The window company called yesterday to confirm that our new windows have arrived. We’ll be replacing the (incredibly) large picture window in the living room, all three bedrooms’ windows and the sliding glass door.
That last one is a huge relief. The sliding door’s track is warped, and it often requires a little oomph to let Pandora in or out. Not to mention the horrible squeak-verging-on-screech that results from opening the door more than a foot or two.
Also, it’ll just be nice to not have glass that rattles in its (aluminum!) frame. We’re pretty sure it’s original to the house… Which was built in 1969. Neither the metal nor the old, single glass can possibly be good for energy efficiency.
Don’t get me wrong: We’re not expecting a huge plummet in the energy bill, but the house should stay a lot more comfortable without all those gaps and thin glass.
But other big deal is the sound reduction.
Tim and I are both very sensitive to sound, so our park-adjacent location can be problematic. It’s not just kids screeching in delight or clumps of teens hanging out right by the corner of the park’s sidewalk (which is to say, the corner of our driveway). People peel out of the parking lot at odd intervals, tires a-squealin’.
The new windows should greatly help with that.
Of course, any double pane window will reduce outside noise. But the ones we chose have features that happen to help with soundproofing too: thicker glass, a wider gap between panes, etc.
In the end, that was the deciding factor between the mid-range and high(er) end options. One company was far more affordable, and after a certain point, there’s not a huge difference in energy efficiency. But we wanted to make sure we did it right. (The “buy once, cry once” philosophy.)
I’m sure the mid-range windows would have done a decent job. Maybe even a darn good one. But if we got those… Every time a bothersome noise came through, we’d wonder, “Could the more expensive windows have blocked most of that?”
This way, we can rest secure in the knowledge that we chose the best product. Even if noise levels are still problematic (and I’m guessing the difference will be plenty for us), then we’d still know that it would’ve been markedly worse with the cheaper option. And then I guess we’d save for a soundproofing pane to add to the front window.
In all, I feel good about the decision to spend (significantly — did I mention it’s significantly?) more. Besides, we’re still not paying Anderson prices, and the windows we’re buying have better specs than Anderson’s. So I think we chose the best option for our needs.
The only real unfortunate bit point is that our savings will get noticeably thinner. Compared to what it is now, the savings balance will be downright emaciated.
It’s not catastrophic. We should have around $1,500 left. Which, hey, it could be a lot worse — especially since we still have an okay-sized emergency fund. Still, I feel like a lean savings account is the mating call of pricey catastrophes: car problems, appliances breaking, etc.
We’ll just have to try to keep our heads (and expenses) down until the savings account is officially pudgy again.