Archives for May 2012

To Cap or Not To Cap?

To Cap or Not To Cap?
The term capping, or wrapping, refers to the aluminum or vinyl cladding sometimes applied over the exterior trim around a window or door.

This material is most often pre-finished aluminum in the Chicago area, though vinyl is occasionally used.  It comes in coil form and is known in the industry as ‘coil stock’ or ‘trim coil’.  It’s typically formed, or bent, on site with a portable sheet metal brake. Often sold as an “upgrade” to a building’s exterior, it’s touted by some salesmen as being low or no maintenance.

So why the debate on whether or not to cap?  After all, it sounds good and is commonly done, so there must be some benefit to it, right? [Read more…]

Remember the Tin Men

In recent years, the home improvement industry has unfortunately earned a reputation that is often synonymous with shady characters, shoddy craftsmanship, fly by night operators, & a general lack of respect. How times have changed from when most craftsmen actually took pride in their work & were seen as upstanding members of their community.

Much of the breakdown can be attributed to the fact many formal training programs for the trades have disappeared from the landscape over the last few decades & the barrier point to enter the various fields is disturbingly low. This comes as the number of DIY shows dumbing down the complexity of “menial” construction jobs spike, how-to book & magazine sales surge, & society as a whole grows more cynical of those earning a living with their hands. While unfortunate, it is understandable, as there are many scams perpetrated on unsuspecting consumers by those that abuse the industry, using it as a vehicle for their various methods of deception. [Read more…]

To Replace or Repair Your Windows


How do you know whether to repair or replace a particular window?  This is a question not all window companies will offer a straight answer on. The fact is, ripping out and replacing a window is often faster and more profitable for a company than other options, yet can have serious implications if the decision is undertaken lightly or the work performed poorly.

Whether your windows are candidates for repair or replacement depend on a variety of factors, including overall condition of the units (is there any rot, separation of components, etc.), performance, operation, and function.  Contrary to some beliefs, age does not typically enter into the equation. [Read more…]

The Truth Behind the $199 Window Ads

We’ve all seen the ads: “Any Window, Any Size – $199 Installed”. Right. And if you believe that, I know of a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

Here’s the reality behind those claims:

To start with, I can’t recall the last time our company purchased a window that cost less than $200 – never mind the installation labor or other materials necessary for a quality install. In fact, the typical window we install costs several times that. [Read more…]