Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Scooby Dogs and Storm Windows

I try to avoid the JC Home Depot because I cannot resist the pull of the Scooby dog.

The Scooby dog comes from the Scooby truck, which was once bedecked in colorful images of Scooby-Doo and his pals. Baseball enthusiasts may argue that the home of the better dog is in the Bronx or Boston or Chicago, but for my money, it's on Rt. 440 in front of Home Depot.

I really just meant to go to the window store over near Bayonne. I have two hundred-year-old windows in my apartment's airshaft. Turbo restored them and got them working a year-and-a-half ago, but when we took off the storm windows, they were so disgustingly weathered that we left them off. One went to the scrap metal guys, who patrol the streets on trash days. The other is at the bottom of the airshaft.

I don't care if there are storm windows or not since in winter, I dress up all my windows in aesthetically displeasing plastic. But no home inspector is going to let his client close on my place without something reasonably modern and weather-proof in the window openings.

"We don't even sell storm windows," said the salesman at the window store. "It's more practical to buy new vinyl windows."

A new vinyl window is $118. A new alumininum window is $200. Installed? $500 for either. Two windows? $1,000.

The salesman gave me a handout. "It's not hard to install a new window. Read these instructions. You could do it yourself."

"Even when it's a hundred-year-old building with no square corners?"


Hmmm. Skepticism. Plus, I'd wanted to keep the old wooden windows for a reason. They're cool. They're original. They're restored. And yet... I'm not even going to be living here.

I drove Henry the 1990 Ford Taurus up the street.

Maybe Home Depot has windows. Mmmm... the Scooby dog truck. No, must resist...

Inside HD were... storm windows! $80 each. But oh so complicated... did I want the kind that "outside mount" or "blind stop." And how do I measure for storm windows?

I measure by climbing down into the airshaft and measuring the OLD window. That way I get it right.

I couldn't decide. Did I want to pay someone (with money that does not exist, since one client is now two months behind in paying me) to install new windows, DIY, or get new storm windows?

I didn't know. But I did know what I wanted on my Scooby dog.

"Ketchup and relish, please."

"Sure, hon."

I contemplated windows and munched my dog in the Home Depot parking lot.


Marie Javins said...

Michael Kraiger has a friend who installed windows once. He's going to ask if he thinks we could DIY. I'll check with my contractor/friend Al too. Kraiger pointed out that "If we screw up something like a countertop, it's okay. But if we screw up a window, that's a real problem."

Anonymous said...

I would definitely leave the old windows and leave it up to the home inspector to either say something or not. Chances are the new buyers won't base their decision to buy the condo on whether or not it has storm windows. If it gets added to a list of "fix it" things, then you can negotiate. If I was the potential buy and found out that you recently replaced the ultra-retro-cool vintage windows for some Home Depot vinyl crap, I would be as angry as a pack of roasted hornets.

Marie Javins said...

True... but you would be a warm angry hornet...