Monday, June 8, 2015


Windows! We have them! Well, most of them. It was all very sudden - they called three weeks before the originally scheduled install to say they had a cancellation and did we want our windows installed sooner? And by sooner, tomorrow? We were like UM YES PLEASE and then had to scramble around to get everything ready - payment ready, all furniture and stuff away from the windows, etc.

We replaced every window in our house--I think it added up to 21 altogether? It was a lot. But they brought in a big crew and they got through the whole job in two days. Most of the job. Well, kind of.

First of all, a couple of the windows didn't fit. They were like three inches too big, which according to the installer who did the job (who wasn't the same as the installer who did the measuring, due to the last minute switch in dates) means that when the guy was measuring, he just forgot to subtract the width of the frame on a couple of them? Our installer told us that this is a very rare mistake, and even more so that it's multiple windows in one house -- and it does seem like a very weird mistake--it's not like he did the math wrong, he just didn't do it at all, and this guy is a serious veteran, and ALSO (this is the worst part that I can't think about without cringing), apparently the guy who messed up the measurement is on the hook for the cost of the wrong-sized windows. Which will be a couple thousand dollars, as it was multiple windows and some of them were very large. So. That's deeply unfortunate and I feel terrible about it. I mean, I know it was legitimately a mistake, but I would not care for a job where if I blinked and forgot to subtract three inches, I could end up on the hook for thousands of dollars.

ANYWAY, so, the problem is that of course they didn't realize that the new windows didn't fit in the house until they had already pulled the old windows out, SO, all they could do was nail the old windows back IN again and put some insulating foam around them so it wouldn't be too awful, so... I guess functionally they're not that different from what was there before? Except that there's a ton of exposed splintery wood with nails sticking out of it, and no window frames, and also no more curtain rods which means we have no way of hanging our curtains back up, which is particularly unfortunate in the dining room because it faces east and it gets super bright in the mornings and also the windows are 50 years old and have zero UV filtering which means that it also gets really hot in there AND I'm concerned about our nice dining room chairs fading in the sun now that there are no curtains, because they still don't even have a shipment date for the replacement windows, and it will probably be about a month before they're actually installed. We know the fading is a risk because it happened to our couch, which sits in front of a window:

The couch used to be the brown color that it still is at the bottom all over. Of course that took six years to happen and nothing so drastic could happen in a shorter time period, but our dining room chairs are possibly the nicest furniture we own and a few weeks in direct sunlight with no window coverings can't do anything GOOD, you know? Also this is what our dining room windows currently look like, and this is AFTER Torsten went in with a hammer and pried out as many of the nails sticking out as he could:

The other problem with this delay on these two windows is that we've been told that you can't order blinds until the windows are installed, because you have to be able to measure to the exact 1/8 of an inch, which is fine, except now we're a month out from having the last two windows, and the savings on blinds comes from ordering and installing them all in a batch, so right now we're in a holding pattern on ordering the blinds, and those also take at least two weeks to come in, which means we're looking at multiple weeks of no blinds on any of our windows. The new windows at least have UV filtering so we don't have to worry about sun damage or heat, but it's still, you know, bright and also not private. So, not ideal.

Also, I did not realize, though perhaps I should have, how damaging it is to install windows, or really to remove the old ones. They pulled everything out, windows, frames, trim, all of it, by pounding really hard with crowbars, and the effects on our drywall were not pretty. The force caused some nails to pop out of studs and break through the drywall and paint. The pulling off of the frames took large chunks of paint with it. Rogue hammers caused chips here and there, including in the crown molding in our living room. Some poorly handled ladders messed up the paint on our siding and bent one of our roof gutters. Etc. etc. Here's a sample that pretty accurately reflects what the walls around all our windows currently look like:

But! For all that, I actually don't really mean to complain, because the company is legit and they are going to send someone to do the repairs of the drywall and the siding and the gutter, and while I struggle to see HOW they will repair some of the drywall issues, I guess that isn't really my problem, and in the meantime, we have all these new windows, and lo, they are glorious. Truly, they are. They open! That's the biggest thing -- half our old windows were missing screens and the other half were painted shut and we as a result could open almost none of them and it would get so stuffy sometimes. Colorado has a GREAT climate for open windows and it is so delightful that now we can take advantage. Also, it's not nearly so hot in rooms where the sun is shining in, and we hear a lot less traffic noise, and also I'm very excited to see our next energy bill. Also some of the windows are big sliding windows instead of two regular windows side-by-side, which makes them seem much bigger, which is delightful, especially in the kitchen. It really just feels lovely to have nice new windows throughout the house.

So! Overall win! We are generally thrilled with the windows. But also a learning experience: when they tell you an install time, they mean how long it will take to get the windows themselves replaced, but it does NOT include the time to get the house looking as good as it did before as far as fixing collateral damage -- we still don't have a timeframe on when that will be done.

But at least we have lovely windows to tide us over in the meantime. As long as we don't look in the dining room.


  1. ACCCKKKKK. I mean, overall YAY! Giant awesome new windows looks great!!

    But EEK on the damage and the wrong sizes and the no blinds and no curtains. I actually pulled back in alarm at that picture of your drywall. I'm VERY glad to hear the window company will come back and fix everything though!

    and YAAAAAY windows!!!

  2. Here is what I did when we had a similar (though shorter) delay: I nailed old towels and painting cloths over the windows. Just...nailed 'em up. Not exactly fancy, but it worked.

    I too have an assortment of feelings about the guy who mismeasured. Like, how does this happen? And cringing at him having to cover it. Ack.

  3. Yikes. I don't know if it's because you guys had different windows and frames than we did (we also have plaster and not drywall due to the age of our house), but we didn't have any of those wall issues that you have when we got all of our windows replaced. Glad to hear that the company will come back and fix the issues but I'm not sure they were necessary....

    But yay working windows! It makes SUCH a difference!

  4. Ooooooh my goodness!!! This is crazy-town! I do know there are some contact-paper-like adhesives that peel right off without leaving residue, maybe getting a "frosted" version to put up on the bottom 2/3rd of your windows would help not feeling quite so exposed?


  5. We had the same thing happen to us - our 10 ft long $5000 window was 3 inches too short all the way around. I felt TERRIBLE for the guy who measured and ended up having to pay for the cost of the window (obviously not my cost, but still. expensive). Boo on the damage to your walls though. We've had lots of windows replaced and never damage like that. I'm glad they're going to fix it!

  6. Sounds like your problem is rather extensive. I agree that you should resolve the matter with your windows before purchasing the blinds, since they are your basis for them. Still, this shows the inherent value of window treatments, and what they can do to give you privacy, while accentuating your house with lighting and a nice, framed view of the outdoors.

    Bob Ward @ Allure Window Treatments