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Harris Exteriors Learning Center

Learn more about home improvement, roofing, replacement windows, siding and gutter systems from Harris Exteriors.

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Spring Has Sprung and Now is the Time to Replace Your Windows

If you're in the Barrington, IL area, you're close to our newest showroom! Now that spring has arrived it is the perfect time to update and replace your old, worn out, and inefficient home windows. With predictions about this summer being very warm, if you upgrade your windows you'll have a leg up on those high bills to keep the home cool.

In addition to helping you save money, upgrading your windows will increase the value of your home so you will not only have lower bills but they will more than pay for themselves in the long run.

For more information follow the links below and we look forward to helping you save money!

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Doors leading from your garage to your home, patio doors and sliding glass doors can all become damaged over time. Established in the Chicago area for more than 16 years, Harris Exteriors and More, Inc. knows that entry doors are subject to the Midwest’s changing weather. Extremes from hot, humid summers to snowy winters with freezing temperatures can take a toll on wood or steel doors in the form of warping, cracking or rusting. The door may stick and become hard to open and close. It might not lock easily because it no longer sits properly in the frame. There might be gaps in the frame due to poor fit. An inefficient door can increase your heating and cooling bills, possibly shortening the life of your HVAC system.

The result of daily use and abuse on wood or steel doors can detract from your home’s curb appeal in the form of scratches, cracks, dents or rust. In addition, worn hardware, hinges, and damaged or missing weather stripping and kick plates indicate an outdated system that could compromise your home’s security.

Replacing an entry door yields a significant return on investment with some studies indicating a return as high as 91 percent! In shopping for a new door system, do your research online, then visit one of Harris Exteriors and More, Inc.’s showrooms in either Streamwood or Glen Ellyn to view some of the choices you're considering.

Fiberglass doors are a practical option for most people; they are moderately priced, dent-resistant, and require little maintenance. While a smooth, paintable surface is available, an embossed wood-grain texture is more common. Some doors’ edges are notched to make them look even more like wood.

Fiberglass doors that are Energy Star-qualified are independently tested and certified. They often have tighter-fitting frames and are built with a polyurethane foam core to insulate against cold and heat. An adjustable threshold will help keep the door weather-tight over time by sealing out rain and drafts.

If you choose anything other than a solid panel door, select double- or triple-panel insulating glass to help reduce heat transfer. Privacy glass levels are determined by calculating the amount and placement of the textures in a specific design. Transparent glass offers the least amount of privacy by allowing unobstructed views in and out of the home. Combining clear and opaque glass in the design results in partial obscurity and a medium level of privacy. Opaque or highly textured glass gives the highest level of privacy by allowing the view of shadows and colors but no distinguishable shapes.

Harris Exteriors and More, Inc.’s showrooms in Streamwood and Glen Ellyn proudly feature doors by Therma-Tru and Waudena Millwork, two established industry leaders that are located in the Midwest. These vendors offer custom colors as well as a full range of popular paint or stain colors so you can easily achieve the look you want. Due to differences in computer monitor calibration, it is best to look at sample colors in person.

The framing around the door will need to be redone if you’re adding sidelights or a transom. These are significant changes best completed by a professional contractor. Harris Exteriors and More, Inc.is an established and financially stable company whose team has over 150 years of combined industry experience and knowledge. We will gladly provide you with references regarding previous door installations.

Entry doors greet your guests and offer a preview of what lies inside. Your door should make a statement that is consistent with the rest of your home. Let Harris Exteriors and More, Inc. help you say something new. Visit one of our showrooms today!

Harris Exteriors and More Inc.
1530 Brandy Pkwy
Streamwood, Illinois 60107
Monday - Thursday 8AM – 7PM
Friday 8AM – 5PM
Saturday 9AM – 12PM
630-883-5367

Harris Exteriors and More Inc.
321 Roosevelt Ave
Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137
Monday - Friday 10AM -7PM
Saturday 10AM – 2PM
630-883-5367

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“Buy low, sell high.” Owners who intend to sell their homes often make improvements designed to maximize their profit. Reasons vary, but most homeowners said they want to upgrade worn-out areas, while others want to add features and improve livability. Still others might be tired of their home’s current look & simply want a change.

Realtors agree that new roofing, new vinyl windows and new siding are most appealing to potential buyers and add to a home’s resale value. Upon resale, new roofing is thought to recover 105% of its project cost, while new vinyl siding would recover 83% and new vinyl windows bring back 80% of the cost.

Even if you have no intention of relocating in the foreseeable future, though, remodeling can significantly add to the enjoyment you derive from your home by achieving a long-held goal or vision. Homeowners not intending to sell mention new fiber-cement siding, new fiberglass or steel front doors and new roofing as improvements that most enhanced the comfort they felt in their homes.

Whatever the reasons for making home improvements, it is important to choose a reputable remodeler. NARI, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, is an organization of highly qualified remodeling contractors, product manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, trade publications, utilities and lending institutions. NARI members have access to the latest information in the industry through online publications and ongoing educational programs and conferences. Its members are committed to enhancing the professionalism of their industry as well as serving as allies to homeowners.

Plan your project carefully in order to increase the value of your investment. Be objective when evaluating your property. Think of what repairs are necessary vs what improvements you want to make. Think of your future needs: will your family be expanding soon? How long do you intend to stay in the house? A professional contractor will help by outlining your options and discussing the choices that are available within your budget. Equally important is to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and make any necessary changes for your home’s added value.

So how does one go about choosing a qualified, professional remodeler? NARI has the following tips for finding a qualified, professional remodeler:

• Employ a contractor with an established business in your area. Check their reputation with online services such as Yelp & Google Reviews or with a government agency such as the Better Business Bureau or the Consumer Protection Office. The remodeler you are considering should be willing to provide references.

