meets a single beam at the top of the structure. The Roma is also a good choice for homeowners looking for a pergola that won’t detract from prominent focus points in their outdoor design. Sometimes the best designs are the ones that hide in plain sight.

Florentine Style

The Florentine is a step up from the Roma in detail. The Florentine also uses square posts, but reinvents the style with deep grooves and a sophisticated square capital that meet a double beam. This design is perfect for homeowners looking to add shade to their rustic or modern-styled backyard.

Venetian Style

The Venetian is unique because of their rounded columns and double-beam. This pergola style brings to mind the vintage luxury and mind for detail that is so often overlooked in newly constructed homes. This style would be perfect for an outdoor design that evokes the country gardens of England, the refined luxury of the old south, or intricate detailing of the Old World.

Pergola with Patio Cover

Many homeowners want the charm of a pergola in their backyard, but with more shade. The perfect option for homeowners that can’t choose is to add a patio cover. This shade option will give you more overhead coverage than a pergola would, but with much more style.

Pergola with Curtain

Maybe the coverage you’re seeking is more for privacy than sunlight. If that’s the case, curtains and drapery are a great way to add interest and privacy to your outdoor space. For minimal maintenance, consider adding a retractible awning to your pergola. These curtains are weatherproof, retractible, and come in tons of different patterns and colors for a perfectly customized space.

 

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5 Best Shade Protectors for Your Central Illinois Home

Illinois_Shade_Protectors

It’s finally summertime! Time for vacation, cool drinks and of course, sunburns. If you live in Central Illinois, you know how glaring the sun can be. Has anyone ever told you it’s rude to squint at your guests? Shade protectors are a great answer to the daily annoyances that the sun brings. There are hundreds of shade protectors on the market. You could grow a big tree, but you might have to wait 30 years. You could go with a big porch umbrella, but you’ll be chasing it across the yard when the wind picks up. If you want shade protection that lasts, have a shade protector installed by professionals. Your eyes and your guests will thank you.

Sunrooms

Central Illinois Shade

Sunrooms are a favorite addition to any home. They offer shade and insect protection and are temperature controlled while allowing sunlight to permeate the space. Many families use their sunroom to entertain guests or simply enjoy the outdoors with their families year-round. These sunny spaces are attached to your home and designed to operate seamlessly with your home’s temperature control system. Sunrooms may not lower your energy bill if you choose to cool the room as an extension to your home. However, a well-built sunroom will be air-tight and will not cost significantly more to cool than other rooms in your house.

Screen Rooms

Screen rooms are a good option for homeowners that want the same shade, climate and insect protection of a sunroom but with an open-air atmosphere. These spaces can be built onto your home or built over your patio space. They can be integrated with your home’s electrical system to enable features like ceiling fans and overhead lighting. Screen rooms may lower the temperature inside your home by blocking the direct sunlight that enters through your windows while permitting indirect sunlight to provide your home with natural light.

Awnings

Central Illinois Shade

Many of our awning customers started out with a large patio umbrella but got tired of chasing it across the yard on windy days. Awnings are traditionally secured to your home’s exterior while a fabric canopy provides shade to the space underneath it. This design gives you the freedom to place whatever outdoor furniture you want directly under your awning without having to maneuver around bulky pillars. This feature makes it a favorite for providing additional shade to your spa, pool, deck or balcony. Awnings may also lower your utility bills by keeping direct sunlight off your siding and windows while allowing your home to fill with natural light.

Pergola

A pergola is a conversation starter for any garden or landscaped area. These structures allow more sunlight to pass than other shade protectors, which may be preferable if you plan to garden underneath it or simply love sunshine. Homeowners with green thumbs can grow climbing vines on their pergola for a “country garden” feel and full shade. Or they can simply let the sleek and minimal design of a pergola provide the aesthetic for them. If placed against your home’s exterior, a pergola can lower your utility bills by cutting your siding and window’s exposure to direct sunlight in half.

