We started as a roofing company then evolved into “Your Exterior Experts” and now we are full steam ahead as Kusiak Construction, Inc. “Your Complete Home Improvement Experts”
I think you’ll agree, with Northwest Indiana’s extreme weather conditions, making the right decision regarding window replacement is more than just a home improvement. It’s an investment! Replacing old windows with new, energy-efficient models can really pay off in both your home’s curb appeal and energy savings. Replacements may also improve your home’s resale value! Today, you’ll learn the secrets to Window Replacement | The Essential Guide for Northwest Indiana.
When it comes time to replace old, drafty windows, most homeowners are uncertain of which material to use and which options are best for our brutal Northwest Indiana winters and hot summers. The best choice for our region is different than that of other parts of the country.
Typically, the best advice comes from local experience and expertise! To learn the secrets of window replacements, I turned to legendary handyman Bob Popovich and Kusiak Construction’s Dave Kusiak. Turning to these guys for advice isn’t just informative, it’s fun! If you haven’t heard Dave Kusiak on the radio, you should. This guy embodies the region….from sports and politics to Home Improvement. Bob owned Steel City Home Improvement for years and is often Dave’s guest for home renovation tips.
Both Dave and Bob believe it’s important for window replacement companies to carry all brands, models, and materials because the best solution should be offered without bias. According to Dave, every homeowner and business is unique. The best solution should fit the needs of the customer and their home.
According to Bob, “Most people might immediately think of brands like Pella, Marvin, and Andersen Windows.” While Bob believes these brands are a good fit for some customers, most people in Northwest Indiana find the best replacement windows in retrofit windows. As the name implies, these home window replacement solutions are retrofitted to the homeowner’s house.
“While nationwide companies make great products, they manufacture stock size windows. These windows are meant to be installed into openings that are framed to the window companies’ factory specs,” says Bob.
This works well when installed early in the construction process, long before the home has drywall, trim, paint, outdoor trim, etc. However, when customers are replacing windows in an existing home, the hidden costs of siding modifications, interior framing, drywall repairs, and everything else will make these windows very expensive to install.
“Vinyl replacement windows can be ordered specifically for the homeowner’s taste and requirements,” states Dave Kusiak. “Taking time to meet the customer and discuss solution options is key. It allows the customer to select the best option for their unique needs. Vinyl offers the advantages of retrofitting the new window to the existing home. It also offers a wide range of manufacturers, styles, colors, features, and price ranges.”
“Most people in Northwest Indiana will usually choose vinyl windows when given a choice, but everyone is different. People like choices and not heavy-handed sales pitches,” says Dave.
Kusiak and Handyman Bob agree the best solution comes from understanding the customer’s unique needs and discovering the best value. Kusiak provided this handy guide to window replacement materials.
Vinyl is the most popular material for replacement windows in Northwest Indiana. When all things are considered, most people in Lake County and Porter County will choose vinyl over other window materials like wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. More vinyl windows are sold compared to all other types of window materials, which represents almost 70% of the replacement window market. Technology has improved most in vinyl mediums.
Another reason why vinyl windows are such a popular choice is due to their wallet-friendly nature. This window replacement material offers great durability, dependability, and energy efficiency. Vinyl windows are also nearly maintenance-free, meaning the vinyl frame can resist scratches, warps, and rotting.
Such material-windows are customizable and come from regional manufacturers. They can be formed to fit any window opening and come in a variety of color options for both inside and outside the frame.
Wood Replacement windows are another good choice many homeowners go with. Wood can be custom-painted and share vinyl benefits of energy efficiency and beauty. As a home renovation company, Kusiak often works with homes where wood is still the best choice.
Wood is a top choice for homeowners that want a classical look while providing their home with beauty and warmth.
The problem with wood in Northwest Indiana is the weather. Wood doesn’t hold up well in harsh conditions. You’ll need to frequently inspect and maintain your wood windows for wear and corrosion. Be prepared to repair any flaws you may find. Wood windows end up costing more than the other options both upfront and down the road. Such windows are also more vulnerable to warping, rotting, and insect infestations.
Aluminum windows are the least popular material choice for replacement windows among Kusiak’s customers. However, for some homeowners, it is a great option. The metal offers benefits other materials don’t possess.
Aluminum is an extremely strong material. Aluminum windows can be composed of a thin frame without losing durability. This may allow more space for glass. Kusiak Construction will recommend aluminum in home renovation and remodeling projects that require a large, uninterrupted view of the outdoors.
However, you can’t avoid the negatives that come with aluminum windows. Since metal is a poor insulator, it won’t keep the heat and cold out of your home. The material easily expands and contracts when faced with different weather extremes.
Bob and Dave both agree that most people in Northwest Indiana will choose vinyl windows for energy efficiency, durability, selection, and life-time warranty coverage. Albeit, both men believe folks should select vinyl windows carefully.
Bob recommends staying away from older vinyl window technology. Compared to new technology, older vinyl replacement windows lack energy-efficiency, have maintenance issues, may leak, and may come with other problems. Accordingly, they offer companies higher profits. Always question the model year as you would a computer or car. This is especially true when dealing with nationwide companies and companies lacking experience. The best vinyl companies require high standards and training.
Get what you want! The available styles, colors, and varied options also make newer vinyl windows considerably better than just a few years ago. As someone accountable for accurate estimates, Bob also loves the lower costs of labor that comes with a superior product. Retrofit vinyl windows mean fewer unexpected issues during installation. Quite often, the best choice for replacement windows is regional manufacturers, such as Alliance Windows, that can retrofit your replacement windows to your existing window frames. This assures lower installation costs and reduces other issues down the road.
As a local business owner that cares about 5-star reviews, Dave Kusiak likes reliability and a life-time warranty that comes from newer vinyl replacement windows. The lifetime-warranty is also often transferable, which means higher resale value to the homeowner and allows him to continue his relationship with the next homeowner.
While a good contractor will make sure you know your options and which is best for you, make sure they are trained and experienced. Even the best window technology will have serious issues if it’s installed incorrectly. Make sure you look at the total costs involved. Getting a great bargain on a new construction window from Pella, Marvin, Andersen Windows is hardly a good value if the costs of installation include new trim, drywall, painting, and/or siding.
Bob recommends searching the web for the contractor’s experience, reviews, and reputation. Both men also welcome anyone to contact them should they have any questions. These guys love the region and welcome you to talk with them. Just click their link in the bio below.
More to come: In next month’s blog, we ask Dave Kusiak and Bob Popovich to answer frequently asked questions about window replacement. A video with these 2 characters will be included; if you haven’t met them yet, you’re in for some fun! Both men can be found on Dave’s popular regional radio program. In the meantime, feel free to visit them on their Kusiak Construction website.
The article was written by
Jim Jano Janesheski