Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Live-Blogging from the Jobsite

Well, K&J got the Simonton doors and window here in record time: we ordered them a week ago yesterday, and today Darin’s guys showed up to install them. Some difference between the Milgard dealer and Home Depot, each of whom said maybe they could get the product delivered in three weeks. Or so.

It’s quarter to one. They’ve been working since 7:30 this morning (and Charley the Golden Retriever has been locked in a bedroom, and Cassie the Corgi has yapped nonstop). And they’re still at it…about at the finishing-up stage, I think.

Retrofitting new doors and windows to fit openings that have been jury-rigged by previous owners is quite a trick. And this house has belonged to a seemingly endless stream of Happy Home Handymen.

The bedroom door, which I think was installed quite some time ago, went into a hole created by sawing out the wall below an old window. The H. H. Handyman then installed a (pretty nice-looking, I thought) stained wood frame around it, which covered a few minor sins.

This was the double-paned number that felt hot to the touch when the weather outside was fairly mild, in the 90s. Don’t even ask what it was like in true warm weather. It’s coming on to 102 degrees just now, and the new one, pictured here, actually feels cool when I put my hand on it!!

They didn’t have too much trouble getting the bedroom door in, or the back bedroom window, or the old Superlite aluminum cheapo installed back in 1971 by the builder. Wish the doors could just stay out and we could live like Tahitians, with the walls open to the ocean breezes. That craving passes, though, as the desert day grows warm.

Then…heh heh heh… They came to the door Satan installed when he (intelligently…) built his west-facing covered deck off the dining room. To create this opening, Satan started with a narrow, wide window the builder had set high in the wall, not quite a clerestory—a clunky style that was in fashion at the time. He sawed through the block wall on each side and then constructed some framing to accommodate a Home Depot special. He left a lot of air around the thing, interestingly. That one required quite a bit of effort and carpentry skill to replace. After spending a good amount of time wrestling with it, the men got that in place, too, and then built new framing around it.

Here’s how the new door looks from the outside…

…and here it is on the inside:

Now they need a little paint touch-up, which is fine: I’ve got a long list of honey-do’s for a good painter! Once he’s here, he can also take care of some of the other issues that need fixing. Depending on what he charges, maybe he can wangle a most-of-the-house repainting job, come to think of it.

I need to wash and rehang the curtains, but believe I’ll wait till it’s little cooler out in the Garage-O-Mat.

These windows actually are physically cool to the touch. It’s weird! Not only that, but they’re even marginally cooler than the Milgards that I installed in the place after I moved in. But that may be because the Milgards are on the north-facing wall. Still…no direct sunlight ever hits them. The REAL cool-to-the-touch test will come late this afternoon, when the setting sun manages to work a few beams in around the foliage on the west side. Satan’s door actually was pretty energy-efficient—the only older window in the house that even approached low-E. But it did warm up along about 5:00 p.m.

And so, this is The Fat Lady, signing off from the Funny Farm in lovely uptown Phoenix, Arizona. Be glad you’re not here, and be especially glad you’re not a tradesman in this place!


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  1. You’ve got to think that these will have a positive effect on your cooling bills. Can’t wait to see those updates.

  2. As a blue collar dude myself, I can attest to the fact that efficient windows save homeowners SO MUCH money! Great idea getting this done for yourself! It sounds like you can alraedy feel the difference, and in a month when you get yoru energy bill, I bet you’ll see the difference. 🙂

  3. @ TB: Gosh, I hope you’re right, TB! In any event, they just LOOK so much better than the old junk, it was (almost…) worth the cost. And these guys did a terrific job. Absolutely admirable!

  4. New windows will really make a difference. I had all of mine replaced about two months ago. Here in Northern Va. it doesn’t get as hot as the SW but I’ve noticed a change in my thermostat settings. Previously, during the summer, I would have to keep the themostat set at 68 to cool both floors of my house. Now, it’s at 72 to 74 during the summer. You WILL notice a drop in your electric bill.

    • @ Richard Orlin: Yes, I’ve been able to push the thermostat up a notch, too: from 80 to 82 in the day. Mercifully, it’s a one-story house — cooling or heating two stories is more than I can contemplate. 😉

      Even though the warmer temp is tolerable (marginally), it’s pretty stuffy inside the house. I find myself wanting to keep all the fans in the house going all the time, just to circulate the air a little. That’s wasteful…but on the other hand, a few fans sure don’t cost what an AC compressor costs to run.

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