Some time last year, I decided I was completely over our current kitchen color (Mother Nature by Behr). I think it was caused by a combination of seeing tons of light, bright kitchens on blogs/Pinterest, and the fact that between our walls, cabinets and tiny windows, our kitchen was starting to feel like a dark cave. You can imagine how thrilled T was when I decided to tell him I wanted to re-paint. I think he was pretty sure we were never painting another part of our house ever again (sorry sweetie). Here’s a couple photos of our cave (although it’s come a long way since we bought it!)
I get a week off work around Christmas, but B’s daycare is only closed for a couple of those days, so I figured that would be the *perfect* time to paint- and T wouldn’t even have to pick up a paintbrush. A win win for everyone!
Then we discovered some mold issues in the upstairs last fall (nothing major, but it indicated extra moisture was getting in upstairs). Every summer we put window A/C units in both bedrooms to keep us from having to run the whole house A/C all night. The way our windows are designed (wood divided lite windows, covered by storm windows to give us “double-paned” windows) leaves a very large gap (to the outside air) when they are open. So this lets in all that lovely humid Georgia air. And bugs. I stuff a towel in there to help, but it’s obviously not a weather proof seal. Right around the time we noticed the mold, I’d noticed that T had left the storm window open in B’s room after removing the A/C- which was causing his room to be colder than normal. I asked T to close it- and in order to do so, he had to use a CROW BAR to open the wood window. Whoa. Not cool.
I should mention that all of the windows in our house are this difficult to open- in fact, we never opened them so we took all the screens out of the windows to give us a better view. Although I’m not sure that effort was entirely worth it because it was too difficult to get the outsides clean, so our view out of them wasn’t very good! Plus the wood on the outside would mold every year. I painted the outside of those windows once- and let me tell you, scraping divided lite window panes is NOT my idea of a good time.
Do you see where I’m going with this story? No? Well, let me spell it out then- after living in our house for almost 4 years with gross wood windows that wouldn’t open, we decided to get new windows! This delayed our painting plans for a little while, because why paint if you’re going to be ripping windows out?
We purchased our windows through a local window dealer and the windows are manufactured in South Carolina, which is awesome (local for the win!!) We chose a double-hung vinyl window with low-e glass (glass that is slightly tinted and has argon gas inside the panes) for energy savings (this kind of window is pretty started these days). We opted for a sash replacement, which basically means they take out the old panes (sashes) and replace the parts that they slide on, but leave the rest in tact (the parts that are covered up by trim/drywall). We went this route because we wanted to keep as much glass as possible- sticking an entire new vinyl window in there would have meant losing glass real estate. We also opted for regular windows instead of divided lite windows because we really wanted an unobstructed view out of our windows (I’m willing to sacrifice a little character for a view any day).
Here is a comparison of the old and new windows- same window location, same time of day:
To say I’m in love might be an understatement!! We also noticed a fairly drastic temperature shift, which we weren’t expecting (since glass is not very energy efficient, even if it’s double paned!) I haven’t been able to do an energy savings comparison yet because our weather has been abnormally cold which means our gas furnace was in use a lot more than our electric heat pump this winter. I’m interested to see the summer time savings though!
We did completely change one of the windows in the house- the dining room window. We wanted to get rid of the cave-like feeling in there, and we really love that it looks out onto our deck/back yard. But the way the windows were, you couldn’t see much:
We decided to make this window a picture window instead:
Tada!! Oh wait- that’s just a giant hole in the wall. Ha! Hmm, an open air dining room in January? No thank you…
That’s better- and whoo hoo to the view!! It’s SO much better than before!! Sunsets out that window are my favorite!
Character-wise, I don’t think the outside of our house suffered *too* much:
Especially since we added some character with the new garage doors and snow (oh wait- that doesn’t stick around does it? ha)
I know this post started off talking about paint- and I’ll get there with my next post, but I’ll leave it here for now! What do you think? Is anyone else doing any fun/major house changes?