Friday, December 26, 2008

Avoiding the Draft

I told myself last winter that I would not let this happen again. But, we are constantly reminded that there are only so many hours in a day and only so much energy and motivation that a couple of persons can muster.

We know that the warmer months will be focused on making our veg grow. But, that's also the best time to do house and building projects - like roofing, putting in new windows, painting, putting on a serviceable deck or a door on one of the outbuildings...etc etc

The result is that we manage to do what we can with the repairs and building work in addition to maintaining our fields. The fields always win, of course, because people (ourselves included) are depending on that food. But, the other projects always go in priority of highest emergency status. The other alternative is that family members or friends come to visit and take on a project they like. We don't say no - but it would be nice to take care of some of this and not make them feel they have to work whenever they visit!

By now, you will notice my penchant for telling you a story or some other information in order to prepare you for the item that prompted the post to begin with... It's a bad habit.

I told myself last winter that we would not endure another winter in our old (1900) house where the lack of insulation/poor windows/etc often made our normal 58-62 degree thermostat reading feel like 48-52. It's not necessarily a good thing if you have a windchill reading INSIDE your house. In addition to this issue, we have all of ONE plug in for the entire upstairs of the old farmhouse. Not a horrible thing, really. Except that, with the old wiring, I'm not sure I trust it to run a space heater. So, book and computer work can often be a bit less comfortable than one might like.

It's the end of December - and we still have ONE plugin upstairs and we have ZERO new windows in the house. There is, however, some fine insulation in the attic. Score one for us (thanks to everyone who helped on that project!).

The order has been made for some windows. They are now on their way and are due to arrive at the farm on Monday of the coming week. I'm not sure I'm looking forward to putting them in in the next four weeks - but I'm looking forward to them being on the house. I guess I'll have to get over one in order to have the other.

If you are looking at windows - some sites we found helpful include:

NFRC - the NFRC provided independent ratings for the efficiency of windows. After doing our research we would recommend always choosing windows that are rated by the NFRC.

Efficient Windows Collaborative Web Site - this site probably helped us the most in determining what we wanted and how we wanted to do things.

Glossary of terms for Casement Windows, Bay Windows, Patio Doors and more on the Andersen Windows site. A good place to learn your terms. If you are having a contractor come out to measure or give quotes - it is a good idea to know a reasonable set of terms so you can talk intelligently with them and get what you want/need.

We found that Andersen, Marvin and Pella were all fairly good window manufacturers in our region. Marvin fit what we wanted/needed best for our farm house.

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