My Martin Acres Boulder ranch was finally getting new windows. I had made the decision to work with Efficiency Matters last week. So… Now what?
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Almost giddy with excitement, I met once again with Greg Fox back at 285 Martin Drive, Martin Acres Boulder. He and his installer, Mike, measured the window openings “for real” and chatted about next steps with me.
Greg was fighting a cold and it was a miserable day outside. Many of us would have called in sick but he arrived on time and didn’t rush me or my questions. It’s the little things in life that often mean the most and time and again I watched him carefully cough inside his jacket so as not to contaminate me or my Martin Acres Boulder house. Nice guy! I was fighting a little bug myself so I appreciated his extra effort.
The windows were ordered within 24 hours and they were expected to be ready for delivery to Martin Acres Boulder, by November 17th. The plan, therefore, was to start the installation on November 20th. It was been estimated to take 2 days to install them and a 3rd to finish up the trim work.
I never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have new windows by Thanksgiving!
Meanwhile, back at EnergySmart Boulder… Jen let the other contractors down gently. She also confirmed with Elevations Credit Union that my new windows will meet the energy standards required and will be installed by a contractor who is licensed and insured in Boulder County.
🙂 Thanks for joining me on this journey of discovery and energy efficiency. Just keeping reading to see actual before, during and after photos at my Martin Acres Boulder ranch!
Around November 14th, Greg called me to say that window delivery was not going to happen on the 17th as initially planned, but would be shortly thereafter. He assured me that as soon as they arrived, they would be installed. We were still on track for windows before Thanksgiving.
Seven of the windows arrived November 21st. Would you believe it was our first real snow day for the season? By 8am, snow had been falling 5 hours on my Martin Acres Boulder ranch and the forecast predicted no let up until the next day. With a high of just 23 degrees, Greg made the understandable call to postpone starting the job til Friday. Disappointment mixed with relief, flooded through me. Dang, it was a cold day!
Ok… Friday 9am… I look out the front window and see the Efficiency Matters truck parked at my curb. The high for today was expected to be 43 degrees, but it was nowhere near that yet. Two guys sat inside, sheltered from the bitter cold, patiently waiting for the windows to show up. By 9:15am, they were unloading my new, cardboard and plastic wrapped windows into the back living room of my Martin Acres Boulder house. I had already moved furniture and laid plastic to accommodate installation, storage and boot-prints. Game on!
As many of you may know, the metal cased windows that the 1950’s and 60’s blessed us with, are a big fat pain to remove. Martin Acres Boulder was filled with them and while a ton have been removed, there are still plenty left. The homes were essentially built around them. Double metal tabs hold the windows in place by fixing them to the studs behind drywall and brick veneer. Sawzalls and angle grinders are the power tools of choice to cut the windows out of the house, but anyone who has done it will agree that the first is the most difficult.
You need to learn the best method of removal and use that valuable knowledge with every subsequent window. You need to wear ear plugs, cover furniture and bedding, lamps and rugs, with plastic sheeting. You need to put up with the pungent aroma of grinding metal and the intermittent loss of ability to use the phone or hear yourself think. It helps to leave the room as your home is being dissected, to close off spaces and use alternative heating methods rather than the usual whole house forced air. As such, I opted for a small space heater in my office. The furnace was turned off as the men came in and out all day and poked holes in the envelope of my home. Instead, I cranked up said space heater to 75 degrees in my office and pretended that I was in Hawaii instead of Martin Acres Boulder! Denial is a very powerful and useful tool for someone who feels low level anxiety accumulating during times of ongoing chaos and loud noise.
The two guys were super nice and and really quite tidy actually. They did one window at a time, first removing the glass.
Then the frame…
Then they worked with tools to “square up” and clean up the existing opening so the new window was a good fit. They never had a huge open hole for more than 30 minutes. It was just luck for me to get there in time to take a picture of a hole in my house, before it was filled with a new window.
Then the new window was shimmed (of sorts), setting it in there tightly and squarely, and spray foam insulation filled the gaps around the window.
Tuesday afternoon saw 3 of the big windows in the living area trimmed and I was ecstatic…. Until I realized that 2 of them had the wrong trim installed! Not quite a disaster and really an honest mistake (all those white trims at Home Depot look very similar). But it was stressful for me and my Thanksgiving plans and I have to assume stressful for Mike too!
The next day, new trim was applied inside and out, it looked nothing short of an amazing transformation. Warmer, quieter rooms were slowly dominating the house.
Gregs team had worked tirelessly on my Martin Acres Boulder home, right up until November 27th at 4pm. It had taken longer than anticipated, but considering the weather and the delayed window arrival, it was not a big deal. In saying that, I had 20 guests coming for Thanksgiving dinner the next day and even though I had been able to prep a turkey and bake 3 pies already, there was still a lot to do. As nice as those guys are, I was glad to see them head back to Fort Collins on Wednesday afternoon and leave me to my cleaning and organizing… Oh, and I still had a semi-formal wine tasting to attend that night!
My next post will outline the Energy Smart procedure for getting these guys paid through Elevations Credit Union and it will show you the finished product too. 🙂
In the meantime, call or email me at any time and I would be more than happy to chat with you candidly. 🙂 If you want to drop by and check out my house, that can be arranged too.