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A home-improvement project becomes an adventure

The Examiner

Have you ever replaced windows? Do you know all of the choices that exist?

Last summer I knew it was time to replace the master bedroom windows and the second-floor dormer windows.

Diane Mack

They moved with the wind.

The windows in the master were at least 30 years old. They were Andersons, and they looked like they’d grown well past their 30 year warranty. They were sagging, warped and tired, like me.

I believe our shower curtain could have done a better job during cold weather.

As a result, I felt it was time to check out the cost of replacing those windows.

I shot toward the stars and called the top-of-the-line manufacturers.

Let me say, it would have been cheaper to replace the house than to install new windows. Those windows came fully loaded.

In fact, I expected the windows (from the prices I was quoted) to sing all four verses of “God Bless America.”

So I regrouped and called the 1-800-window vendors advertised through television commercials. I received a quote of $179 for all four windows.

I didn’t know if $44.75 windows would keep the rain out. Consequently, I crossed the 1-800-window vendors off the list.

After that, I decided to give the local guys a chance. With just a few phone calls, I had window quotes that ranged from $500 and $10,000.

Living outdoors was becoming an interest to me.

In desperation, I called a friend to get his opinion. He said he’d check with a few distributors. He also stated that he could install them for me.

While waiting, I checked the chains, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menards.

The first salesman to answer asked if I wanted double hung, single hung, gliders, screens, sliding, storm, matching skylights, insulated glass, LoE, comfort glass, vinyl, wood, or wood clad.

The second store associate asked what kind of hardware and exactly what size they were, before he could quote me.

Sometimes, I cannot remember my own kids’ names. I had no idea what the window sizes were.

As a result, I chose to wait for my trusty friend, who was always good to me.

On Nov. 20, I had all four windows replaced, in time for Thanksgiving and the cold weather.

My window-shopping experience has been a growing one. May I conclude with a poem?

Windows must be strong and straight

And match in color, too.

I couldn’t decide, it was getting late,

Growing cold, icy, and blue.

What should’ve I done, which window’s best?

Which choice was right for me?

No doubt, all would pass the test,

Cause, the old ones were whistling at me.

Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at Director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.