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I can see clearly now [Apr. 24th, 2012|12:01 am]
When we bought our house, we knew it needed some work. And by "some", I mean "tons". The original list I made of things we need to do to the house as soon as possible included "replace windows". At the time I made that list, the windows in question were the two in Middle Daughter's room. By the time we got around to that particular item on the list - last week - the windows in question were "all of them".

For those who haven't been following along from the beginning, we bought this house eleven years ago. As you may have guessed, my interpretation of as soon as possible is somewhat flexible. Mostly because the house kept coming up with things that weren't on my list. Things like roofs, and water heaters, and level foundations, and total copper repipes.

At the time we bought the house, we needed to replace the windows in Middle Daughter's room because one of them was bowed, and one was cracked. Because I planned on replacing them as soon as possible, we slapped some duck tape on the crack and called it a day. (And really, decade sounds a bit like day, right?) So for the last ten or so years, her window has looked like this:

Attractive, no? The fact that it's on the front of the house just makes it that much more special.

And really, the windows were mostly fine for years. And then all of a sudden, it's like the house got all snippy about the broken window and decided to force my hand. One morning I lowered the shades in the den and noticed a crack in the top pane. Right as I was wondering how long it had been there, why I had never noticed it before, and how it got there, I heard a smack and a chunk of glass went flying across the room. A bird had flown into the window and knocked out a plate-sized piece of the glass. The bird flew off, dazed, and I flew to Lowe's and bought some plexiglass. So the window in the den looked like this:

Classy, yes? A bit more discreet than the duck tape, although since this window is also on the front of the house maybe I should have stuck with the tape and called it a decorating choice.

About this time, I started pricing windows. It was depressing. A month or so later, a stray cat in the yard caught Molly's eye, and she decided to chase it - a decision complicated somewhat by the fact that Molly was in the house at the time.

I was out of duck tape, and the glass wasn't actually missing, so I didn't buy plexiglass. Instead, I grabbed some masking tape from the junk drawer and did a quick field dressing, figuring I would assess the real damage later. Later, like as soon as possible, is a fluid concept. (Have I mentioned that I'm bad with time?) So, for the last year or so, the living room window has looked like this:

It just keeps getting better, right? At least this window faces the back of the house.

But the house wasn't done with me yet. This past winter, when we had a cold snap, The Boy complained that he was cold at night. Since none of our windows were really snug, I figured that the draft around his bed was inevitable. You already know where this is going. After three nights of him complaining, I decided to see if some caulk would help, and when I pulled up the shade by his pillow realized that a huge chunk of his window was missing. The Boy is a restless sleeper, so probably elbowed the window at some point (like the bird, if the bird had elbows, or if the boy's elbows were birds, or...OK, maybe not exactly like the bird, but you get the idea) Covering the hole with plexiglass earned me back partial credit on lost mommy points, and his window looked like this:

Are you losing count? Me, too.

At this point, the only room in the house that didn't have a broken window was our bedroom. So we bit the bullet and just had every window in the house replaced. It took two days, but it was worth it. The new windows are vinyl frames, double paned, with screens, and the bottom panes tilt so you can clean them without removing the screens. They fit in frames! They open and close! You can see through them! They actually block some of the noise from the freeway!

Anyone want to start betting on when the first one gets broken?


[User Picture]From: jzygail
2012-04-24 11:42 am (UTC)
I love how there's no pictures of the new windows :). Also? I feel your pain. Or pane--it took me at least ten years to replace the two broken windows I had at the condo, and by that time I had to replace them all because the seals had failed on the windows that were't broken.

By contrast, in the new house, it only took me a year to replace screens that had degenerated to the point that it looked like they were made of hospital gauze.

Homeownership is fun! So I've heard. ;)
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[User Picture]From: skipperja
2012-04-24 01:09 pm (UTC)
Fun to read! You're a great writer!

In the forty-plus years we've lived in our house our only window damage was one B-B hole and it's still there. All the screens are torn or missing though.
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[User Picture]From: spinthemoon
2012-04-29 02:52 am (UTC)
I was very excited about the screens; I didn't realize the windows came with them.
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[User Picture]From: jchammonds
2012-04-26 05:23 am (UTC)
LOL! Where are the pics of the new windows? This entry is not complete. :P

A tornado hit my house and destroyed 80% of the house, but only broke three windows. You must have some sort of bad weird window karma.
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[User Picture]From: spinthemoon
2012-04-29 02:51 am (UTC)
I've lived in five different houses as an adult, and other than one time when I accidentally broke a back door window banging on it to get the dog's attention, I've never had one break before we lived here.
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