8 Reasons to be Absent During Window Installation (in which I make the case that clear glass in walls is overrated)

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This month, I’m participating in The Nester’s “31 Days of Change” project. The challenge: to write every day for 31 days! Click here to read more and to see what other listy-things I’ve been up to.




So, we’re working on this little barn project at my parents’ farm in our spare time and it is going swimmingly. Sometimes I even get to use power tools and I have yet to cause any structures to collapse.

But recently it became time to install the windows.

On the second story of the barn.

With a motley crew composed of my dear, scholarly husband, my farmer dad, and me, a cubicle-dwelling wimp (for lack of a better word).

I will now give you several reasons why, if anyone happens upon you and perchance asks you for help installing windows, you should say no, kick them in the shin, and run shrieking in the opposite direction (the same strategy applies when a van-dwelling stranger asks if you want any candy).

1. Windows are made of glass and are very very heavy. Which means that dropping a window “to rest” “just because” is NOT AT ALL AN OPTION. Not even a little.

2. Windows are expensive. See item 1, and check out the off the charts anxiety of all cubicle-dwellers and scholars handling said windows.

3. Windows are not exactly easy to handle. There are no convenient/comfortable ways to carry/hold a window. There are usually weird trim pieces made of vinyl or steel or wood sticking out every which way.

4. When installing a window, at least in our case, it is necessary to have people both INSIDE the building and on the OUTSIDE of the building. Which is more or less fine, except when you take into consideration that the window you are installing is ON THE SECOND STORY OF THE BUILDING. Which means that ladders and and balancing and dangling and the like are involved.

Thankfully Dad realizes the depth of Kenny and I’s ineptitude and played this role for us.


5. Once you have people both inside and outside of the building, it is time to place the window–which needs to be put on from the OUTSIDE of the building. Which (again) is two stories up. Which means that the window has to be lifted up (inside the building) and threaded through the window ON A DIAGONAL to the person dangling on a ladder. Then everybody needs to get the window back into place by using a strategy of “working together.”

6. Windows need to be placed very specifically and intricately into the casing. When building, you know, A BUILDING, it is best if things are level and square and straight. Which is lame, obvs.

7. Finger pinching is LITERALLY INEVITABLE, unless you have the dexterity and nimbleness and strength in your phalanges of a thousand men.

8. When you place a window into its–well–place, it blocks any previous breeze there may have been (as windows are sort of designed to do, I guess). And (see item 1), you will be sweating your hiney off by this point, making your hands slippery and your previously-high stress levels to shoot to heart-attack levels.


We had to install three windows (the fourth was, mercifully, done by someone else), so we repeated this list three times.


Here is a deceivingly peaceful picture of an installed window. My hands were obviously occupied during the process, which is why there are no in-progress photos. Sheesh.


And there you have it: several very good reasons to kick window installation in the shins. Or something like that.

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