Let the Sunshine In

Let the Sunshine In

 
family room pillow

This is my family room.

You might have met before.

I love every nook and cranny of this room.  I love the tufted ottoman and the two love seats and the pom pom pillows and the bookcases that we built in when we remodeled the room and the window seat and the light that dances across the almost 100 year old pine floors.

I love it all.

Except.

Except for the one thing I’ve never showed you before.  I am literally biting my lip and wrinkling my forehead with a look of apprehension on my face as I type this.

It is the bane of my existence.

windows

It’s these windows.

The two windows staring at us over the window seat.

Oh, they look all cute and everything now with the sunlight streaming through.

But don’t let them fool you.

window seat

Here’s a close-up.

Still cute.

Still sunlight.

And don’t forget the fact that I’m trying to distract you with blinds and fancy pillows with birds and branches on them.

But when you pull up the blinds and take a closer look.

{gulp}

I’m not even sure if I’m ready to show you.  Hold on.  Let me take a deep breath.

Wait.  One more sip of coffee.

Ready? (she says peeking out from between her fingers)

cracks in window

Yikes!

See what I mean?

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Those cracks?

Seriously?

And the random stuff that’s kind of looks like marshmallows that have partied a little too hard?

I don’t even know what you call it.

But it’s not pretty.

window replacement

And the best part about this glorious scene?

The windows don’t even match.

They try to come together.  They do.  They really try.

But all that trying forms this really weird window angle that we just painted over to try and fix it.

window replacement ideas

There’s a two inch gap between the storm windows and guess what that means?

Those random bugs that pretend they are lady bugs party like there’s no tomorrow in that space.

And every year, I take off the outside storm windows and vacuum and sigh and ponder my existence…..

…..and wonder what to do about my window situation.

windows

And then I shrug my shoulders and go all Cleopatra with denial and pull down the shades and ignore the cracks and the bugs and the random stuff that looks like marshmallows.

And the room looks like this with the embarrassing windows hidden by sunlight.

But this year?

It’s going to be different.

I’m partnering with Window World for a window makeover.

And the best part?  

I’m bringing you along with me.  I’m going to be sharing my journey over the next few months.  It’s almost like a window soap opera with some amazing staring characters.  I’m going to walk through every step of the window replacement process and learn about the company’s windows.  I want to make sure I honor the integrity of our house, so we’ll figure which windows work best for each space.  We’ll learn why you should choose a particular type of window versus another and how to properly measure the space for the best fit.  And together, we’ll discover everything we ever wanted to know and more about how to replace windows in our homes.

And I’m really, really, really excited (can you tell)?

I know it’s only windows.  But for me?  To solve a dilemma I’ve been fretting over for years?  It’s going to be amazing.

I can’t wait to take down the blinds, show off my new windows….

….and let the sunshine in. 🙂

PS  If you have ever replaced windows in your home and you have any advice for a new window replacer I would really appreciate it.

Total disclosure:  This campaign is being sponsored by Window World who holds a special place in my heart.

All opinions and photographs and cracks and marshmallow look-alike stuffing pictures are completely my own.

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Comments

  1. We replaced all of our windows 5years ago now. Best decision ever. We chose the basic style of window we wanted and the placed our trust in the sales dude. Hey they see all kinds of stuff and know what they are doing – hopefully. We had a pay window area that was actually 4 separate windows. He convinced us to combine the two middle ones into one full non-opening window. I didn’t want to lose the look we had – it had been there for 25 years, but he promised that it would look more open. And of course it does and we’re so glad we did it. We even took off all of the window treatments so we can really enjoy the view. Message – trust them. They know what they are doing. You will love it and your budget will love it too with the money you save on AC and Heat. Have fun with it!

  2. Yeah for you!!!!! What a great thing that you can partner with this company and get your new windows. New windows are a pricey redo. 😉 So are you replacing the entire house or just this particular window? I do love your window seat arrangement and the beautiful space for the sunshine to stream in…and of course I adore your family room. My favorite is a light pallette like the grays, whites and taupes. My hubby doesn’t care for white/light colored rooms, but I am slowly winning him to my side. LOL So looking forward to your window redo and following along as you finally get your dream come true.

  3. Well Ms. Thistle…let’s see. In our first house we chose vinyl replacement windows. And then when we built this house, we got the wood. I had to have the grids but I wanted them to be removable because they look more real I think. When my mother replaced her windows, she chose the wood as well. After many years of different windows…here’s my advice:
    1. If you want grids, get them between the glass.
    2. Make sure that you can move both the top and bottom as well as tilt-in for easy cleaning.
    3. Think about your screens!!! Do want to be able to have a screen for just the bottom, or the whole window. If you do the whole window, odds are your removing them for winter.
    4. One of my favorite windows of all time is when the top 3/4 of the window is strictly glass, while the bottom portion is a crank out. I think it’s because when it rains, you can always be able to have a window open for fresh air!
    Thant’s all I can think of for now! LOL! good luck:)

    • Hi Cindy! We completely agree that the tilt-and-clean double-hung window feature is one of true convenience. Hope you come back for the rest of Karianne’s story & enjoy your new windows! 🙂

  4. Barbara Moore :

    How wonderful for you! Of course this well deserved opportunity came about due to your fabulousness….and because everyone loves your blog. So happy for you! Can’t wait to see the finished product. It will be just lovely, AND your new heating/AC bills will = a lot of Karianne happy dances!!

  5. Good for you, Karianne!!! Really looking forward to the who window redo process. I have never undertaken that project myself but I am sure you will do fine…in fact, I am sure of it!!! Have a great day!!!

  6. BTDT: you’ll be fine, and wonder why you didn’t tackle them years ago!

    Think about how the new window frames – and the spaces in between – will temper your view through them, and consider where the muntins (the pieces in between; different terms include mullions, dividers, and more) will lie.

    Think about how you’ll all want to open them (with ease!), and what open windows (uppers, lowers, sides) will do to the air flow into, and around, The room and yourselves.

    And think about how you’re going to (have to!) keep them clean!

    And lastly, measure twice, cut once. 🙂

  7. WOW….. the sights that lurk behind “Gorgeousness” !!! 🙂 ……… Exciting news for that beauty of a “Farmhouse” you call home!!! Hoping we shall see the new and improved … “Farmhouse style Windows” … 21st century style?? The “Bane of your Existence” is about to ROCK!!!!! 🙂

  8. I feel like I’m reading my own thoughts! Haha! Although our new farm house is only about 30 some years old (so envious of your old floors! Ok- well envy is a sin so how about I love your old floors!) our windows are horrific! Ladybugs galore in my office… Most of them didn’t open when we moved in 7 months ago- I had to call the old owner and ask what the trick was… Which was go outside with a razor blade and cut along the layers of caked up paint every spring- and then once opened they either hang crooked or I have to prop open with a soup can! We too have partnered with Window World- have 55 windows ordered and I am trying to wait patiently! It’s so funny how something little like that can draw our attention from all the other beauty around it. Hope you are happy with yours- we used them in our last home too and they were great to work with. Crossing my fingers that the NC team is the same. Have a wonderful day!

    • Hi Shelley! Thank you for ordering your new windows with Window World. We hope you love them and consider teaming up with us in the future (perhaps for a new entry door?). 🙂 Congrats!

  9. We did our whole house with Window World about 7 years ago! They were fantastic to work with and it made SUCH a difference in our utility bills and the overall look (inside and out). Great choice of businesses to partner with. 🙂
    xo Heidi

    • We replaced all the windows in one of our rentals with Window World windows, love the difference it made in the houses appearance, not to mention how it improved the energy efficiency, and sound proofing. