Still making herself felt

Cyclone Debbie, that is.

Those brown marks are residue from where we taped the windows to try and keep the water out. The heat has baked it on…

Last year, nearly a year ago, she hit our coast and did damage all up and down it. We were lucky and got off pretty lightly, but the front windows didn’t withstand the force of the wind and rain at all well, and water poured in around the edges, down the wall and puddled on the floor. Well, eventually things dried out, but by then rot had set in, and in some areas and it was clear the old wooden windows would never be the same again. Not that they were so very brilliant to start with; in this hot climate, and east-facing in our very hot sunshine and high humidity it was a constant cycle of shrink in the heat and expand in the wet. But after the cyclone they dried warped. With a strong onshore wind and heavy rain they might as well not be there. And the wood has given up. It’s cracked and gaping, rotting, blackened and peeling. Enough was enough.

Would you look at the difference the tinted sunblock glass makes? On the right, glass, on the left, still just the flyscreen, waiting for the sliding panel to go in.

The insurance didn’t want to know, since the windows hadn’t been in great shape before the weather event. So we bit the bullet and got quotes, and gasped and went pale when those quotes came in. Then we got other quotes, until finally there was an option which we could manage. And today’s the day. The weather forecast, although windy, is moderately hopeful. The Husband is off work for the next 4 days. Two men are on the job, and boy are they speedy. I reckon we’ll be putting the blinds and curtains back up tonight.

It’s wonderful not to have the full glare of the sun coming into the room. From the outside, the windows look very dark, from inside, you hardly notice.

It’s not too noisy, but it is a bit messy and disruptive, with doors banging and framed glass panels being trooped through the house. But when the work is done, we’ll be watertight once again, and our new windows will be sleek, narrow aluminium, not nearly as susceptible to cyclone damage. Best of all, the glass is toughened, tinted, UV and heat resistant, so our bedroom and spare room will be cooler – and safer – than before.

I won’t tempt fate by saying ‘bring on the next cyclone’. But next time (God forbid!) we’ll be in better shape to face it.

41 thoughts on “Still making herself felt

  1. Chris S in Canada says:

    Oh my – that is a huge difference in the picture showing fly screen vs new glass! Really cuts the brightness and the glare – for me that would probably decrease the headaches I sometimes get in those conditions.

    I went a little pale 5 years ago when we put in 4 new windows – but the house is warmer in the winter, easier to cool in the summer and really cuts down on the traffic noise (we live on a city bus route, down the street from a school.) It was definitely worth it, We didn’t have the damage you did, just original windows in a house that’s about 40 years old, hurray for new triple glazing!

    Enjoy your new view!
    Chris S in Canada

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m with you on the glare, and I think my migraine episodes will be less painful as a result. The temperature in both bedrooms is noticeably lower and despite the tint, both rooms are also lighter, as the new frames are much narrower and cover less of the opening. We’ve also had a new large glass sliding door put in downstairs which makes our store room accessible without putting on the light.

  2. Good for you. That should be helpful in multiple ways.

    Last spring we had a new sliding glass door put in, too. The sill had rotted out under the old one, and though it was “only” 15 years old, we could do a lot better than simply rebuilding around it. It’s been cold here this winter (temps from as low as about -30C to about -4C.) But the glass is only cool, not cold and drafty. Keeping a home up sometimes requires improvements, not just repairs. Glad you could make it work for you.

    • katechiconi says:

      I like how it has made opening windows a simple thing, instead of an exercise in fear they’d finally crumble πŸ™‚ The original frames were over 40 years old…

  3. The new windows look great. So many options available now there wasn’t 40 years ago!

    • katechiconi says:

      They do look really good, and even better from the outside, lovely and crisp. I think this new glass is going to be a revelation in what used to be the hottest two rooms in the house.

  4. These sorts of expenses can be hard to take, but new and improved windows with extra tint sounds perfect. I hope you never have to test their water-proofing abilities. Good insurance, though.

  5. ALways nice to have something new and modern installed. I’m sure the old windows and frames had a rural charm of their own, but I know what bad weather can do to wood (not a cyclone, of course!) and strong sun is a killer. There are a few wooden frames in this house which could do with being replaced!!!

