Forced_Entry

Secure Your Home Against Forced Entry

As the weather heats up and people begin to enjoy the outdoors again, so do the criminals. Expert criminologists have found a link between hot weather and violent crime. Whether these bad guys are irritable from the heat or just opportunists taking advantage of an empty home, you don’t want them on your property. You can prevent a forced entry before it even happens. These tested crime-prevention strategies increase your home surveillance and restrict the access of criminals.

Get a Steel Entry Door

A few months ago, this woman posted a security tip from her father to replace the door-lock screws that came with her apartment with 4-inch screws. The idea is that if a burglar tries to make a forced entry into her home, the they will make lots of noise trying to kick her door down. The noise will make the intruder nervous about being caught and they will move on to an easier target. We love the concern this father has for his daughter’s safety! If you own your home and don’t have to worry about landlords, you can take this idea one step further and get a steel entry door. Steel entry doors are a significant security improvement over hollow or wooden-core doors. It’s unlikely that the steel entry door will be kicked in, and it’s extremely hard to bend.

Get it here!

Our Paragon Steel Entry Doors are dipped in 22-gauge steel for exceptional strength and their deadlocks are rated #1 in security by the American National Standards Institute. This steel door also features a steel lock reinforcement plate on single doors with wood jambs for added protection against forced entry. Finally, the ball-bearing hinges are engineered to eliminate door sagging and increase security. The best part about this door is that you don’t have to sacrifice style for security. This steel entry door comes in 8 different woodgrain options and 21 paint finishes.

Invest in Durable Windows

When doors fail, intruders turn to windows for a quick and easy entry. Windows security is often overlooked by homeowners chasing the next high-tech digital security trend. However, upgrading your windows can be just as effective and cheaper than installing an entire security system. When you’re looking for replacement windows, keep an eye out for windows with tempered glass or laminated glass. Both of these glass options are more difficult to crack than traditional glass panes. An obvious window feature to consider is your window locks. Make sure they’re durable and visible from the outside of your home. Don’t forget to sure up security on your top floor windows as well. Burglars know that most homeowners leave these windows vulnerable, and may bring a ladder to make an easy forced entry.

Forced Entry

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Our Preservation Replacement Windows come with heavy-duty locking and operating hardware. There are dual locks on all windows 29″ or wider. If somebody does try to break into your home, we offer a Lifetime Limited Transferable Warranty that includes glass breakage. However, it’s doubtful you’ll ever see broken glass with these windows because Preservation uses double strength glass. You can choose to order your windows with tempered glass as well. Plus, we have sealed double pane and triple pane glass options that tend to make a loud “popping” sound when broken. Noise is never an intruder’s best friend.

Keep Landscaping at a Minimum

Try not to have an abundance of large trees and bushes on your property. Intruders love tall trees and bushes because they are an easy spot to hide in and they conceal the view to your front door as they try to break it down. If you do plant trees, plant them far enough away from the home that nobody can use the tree to gain access to the second floor. For added security, try planting thorny bushes under first-floor windows. Criminals looking for an easy target won’t want to climb through a rose bush to gain access to your home.

Add Fencing to Your Yard

Fencing improves your home security for obvious reasons. If an intruder can’t get through a strong and tall fence, it’ll be pretty difficult for them to rob your home. Even decorative fencing and railing can improve your home’s security. Decorative fencing may be easy to climb over, but it will make a getaway more complicated for a burglar. If an intruder is looking for an easy target, fencing may be enough to discourage them from choosing your home. Don’t forget fencing on the sides of your home and in your backyard too. If you’re building a new deck this summer, consider adding railing to deter a forced entry into your home. We recommend our Fiberon Railing because they have great lighting products. Add post side lights to your deck for extra surveillance of your exterior.

