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Window Replacement in Elgin, Illinois
Could your home benefit from a new window, Elginians? Old, air-leaking, outdated glass could be causing you a small fortune in heating costs–and causing that unfortunate draft in the kitchen as well.
When selecting a new window and finishing the work, there are a few city regulations you’ll need to take into consideration, as well as some best practices that can make sure you get the most energy-efficient product, and hopefully save some money as well. Here’s a briefing on window replacement in Elgin, from selecting a contractor to applying to rebates.
Window Contractor Requirements in Elgin
While you’re not required to use a contractor in Elgin for repair work you to do your home, if you haven’t tried your hand at a window replacement before, it’s a good idea to use one, especially if you’ll be enlarging the wall surrounding the window as a part of your repair.
Of course, picking out a contractor can be difficult–after all, this is your home and your family’s safety we’re talking about. The first thing to check is licensing–always select contractors that are licensed to do the work you require. You can also check with the city to make sure there are no outstanding debts in the contractor’s name. And lastly, ask any contractors that interest you for references. This should give you a more accurate idea of whether or not your potential candidates can be trusted.
Applying for Window Permits in Elgin
In Elgin, the city requires permits based on the size and scope of the project. If you are making a direct replacement of the window, for instance, you may not need to file for one at all; however, permits are required for many small projects in the city. The best way to be sure that your replacement is legal is to describe your plans to a city official at the Elgin Community Development office, located at 150 Dexter Ct., Elgin, IL 60120. An employee will let you know whether or not your repair or upgrade requires you to apply.
A copy of the residential small projects permit application is available here if you’d like to review it before you stop into the office. Note that if you’ll be using a contractor to complete the work, you’ll need to have that person selected before you fill out the form.
Window Requirements in Elgin
Elgin follows the state’s Energy Conservation Code, which sets forth some restrictions for the kinds of windows that can be installed in your area. Mostly this boils down to a single measurement, the windows’ U-factor, which indicates how well the windows you’ve selected will insulate your home. In Kane County, windows are required to have a U-factor that measures at least 0.32 (the lower the U-factor, the better the windows are at insulating). You’ll be able to find the windows’ U-factor and other specifications on the labeling or brochure that accompanies them.
However, that’s just the minimum U-factor your windows can have to be considered up-to-code in the city. If you’re really interested in keeping your home heated and saving money on your energy bills, however, you may want to consider a window with an even lower rating. Windows that are certified by the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program are generally a good choice, for instance. The ENERGY STAR certification means that they’ve been tested for maximum energy efficiency.
Of course, after you’ve spent a winter in Elgin, you know that heating isn’t your only concern. Wind speeds here can easily reach over 25 mph during a good blow, and so the city has added an additional requirement that windows be approved for wind speeds of 90 mph. This should be listed along with the manufacturer’s specs, as well.
Window Inspections in Elgin
When you receive your building permit, you will be given a handout describing the city’s basic code and inspection requirements, which can vary depending on the scope of your project. To schedule an inspection, contact the Community Development office after the work is completed. You’ll need to make the permit, the manufacturer’s specifications, and any other pertinent documentation available to the inspector when he or she comes to visit.
Insulation and Window Care in Elgin
Your windows’ U-factor isn’t the only way to reduce heat loss, of course. Windows also need to be properly insulated, as well, to cut back on phantom drafts and save energy and money, too. In Elgin, the right insulation is a legal requirement, too. Due to the area’s cold weather, the city requires all window frames to meet an insulation measurement, or what’s know as an R-factor. In Elgin, the R-factor must be rated at 20 or higher.
You’ll also see the least heat loss if your windows are properly caulked, as well. The caulk should be applied in a neat, smooth bead around the window glass. Meanwhile, the windows’ moving parts should be sealed with weatherstripping.
Rebates and Incentives in Elgin
While Elgin doesn’t provide any residential rebates for window upgrades, homeowners who purchase ENERGY STAR products can still see a return of up to $200 by applying for a federal rebate along with their taxes. The incentive is worth up to ten percent of the cost of the upgrade. You can apply by filing form 5695 along with your taxes.