Our Answers to Clients' Most Frequently Asked Questions

Windows & Doors

Is the company you are going to hire insured?

If you hire a company that doesn’t have insurance, you are liable if someone gets hurt. That includes their workers. For example if one of their workers injures themself with a power tool on your property and the contractor you hire does not have workman’s comp or liability insurance, that worker can come back on you. Always hire a professional and ask for proof of insurance.

Will you provide references?

Sutton’s can provide literally hundreds of references. We can provide references based on the type of work too. For example, you can talk to a customer that purchased a roof from us if you are looking for a roof.

Are there warranties provided for my windows?

We offer our own two year workmanship warranty. That means if we installed something incorrectly, we will come back out and fix the problem. The reason we offer two years is because you will notice the problem immediately in most cases and we like to give you plenty of time. The company that manufactures our windows for us does offer a warranty on their products. In most cases, the warranty is a limited lifetime warranty that includes the entire window. A copy of the warranty is always available for our customers.

What is the difference between a full-frame (or new construction) window and a pocket replacement window?

A Full Frame replacement is quite literally what the name implies. A “pocket window” will typically slide into the existing frame without disturbing the trim around the window inside. Many times a pocket window is installed from the outside. A full frame window replacement means the existing frame and sashes that the window is attached to are removed and replaced. In many cases there is a nailing fin around the perimeter of the new window that attaches to the exterior wall with nails or screws. For proper installation of a full frame replacement, flashing tape should be used on the perimeter of the window on the exterior wall. Insulation should be installed in the cavities around the window on the inside. The tape flashing cannot be checked unless the exterior surface around the window can be accessed. The same is true with the cavity around the window inside the home. This cannot be checked unless the interior trim (casing) is removed to access the area. These are very important points to consider when replacing your windows. New windows will not hold out drafts if they were installed wrong initially without flashing tape and proper insulation.


Full frame window installation replaces the existing window frame and sashes. To do this, the previous frame, sashes, screen and trim have to be removed in order to make way for the new full frame window. Usually this can be done with a utility knife, screwdrivers, pry bar, hammer, putty knife, and circular saw, depending on your existing window.

What's the best way to replace windows: full-frame or pocket window installation?

If you are worried about the windows not being properly flashed outside and not properly insulated on the inside, then a full frame replacement is recommended. Full frame replacements are more expensive as they are more labor intensive.

Can I replace my windows in phases?

You can replace your windows in phases if you prefer. Sutton’s will get the measurements of all the windows so when you are ready to order we have the proper measurements. We will also keep the order numbers on file so that we can get the exact same window and accessories when you are ready to install more.

Should I replace all my windows at once?

There is nothing that says you should replace your windows all at once. It is really about personal preference. Replacing windows in your home can be a disruption however as window coverings and furniture will have to be relocated during the process. Plus, there is a certain degree of dust that will be in the air. If you wish to minimize the disruption then perhaps doing all the windows at once is preferred although not necessary.

What makes a window energy efficient?

There are many factors that contribute to a window’s energy efficiency. One is the material and components of which the window is manufactured. For example our vinyl windows with insulated cavities are more efficient than wood and aluminum frame windows. The double panes provide insulation. So does the argon gas that fills the space between the panes. Plus, there is a UV coating on the glass itself that provides protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Then there are things like weather stripping and proper insulation around the window that provide the final layers of energy efficiency. So it’s multiple factors combined.

What makes a door energy efficient?

Just like in a window, what the door is made of will determine the energy efficiency. Our doors are made from either steel or fiberglass and the cavity is filled with insulation that is similar to the insulation you would find in a refrigerator door. Our doors are energy star rated based on the standards that are set forth by the federal government. In most cases, our doors and windows are the highest rated products available based on energy star ratings.

How are windows and doors priced?

Windows and Doors are priced based on the material they are made of, the glass package ordered, and the accessories. For example, an inexpensive contractor grade window for new construction that is white on the inside and white on the outside and offers no extras is going to be priced less than the same size window with a black exterior and wood grain interior, argon filled glass and a surgical steel spacer system that doesn’t get cold or hot, with brass hardware. Like anything, you get what you pay for. A window or door with all of the available options is going to cost more than a basic window with no options or upgrades.

