I am sitting at my desk nearly literally squealing with excitement since my latest phone call from Dan. Why, you ask? Because we're getting new windows!!!! Windows that open and close! Windows that aren't painted shut! Windows that lock and unlock! Windows with screens! Windows that are sealed around the edges and therefore don't let the 30 below zero winds in during the winter! Windows that will earn us a nice chunky tax credit next year! I could go on and on. Can you just feel my excitement radiating through the computer? I thought so.
Thanks to a reference from a colleague of Dan's, we are going with a local company that has been in business over 30 years. Unfortunately I was not at the house this afternoon with Dan to talk with the guy who came to do the estimate, but it sounds like they also offer a variety of other services including gutter work (which we also need), so if we're happy with them I am already confident that they will be a great contact to have for future projects as well.
Since we've done the bulk of our "remodeling" work ourselves and have also been lucky enough to have talented friends and neighbors to help with other projects (anyone remember my neighbor saving us from a $2,000 death scare?), we haven't actually hired a contractor with the exception of the guys that refinished the kitchen floor. That being said, when we first decided "Hey! We should get new windows so our heating bills aren't $300 a month anymore!" we did what (I assume) any new homeowner would do - we called Home Depot. Cue the smelly older man that came over this past Monday to do an estimate. Although he was extremely nice and had lots of (yawn) stories to share about houses with $70,000 worth of mahogany windows, I was personally not thrilled about working with him. But, I don't know the first thing about windows and we figured Home Depot must, so we were ready to bite the bullet and bring them in for the project. Thankfully, before we did that we were given the other reference, and now we're saving money AND giving our business to a local team rather than a big box store, which I am always a fan of when it's affordable.
The only downside to working with the smaller company is that the windows take a bit longer... but even so we will have brand new energy-efficient (go green!) windows in 3-5 short weeks!