It's not about the house.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

See More Glass


... is the setting sun shining through the old glass in the windows in my office and settling on the otherwise not-so-very-pretty wall. Those colored things are thumbtacks. You can ignore them.

Unfortunately, this...

... is what the window-casing looks like. You can't so much tell by this picture, but it isn't just a paint job that it needs. They're rotten, and they've got to go.

It is for to weep, because when we first moved in here everybody, everybody, everybody told us that we had to put in all new windows -- there was even some sort of government grant program to pay for them -- and I refused, refused, refused. We wouldn't have qualified for the grant program, anyway, as it turned out. And we've paid the price in heating bills (though we've had bigger problems than this with heating bills, to be sure). But I just could not, could not, could not be responsible for ripping out that wavy glass.

Now that we've been here for a while, though, I've had time to look around and make a rational decision. Such as it is. I mean, we have met one another, right? And the conclusion that I (by which I mean we, sort of) have come to is:

The ones in the living room are staying, because they're beautiful and I spent a little time stripping the paint off them. I don't remember how long, exactly...

And it's curtains (so to speak) for all the rest.

This is not as heartless as it sounds: of the twenty-one windows in the house (not counting attic or basement) only twelve are actually old.

Three got replaced before we moved in.

Six were in the rotten room.

The two in the dining room have already, inexplicably, had their original, antique, beautiful casings replaced by ugly nondescript stuff. Not by us.

These two in the office are, like I said, rotting clear away.

And the two in the kitchen -- well.

When we half-redid our kitchen eighteen months ago, somebody -- who shall remain nameless but who does happen to live here and who isn't me -- took it upon himself (see? not me) in the absence of the nominal, official Owner (c'est moi, though I try not to play that card to often -- like, at all), to decide that the two windows in there would be replaced. Said "Somebody" tore out a good bit of the casings before Moi saw and stopped him, and then the torny bits got left out in the rain. They are really, most sincerely dead.

The reason there are still gaping holes there, however, which I cleverly insulated with packing tape last winter -- and by "reason" I mean aside from the fact that we are equally lacking in both money and motivation -- was that we (meaning I) hoped to be able to salvage trim from somewhere else and piece it in. But that's just not going to happen. There isn't anywhere else in the house to take it from. Ah well, one of those windows is mostly useless anyway. Plus, someday when we win the lottery again we're going to get around to finishing this kitchen, and then a few new shiny windows in there will make much more sense than the patched-up, not-actually-wavy and mostly-useless old ones.

In other words, Somebody was right.

But you will not, will not, will not tell him I said so.


Courtney said...

New windows are a key reason why I really want to buy a place-- in our rental, the seals on one of the windows in the living room are so bad that when the window is closed and the wind is blowing, the curtains blow around too. THAT'S great insulation for you.

That said, it would break my heart to get rid of the wavy glass too. (Is it utterly cost-prohibitive to save the glass and have new casings made for it? I am guessing the answer is yes, but like I said, I'm a renter)

EGE said...

It's possible but, yes, utterly cost-prohibitive. My intention is to save the old glass when the windows come out, wrap it well and put it in the attic. So when I make my first million I can have custom casings made.

What am I saying? I can't afford to replace the windows until I make my first million anyway!

In the meantime, I'm wrapping 'em all in plastic -- because yeah, it's pretty breezy in here, too!

Sona said...

Water damage will add up. Perhaps the glass can be used in other ways.

But I agree - they are lovely.

Amy Turn Sharp said...

I have some of those windows too :(
I feel yr pain

cuz donna said...

yea, I had one of those big wavy old windows in my upstairs bathroom until last week... That was when son #3 had a fit and was tossing his 185lb self around the 5X5 ft room freaking out over a missing tube of hydrocortizone cream...Crrrrashhhh. I screamed so loud at him for breaking it I peed myself...Twas a nice wiggly ol' piece of glass...And they were nice undies too...

Robert said...

I just dropped by to see if there was a contest. Just in case--Salinger.

Suse said...

If you could see your way clear before the end of the year to replace the windows I do believe there is still an energy tax credit for new windows. also you might try posting on Freecycle for pld wood. Lots of folks remodel by ripping and tossing. Also perhaps you could sell the glass to someone who is restoring to pay for new windows.