Three years ago, my wife and I bought a home in Raleigh, NC – a bit of a fixer-upper, but one with good bones in a nice neighborhood in an up-and-coming city. Since then, we’ve made several improvements to the home – it’s a lot more welcoming and comfortable. And then a year ago, we learned that there would be a whole new kind of addition to our home – a bouncing baby girl.
Almost immediately after getting the news, we began re-envisioning our home with a baby – and later, a child – in mind. We imagined floors as soft places to land, yards as inviting places to play. And we began planning to make a wonderful room for our little girl. At first, we thought about themes and furniture and colors. And then we realized: Our baby’s room was the least comfortable space in the house. That would have to change.
Before our girl arrived, her room was used as a catch-all, functioning as a storage space more than anything. Neither my wife nor I spent much time in the room. As a result, we weren’t overly bothered by the excessive heat in the summer or the cold in the winter. The main problem was the windows. The room featured four of them – all single-pane and all pretty old. We started planning to replace our windows – all of them – before our girl arrived.
We did our research. After a short while, we limited our replacement window options to those which were certified by Energy Star and highly energy-efficient. We looked at double and triple-pane windows, and ultimately decided that the former was a better deal for us.
While triple-pane windows are more efficient than double-pane, they’re also more expensive; given the expected savings on our energy bills, it would take three or four more years to recoup an investment in triple-pane, as opposed to double. We want to stay in our home for years to come, but we still liked the idea of getting our money back sooner rather than later.
Rather than invest in triple-panes, we opted for a premium, Low-E window coating. This coating reduces the amount of heat-producing light that can penetrate the window. That meant our little girl’s room wouldn’t be uncomfortably warm in the summertime. Our windows, with their brand-new seals and precise installation, also promised to provide a cozier space in winter; drafts would be eliminated, and the glass coating would keep winter heat from escaping.
The installers at Renewal by Andersen of Central NC were fantastic. We had to wait a few weeks for our custom replacement windows to be built. But they fit the window spaces really well, which made for a fast installation process. The crew started early and worked late, but the old windows were replaced with the new in just one day. We were very pleased.
While we can’t yet say how much of a difference the windows will make this winter, we can say that our little girl’s room has been comfier throughout late summer and into early fall. We’ve had a couple of cold mornings, and I’m happy to say that the replacement windows have been draft-free. Even our backyard and the surrounding neighborhood looks a little nicer through these new windows. Someday, our little girl will enjoy that.