Patio Cover

Central Illinois Patio Cover

Patio covers are a great option for homeowners that want to shade more surface area than an awning can provide. These shade protectors are a favorite for covering a carport, BBQ area, or other outdoor recreation spots. They provide more weather protection than a pergola or awning. Plus they lower your utility bills by minimizing direct sunlight on your home’s exterior.


If you have ideas about your backyard but you’re not sure what kind of shade protection is best, give us a call at 309.717.0105 or fill out this form. Our sales team will give you a free, in-home estimate on your home improvement ideas. They have years design and installation experience and can tell you which shade protector will work best for you. If you’re interested in adding a sunroom to your home, our sales team is equipped with software that can project a sunroom right onto your home. You can see what your sunroom will look like before it’s even built!

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Buy Vinyl Windows for a Green Home

Green_Vinyl_Windows

When most people think of “going green,” they think of recycled materials or reusable products. Actually, “going green” is as easy as choosing products that will conserve energy consumption and save you money. According to the Energy Collective, in the United States residential homes waste 20% of the energy they consume. Much of this energy waste comes from inefficient heating and cooling. As you spend money running your AC or heater, your temperature-controlled air is leaving your home through your windows. Here’s some questions you need to ask when searching for energy-efficient windows.

Will this window curb my energy consumption?

For window frames, the most common materials are vinyl, aluminum and wood. At Peoria Siding and Window, we’re a huge fan of vinyl. That’s because we love products that require little to no maintenance and last a long time. Vinyl is the best material for energy efficiency because it is a poor conductor of heat. When you pay to heat your home, your hot air won’t be leaving through your vinyl windows.

Aluminum, on the other hand, is a great conductor of heat and cold. That’s why many aluminum home improvement products come with the qualifier, “great for mild climates.” Aluminum products are not well suited for Illinois’ extreme temperatures, and will lower your home’s energy-efficiency and drain your pockets. Wooden frames are great insulators. However, they expand and contract with changing temperatures. This creates gaps in your window system that can reduce your home’s energy-efficiency.

How soon will I have to replace this window?

Your window’s durability has more of an impact on the environment than you think. Every time you purchase new windows, the earth’s natural resources must be depleted to create a replacement, and your old window will likely end up in a landfill. Purchase a window that will last a lifetime. Vinyl window frames are known for being more durable than their wooden counterparts because they are impervious to moisture. Plus, the durability of PVC materials gives some vinyl window an edge over other green alternatives. Aluminum windows have the greatest impact resistance, which can be helpful if you live in an area prone to tornados or hurricanes- but their conducive properties can be a nightmare if you live in an area with wide temperature ranges. Wooden windows have poor durability because of their vulnerability to moisture. They tend to rot, warp, expand and grow mold.

What will it take to maintain this window?

Surprisingly, many people don’t consider the cost and labour it will take to keep their replacement window in top condition. Low maintenance windows don’t just save you time and money- they also save the environment. Traditional wooden windows need to be repainted, re-stained and stripped occasionally. Many paints, stains and stripping agents release volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) into the air, which contribute to atmospheric pollutant levels. Instead, but a window that will last forever and won’t take much to maintain. Your wallet and the Earth will thank you.

If you’re searching for green home improvement products, give us a call at (309) 717-0105 or fill out this form. Our experienced sales team will walk you through our expansive product line and all of their energy-efficient features.

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Allergy-Proof Your Illinois Home

Ah, spring! It’s the season for outdoor adventures, home renovations and unfortunately, seasonal allergies. If you have severe or mild allergies, spring can be a sneezing, itching, eye-watering nightmare. Instead of covering your face with nasal spray and eyedrops or hiding inside this year, try removing environmental allergy triggers in your home.

1. Vacuum those carpets

Carpet flooring is the natural nemesis of allergies. It traps dust, pollen, pet dander and just about any other histamines you can think of. The cheapest and easiest defense is cleaning your carpets. If you find your allergies are getting worse, consider upgrading your vaccuum.

The permanent solution:

Allergy

If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, you could spend half your life vacuuming your floors and never be finished. Instead, replace your carpet with tile. A flooring upgrade will add instant appeal to your home and boost your resale value. If you want hardwood floors with half the work, call our sister company Custom Bath Solutions. They offer porcelain tile hardwood flooring which has all the charm of hardwood floors but are much more durable and low-maintenance.

