Life in Westmont
Just 18 miles west of the Chicago loop, the village of Westmont is a great place to live and raise a family. Westmont residents can enjoy both the quiet of a nice suburb and access to work opportunities in Chicago just a short commute away.
After the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was completed in 1864, the once rural community of Westmont, Illinois was totally transformed. Farmers could now make a living selling produce and milk to citizens of Chicago. Other residents were able to commute to the big city for work.
The village also played a key role in rebuilding the city of Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. William Gregg established Excelsior Brick Company in Westmont in 1872, taking advantage of the railroad to deliver bricks to Chicago contractors looking to rebuild the ruined structures of the city. The brick factory was known to make 70,000 bricks each day while employing only 120 laborers.
The village was officially incorporated in November 1921, and today is home to about 24,000 people.
School and Home Life in Westmont
Westmont is served by six public school districts. with several elementary, middle, and high schools in each district. Most high school students attend Westmont High School, which has been ranked in the top 5% of schools in the nation.
Housing stock in Westmont is fairly diverse, and can be broken down into four categories:
- Category 1: Roughly 38% of homes in Westmont are high-value/high-cost properties. These are low-density, single family homes with premium architecture and high-quality features. Most of the homes in this category are still in great shape due to of quality construction and regular maintenance. Many of these homeowners opt for more luxurious roofing materials such as cedar shake or synthetic slate, along with copper gutters for curb appeal.
- Category 2: Post-war housing stock makes up about 29% of homes in Westmont. These low-density, single-family homes were built between 1940 and 1959 and are occupied largely by senior citizens. Because the majority of these homes are owned by their residents, the burden of maintenance for this housing category is much higher than those in surrounding areas. These residents may benefit from a roof maintenance program with a membership option to ensure proper care for their roof (as well as protection for the rest of the home).
- Category 3: About 22% of houses in Westmont were built between 1960 and 1979. This category of housing stock is very similar to category 2, but with a large percentage of renters as occupants. While not as old as the second category, these homes likely already need a full roof replacement. To preserve these homes and prevent them from further declining in value, regular maintenance is necessary.
- Category 4: There is a small percentage of houses (roughly 11%) that were built between 1980 and 1999. These are also low-density, single-family homes. While these homes may still be in good shape, some repairs may be required (depending on the actual condition of the property). The best way for homeowners to understand ongoing roof maintenance needs is to order a roof inspection or join a roof maintenance program.
Things to Do In Westmont
There’s plenty of places to have fun in Westmont, including multiple shopping areas, restaurants, parks, and historical sites. It’s come a long way from brick factories and farms!
Here are the most notable places to visit in town:
- Cass Avenue – Bisecting the city north to south, Cass Avenue is truly the city center in both geography and commercial activity. On either side of the Westmont Metra station, there are several clusters of restaurants, bars, and other shops that both tourists and residents enjoy.
- Uncle Bub’s BBQ – This local family-owned BBQ restaurant and catering service has been in operation since 1997. It’s also the winner of several BBQ awards and has been featured on multiple television networks.
- Ty Warner Park – This large local park features a splash zone, a disc golf course, playgrounds, and several sports facilities with concession stands.
- Gregg House Museum – Originally built in 1872 by brickmaker/industrialist William L. Gregg, this house was relocated in 1977 and transformed into a local history museum. The location is open Sunday and Wednesday afternoons for lectures about local history.
- Graue Mill & Museum – Built in 1852 by the Graue family, this is one of two grist mills in the area still in operation. The family members were opponents of slavery and used the building as a stop on the Underground Railroad of the 1850s and 60s. Today, you can take a tour and see the mill in action, while learning about the building’s place in history.
Weather in Westmont is mostly pleasant, but can run quite hot or cold depending on the time of year. During the summer, the climate is hot with steady rain for the entire season. July is the hottest month of the year, with an average high of 83°F. Humidity during summer is rated as “muggy or worse” about 42% of the time during the season, with little wind.
Winters are cold, dry, and often snowy. Starting in December, snow falls consistently until it reaches its peak average of about 4.2 inches in February. In addition to low humidity and overcast skies, winters in Westmont are also windy. January features an average of 13.5 mph winds all month, and is also the coldest month with an average low of 18°F.
The clearest days in Westmont tend to be in the fall, when cloudy days are least common and rain is less frequent. Westmont often reaches its driest point in January, until rain picks up again in spring. From there, rain continues to be more frequent until June (the rainiest month on average).
Westmont’s combination of rain, snow, and wind across distinct seasons in can quickly decay a home’s roof if it is not properly installed and maintained. It’s important for residents to connect with a trustworthy local roofing contractor to ensure their roof is in good shape and will last for many years to come.