• Ask friends, family and coworkers who have recently remodeled about their experience. Was the remodeler helpful, reliable and respectful of their time and home? Were the stated time frame and budget honored? Would they use this remodeler again? Were they happy with the results?

• Many states require contractors to be licensed and/or bonded. Contact your state or local licensing agency – typically the Building Division - to ensure the contractor meets all requirements. If your home was built before 1978, perform a Search on https://www3.epa.gov to determine if the contractor you are considering is a Certified Lead Renovator.

• Most states require contractors to carry workman’s compensation, property damage and personal liability insurance; your contractor should provide a copy of certification of insurance.

• If you are getting bids from more than one contractor, make sure they are bidding on the same kind and quality of work. Question variations in bids and be wary of any proposal that is significantly lower than others.

Harris Exteriors & More Inc. is proud to be a Certified Lead Renovator and a long-standing member of NARI. We welcome the opportunity to educate you about the remodeling industry while we help turn your vision into a reality.

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Replacement windows and doors increase home value

The decision to update your exterior doors is rarely on the top of your home improvement list. However, your entry doors are a huge reflection on the overall look of your home. We all know there’s only one chance to make a first impression, and your doors are the first thing guests and visitors see when they enter your home. Old, weathered doors with outdated hardware, worn hinges and damaged weatherstripping detract from your home’s curb appeal. Your primary entrance doors are subject to the extremes of seasonal weather and suffer the abuse of daily use. Replacement doors are a great way to upgrade the look of your home. A new full-system door is highly customizable and can be constructed with many different styles of glass, hardware and panel designs to suit your interior and exterior decor. New doors also offer an added measure of security to your home.

Lifetime warranties are just one of the many benefits of installing replacement windows in your home. Regardless of the style you choose, your new windows are customizable to suit your available frame space, which is important for owners of older century homes full of unusually sized and shaped windows. There are many different window styles, including single- and double-hung, single and double sliders, three-lite sliders and casement windows. For sweeping panoramic views, bow and bay windows are great additions, adding value and esthetic appeal to any living space.

Content from: http://www.therecord.com/shopping-story/6125860-replacement-windows-and-doors-increase-home-value/

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Posted by on in Roofing

Beware of Storm Chasers

What is a storm chaser?

Storm chasers are companies that follow severe weather from area to area, completing home repairs (generally roofs and siding) that are damaged by hail and wind. They collect homeowners’ insurance claim checks in payment for their services, complete the work (often shoddily) before moving on to the next storm ravaged area. Here in Chicago, we are prone to hailstorms, and storm chasers generally quickly follow any such event. They generally go door-to-door in storm damaged areas, and may advertise themselves as insurance recovery experts or specialists in insurance restoration. (The term “Storm Chaser” can also be used to describe a person who follows storms in order to research, photograph, or simply experience a weather phenomenon. This type of storm chaser is entirely different and is not of any concern to a homeowner!)

Why are storm chasers bad?

The first step of a storm chaser is to ask the homeowner to sign a contract allowing their company to negotiate with homeowner’s insurance company. By signing these documents, homeowners may be waiving their right to any decision making regarding their repairs or replacement. They also lose control over the insurance settlement, and the entire check of the payment may legally need to be signed over to the storm chaser- regardless of the quality or quantity of work completed. The homeowner may lose some control over materials used, leaving the storm chaser free to cut corners in order to increase their profit. Most importantly, warranty repairs can be very difficult to obtain as most storm chasers leave the area as soon as the storm “plays out.” These companies are generally gone long before warranty issues arise. The company is certainly not going to return from Florida or Ohio to repair a problem with their work. To make matters even more difficult, some storm chasers lease local company names so the appear to be local. Once they complete their work in the area, they leave. The local company is then responsible for the warranty work. Of course, the volume of warranty work is often so great the local company ends up out of business, leaving the homeowner with problems.

Storm chasers are also very damaging to the local economy. They deprive local contractors of business and decrease the number of resources you have when your roof suddenly springs a leak. By employing a local contractor to complete your repairs, you are helping to employee local Chicagoland workers.

How to spot a storm chaser:

Storm chasers usually:

  • Come door to door and try to get you to sign something immediately
  • Use high pressure sales tactics
  • Offer you a “Free Roof” or “Free Siding” or offer a way around paying a deductible (this is insurance fraud!)
  • Have out-of-state license plates or drivers license (and YES! you can & should ask to see a drivers license to verify identity.)
  • Are unable to produce recent, local references (or references from before the storm date)
  • Are unable to produce local supplier references (always check references from a potential contractors’ suppliers. If suppliers aren’t paid in a timely fashion by a contractor, they can legally place a lien on your home)
  • Have no proof of manufacturer certifications (large manufacturers offer their own certifications to established legitimate contractors. Look for GAF-Elk Master Elite Contractors, GAF-Elk Certified Contractors, IKO Shield-Pro Plus, CertainTeed 5-Star Contractors)
  • Are unable to produce a roofing license and certificate of insurance with the same identification information. A legitimate local company should show you an IL Roofing License and a Certificate of Liability/Workers Compensation both issued in the same name. If the names don’t match, you may not be protected.
  • Are unlisted, have unsatisfactory ratings or have complaints filed against them with the Chicagoland Better Business Bureau. You can look them up at http://chicago.bbb.org/
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Average rating for HARRIS ROOFING, SIDING, WINDOWS & DOORS is 4.93 stars of 5 stars - based on 67 reviews

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