Saturday, July 16, 2011
We both worked a Sunday so we could take Monday July 10th off to go window shopping... by which I really mean shopping for windows. We drove the long haul to Langley (about 3 hours from home) to see the AllWeather windows we were aiming to buy (they don't have any showrooms closer to us, and I refused to spend $15,000 without actually seeing what I'm buying. Bizarrely, the salesman tells us many people don't do this - they rely on the brochures.) It was a tiny little place, filled with windows (their own windows were of the industrial sort; not their own. Ironic). In decreasing order of fancyness, here's wood with metal cladding on the outside, vinyl with metal cladding on the outside, and plain old vinyl. We took the middle road. 'Architectural brown' on the outside, 'wicker' on the inside. They open and shut with a little windy handle. Fancy. This sort of window - the kind that opens outwards, rather than the kind that slides - seals better, so it's better for heat loss. We're getting a 'sunstop' coating put on the inside of the outer piece of glass, and a second coating on the inside of the inner piece of glass - together they'll again help with heat loss in winter, and heat protection in summer. All very complicated.
The doors, however, at AllWeather, were not as nice as we'd hoped. The ones that open outwards don't end up lying flat against the wall, and there's a giant, strange post in the centre that attaches to one of the doors. The sliding door had a vinyl track, so it looks that 'wicker' colour from the outside as well as the inside, regardless of the colour you choose. And both were just... not great.
So we went on a mission looking for doors. We tried GieNow in Richmond, then a little place (don't know what it's called, but it advertises Doors Doors Doors outside; maybe Trayler, Michael Designs Ltd?) near Ikea. They had a warehouse full of... doors (as promised; the pic shows Stef wandering through the options)... but no sliding doors. They passed us on to a place in Burnaby (name TK) that we sprinted for at the end of the day (made it there with literally 3 minutes to spare). And they have LOVELY doors. I mean, really, really nice ones. Wood. The sliding ones glide like magic. The handles are nice. Everything is nice. Even the mozzie netting is nice.
We've ordered the windows. Now we just have to decide whether we want sliding doors (lockable in multiple locations, space saving, convenient mozzie screens) or French opening ones (somehow a bit fancier, but they'll blow in the wind, you have to have them entirely open or closed, and the mozzie netting is a pain). We keep changing our minds. At $2000 a pop, you don't want to get it wrong!