Thursday, April 12, 2012

Windy Windows and Drafty Doors

Guest post

A friend of mine recently had a “prefab” house built, which essentially means he chose all the pieces, they put it together, and then they delivered it. Watching the process got me really thinking about how much detail goes into planning a home (something I hope to do in the very near future). He had to choose everything from the floor to the ceilings-- cabinets, tiles, counter tops, window panes, and doors. Those last two are of the utmost importance because they were not just cosmetic choices. It's not something I have really considered, but the windows and doors of a house are essential for energy bills, safety, and appearance. Thinking back to some of the places I have lived and rented, the biggest issues I ran into centered around these two essential items. My last home, was a very big (five bedrooms), old, drafty house. Honestly, drafty is probably an understatement, blustery might be a more accurate descriptor. In the wintertime the house was FREEZING and because the many windows and doors were so old and let so much air leak out, it cost a fortune to even attempt to heat it. Instead, I was forced to keep the thermostat low to save on the energy bill, and sit on my couch wearing a winter coat and a blanket anytime I wanted to watch TV or grade papers. It was really an outrageous way to live, and it essentially came down to inefficient doors and windows. The side door from our patio was especially bad. It was not secure at all, could have provided someone with really simple break in strategy. In fact, I locked myself out of the house once or twice and all it took was a firm hip-bump to pop the LOCKED door right open. If I hadn't been living with three guys who were home pretty much anytime I was, I would have really feared for my safety! When the window in one of our doors was accidentally broken, we put in a request for the landlord to get us new, composite doors in hopes that it might help remedy some of our issues, but instead she fixed the glass in the window. I must say I am much happier (and keep a much more comfortable temperature) in the house where I am now, with secure, insulated composite doors and windows.
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