Saturday, July 24, 2010


In the last couple of weekends we've been working on installing the new windows got. We started on the weekend of the 4th of July - exactly one year after we moved in. Boy, do these things take time!
We wanted to install the windows much earlier. During the cold nights of winter (it does get cold here in the desert, you know) we could feel the coldness getting through single pane glass sheets of our metal windows. Zero insulation. Mark looked up dozens of window makers, and finally chose Clear Choice. On the day removed the window that used to open to the garage, the window person came and took final measurements and half the payment. Yes, it was on the 2nd day of January! He said it would take a couple of weeks. Then, when Mark called to inquire about it 3 weeks later, they said it would take another week or two. Then he called again, and they said "next week". Then he called again, and only got an answering machine. When he tried to file a complaint he found out that the Tucson office closed. We still wanted the windows, so we tried contacting the main office - no answer! Damn!
All of a sudden, dozens of complaints appeared on the BBB regarding Clear Choice. They weren't there before - all unhappy customers that didn't get their windows. We decided to file a claim on the credit card to reverse the charge for the windows. It took 60 buisness days, but we finally got our money back, since they didn't hear a word back from the window company.
Well, then we had to look for another window company. This time we went with Window World. It took longer than they said for the windows to arrive (about 4 weeks) than the time they said they would (2 weeks), but they finally arrived, as I said, in the beginning of July. Yeepee!

Our new windows in the garage - waiting to be installed

So every day on the first weekend we worked on one window. It's a lot of work: First you have to removed the old window, which is never easy - it is attached with nails that are not always in their designated holes. Sometimes there's more than one nail per hole. You have to scrape all the caulk and paint and other gunk that makes the window really stick to the brick. Then you have to carefully, without hurting yourself, remove the window (they're heavy!) and carry it away. The most time consuming part, though, is leveling the openning - scraping all the plaster, cutting the metal sheath under it in the upper part of the openning, and scraping off the bulging parts of the bricks. Next, you fit the window, make sure it's level, drill some holes, put some anchors, and screw it in.

I didn't mention the ceiling fans we installed, ha? That was quite an achievement in itself, including permit requirements, running cables through walls, etc...

Same window, from the inside - a lot better at keeping the heat outside!

Finally, insulation and caulking. We finished 8 out of 9 windows in 2 weekends! The last one is a tiny bathroom window, so it doesn't count :)
Oh, but we still have to plaster. Again! Will this ever end???