George Schaaf founded Schaaf Window Company with his father, Fred, in June of 1959 and it was originally called Schaaf Glass Company. They started the company with just $1,000 each and a $10,000 loan from George’s aunt, who mortgaged her house to get them the money. George started working with a couple of employees in three garages behind his father’s home. They soon began working in a fourth garage down the ally, but people complained about the semis that were constantly coming through. Their work consisted of cutting glass for windows and mirrors, glazing windows on the jobsite, and regalzing windows. They ran their business out of George’s father’s home, with his mother answering their phone calls. Their official business address was 928 W 71st St, but this was just used to make their business official with the union.
After they had been in business for a year, they decided it was time to move to a real office and warehouse because their business was growing so much. They rented a building at 7807 S Western Ave. from a used car dealer. They made a deal with him that they could use the building and the dealer could use the lot next to it with his cars, only taking a small office in the corner of the building. At this time, they began doing glass jobs for storefronts on top of their glazing business. They continued to grow and after two years in this building they needed to move again.
By now they’ve been in business for about 3 years, and the year is 1963. This time George decided to build his own building, now in Evergreen Park at 3524 W 95th St. His father advised against constructing a brand new building, as he was very safe with his money, but he told George that if he could obtain the loan, then he could go forward and build the new building. George was able to obtain the loan, and the new building was quickly constructed. During this time the company did a large chunk of its business selling framed mirrors and medicine cabinets, and also began selling patio doors. The business continued to grow and George had to find more room for his company. He convinced the lady that lived in a house next to the building to sell to him and he then constructed a new building on that land to keep up with demand. While at this location George bought out his father, who was a 50/50 partner and decided to retire, making him the sole owner of Schaaf Glass. In 1969, George began renting a building on 93rd & Kedzie for the metal division of the company.