 

Illinois Replacement Roofing

Roofing Storm Damage | Avoid Illinois Storm Damage

Roofing Storm Damage Checklist

Your roof is the most likely part of your house to take on storm damage during severe weather. Hail, wind, trees and debris can seriously degrade the functionality of your roof in just one night. In Illinois, we have to be particularly cautious about wind damage during tornado season. It can be tempting to look the other way when we find a missing shingle. How important can a single shingle be?! These parts aren’t just cosmetic- they’re integral to the function of your roof. Roofing systems can’t protect your home like they’re supposed to without all of their parts. That’s why it’s important to check everything is still in place after the storm passes. Here is how to conduct your own roofing inspection after a storm:

  • Start by looking for signs of storm damage from the ground. During high winds, pieces of roofing fall off your roof and into your yard. Scan your roof for missing shingles, metal fascia or metal chimney pieces. It’s common for pieces of your roof to become dislodged where your roof meets your exterior walls. Do NOT climb on your roof to check for damage. Leave that to the professionals.
  • Next, check your attic for signs of leaking or water damage. Water damage is easily observed in the form of water stains on your ceilings and walls. If you find some, set out containers to contain the leak and call a professional immediately. You may also want to set up a dehumidifier to minimize the spread of mold.
  • Hopefully you’ll notice if a tree has fallen onto your home! But sometimes it’s hard to tell how much real damage has been done. It’s recommended that you stay out of your home until a professional can come check whether any structural damage occurred. If it has, you’ll likely need to call a general contractor instead of a professional roofer for repairs.
Replacement Roofing Illinois

GAF Timberline HD Shingles | Birchwood

Prepare for the next storm:

Maybe you should have bought some higher-quality roofing. Hindsight’s always 20/20! Now that you need replacement roofing, it’s the perfect time for an upgrade. GAF Timberline HD Shingles have Advanced Protection Shingle Technology. You won’t find a single shingle that’s as tough and flexible with outstanding wind uplift resistance and fire resistance. These shingles can stand up to 130 mph winds. That means during one of Illinois tornado seasons, your shingle can hold on during an EF2 twister! You’re unlikely to take on storm damage again, but if you’re concerned we offer a Gold Pledge Warranty for our replacement roofing. This is a lifetime warranty that covers your whole roofing system- not just your shingles. When somebody else buys your home, the warranty is transferable for free.


After you’ve checked for storm damage, your next step is to call your insurance agency. Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, replacement roofing may be covered. Peoria Siding and Window will work directly with your insurance company to review and negotiate the details of your claim to make this process as easy and simple for you as possible. Serving as your advocate when dealing with your insurance carrier is something we take seriously to help ensure you are getting the best possible products, workmanship, and overall outcome for your project.

Contractor Scams

Spot Contractor Scams Before They Happen

You’d like to think the best of people, but being too trustworthy can leave you vulnerable to contractor scams. Recently, a woman in Vanderburgh, Indiana was tricked into letting a pair of supposed “contractors” fix a leak, free of charge. When she let the pair into her home, they stole the jewelry from her bedroom.

“Homeowners can get ripped-off in a number of ways,” says Steve J. Bernas, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “The projects often carry a hefty price tag and it’s very important that consumers know who they are dealing with.”

Use these tips from the Better Business Bureau to make sure you’re always getting a reputable and trustworthy contractor.

Your contractor says: “I’m going to need a 50% deposit to get started.”

It’s normal for contractors to ask for an up-front payment before they begin a job. It ensures that you have the money to complete the project and that you’re committed to moving forward. What’s not normal is your contractor asking for more than 1/3 of the project cost in advanced payments. If you give your contractor more than ⅓ of the job in advance, you risk your contractor doing sub-par work or skipping out on the job completely. 

At Cramer Siding & Window, it’s typical for salespeople to ask for up to 1/3 of the project cost as a down-payment. We would never take advantage of our customers and our salespeople follow strict guidelines on what types of payments they can request.

Your contractor says: “We don’t need to put everything in the contract. Just take my word for it.”

You and your contractor discuss the details of your project and you’re getting along great. Your contractor is agreeing to all if your ideas and even making suggestions for add-ons! Since you’re communicating so well, you assume it doesn’t matter if not everything makes it into the written contract because you “have an understanding.” This is where you get taken advantage of. You find that the details you thought you had agreed upon aren’t being built. Your contractor tells you that those features weren’t included in the written price, and that to finish the project you’ll need to make additional payments.

Cramer Siding & Window prides itself on making sure our customers experience no cost overruns. We write new contracts for all project updates, and you will never pay more than what’s stated in our contract. When you work with us, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get and exactly what it will cost.

Your contractor says: “I can give you a cheaper price without a building permit.”