2. Ditch your Drapers

Your drapes act as a magnet for all the dust, pollen and pet dander coming in through your windows. Clean your drapes more often, or opt for a drape-less window solution.

The Permanent solution:

Many of our customers have trouble deciding how to cover their patio doors. Drapes for patio doors are huge and expensive, and traditional blinds are hard to dust. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: replace drapes with blind-in patio doors. We offer blind-in patio doors from Paragon Windows & Doors that have blinds sealed between two glass panels. Since the blinds aren’t exposed to dust, you get dust-free shade.

3. Dry out your bathroom

The bathroom is especially vulnerable to mold and mildew because of all the humidity that enters the room from daily activities. If you find mold or mildew in your bathroom, you might consider upgrading your bathroom ventilation fan or cleaning more often.

The permanent solution:

Use mold and mildew-resistant materials in your bathroom! Our sister company, Custom Bath Solutions offers acrylic showers and tubs that are coated in SilverSheild technology. This anti-microbial protection ensures that your bathroom will be mold, mildew and maintenance-free.

4. Dry out your basement

Mold_Allergy

Moisture in the basement is a huge problem for the structural integrity of your home and the people living in it. A wet basement will cause mold and mildew problems. If you ignore the underlying leakage problem, mold can spread to hard-to reach areas of your home until an easy solution is out of reach.

The permanent solution:

Purchase a basement-waterproofing system. In Peoria, Illinois where so much of the area sits in a flood plain, a water-tight basement is a great investment. Our system is called B-Dry Basement Waterproofing. B-Dry has an amazing reputation from previous customers and addresses the five most common ways that water enters your home.

5. Get Air-Tight Windows

Cheap and old windows often have air leakage problems that let in allergens and mold-causing moisture. There’s a number of DIY repairs you can do to fix your existing windows, but none of them guarantee a better seal.

The permanent solution:

Allergy_Windows

The only way to ensure proper sealing on your windows is to have them professionally repaired or upgraded. Our replacement vinyl window collection from Preservation Windows has superior weather-sealing technology. These windows are certified by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and tested for air-infiltration and water resistance. Plus, Preservation windows have a spacer system that prevents condensation on the inside of your frame.

6. Reduce Your Home’s Humidity Levels

If you have a mold allergy, you should be tracking your home’s humidity levels. Pick up a hygrometer at a local hardware store and measure the humidity levels in each room. If you read a humidity level above 60%, consider purchasing a dehumidifier.

The permanent solution:

We offer a TON of moisture-resistant products. My favorite is our Preservation Integra Siding. This replacement vinyl siding features a ClimaSheild Thermal Support System. This siding features molecular waterproofing, an interlocking weather seal, and a diamond-groove drainage plane to ensure that all moisture is directed away from your home.

7. Reduce Clutter

Clutter doesn’t directly cause allergy problems. However, clutter can collects dust easily and makes cleaning your home more difficult than it needs to be. To minimize time spent cleaning, store unessential items in storage bins, closets and attics.

The permanent solution:

Get an amazing storage system. Not only will it make cleaning easier, it will simplify your life in ways you never imagined. Our sister company, Woodfront Kitchens can custom-build beautiful storage systems that will make cleaning easy. Check out their profile on Houzz for ideas!

8. Clean Your Gutters

Even though your gutters are on the outside of your home, poorly maintained gutters can lead to moisture problems inside the home. In addition, gutter debris is filled with allergens that can affect your health. The easiest way to take care of this problem is to clean your gutters.

The permanent solution:

Reduce_Allergy

It’s likely you’ll always have allergies in the spring, and always have gutters to clean. Why not kill two birds with one stone and buy a Gutter Helmet? Gutter Helmet will give your home superior drainage so you reduce the risk of moisture entering your. Plus, you’ll never have to stick your hands in gross, allergenic gutter goop again.

