Saturday, September 15, 2012

The monster window

Another weekend, more home improvement tasks. The work never ends when you're a homeowner.... or when you have a rental property. This time, it was the rental that got our attention.

This morning, we headed to the local hardware store to pick up some sort of roof sealer stuff to fix a small leak in the roof. David made that repair while I did some yard work. While we were there, one of the guys who lives there showed us how the drawstring for the vertical blinds in the front window had broken off. The blinds can now only be opened and closed manually, by pushing on the sliding piece (that's the technical term, by the way) that the blinds are connected to. We went to the store to look at blinds and see what our repair options were.

Let me explain something about this window. David got new windows through the whole house a few years ago, and the installer referred to this one as "the monster." He said he'd never seen a window quite this big. It's floor-to-ceiling in the front room. With the new windows, it's actually three sets of four-foot-wide windows that were installed side-by-side-by-side. The guys measured it, and it's something like 148 inches wide and 78 inches high. The measurements are probably a little off, but close enough. The point is, it's a big window.

It's so large that I'm pretty sure we confused the woman at the store when we went to look at blinds options. I'm not a fan of the shades currently on the monster window, and I liked the idea of getting three sets of blinds to put over each of the windows. David pointed out that that might look funny since they'd have to go all the way to the ground. The lady at the store said we could get a new sliding piece and just reinstall the vertical blinds on it. While we'd be stuck with the vertical blinds, it did seem to be the most cost-effective solution.

She showed us the longest piece they sold, which was 104 inches. She held it up and we said that while it would be a good idea, this particular piece was too short. She didn't believe us and appeared confused. We didn't know why she was confused, because we'd already told her the measurements. She insisted that the 104-inch piece would be long enough. We insisted that it wouldn't.

"They measured it was 148 inches long," I told her. "They may have been a couple of inches off, but I know they weren't 44 inches off."

"Yeah, this piece is too short," David said. "But this would work well if we could special-order a longer piece."

"We can do special orders," she said. "But I can't believe this won't work. Are you sure? The way you're talking, the windows must each be four feet wide."

We told her they were. The look on her face made it clear she didn't believe us. We appreciated her help at first, but we knew it was time to go when she kept making comments and giving us looks that plainly said, "You people don't know what you're talking about."

Well, maybe we don't. We aren't super-experienced DIYers. We do, however, know how to work a measuring tape.

That afternoon, we headed back to the rental house, as we'd made previous plans to meet up with our friends who lived there. We were watching football, but both David and I kept catching ourselves looking at the monster window and discussing our options.

Anyone have any suggestions for good window coverings for a giant window? I'm going to see what Pinterest suggests.

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