Lucky Number 13

I am excited to report that we FINALLY have all thirteen of our windows properly installed! After a huge headache and a long back-and-forth with Home Depot, we agreed on a path forward. We removed all twelve incorrect, non-tempered windows that were already put in, and carefully boxed each one up for a return to the store. There was a brief moment of panic when we opened a box (which we had quintuple checked) to find a window without the tempered glass etch mark, but we realized that it was the one remaining old window. Phew! Home Depot has been fair with their resolution which included sending us more rolls of Zip System tape, caulk, and nails.


The most beautiful words: Tempered Glass!

We took extra care when taping the windows, making sure that none of our old nail holes are exposed. We will be sure to check for any leaks before we move forward with trim and siding.

This whole ordeal took a huge hit to our timeline and motivation, but now that it is almost completely resolved, I am hopeful that things can begin to move forward again. On the bright side, we both have significantly more experience installing (and uninstalling) windows than we did before!




Two steps forward…

Twelve windows back! This has been a frustrating past couple of weeks for us. We had some great successes: twelve of thirteen windows were installed, we installed our front door, and we had a positive field trip to Hull Forest Products, touring the mill where our siding will be made. The bad news is that all twelve of those windows will need to be uninstalled.

Here’s a little backstory. We special-ordered our Anderson 100 series gliding windows from Home Depot. They don’t sell that particular line in our area, so we were able to order them while dog/house sitting in Maine. Our experience in the store was great; the person who helped get the quote was knowledgeable, friendly, and proactive. She went out of her way to find savings for us. Unfortunately, when we actually placed the order, we dealt with another employee.

Long story short, the windows arrived in the correct size, and the weirdest specifications were met (we ordered the windows with breather tubes, which are necessary when you transport windows between altitudes that vary greatly, which we plan to do). When they arrived, we checked those boxes and thought everything else must also be correct.

Twelve completely installed windows later, I made the mistake of double-checking. As it turns out, the glass is not tempered like we ordered. This is really a necessity for something that we plan on taking on the road. Tempered glass is stronger than untreated glass, and it also helps it to break safely. The glass still shatters, but it stays together and breaks with duller edges than untreated glass.

Photo source:

Unfortunately, the windows we chose have one sliding side and one stationary side, which makes it impossible to simply replace the sashes. Our options are to completely uninstall and reinstall the windows, and risk damaging the sheathing, or to replace only the glass and risk damaging the windows and having an improper seal.

We are still working with Home Depot to resolve this problem, and will likely be replacing all of the windows completely. We’re not excited about that prospect, but we want to make sure that our house is equipped responsibly.

Bird Tail

It’s for the birds!

One Big Baby

This is the baby from round 1 just before it decided to fly the coop.

After we had our walls framed and our rafters in place, the first residents moved into our home. A pair of birds built a nest tucked safely against a rafter, away from wind and predators. We were flattered that they had chosen our home for their own but worried about how long their residency might last. Over the next few days, we found a few of the eggs broken on the floor below; I’m not sure if they fell somehow or were kicked out for some defect. Eventually, one baby bird hatched and we watched it grow and be fed. Its parents were less than thrilled anytime we were near the house, and they made a big ruckus when we put the sheathing up. However, they didn’t abandon the nest, and we made sure to use extra caution when using the nailer in the area of the nest. Thankfully they never decided to dive-bomb us or express their disdain in any way except for vocally.

As we installed the windows, we went a little more slowly than we would have if there had been no birds in the house, so that the baby would have a little more time to fly away when it was ready. It seemed like that baby might never leave, but finally, one day the nest was empty. We were both happy to have an empty home and proud of the little dude.

Five More

Round 2 of baby birds in our unfinished house included a jam-packed nest with 5 eggs.

Well, our home must really be something special because that same night, we found a bird back in the nest. We assumed this might be the baby (I think some species of bird stick around in their birthplace for a couple of weeks before vamoosing). We offered words of encouragement… and a little frustration, hoping that he would move on so we could finish the envelope of the house.

Despite those words, a few days ago, we found FIVE new eggs in the nest! It seems to be the same kind of bird, but I have no idea if it’s the same parents for round two, their friends, or perhaps the baby was on a fast-track maturity timeline.

The one positive that has come out of the window mix-up is that these new babies will have some extra time to hatch, grow, and fly away while the new windows are ordered. We will be sure to remove the nest promptly this time!

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