Doors, windows ensure home's comfort
The next time we have a chilly day, consider sitting on the floor inside your home, particularly in the places where your children and grandchildren like to play, and see if you feel cold breezes infiltrating from outdoors.
If you can feel a chill, consider what that heat loss/cold air invasion will do to your family's heating bills this winter.
Iver Johnson Sr., owner of American Thermal Window of Chicago and Sahara Window and Doors of Mount Prospect, is a former Chicago police officer who has been providing windows and doors to Chicago-area homeowners for 37 years. Both stores have retained their individual names, but the two showrooms function as the same company with identical offerings and crews that skillfully install a variety of products in single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and commercial properties.
Johnson said most people think of a front door giving visitors their first impression of the home and providing security. But it, like a home's windows, should also provide a wind break to keep cold breezes outside and heated air inside.
Fiberglass is a common modern choice for outside doors because it is very durable, Johnson said, but his two companies also offer nationally recognized Simpson Doors that are made of solid oak, birch, cherry, poplar and other woods, produced in America. Doors that must be fire-rated, however, (like those between a garage and a home) must be metal and the showrooms also sell those.
American Thermal Window and Sahara Window and Doors often open exterior walls or enlarge existing windows (in homes with all types of exteriors) in order to allow the installation of patio door systems. They offer 58 different door styles with 36 standard paint and stain combinations and more than 200 custom glass options. Custom colors are also possible, as are security doors with decorative wrought iron, lock guards and nonremovable hinges for those who like the New Orleans look or are worried about their safety. The wrought iron doors come with screens for air flow and mail slots, too.
Johnson's two companies also offer and install custom patio doors. Custom cuts, designer glass and designer grids are readily available. Steel security storm doors are also part of the inventory for unbeatable protection, as are garden windows for growing plants, windows with blinds between the panes and fashionable doors with decorative glass options.
"As for windows, the manufacturers are continually upgrading their products. Today's windows, which are generally available in wood, vinyl and aluminum, have much higher energy ratings than those being replaced, of course, so they save on heating and cooling costs," Johnson said.
Windows also act as "ambassadors to your home and family." Eye-catching bay, picture and other specialty windows add personality to a home while also keeping the interior of the home comfortable. His companies carry nine window lines, including Marvin, Pella and Andersen.
"We only offer the best. If it isn't up to our standards, we don't carry it," Johnson said.
Johnson cautioned that homeowners shopping for replacement windows and doors need to do their homework before choosing someone to supply those new windows and doors and then install them.
"You want to choose a company that makes sure your improvement project is completed to expectation, from the point of choosing the most suitable items with the help of knowledgeable reps, to the installation," he explained. "We only use our own very experienced installation crews and almost all of our manufacturers offer lifetime warranties."
When you contract with a company it should also have a long track record and high standing on rating services like Angie's List and Yelp.
"You can't purchase those ratings. They have to be earned. We have been awarded with the Angie's List's Super Service Award for several years in a row and have exceptional ratings from Yelp, Google and the Better Business Bureau. Those ratings reflect the way our customers feel about us," Johnson said.
"At American Thermal and Sahara, we all understand what it is to own a home, so we are easily able to relate to our customers," Johnson said. "We strive to make sure our customers receive a positive experience from beginning to end, from their initial phone call, to their interaction with the sales rep and the showroom staff, to their experience with the installation crews. We want nothing but positive experiences!"
Delivery times depend on the order's complexity, so if you want new doors or windows before winter, make your choices soon, Johnson said. But keep in mind that his crews do work year-round "because we are capable of doing all of the windows in an average house in a day without causing undue temperature fluctuations." So even if the snow flies early, your installations can be done.
All of Johnson's installation crews are employed directly by American Thermal Window and Sahara Window and Doors and are highly trained and held to exacting standards. They always arrive in company trucks and the average installer has a minimum of 12 years of experience, he said.
Incidentally, Johnson's firms also have a good following with condominium and townhouse associations because they are willing to attend association meetings at no charge. They also offer a wide variety of fire-rated windows and doors for mid- to high-rise residential buildings and commercial properties, as well as gutter guards for residential properties.
The American Thermal Window showroom is located at 5304 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago and the Sahara Window and Doors showroom is located at 150 S. Main St. in Mount Prospect.
"We encourage people to come in to one of our showrooms and see our displays," he said. "There is always someone to serve you."
For more information, call (847) 259-9099 or (773) 774-3131 or visit www.americanthermalwindow.com or www.saharawindowanddoors.com.