Written back in 2011 as the Real Estate Market in general (and in Ottawa) was starting to go berserk.
A while ago we had the windows replaced at our house. You remember my house, it was a model home and we keep learning more and more about the “tricks of the trade” (at least for this builder at the time) and some of the short cuts that they have taken, and today was no exception (buying a model home, is like using Prototype Hardware, you might get a gem, but you will get a lot of headaches too).
Previously we learned that the model home can sometimes be where the builder may have taken a few shortcuts when building it. We have more than once attempted to remove the wallpaper in the house only to find that there is no primer underneath it, so we then end up ripping the skin off the gyp rock as well. The only way to fix this issue is to paint over the wallpaper (not recommended) or to rip the wallpaper off as carefully as possible and then repair the damage done (and then put down some primer first).
We haven’t had a lot of issues with our house, and we have wanted to replace the wooden windows for a while, however other expenses have jumped up on the priority list, replacing the windows over the years, specifically:
- Replacing the roof. We knew this was a problem when we moved in.
- The furnace and air conditioner had unforeseen issues.
- Every appliance in the kitchen
- Losing my job, delayed many different projects.
However, finally this year we decided to bite the bullet and start replacing the windows on the house. I know normally folks say get 3 quotes before deciding (we did that with the roof and the furnace), however I know someone who is particularly fastidious and cheap, who had already done the work so I simply borrowed his good work, and use the company that he had used (on his own home and on his mother’s home). The estimate was comparable to what I thought, and we ended up ordering the windows and they were installed on Monday.
The installation started off with not too much fanfare, but while work was being done one of the installers called me over to point out that in fact the original windows seemed to have no insulation around them at all (no foam, no fiberglass, no cotton, nothing) which would explain why the windows managed to rot out so nicely (good air circulation around it from both sides, lots of water seepage around it and condensation too). The windows were letting a great deal of heat out in the winter and heat in, in the summer.
So with these new windows I will end up doing two good things for my house:
- Effectively hold or maybe increase the value of the house, as it no longer looks like a “crack house” or a “grow op” (OK, I should also cut the grass more) which are not that uncommon in our section of Ottawa. Curb appeal is important.
- Save me some money on heating and air conditioning charges. I don’t think I’ll delude myself into thinking I am going to recuperate the values of the windows, just that it might be nice to think that my electric and gas bills may not increase in value quite as quickly as they have in the past.
What is Next ?
What’s next on House Version 0.1 (maybe with this upgrade it is House 0.32)? The rest of the windows (the back of the house still needs to be done), the deck and the flooring will be repaired soon.
An interesting thing if the ceilings are not primed, and stippled plaster is used, it bubbles and falls off. Yes there is a lot of work still to do on the interior too.
Note also, if you are buying your home new, a Home Warranty is in place in Ontario and also always get your home thoroughly inspected before buying.