Creating kitchens and baths for finicky customers since 1993

backsplash features inset metal tiles for accent and texture

Friday, December 09, 2005

Wrappin' up the week

The real winter weather has arrived: snow, high winds, single-digit temp's, and car-wrecks. So Mike and I spent the coldest day of the week outside, climbing up and down an aluminum ladder to apply frozen sticks of aluminum trim, then trying to apply frozen beads of caulk. Vinyl replacement windows. Gonna be a year for them, with gas prices still high and lots of people worried about how they're going to pay for heat. Windows are one of the very few remodeling expenses that can be assured to pay for themselves, sometimes in just a couple of years. At the warehouse, despite the impending demise of our employer, vinyl windows are stacked and packed and parked every which way, waiting to be installed. Hundreds of them.

We put in a total of seventeen windows on Wednesday--Mike, his helper Frank, and I. The first house had eleven new windows, which went very well, mostly hassle-free. The second house, rental property owned by the folks in the first house, had just seven more windows; but they were a real pain. Every one was on the second floor, and every one had fifty-year-old wooden storm window combinations painted shut to the outside. Some had cars parked beneath them: a true recipe for disaster. That's why, if you're keeping count, you'll notice window number eighteen didn't get installed until Thursday. The rest of Thursday was ladder-day, starting the morning at a toasty twelve degrees (that's Fahrenheit, folks, not Celcius). Had to take five-minute breaks in our trucks with the heat running, just to get feeling back in the small bones.

I'm trying to remember what I did on Monday and Tuesday. That seems like weeks ago now. Oh, yeah, that was inside work in a place that kept the thermometer at about seventy-five. Which is way too warm, by the way, especially when you have to dress for at least a certain amount of time spent outside. Layers, that's the key. Monday's job was figured for two days, but I had a great helper (John Metzger) and things went well. Easy access, too. That makes a huge difference, not having to climb stairs or navigate long sidewalks and driveways. That overheated Monday job does seem like it was last month, though. A couple cold days will do that to you, stretch the time out like that. Tuesday was an inside day, too, with a lot of work that needed to get done on the website I'm putting together for a local countertop manufacturer. That will be online by Sunday, if I don't get too many interruptions.

Today was more windows, but only three, and only one of them rated "difficult." Things were touch-and-go there at one point, when the tricky window looked like it wasn't going to fit. It all worked out in the end, though, and that last window is the one that looks fantastic. Big old farmhouse on the top of a wind-swept hill out on the east side (farm country out there). Snow was blowing sideways at one point, right about the time I went to install the only windward window. The roads stayed mostly clear by afternoon, and the snow moved on. Even the howling winds died down a bit by evening. Almost looks like Christmas out there now. As it should. The weekend's here, and the clock is ticking down on the big holiday. Couple weeks more, that's all. Next thing you know, it'll be spring again! Yeah, sure it will. 'Til then...

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