17 August 2011

Windows: The Eyes Of The Home

 Yes, that's lichen and hordes of dead, dusty Asian lady beetles piling up on the window ledge.  Eww, gross.
There was no doubt when we scouted out this lovely farm that each and every window was going to have to be replaced.  They were wood framed, some even single pane and all wasting away with rot.
There wasn't the slightest gust of wind that didn't seep through the seams, howling as it entered.  It wasn't a problem in the summer so much as the winter when it chilled the house as we huddled in our makeshift bedroom, desperately trying to stay warm.  Even before we moved into our house in May 2008, we were up replacing a window to appease the appraiser.
 We left the stickers on the window for a while to boast that there was indeed one new thing in the old house.  Phew!  One thing done, a million to go...
So far, we've put in twelve windows, filled in four and bought the last two, which are patiently awaiting being framed in, then we'll be finished!  I thought I'd never say that.  Of course, since the previous windows were such a long, narrow shape, the siding is next on the list for outside items.  I don't think our house is too attractive with the foam insulation exposed.
The above windows were replaced (the light blue around it is the insulation), the three windows on the front will be replaced with the last two recently purchased windows and there, Jack's about to fill in the east window with plywood.  It'll be painted with tar, covered with siding on the outside and insulated on the inside.  In case you're wondering, yeah, it's a lot of work.  A lot.
Jack makes replacing windows look so easy--just pop out the old ones . . .

. . . and shove in the new windows!  The dining room window had to be shifted over since the previous window was too snug against the new stairs and was off center in the room.  It's much, much better now.
The living room had two windows side by side to give the illusion of one big window.  I'm sure they were beautiful when they were new but by the time we arrived, were ready to be scrapped.
After it's out, it's just a matter of either framing it in, making sure it's level and sticking in the window OR filling it in with plywood.

It's a shame to lose a window because it cuts out the natural light and any chance for a breeze from that direction but it also helps save on heating costs because it's one less place for any precious warmth to escape.
This window in the living room may very well be my favorite.  It was originally $350 and on clearance for $125.  They accidentally rang it up at the register for $25 and by the time we discovered the mistake (Our total was that much that we didn't notice a $100 difference--ouch!), we called and they said not to bother.  A beautiful, double pane, Energy Star window for $25?!  Score!
A new window gives the house a whole new perspective.  The old windows were like eyes with cataracts.  They clouded and limited what I could view.  Now, instead of looking at the window and seeing only its cracks and imperfections and foggy, smudged panes, I look through the crystal clear glass and observe the beautiful world beyond.


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