I can see clearly now, the rain is gone …
Can’t help but hear that Jimmy Cliff lyric pulsing in my mind. On this eve of a momentous venture. The replacement of windows in my mobile-home rental!
As written prior, the rental is a fixer-upper. That much was clear — speaking of Jimmy Cliff’s song — when I took occupancy about 2.5 months ago. I’ve completed various repairs and upgrades, including painting the entire interior — on my own time and dime.
The windows. Ah, the windows. This mobile home is circa 1960s. Enough said? Maybe no. Single-pane windows. Crank fin-style windows. You’ve seen ’em. They look like this:
I’ve got giant picture windows. Two walls that are almost entirely windows. A third wall of mostly window. A fourth wall of average-sized window. Here’s just one small portion of the picture window. Those horizontal lines on the left, behind the invisible screen, are fins that are (somewhat) raised and lowered by a crank.
Those panes never seal even when cranked tight. Talk about d-r-a-f-t-s! Chiiiiiiiiiiilly drafts!
Then there’s the rotted or disintegrated wood framing. Where once stood wood is foil tape, clearly — there’s that word again! 😉 — a Band-Aid solution to a longstanding problem left unaddressed.
With the cold season upon us, I fully understand the 1,000-plus staples in the walls around all the aluminum frames, flush to the wall, when I moved in. They held plastic sheets against gawd-awful drafty aged single-pane Plexiglass. The ONLY deterrent, short of replacement, to frigid Arizona winters.
Previous tenants didn’t only staplestaplestapleandstaple giant plastic sheets to the walls — leaving me with their staples to remove, tediously, patiently :). They also used strapping tape, duck tape and double-sided tape, included in those temporary winterizing window-film kits — as evidenced by layers upon layers of old adhesive stuck on the aluminum frames.
Which I removed. And lemme tell ya, that was a MONUMENTAL task of scrapingscrapingscraping, containers of Goo Gone and Goof Off solvents designed to remove SUPER GLUE and even then the project required massive elbow grease! My elbow grease!
Anyhow, after a week or two of painstaking scraping of old adhesive off aluminum frames, in preparation for painting, the landlord stopped by. I proudly displayed my workmanship. Later that day, an email arrived. “Stop the scraping! I’m going to replace your windows!”
Too late. I’d just finished!
She assured me that replacing the windows has been on her back burner a long while. Still, I reckon my incredible hard work and commitment to taking excellent are of her property inspired her to get on it now.
I should add that the degraded windows all have cranks that are on e turn away from death. Windows are drafty as hell — an oxymoron. Believe me, my brain was working overtime soon as I moved in when the weather was still toasty warm and sunny! on how I was gonna survive a winter in that icebox.
Needless to say, I was ecstatic when the landlord informed me of the plan to replace the aged windows — eight in total! Ecstatic!!!
Naturally I held off an any treatments for the bare windows until the new ones — of different design, shape and style — are installed.
That’s when the project begins. With presumably eight being replaced, it’s a big project with an unknown completion date. In the nick of time too! We just had our first snowfall a few days ago. More coming supposedly Monday. Uh-oh. Early winter and a hard one ahead. My farmer’s almanac bones know.
Then, once they’re in, I can get started on winterizing a place sooooo badly needing it. (Zero insulation on walls, frosty floors … the livin’ ain’t easy.) Those crappy old windows are a HUUUUUUUUUUGE heat loss, true. In fact, I didn’t even bother turning on the heat during the snow and below-freezing temps … until my landlord instructed me to do so. To prevent the pipes from freezing and flooding.
Like watching money flutter out the windows! Literally!
Reportedly the new windows are similar to the two small ones in the bedroom that were redone some time back. Double-pane sliders with sills. That’ll help a lot with retaining heat and reducing drafts!
Which circles us back to the start: “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.”
Well, the rain isn’t gone. On the contrary, thanks allegedly to El Nino.
As for seeing clearly now, I can’t say until I actually see the new windows in place. “They’ll have more screens so you’ll probably lose some of your view,” warned the landlord.
I’ll take that compromise for the greater good: warmth, protection from winter and drafts like mini-gales. But most importantly, I’ll take that compromise for the greater good of health. That’s a very private and historic matter; no details shall be divulged. Suffice it to say that I was prepared to sleep in my car, parked outside the mobile home, for a healthier space.
P.S. I’ve slept in my Subbie many times; after a coupla days, it’s not real fun or comfy.
From Jimmy Cliff to Bob Dylan: The times, they are a changin’. Windows too. Whooooo-hooooo!!!!