Does Sutton’s manufacture the windows and doors?

We do not manufacture our windows and doors. Instead, we order them from a supplier. ProVia is one such supplier. They are based in Ohio and incorporate Amish craftsmanship in their products. Sutton’s will help you determine exactly what you need, measure the openings in your home, then order the products according to your specifications. We will then install the products to factory specifications and tolerances. Then finally, we offer a guarantee right along with the warranties and guarantees that are offered by ProVia.

How do you measure for replacement windows and doors?

 We measure twice. The first time we measure is when we are there to present you with a contract to replace your windows. The second time is right before we order your new windows from the factory. We have to pay the factory for the windows that we measure wrong, not you. So it is in our best interest to make sure the measurements are correct. We have one of our installers come out to measure the second time. This is a person who has installed windows for years and knows exactly what measurement the window or door needs to be in order for there to be a tight professional installation.

What's the difference between new construction and replacement windows?

The primary difference is that a new construction window has a nailing fin around the perimeter and is affixed to the exterior wall. Replacement windows are typically installed using the existing window frame. Sometimes this results in a decreased viewing area.

How does the replacement process work?

One of our estimators will come out to your home and measure your windows. They will present you with a price based on all of the options you are requesting. Then, a re-measure date will be established. One of our installers will come out and re-measure the windows before they are ordered from the factory. Once they are ordered you can expect between 4-6 weeks in a normal production schedule before the windows are delivered to our warehouse. Once we receive the windows and inspect for any issues, we will schedule an installation date that is convenient and get them installed.

How long will replacement work take?

Full frame window replacements always take a bit longer than pocket replacements. Each window job presents a different set of challenges. That being said, most pocket windows can be replaced in less than an hour. Full frame replacements vary depending on whether or not the casing is included but will typically take longer to replace.

What should I do to prepare for the replacement day?

We recommend that you move furniture completely out of the way and cover anything in the room that you do not want to get dusty. Removing windows can be dirty work at times. We like to make sure that our customer’s property is properly cared for.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions and can't reach my rep?

One key difference between Sutton’s and  many contractors is that we have a front office that is open from 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. We have a live person answer the phone at that time rather than an answering service or voicemail box.


How long have you been in business?

Sutton’s started roofing homes in 1946 and has been roofing ever since.

How local is your business?

The Sutton family still owns Sutton’s. They still work in the business on a daily basis. There is no outside ownership interest. It’s all locally owned and operated. It has been that way since 1946.

What jobs do you have that I can go see?

 We have as many as 20 different job sites going at any one time. With permission from our customer, we can give you an address and let you meet one of our project managers onsite at any of our active job sites.

Who, exactly, will be installing my roof? Are they employees or subcontractors?

We utilize both employees and subcontractors depending on the trade. In the case of our subcontractors, they work for us exclusively and no other company. They are required to have all of the proper insurances, sign an agreement stating their ability and willingness to address any issues, and operate with total integrity. Our subcontractors are our responsibility and it is our name on the contract. You do not have to worry about dealing with anyone but Sutton’s.

What training and experience does the crew have? Have they been trained by the manufacturer?

Sutton’s is a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor. That is a distinction that only 3% of roofing contractors nationwide achieve. That means that we have demonstrated financial responsibility, have the proper insurance, install roofs to factory specifications, and have the required amount of factory certified inspections. Our crews have to train to factory specifications and receive annual training that is both classroom and on an actual roof.

What past customers can I talk to?

We have hundreds of referrals for you to contact. We have an active list at the office and can connect you with as many as you would like to contact.

When would you be able to schedule my job?

Typically we can get to your roof in 2-4 weeks. There are different circumstances that change that due to availability. For example, if there is a storm in the area that causes a surge then the timeline will get pushed back to accommodate. In every situation, we will secure your roof to prevent damage until we can come out and replace it. That is something we offer all customers with a signed contract in place.

How long will my project take?

Roofing jobs are figured in squares. A roofing square is a 10’ x 10’ area. For an average sized home that is 25 sq, our crew can typically get that done in a single day. There are different variables at play of course that can add to the time. A really steep roof, or a roof with more cuts than another for instance, can cause delays. Typically our crew is in and out in a day or two. We are fast and efficient. Larger roofs take longer and your project manager can give you a much better idea of estimated completion. 

