The Window to my Soul…..Kind of.

Ok Ok OK I cannot hold it in any longer.  WE REPLACED THE WINDOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Replacing the windows in the house has been in the plans since the day we signed the dotted line on a 30 year mortgage.  We considered doing it in 2014 and even met with 2 contractors to get pricing.  The quotes couldn’t have been farther apart from each other.  We had 19 windows we were looking to replace.  One contractor quoted around $6,500 (this did not include 3 windows in the garage or the sliding patio door that desperately needed replacement).  The 2nd contractor quoted $25,000 (ahem, ANDERSEN). It took a LOT of self control not to laugh in his face in horror when he told us the price.  While the windows he showed us were gorgeous and very high quality, I just could not even consider $25,000 for a single project in the house.  We would never even recoup half of that in resale, so he was out.

It was then that I began painting every room in the house, and then we sporadically bought furniture.  My budget for windows was gone, and the following 12 months were agony.

Go figure we would have one of the COLDEST winters Virginia had seen in a long long time, and the existing windows were showing us just how bad they were.  The drafts coming through the windows were bad.  The wind coming through some of them that were not even fully closed when they were painted on the outside was HORRIBLE.  We went through lots of clear packing tape sealing up the gaps (some of which were up to 1/4″) to try to keep the heat in.  It was minimally successful at best.  Our $400 power bills were proof of that.

By January 2015, Frank Amory of Window Depot USA of Richmond had called me as a follow up to our quote from the spring before, and I was READY.  But not quite ready.  We scheduled the appointment for April, and then my project list started growing again.  I figured, for a temporary curb appeal solution, I could paint the windows!  Get rid of that ugly burgundy!  Then I could save up some money and buy 1 window at a time and install them myself and save a ton of money!

3 days, a gallon of paint and 6 painted windows later, I gave up and moved our appointment to March.


You will hear people tell you all the time, oh, window installation is so easy!  You can do it yourself! They are telling you a half truth.  Yes, taking the window out and putting a new one in is easy.  It’s everything after that which is tedious, and if not done correctly, will destroy your new windows.  The more research I did, the less comfortable I felt with a DIY on windows. Foaming, caulking, balancing, sight lines, climbing on the roof….or a 28′ extension ladder.  NOPE.

By the time Frank Amory arrived to our home, I knew what was going to happen.  It needed to happen.  We were past “want” and into “desperately needed or would fall into an abyss of insanity and hopelessness”.  He measured windows, he talked numbers, he showed samples.  2 days later I was signing a contract and getting PSYCHED.  We would replace all 19 of the windows AND the sliding patio door!!!!

We decided to go with “grids” (aka muntins) on the front windows for some added curb appeal, but I decided that grids on only the top half.  I thought it was a unique look, and it also was less expensive than grids on the full window.  This was the easy decision, then Frank dropped the ball on me.  “I’m also going to need grid patterns for the top sashes, how many panes on the top?”.  Um, you mean I have to make another decision?  Panic ensued.  This wasn’t just about my personal taste.  This was a part of the house that needed to be widely liked by all parties to ensure a good resale.


I tried playing with pictures on the computer, but that wasn’t all that successful.


Apparently it didn’t take Frank long to figure me out.  When I asked him how I should decide, he said “I think a glass of wine and tape is the answer!”   And it WAS!  I taped up 4, 6, 8 9 and 12 patterns in the top windows, walked out into the middle of the front yard and enjoyed a glass of wine.  DH joined me, and within 5 minutes, we decided on a 12 grid pattern for the wider windows, and a 9 grid pattern for the skinnier ones.


Sadly, shortly after we ordered the windows, my excitement was marred by grief as DH and I had to say goodbye to our beloved Ben.  He sadly passed away on April 15th.


About 3 weeks later (and to the annoyance of many of my co workers, family members and Facebook friends) I got myself worked up looking forward to the install.  Then the day came and it took everything in my power not to jump out of my skin.  The installation team showed up and were immediately assaulted by super-stoked-amped-hyper-OMG it’s the day-Erika.  They handled it with grace and it was GAME ON!!!!




It took 1.5 days, 20 million tubes of caulk, 2 yellow jacket stings, one sadly broken nest of birds eggs (blame that on my dogs) and lots of dealing with chatterbox me, but the guys finished and made me the happiest home owner ever….because of this:




I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Dana, Frank, Josh, Harley and Joe at Window Depot USA of Richmond for their time and great attitudes as well as quality service.  I highly recommend them to anyone in the Richmond, VA or Charlottesville, VA area for their window replacements.  And no, they didn’t pay me for this.  But I AM considering re-siding the house now too……oh FRAAAAAAAANNNNNKKKKKKKK!!!!!!