 

5 Signs Your Illinois Home Needs Basement Waterproofing

Basement Waterproofing

1. Musty Smell

You know the smell. That smell has probably made your nose crinkle up at a relative or a friend’s older home. A musty-smelling home can be embarrassing if you’re hosting guests or inviting friends over, but it’s also a sign of a larger leakage problem. The odor is probably coming from mold or mildew in your home, and mold and mildew love dampness. Check around your home for damp spots where mold and mildew would thrive. If you find dampness in your basement, consider your need for a basement waterproofing system.

2. Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew aren’t just symptoms of a basement leakage problem. They’re harmful for everyone living in your home. Mold has been known to cause an array of health problems from a stuffy nose to a severe lung infection. A 1999 Mayo Clinic study found that 93 percent of chronic sinusitis diagnoses are caused by mold. If you find mold or mildew on your ceiling, don’t just dab some bleach at it. Keep an eye on your family to make sure the mold isn’t affecting their health. After you’ve determined the mold isn’t toxic, investigate further to find the source of the wetness that mold thrives in. If you find it coming from your basement walls or floor, it’s time to waterproof the basement.

3. Water Damage

Basement Waterproofing

This is the most obvious sign that your basement needs waterproofing. Water damage can come in the form of water stains, sitting water, damp basement walls, bowing walls and ceilings or cracks in your wall. There are DIY options to repair a home that’s taken on water damage. But if you really want a permanent solution to a leaky basement, you’re going to want to purchase a full basement waterproofing system.

4. Soggy Backyard

A good sign that your basement could use some waterproofing is a soggy backyard. If there’s a lot of groundwater near your home, there’s a good chance it’s invading your basement, drip by drip. A marshy landscape may be out of your control, but you can certainly prevent your basement from leaking with a basement waterproofing system. In the meantime, try draining your backyard with a French draining system.

5. Low Elevation

Just because you live far from the ocean doesn’t mean you’re safe from water damage and flood risk. In Illinois, flooding accounts for over 90% of declared disasters. Use an elevation map to compare your home’s elevation to the river stage levels. If you live close to a river or your home sits in a flood plain, consider purchasing a basement waterproofing system. During flood season, monitor the weather for flood warnings or advisories and STAY SAFE. Basement waterproofing won’t be able to save your home from severe flooding, but it may prevent water damage caused by minor flooding and increased groundwater.


Basement Waterproofing

There are tons of DIY techniques to waterproof your home, but we wouldn’t necessarily call them “solutions.” These techniques are always temporary at best. For a long-term basement waterproofing solution, we recommend B-Dry. B-Dry has been waterproofing basements since 1958, and they have an amazing reputation from previous customers. This system addresses the five most common ways that water enters your basement: seepage where the floor meets the wall, through cracks in the floor, dampness or wetness on basement wall, and standing water. The B-Dry System drains water into a high-capacity B-Dry pipe using weep holes. B-Dry’s waterproofing membrane Rigid Sealer keeps water from seeping in through your basement walls.

One thing we love about B-Dry is that after it’s installed, any tile, wood floors, or other floor covering can be installed on top of your floor slab. Peoria Siding and Window is a certified B-Dry installer. Unlike other basement waterproofing companies, we don’t subcontract. That way you know you will be getting the best service and professional workmanship available. To request a free in-home estimate, fill out this form or call (309) 717-0105.

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Picking the Best Gutter Guard for your Illinois Home

Illinois Gutter Guard

If you’re in the market for a gutter guard system, you probably already know how many choices you have. There are hundreds of gutter guard companies, and they all offer different drainage systems, colors, materials, warranties and installation processes. The right choice will be a gutter guard that drains well and expels debris. In Peoria, Illinois it rains an average of 117 days out of the year! With so much precipitation, it’s especially important to have a functional and durable gutter system. There’s a lot of choices out there, but we think Gutter Helmet is the best. By the end of this article, you’ll know why. Here’s some questions you should ask before you choose a gutter guard system.