You are legally required to get a building permit for any large construction projects so that local officials can visit the project site to make sure the work meets safety requirements.

Instead, your contractor scams you by saying that he can quote you a cheaper price if you look the other way or apply for a homeowners permit. A lower price may sound good, but it means that your contractor has no obligation to meet those safety requirements. Even worse, if you went for the homeowners permit you are legally responsible to make sure your property is up to code when the inspector comes to visit.

At Cramer Siding & Window, we make it our priority to ensure that all of our installers are expertly trained and current on all of their certifications.

Your contractor says: “We ran into an unexpected problem.”

You and your contractor have already signed a contract and the project has begun. Before the project can be completed, your contractor tells you that they found some problems and the price you set together has grown substantially. Common “problems” include structural defects, termite damage or unavoidable design changes. In many cases, these problems may be legitimate. However, you should still be cautious of contractor scams that are designed to exploit your fears.

Your contractor says: “I just finished a job at your neighbor’s place and I have some extra materials…”

In this contractor scam, an unknown contractor knocks on your door and tells you they’ve just finished a project nearby. They have some extra materials (like wet cement) that can’t be stored. Instead of wasting it, they want to re-pave your driveway on the spot for a fraction of their normal price. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This deal is risky because you know nothing about the company and haven’t had time to check their references. Next year when your driveway starts cracking, they’ll be nowhere to be found.


Always work with professional installers rather than amateurs to get the job done right. Check references compulsively. Cramer Siding & Window is unique in that we employ all of our installers instead of sub-contracting to ensure we can control the quality of our services. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and strive for the most transparent policies in the industry. Don’t get duped by contractor scams. If you’d like to work with trustworthy professionals on your next project, fill out a free project estimate form here.

Home Siding

5 Renovation Projects to Make Your Small Home Feel Bigger

  1. Install More Windows

    Cramer Siding & Window - Free Estimates

    This one you might already know. More windows means more light and the illusion of more space, which will make your small home feel bigger. For added functionality, try a Bay or Bow window. The seat boards can provide extra space to display plants, books, and other decor.

    Cramer Siding & Window’s Preservation Replacement Windows are beautiful, energy efficient and come in an array of interior finishes and exterior colors, glass options, styles and designs.

  2. Transition to Blind-In Doors

    Dark drapes over your patio doors add bulk to your home and block natural light. To make it look like your home has more depth, ditch those drapes! Instead, try patio doors with blinds built right into them! You’ll save space, your home will feel bigger, and you’ll avoid finding your pets tangled up in your blinds for the hundredth time.

    Cramer Siding & Window’s Paragon Mini Blinds Collection has blinds sealed between two glass panels and no dangling cords. Our doors are Energy Star certified and customized for an exact fit.

  3. Swap to Sliding Doors

    Paragon Door

    Sliding doors are more functional for a small home because they maximize the amount of space you have for furniture placement. If your doors swing inward, you have to make sure that nothing stands in the way of their movement which limits the amount of usable space in your home.

    Our Illuminations™ Patio Doors by Preservation are designed to provide full, unobstructed views of the outside. A weathertight fit and powerful build provide energy savings.

  4. Opt for a White Kitchen

    There’s a reason white kitchens are trending in interior design for 2017. White makes a small home look bigger by reflecting light and the color’s simple elegance never goes out of style. Lucky for you, white is a standard color for most kitchen appliances and cabinetry. But if you’re looking for a little more flair for your counters, some say quartz is having a moment, too.

    Our sister company, Woodfront Kitchen can reface your kitchen cabinets with beautiful, Amish-made Kiln Dried Wood in hundreds of wood, stain, frame and center panel options. There are countless quartz options for your countertops, but my favorite white quartz styles are Dovedale and Torquay.

  5. Convert Your Tub to a Glass-Walled Shower

    It’s tricky to find space in your bathroom because you can’t exactly remove your tub or your toilet. What you can do is convert your traditional bathtub to a glass-walled shower. A shower has a lower threshold than a bathtub, and won’t visually divide space the same way. Glass walls in your shower will make your small bathroom look bigger by adding depth.

    Our sister company, Custom Bath Solutions specializes in tub-to-shower conversions and we can customize your new shower in a variety of finishes. We can even install a seat in your shower if you’re worried you’ll miss the luxury of lounging in a tub.