    • katechiconi says:

      They were good quality windows 40 years ago, but time and climate had taken their toll. I can tell the new windows are already helping; when I put my hand on the roller blind, it’s not hot!

  6. claire93 says:

    new Windows are always a huge expense, but they’ll be a long-term investment.

  7. Ah the joys of having work done in/on the house… still, it’s lovely when it’s finished… and especially so when you end up with a more robust home.

  8. nanacathy2 says:

    You will love new windows. The difference our new french windows made this winter is incredible. No more draughts!

  9. tialys says:

    A very costly job I imagine. We badly need some replacements but this house is more than 100 years old (some of it a bit less) and I can’t bear to put modern windows in. We do have shutters – this is France after all – so that helps a bit and, to be honest, when we have the log burners going it gets very hot and, in the summer, the thick stone walls keep the heat out mostly. However, they do still need something doing with them. Best of luck with all the builders troopsing in an out – do you have to give them lots of cups of tea and digestive biscuits or is that just England? πŸ˜‰

    • katechiconi says:

      It wasn’t very cheap… But it’ll last so much better than the wood, and represents a good investment for the house’s future value. And no, workmen here may occasionally accept a cold drink but generally they’ll bring along an eskie (cooler) filled with all sorts of goodies of their own.

  10. Steph says:

    After 12 years in our place with a wall of eastern glass doors, last year we installed reflective window film. Climate change is real. It has made a major difference this year and we’re a long way south of Mackay! And it has helped with avoiding and managing migraines for me, so I hope you find the same.

    • katechiconi says:

      If the windows had been in decent shape I’d have added film, but they weren’t worth the investment of time and effort. And now, I think we’ll notice the difference in a big way πŸ™‚

  11. kathyreeves says:

    The windows sound wonderful! And how marvelous after having to spen all that money to feel and see a noticeable difference in 24 hours. That has got to help ease the pain of parting with the cash a bit! πŸ˜„.

  12. magpiesue says:

    What a difference those new windows will make, just judging by your photographs. We could use new windows in our home but the first priority is a new roof. We’re nailing down estimates even now and it ain’t gonna be cheap! I’m hoping the peace of mind it will afford will make the cost easier to swallow.

  13. dayphoto says:

    Love those windows! That tint is great! We’ve had to replace windows over the years and the new windows are a dream.

    • katechiconi says:

      The glare of the sun in the heat of the day can be overwhelming, and the bedroom used to get very, very hot, since the sun came in on two sides. The tint really helps, and the special glass keeps things noticeably cooller.

  14. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    I know what it is like when you have workers in and outside your house, I hate it ! But once it’s done I am happy ofcourse. Your window looks good, and what a view you have !!!

  15. Wow, that was one bad window! Glad to hear that it got fixed without breaking the bank… I hope πŸ™‚ ! I have had to change windows in my old apartment, and it took the man all day to just remove the glass from the windowpanes. I was very weary that he would injure himself pulling and tugging at the glass. Nothing bad happened but I was nervous enough to stick around while he was working.
    Glad to hear everything went well in your case and that your house is now warmer/cooler and safer!

  16. We went through a typhoon in Taiwan in the late 60’s and the water came through the windows like they were not even there. We baled water all night and again when the eye came back over. I so know what a mess that can be. I’m glad you finally got new windows as the heat and “other things” can get through those cracks. Little by little, you will weather proof that place and be so comfortable. So happy you have them..

  17. I’ve never heard of sunblock windows, what a difference. Here in the chilly north it would be unthinkable to block a single ray but I can imagine it cuts down on glare, cooling costs, and sunbleached everything. Hurray!

    • katechiconi says:

      You can get coatings for glass which help keep the heat in, too. It has made a tremendous difference, and the new windows, not being all gappy, keep the rooms quieter, too.

  18. dezertsuz says:

    A great choice, Kate. Having the metal windows will save you in rain and humidity, not just cyclones, of course. I have metal windows in rainy Tennessee, and I don’t know what I’d do with wooden ones, considering my wooden deck, in 7 years, has pretty much rotted away!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s the sun that does the damage, and then the rain gets in and finishes the job… They’re really great windows, and the tinted glass makes a noticeable difference to the heat.

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