1. How long will my gutter guard last?

Not all gutter guards are created equal. The type of materials used, the type of gutter system, and the installation process can all factor into the durability of your gutter guard. For example, soft foam gutter guards have their benefits, but they’re often flimsy and damage easily. The hard truth is that cheaper gutter guards will not last as long as quality brands. If you go with a trusted professional, you’ll save money on replacement costs, maintenance costs and you’ll get a great warranty to protect your investment.

Consider Gutter Helmet…

The key to Gutter Helmet’s durability is in it’s PermaLife High Performance Coating. PermaLife’s 5-layer process ensures that your gutter guard system won’t crack, chip, peel, chalk or fade for the life of the product. Plus, once you register your new Gutter Helmet system, you’ll get a transferable lifetime warranty!

2. Will the gutter guard look good on my home’s exterior?

gutter guard

Functionality is good, but you never want a home improvement project to make your home look worse than it did before you started. Theoretically, the standard chrome and white options should work for every home because they’re neutrals. However, these color options can make your exterior look cheap. To pick the best gutter guard color, you should consider your roofing and siding colors. Gutter guards often look best when coordinated with your roofing color. Whatever your choice, a quality gutter guard system should improve your curb appeal.

Consider Gutter Helmet…

Gutter Helmet comes in 9 different color options, including brown, charcoal, pale gray, bronze, green, sand, timber, black and even copper. That’s the benefit of using a brand-name gutter system! If you need help choosing a color, you can speak to one of our gutter experts here at Peoria Siding and Window.

3. Will debris collect on top of my gutter guard?

Some experts claim that no matter what gutter system you purchase, you’re still going to get debris collecting on top of your home. We disagree. Debris means more gutter cleaning, which is NOT what you signed up for.

  • Mesh-style gutter guard systems have to be cleaned occasionally because the debris sits on top of the screen and must be removed manually.
  • With a bottle-brush gutter guard, you will definitely have to clean your gutters occasionally. This system is designed so that the brush will capture debris and the rainwater will run freely underneath it. However, there is no process for automatic debris disposal.
  • Solid gutter systems that aren’t pitched forward can also allow debris to collect on top of your gutters. Some debris needs the added push of an angled gutter guard system to fall off your rooftop.
  • Surface tension gutter guards without a nose-forward design often get debris trapped in the gap between your gutter and your gutter guard. Eventually, you’ll have to climb up and clean it.

Consider Gutter Helmet…

Gutter Helmet uses a surface tension system to keep debris out of your gutters. Rainwater’s adhesive property allows water to drain easily into your gutters as heavy debris slides onto the ground. Gutter Guard’s solid covering has a nose-forward design which extends past your gutters, leaving a 3/8″ slit that allows rainwater to flow freely.

4. How will the installation process affect my home?

gutter guard

Gutter guard installation is one of the more complicated home improvement projects. Some gutter guard systems may damage your exterior when installed by uplifting roof shingles or weighing down your existing gutter system. If you go with an amateur installer, they may damage your exterior by moving to quickly. Some have even tried to nail gutter guards into the roof!

Consider Gutter Helmet…

Gutter Helmet uses reinforced heavy-gauge aluminum alloy brackets to fix your gutter guard system to your gutters. Our installation system is designed to leave minimal damage to your exterior and actually strengthens and supports your existing gutters. Peoria Siding and Window is a professional Gutter Helmet installation company. We’ve been in business for over 41 years and know all the do’s and don’ts of gutter guard installation.

5. Do I need a completely new gutter system?

Some home improvement companies ONLY do gutter systems. Some ONLY do gutter guards. If you’re adding a gutter guard system, now may be the perfect time to replace your gutter system as well. Make sure that the company you’re using is willing to work with you on your vision for this project.

Consider Gutter Helmet…

Gutter Helmet can be installed over existing or new gutter systems. If you’ve decided your gutter system needs an upgrade, Peoria Siding and Window can install both a new gutter system and a gutter guard. We’ve been installing gutters for many years and are a professional Gutter Helmet-certified installation company.


