I’m keeping a secret from my husband. I feel bad about it, but I just can’t get up the nerve to tell him.
First, let me tell you the back-story.
We’ve been doing a lot of home renovation lately. It started when I, on a whim, decided to scrape the popcorn texture off our ceiling in the kitchen. Of course, this led to us having to scrape the texture off the ceilings of all the rooms on the main floor of our house. And since we are painting the ceilings . . . we may as well also paint the walls and trim on the first floor. It only makes sense.
And since we have cleared out all the rooms of their contents, we may as well get new flooring too . . .
Anyway, this snow-day decision to scrape the popcorn off the ceiling has caused my husband hours of work as he has patiently patched, sanded, and painted our now- smooth ceilings. I’m a handy gal, but I’m not super gifted in the sheetrock department, so my hubby is taking care of that part of the renovation. I’m not entirely without skill though. I am the painter in our family.
It was when I was painting the trim around the windows that I made a discovery. I haven’t shared this with my husband yet. Maybe I will just send him the link to this blog when it is published. Here’s my secret, honey:
We need new windows!
I know! What we have here is a real “When You Give a Mouse a Cookie” situation.
If you have kids, you have read this children’s book (and the countless other versions the author wrote to piggyback on the success of the first one.) If you haven’t read the book, in it a child discusses the ramifications of giving a cookie to an overall-wearing mouse. After the mouse enjoys the cookie, he wants a glass of milk. Because this mouse obviously doesn’t care for the environment, he then asks for a turtle-killing straw.
As a result of the child giving the mouse a cookie, the child’s house becomes a huge mess, and the boy sits in a chair at the end of the day, thoroughly exhausted. (Welcome to adulthood, kid!)
But I digress.
My husband and I have joked about how my “cookie” was “smooth ceilings.” The result of me getting my cookie is that my husband and I are sitting on our couch at the end of the day with paint in our hair.
And now I want more.
As I was saying, I was painting the trim around our windows on an unusually cold day when I noticed a significant draft coming in through the windows. While it was cold outside, it wasn’t a particularly windy day. But I felt a draft. Darn.
Thinking perhaps that I was overreacting, I quickly asked Google how you know whether or not it is time to purchase new windows. Here’s what I learned.
Signs you need new windows
High energy bills
During the winter, if it feels cooler when you stand next to a window than the rest of the room, you could need new windows. If your windows are old or inefficient, this can have a significant impact on your energy bills. Standing next to my living room window made me want to put on a sweatshirt. I am a forty-seven-year-old woman going through some pre-changes-of-life symptoms. If I am cold enough for a sweatshirt, that is big news.
Difficulty in opening, closing, or locking
A window that can’t be opened, closed, or locked may have been warped during hot weather. Another reason that your window may not fit properly is that your house may have shifted. Regardless of the reason, a window should be able to function correctly. Our windows need to be able to open for when I need to air out the house after burning our frozen pizzas. Also . . . for safety.
Windows are not soundproof
Modern windows are designed to reduce the amount of sound entering and exiting through the glass. New windows should make your home quieter because you will not be as likely to hear street and neighborhood noises.
We live .3 miles from a grade school, and when school is in session, I hear the noises of the bells ringing and the kids playing on the playground. Granted, I like hearing these noises. The sounds of kids screaming their heads off at recess make me smile.
On the other side of the coin, if I can hear all the sounds coming from the outside, that means that our neighbors can hear all the sounds coming from inside our house. (Oh. My. God.)
When we painted the exterior of the house a few years ago, we noticed that the wood around our windows was soft and mushy. We had wood rot around the outside of our windows. Wood rot can be difficult to stay on top of, and it may affect the durability of the window itself.
I’ve often thought of making a series of horror movies based on life in the suburbs. One of the titles will be “Lost in the Suburbs.” The movie will be based in the year 2001 when a mom tries to find addresses of houses that are for sale in the suburbs . . . WITHOUT A GPS system. (Cue screams.)
Two of my other installments in my scary-movie-series would be called “Wood Rot!” and “Street Parking.”
Window companies suggest that we should be replacing our windows every twenty years. Of course, this advice is coming from a window company, and they want to sell more windows. That’s the same as the shampoo company suggesting that you “repeat” the process of washing your hair each time you are in the shower. But if your house was built more than 20 years ago, and the builder used entry-level products throughout the home, it could be time for you to invest in some new windows.
There’s my big secret, honey. My desire to have smooth ceilings has now progressed to me having new windows. Maybe my husband will produce his own version of suburban horror stories based on our home renovation projects.
Belinda McLeod is a stay-at-home mom who works full time. Besides managing a busy household, she works with children, assists her aging father, is a free-lance writer on topics ranging from “how to become a tattoo artist in Ireland” to “symptoms of anterior blepharitis.” McLeod lives and works with her husband and three children in the Midwest.