Do you have proper licensing and certification? Insurance? Workers’ Comp? Please show me proof of these things.

Yes! We have all of it and can offer you a copy of our policies at any time upon request. Never hire a roofer that is not properly insured because the liability shifts to the homeowner in Illinois. Meaning that if someone gets hurt on your property, you are liable for damages if the contractor you hired  does not have proper insurance.

Is a building permit required for my project, and if so, will you be pulling one?

Building permits are not always required in certain municipalities. In the municipalities where they are required, yes, we do pull the proper permit in order to be in full compliance with the local authorities.

What steps do you take for the safety of your workers?

 Our roofers are supposed to be harnessed for their safety at all times. Proper OSHA procedures are required on all job sites. Our crews have the training needed to operate a safe job site. If you have a concern, please contact the project manager immediately and any issue you have can be addressed on the spot.

What steps do you take to ensure the safety of my home and my family?

With regard to our crews, we conduct background checks and drug testing. With regard to property, we take every precaution necessary to protect property. For example we will move lawn furniture out of the way and place tarps over items that can’t be moved. We will set the dumpster on roller skates (or OSB) to protect your driveway to the best of our ability. We will pick up nails with a magnet to the best of our ability and make sure all debris is in the dumpster at the end of each work day. Our crews are always conscientious and responsible. 

Why do I have to be there for the estimate?

We do not drop off estimates. We like to make sure our customer fully  understands the differences in the products, installation, and warranty. All roofing companies are not equal. We like to educate and then deliver excellence.

Why do you have to meet with the owner.

We like to meet with the decision maker to save time. We are very busy serving customers that want to buy from us. We want to make them a priority.

How do you measure the roof?

We measure your roof using satellite imagery and software. The company we use most often is Hover. Their reports are very accurate and we are able to determine costs very efficiently. We will provide you with the  report on your house upon completion and full payment of a contract at no charge.

Do metal roofs last longer than asphalt shingle roofs?

There is no proof of this. It is still too early to know. Some of the metal roofing suppliers and manufacturers will not offer a warranty on their products. Whereas GAF, our shingle manufacturer, offers a fifty year warranty on the shingle itself. Our preference is shingle roofs.

Do you use Hispanic roofing crews?

We utilize some Hispanic roofing crews with pride. Our crews are the best in the business and we prefer not to do business with those that have a problem with other human beings based on their nationality or color of their skin.

Where do the guys go to the bathroom?

Our crews will either have a portable toilet in their trailer or leave the job site during a break to go and use a public bathroom nearby. Our crews will never enter your home and use your bathroom.

Why is there extra materials lying in my driveway? Will you credit my account back for those extra materials.

We typically order more than we need when we are doing certain projects. That is because being short can cost us dearly by not getting the job done on time. That can interrupt our schedule and cause a chain reaction of issues. Our suppliers will take the extra materials back. You were not charged extra for the extra materials therefore there is no need for a credit.

Is Sutton’s a union contractor?

No, we are not union contractors. We have respect for the unions in the area and recognize the service they provide their members. We take care of our employees with competitive compensation, a benefits package, paid time off, and performance bonuses. When required, we pay prevailing wage in accordance with the local guidelines and ordinances. Sutton’s plays by the rules in every area. 


What are the pros and cons with the various siding materials?

We only install Vinyl siding. We do not install wood, or fiber cement products. Our reasoning is simple. Vinyl lasts the longest and is the most maintenance free. It doesn’t require extra labor and we can warranty all of the vinyl products that  we install on any home.

What color options are available? What if I choose to go with a customized color?

We have hundreds of colors to pick from. We can provide you with a color swatch or actual siding samples for you to see and touch. Customized colors typically come with a premium charge that is passed on from the manufacturer. Their reasoning is that the premium colors require premium resins and color combinations during manufacturing which takes more time and money to produce. 

Do you have any visualizer tools to help me decide before installation on designs?

We can provide you with a 3D rendering of your home in which you can play with colors, styles, and profiles at your leisure on your device. This service does not cost you a thing and can be downloaded from our website, courtesy of Hover.

How do I go about cleaning/maintaining the siding? How often do I need to do this?

