Vinyl siding in Chicago: avoid winter installation

Many neighborhoods in the Chicago area are a delightful mixture of old and new, big and small houses. Exterior cladding may be brick, stone, clapboard, shingles, or a mixture of two or three of these materials. Even if your house siding is mostly masonry, when it comes time to repair or replace the wood clapboard or shake elements, resist signing up for the same problems that you've tolerated for years--mold, rot, carpenter ants or termites plus ongoing scraping, sanding and repainting of the wood parts.

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You owe it to yourself to investigate the benefits of using today's technologically advanced vinyl siding in Chicago, especially considering the region's weather. Both cold and heat waves are climate hazards in Illinois, reports the National Weather Service.

Insulated vinyl siding in Chicago climate

Manufacturers of any siding must prove R-value, or insulation value, with testing under the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star program. These tests compare insulated vinyl siding against fiber cement board. Insulated vinyl siding can reduce the thermal bridge between a home's exterior and interior, helping you earn an Energy Star-Qualified Homes Version 3 rating. That's important in Chicago's mood-swings climate.

Winter may not be the best time to install vinyl siding on your house, since the process involves various steps such as removal of the old siding and preparation of surfaces before installation. Average snowfall in Chicago from the fall through the spring is about 38 inches, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with winter snowfall enhanced by lake-effect snows from Lake Michigan.

5 tips for researching qualified Chicago siding contractors

After you research the benefits of high-tech vinyl siding in Chicago weather conditions, the next step is looking for installers.

  1. The Vinyl Siding Institute trains, tests and certifies installers, and conducts ongoing tests of vinyl siding products. Look on the VSI website's state-by-state lists of certified installers to find Chicago siding contractors.
  2. The Better Business Bureau grades siding contractors report card style, from A through F. Look up contractors and determine their BBB grade, complaint history and comments about the satisfactory resolution of problems.
  3. Vinyl siding suppliers and home improvement retailers often have specific contractors who work mostly for them. The advantage for homeowners is that a contractor risks losing ongoing business if there are numerous complaints.
  4. Licensing is not required for any building-related contractors in Illinois except roofing contractors. This makes it very important to hire contractors whom you have carefully screened through the VSI and BBB.
  5. Inspect previous work and ask each contractor's customers about job satisfaction. Inspect at least one house from each contractor who submits a bid, and request both positive and negative feedback.

Complete the form on this website to locate qualified contractors serving your area. Get bids from at least three contractors and be aware of their professionalism in the bidding process. Consider paying a bit more for a company that is on time and communicates well. Then enjoy the cozy, beautiful, easy maintenance of vinyl siding for decades to come.

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