Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pains For Panes - Part One

I've been dreading this day for months.

It's not like I didn't know it was coming. I've known about it for well over a year - I was just really hoping that it wouldn't happen. That it was a bad dream.

The building I live in is about 35 years old and needed new windows. The old ones were not energy efficient and many were warped and poor sealing though I should say that mine weren't too bad. The matter went before the board of directors a couple of years ago and they were waiting for funding. The funding came through about a year ago. The search was on for a design that would work with the existing exterior window opening.

I'm not on the board, but I had talked to people who were and so had a bit of a heads up as to what was coming down the road.

Intellectually, I understand why they chose what they did, I just don't like it - period!

I've lived here for 16 years and one of the things that attracted me to this building was the huge open windows. They were the old sliding glass panels that have been so popular for so many years. You can slide the glass panels so there is cross ventilation if it is raining or too windy to be wide open. Either way, you almost always get lots of fresh air.

The bedroom window was approximately 44" long by 38" wide. The screen, about 44" long by 19" wide.

The living room window was huge! Each panel - including the screen - was about 45" long and 38" wide. Below that was a metal bar/frame, about 7" deep and ran the entire width of the window. Below that, a solid glass panel that was 14" by 75" wide.

Sliding glass windows are still available, but because this is a high rise, it is now against code to install this type of window.

Why, you ask? Because over the years, there have been various incidents across the country of small children climbing up on furniture and leaning against the screens which then gives way causing the child to fall and be severely injured or worse. Yes, this is tragic, but I still don't like this code being shoved on us due to carelessness or negligence of supervising adults.

The work on the windows started earlier this summer on the south side of the building. There were many delays due to weather and product shipment problems, so the installation - which was to be done by November 1 - just started on the north side of the building in October.

I was really hoping that this would be delayed till spring, but the notice was slipped under my door on a Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, that sometime in the next week, they would be on my floor. There was also a brief list of preparation instructions.

- Remove all drapes/blinds.
- Clear the area by the windows and an additional 2.5 feet for the construction area.
- Remove any fragile objects and cover anything that can not be just dusted off after as there will be dust due to removal and installation.
- Tenants are required to leave the premises for the duration of their window installation due to risk of injury while window is being removed/installed.

Oh, joy! It will take me a day to move and cover everything. Then I will have to be out for the whole day (approximately 8 - 3:30 for the installation. Then I get to come home, clean and reassemble my apartment. That will take another day if all goes well.

I spoke with the supervisor and learned that my suite was slated for Friday - if the weather cooperated. I decided to start pulling things apart gradually so that I would not be overwhelmed the day before. I started moving things Tuesday afternoon.

I knew that they provided some coverings, but given my sight, I wanted to avoid dealing with as much dust in cleanup as possible. That meant covering most things in plastic ahead of time. I bought a box of large clear garbage bags and split several open along the sides and then taped them together with masking tape for larger areas and just draped some over other things.

This paneful tale will be continued on November 14.


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