Obviously, we’re a little partial to Gutter Helmet. Who can blame us? Remember how I told you that Illinois rains an average of 117 out of the year? Well Gutter Helmet can handle twice the heaviest rainfall ever recorded! That’s enough gutter protection no matter where you live! Plus, we have a 15% off sale going on right now. You can claim your discount by filling out this form or calling (309) 717-0105. If you’re not located near us, our sister companies at JBD Siding and Window in Galesburg Illinois and Cramer Siding and Window in Champaign Illinois can take care of all of your needs.

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Your Replacement Window Performance Rating Explained

Performance Ratings

When you’re buying a big-budget item, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of information. You want to make sure that you’re getting the value for your money, and that your product is going to last you a long time. When buying replacement windows, the best way to do this is to check for a performance rating or Energy Star certification. Replacing old windows with Energy Star-certified windows lowers household energy bills by an average of 12% nationwide. Energy Star ensures quality by holding window manufacturers to strict performance standards on 5 different categories set by the National Fenestration Rating Council. Standards vary on your climate zone. Here in Illinois we are in the Northern Climate Zone, so those standards have an emphasis on durability and insulation. Luckily, most window manufacturers don’t try to hide their performance ratings and windows come with a label. They look like this:

Replacement Window Label

The label looks confusing, but I’ll explain it to you step-by-step.

Performance Rating: U-Factor

The U-Factor measures your the window’s rate of heat loss. Specifically, it measures the rate of heat flow through your glazing system. U-Factors generally range from 0.25 to 1.25 and are measured in Btu/h·ft²·°. Don’t worry, the units don’t matter much to anyone but the manufacturers. All you need to know is that low U-Factor is preferable because it means less heat loss, which is a good thing! A low U-Factor means better insulation and energy efficiency. Illinois winters can be brutally cold and even a small amount of heat loss can make your home feel drafty. To be eligible for the Residential Energy Tax Credit (worth 10% of the product cost up to $200), your window must have a U-Factor equal to or lower than 0.30 for those living in Illinois.

Take Preservation Window’s EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass package as an example. Most standard replacement window units  have a U-Factor of 0.48. Our EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass package has a U-Factor value of 0.17, meaning it performs 65% better than its competitors.

Performance Rating: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures the fraction of solar radiation that is transferred through your windows. While the U-Factor measures heat leaving your home, the SHGC measures the amount of heat entering your home. This measurement is especially pertinent in cool seasons. SHGC is measured on a scale from 0 to 1 but most windows have a SHGC values ranging from 0.25 to 0.80. A lower SHGC is preferable because it means less heat is entering your home. During a balmy Illinois summer, this could mean using less AC to cool your home.

We’ll use our EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass package as an example again. Most traditional clear, insulated glass units have an SHGC of 0.50. Our EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass has a SHGC of 0.17, meaning it outperforms the other glass package by 66%. Less heat enters a home through our windows with a low SHGC, and our replacement window customers will spend less money cooling their home.

Performance Rating 3: Visible Transmittance (VT)

Replacement Window Light

This rating seems straightforward, but it’s not. VT measures the amount of UV energy that your window allows through. VT can also measure how much visible light passes through your windows. This is where it gets tricky. You WANT an abundant amount of light to pass through your windows to give your home that natural, open character. However, UV energy is responsible for the fading of carpets, hardwood flooring, fabrics and furniture. In addition, to much light can cause glare. VT is measured on a scale of 0 to 1, but values generally range from 0.20 to 0.80.

Our EnergyMaxx 10 Elite glass package has a VT of 0.36 compared to a traditional clear glass package VT of 0.55. This means that the house with traditional windows will be brighter, and will also allow more UV radiation to enter the home. The house with the EnergyMaxx glass package will still have an abundance of visible light inside, but will not suffer the same fading damage as the other home.


Peoria Siding & Window has a number of different glass packages to choose from, all with different performance ratings. Make sure that when you’re choosing a replacement window, you prioritize factors like energy loss, heat gain and visible light. If you’re still confused about window performance ratings, don’t worry. One of our salespeople will be happy to talk you through any questions or concerns. Just call (309) 717-0105 to speak with a representative. If you’re looking to purchase new replacement windows, you can claim up to 30% off your home improvement project by filling out this form. We sell windows with an unbeatable performance at a value you can trust.