Although vinyl siding is virtually maintenance free, it does require a gentle wash every few years to keep it looking good. Vinyl siding can develop a chalky film over time. That is hard to remove with a garden hose. We recommend environmentally safe chemicals and a power washer. If you do not feel comfortable with power washing equipment, we recommend that you hire a professional power washing company. (Like Petersburg Power Washing in Springfield IL)

When is payment expected and what is the schedule?

 We require a deposit of at least 33% to get started with a contract. Typically, we require the remainder immediately upon completion unless otherwise stated in the contract. 

In your estimate, will you itemize each cost? Will you separate material costs from labor charges?

No, we do not itemize each cost on our estimates. Instead, we offer a per square price for roofing and siding that incorporates the labor, material, and cost of doing business in the price.

How long will the project take from start to finish?

Typically our crews are in and out of an average sized home siding project in less than a week. Many different factors contribute to the estimated completion time. The type of siding, the condition of the existing substrate, the amount of cuts, how high it is, what if any obstacles are we working with, weather, etc.

How are repairs to the walls handled?

We do not offer siding repairs of any kind unless we installed the siding for the customer. Meaning, we do not take repair jobs. We do not fix other people’s mistakes. Instead, we guarantee our own projects with our customers and provide any type of repair that our workmanship may have caused. In the event of damage because of a fire or storm, we would work with the insurance company for total replacement. Also, it’s important to note, just because Sutton’s installed siding in the past, we are only able to fix items for customers that purchased from us directly.

Besides siding material, what else will you be replacing? i.e., trim, soffit, eaves

We can replace everything on the exterior of your home. Often when new siding is installed, we install new fascia, soffit, gutters, etc. We always recommend this because new materials that are affixed to old never look right. We like to make this point to customers so they are happy with the end result.

Who is responsible for any waste leftover from the job? What if I find nails in my lawn after you leave?

Our crews are responsible for final clean up. All of the materials will be placed in the dumpster. If we missed something, which does happen on occasion, please call your project manager so the problem can be taken care of immediately.


How long has your company been in business?

We have been in business since 1946.

Are you licensed, registered, and insured?

We play by the rules in every area. That is why we are not as cheap as some contractors. Doing things right costs more money. But it is worth it in the end because you and everyone else is protected. Yes, we are licensed in the areas we are required to have a license and can provide copies of insurance policies at any time. 

What do you recommend for my project?

Our decks are made utilizing a Design Build process. We offer a free consultation initially. Then, you are presented with a verbal estimate on approximately what the deck you want will cost to produce. If our verbal estimate is agreeable, then you are presented with a Design Build contract and required to submit a deposit so we can get started on the plans.

Do you have experience working with the deck material I’m interested in?

We have experience working with all types of decking material. We can make recommendations based on how you want the deck to perform and how you intend to use it.

Can you provide me with references?

Yes! We have pages of references for you to contact. We always ask our customers permission to be added to the referral list so they are not caught off guard. Luckily, hundreds of them have agreed.

Can I see a portfolio of completed projects?

Yes, we can show you pictures. Many of our pictures are on our Facebook Page. Also, you can ask your rep for more pictures of specific projects.

Can you share examples of how you’ve handled problems that came up with past projects?

Problems occur. We are not perfect. What we do offer is a project manager that is responsible for your satisfaction. Each project manager has stories of how they had to overcome a challenging situation and what  their approach is to doing so.

What warranties do you offer on the material?

The synthetic products do have warranties and we can provide you with that information. Treated lumber does not offer a warranty. The only warranty you would have in place with treated lumber would be our two year workmanship guarantee.

Will you handle getting the proper permit for my project?

 In areas where permits are required, yes, we secure the proper permit in accordance with the local rules and ordinances.

Can you give me an estimate for the time it will take to complete my project?

Weather is the biggest variable and unfortunately we cannot accurately predict the weather. This includes having our schedule delayed before we start your project and then the weather events during your project. Typically, based on the plans alone, your project manager will have a pretty good idea on the timeline

Can you commit to an end date (or, at least, a range of time)?

We do not commit to end dates due to factors beyond our control. For instance, if we can’t get a certain material because of supply shortages, or if the weather delays progress, then we are at a loss. For these reasons and others, we do not guarantee an end date. 

