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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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Custom Home Improvement and Coffee

Custom_Coffee

*This story was written by our new Show Room Saleswoman, Magen Meers

How do you like your coffee?

I recently visited a small and trendy boutique coffee shop for the first time. The atmosphere was beautiful. Gray walls with green accents in the form of live plants peppered the shop. Several tables containing small groups of men and women happily sipping their drink of choice chatted or huddled around laptop screens.

I approached the counter and stood staring at the menu mounted on the wall. A barista stood behind the cash register staring at me. I scanned the menu for something familiar. I was suddenly in a panic- I didn’t recognize anything on this menu! This was a coffee shop right? Where were the lattes and mochas that I’m used to? I glanced at the barista, still staring.”Ummmm,” I began sheepishly, “I’m not really sure what I want.” No response. Just the smallest look of annoyance and a small nod. Clearly he was not going to help me out with any recommendations, so I continued in a game of “Name That Espresso Drink” with him.

“I want something warm and sweet…but not too sweet like a mocha.”

He continued to look annoyed but this time he spoke. “Well you can get lattes with flavors or mochas. We have something called a Meow that is kind of like a latte with honey and cinnamon.'”

Convinced, I ordered the Meow (that’s what I heard although after some research, I think it was a Miel.) I paid for my purchase and stood waiting for my drink, anxious to get the heck out of there and avoid the judgement of the all-knowing barista.

Despite my less than perfect customer experience, the drink was delicious. Honey and cinnamon are my two favorite flavors and the combination was lovely. I began sprinkling cinnamon in my home brew and sweetening with honey but it wasn’t quite the same. I found myself craving a repeat but was hesitant to return to the shop. Remembering a gift card I’d been carrying around for a large-chain coffee shop, I thought I’d see if they could recreate the delicious drink there. I pulled into the driveway behind a long line of cars.

“Great,” I thought, “They’re going to love a custom coffee order. Especially when I don’t even know what drink I want!”

At the speaker a cheery voice greeted me.

“Do you have any drinks with cinnamon and honey in them?,” I said tentatively.

Without pause, the speaker responded “Sure, we can try it!”

Maybe they have a drink on the menu that’s similar, I thought. The line moved quickly and I found myself at the window in no time to collect my coffee. A young, smiling face waited for me. She took my cash and offered up two things: a drink in one hand, and a handwritten note in the other.

“I wrote down how we made your coffee so if you like it, you can order it again.”

“Oh, is there a drink like this and I just didn’t realize it?” I asked.

“No,” she replied, “we just came up with this so we wanted you to know how we made it.”

Impressed, I thanked her and shoved a dollar in the tip cup before driving away.

I’ve relayed this story to no less than ten people. Why? One, because it’s a really delicious drink and everyone should try it. More importantly, because it reflects an excellent customer service experience. Today’s marketplace offers a lot of choices. Choices are great but sometime staring up at a coffee menu, searching for the perfect lamp online or making choices to begin a full-scale remodel can be terribly overwhelming. We have customers that come to us and know almost exactly what they want to do. They have a vision and we make it happen. Other times, we know we want something but we’re not sure what.

That’s where our customer service sets us apart from the rest. We can help you choose exactly the right product. Whether it’s a new entry door, new kitchen counter or a complete bath remodel, we can help. Home improvements should be fun and exciting- not overwhelming. Our salespeople, designers and show room staff (me!) can guide you through each step of the process so there’s no guessing. If you have a “custom order” like my fancy espresso, we can help! Not only do we “do” custom orders- every design we do is custom. You can start by visiting me in our beautiful showroom in Washington and filling out a free, no-obligation project estimate form. Don’t know how you want your coffee? Let us help! We’ll even write down the recipe.

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4 Home Improvement Tax Breaks You May Qualify For

Tax Breaks

Tax Break 1: Major Energy-Efficient Upgrades

This tax break can save you up to $500 on energy efficient upgrades under the Residential Energy Credits program. However, there’s a lifetime total of $500 on this tax deduction, so be sure to check that you haven’t already met this limit. This tax break is especially relevant if you’ve purchased new energy efficient replacement doors, replacement windows, or a new roof.

  • 10% of the cost of replacement doors
  • 10% of the cost of replacement windows and skylights ($200 cap)
  • 10% of the cost of an energy-efficient roof (excluding labor)
  • 10% of the cost of home insulation upgrades (excluding labor)
  • $300 for a biomass stove
  • $300 for air-source heat pumps
  • $300 for central AC systems
  • $150 for efficient hot water boilers
  • $300 for water heaters
  • $200 for furnaces and fans

Tax Break 2: Green Energy Upgrades

This tax break goes in the personal tax credit category. If you added a renewable energy system to your residence, you’re eligible for a 30% tax rebate for your expenditures. This applies to both main residencies and vacation homes. Some expenditures covered include the cost of on-site preparation, assembly and installation, and piping and wiring to connect a system to the home.

Here’s the best part: there’s no cap on this deduction! If you’re kicking yourself for not going green earlier, don’t worry. This tax credit is available through 2019. Here are some green energy upgrades that qualify for this tax break:

  • Solar panels
  • Solar water heaters
  • Fuel Cells
  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Wind turbines

Tax Break 3: Medical Modifications

This tax break is especially relevant to readers that have completed a bathroom renovation with Custom Bath Solutions in the past year. Medical modifications include improvements made to accommodate your home for care of a disabled individual. This person may be you, your spouse or your dependent.

Here’s the catch: the eligible cost of improvement is reduced by the project’s addition in value to your property. So if you spent $40K on medical modifications that increased the value of your home by $10K, only $30K are deductible. If the home improvement project did not increase your property value, the entire cost can be included as a medical expense. In addition, the cost of medical modifications must be more than 10% of your adjusted gross income (or 7.5% for persons 65 and older).

Here are some medical modification projects that qualify for deductions:

  • Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment.
  • Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications (like a tub to shower conversion) in your bathroom
  • Replacement doors and modifying door hardware
  • Modifying electrical outlets and fixtures
  • Widening interior and exterior doorways
  • Entrance and exit ramps
  • Installing lifts or modifying stairways
  • Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems
  • Grading the ground to provide access to the home

Tax Break 4: Reduce Your Capital Gains Profits

In the eyes of Uncle Sam, that is. We would never advise you to sell your home for less than it’s maximum potential. If you make a profit on your home over $250K per individual (or $500K as a married couple), you’ll have to pay capital gains taxes on those profits. However, you can deduct the money you spent on value-adding home improvement projects from your total sales profit.

Let’s say you purchased a new home 7 years ago for $250K and then spent $60K on renovations. This year, you sold your home for $560K and put away your sales profit of $310K. If you don’t include the cost of renovations in your total profit, you can lower your taxable capital gains profit to $250K and keep that $60K you spent on renovations, tax-free.

For your home improvement project to qualify for this tax break, the project had to be an upgrade that increased the value of your home. Repairs projects are considered only “maintaining” the current value of your home and are not eligible to deduct from your total capital gains profit. Here are some projects that are eligible:


For the nitty-gritty details, talk to a tax advisor about which tax strategy is right for you. If you’ve purchased tax credit eligible products from us in the past year, we will be happy to send you a letter confirming your installation. Just call (309) 717-0105 and we’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.