Home Remodeling

Kitchens, Bathrooms, and Room Additions

How long have you been in business under the same business name?

We have modified our business name over the years but we have been family owned since 1946. We started as “Sutton Roofing & Siding” in 1946. Then modified our name to include remodeling in the 1970’s, as “Sutton Siding and Remodeling.” Then in 2010, we decided to simplify and rebrand as simply, “Sutton’s.”

What is your project estimation process?

We offer a free consultation. In that consultation we will try and understand what your wants and needs are. Then, we will offer you a verbal estimate range that is based on our experience and similar projects. Then, we will present you with a Design Build contract and collect a deposit. Once those items are in place we begin work on the plans and selections. Once those items are agreed upon we get you on the schedule and start your project.

Is your project price based on time and materials or is it a fixed cost bid?

We base everything on time and materials. We do not go back and add things to the original contract without your consent and approval. So our estimate doesn’t change in the process. That is why it’s very important for our estimators to be as precise as possible.

Do you have an accounting department and experts to ensure the project costs are accurate?

We do have a cost estimating department that handles all of the sourcing of materials and estimates on the different trades and phases of the project. 

How detailed are your renovation agreements and what do they cover?

The entire job will be spelled out in your contract. The only variables may be presented in terms of allowances. For example, light fixtures may be something that you select at a vendor location. You would be given a fixed allowance based on the existing contract.

Can you describe your planning and permitting process and how it impacts the project timeline?

Once your contract is signed, your job is placed into our schedule. In construction, delays happen for various reasons. We try and plan some buffer days to accommodate for supply or labor shortages. We have a full time scheduler whose sole responsibility it is to keep the schedule moving.

How large a deposit do you require up front before the project begins?

We require up to 50% down at the time of signing. Our reason is simple, we don’t want to order materials or have a bunch of time on something that we don’t get paid for. Typically covering initial costs is what we prefer. Special arrangements can be made for multiple trade jobs. 

Do you or we need to hire outsourced design or do you have that talent and expertise in house?

We absolutely have the talent in house and you will not be required to retain the services of another designer at any point unless it is something that is completely outside of our expertise.

How do you understand the needs, wants, and wishes of the homeowner and translate them into an ideal renovation project that meets all of their needs?

Communication. That is the short answer. We put everything in writing. That way both parties can operate from the same agreement.

How will you help me visualize the outcome of my renovation project?

We have design software that we can utilize to present you with a 3D picture of your project before we get started.

What percent of your projects are completed on time and how do you know they did?

None of the remodeling projects that we contracted during Covid were completed on time. That was due to supply chain issues that were very well documented. Outside of the pandemic, most of our projects finish on time. Delays are typically caused by customer initiated change orders.

What percentage of your project comes in on budget as set at the beginning of the project?

We pride ourselves on doing exactly what we say we are going to do. We don’t add costs to our scope. Instead, we take all of it into consideration on the front end and do a thorough job of investigating all costs of materials and labor at that point.

How do you define allowances for the purchase of materials in a renovation project and how do you know they are sufficient?

We have had to work with the insurance industry in renovations for years. One of the tools used for estimating is called Xactimate. Xactimate pricing is typically an indication of what items cost based on a geographic location. We are confident in our ability to price items accurately.

How do you guard against accidents on the jobsite?

Our crews are trained according to OSHA standards. We have an OSHA officer on staff. It is his sole responsibility to maintain staff training and record keeping so that we are fully compliant.

What is your communication process throughout the course of the project?

You will be assigned a project manager. Your project manager is to check in with you daily during the project. If there is no work being done daily, then a weekly status check is the expectation.

How do you communicate the project schedule and the impact of any changes and unforeseen events?

We have a full time scheduler on staff. His name is Tripp Sutton. This is his job and he does a very good job communicating with our customers the  timeline of their projects and any delays that may pop up on occasion. 

What is your change order process and how many change orders are typical during any given project?

Our change orders require customer approval and are then processed in the office as an addendum to the original contract. There is no limit on change orders although some may require payment at the time of issuance.

Do you schedule weekly meetings during production with the homeowner to discuss the project progress and planned activities?

Your project manager is assigned to your job specifically. S/he will communicate all important items surrounding your schedule, budget, challenges, etc.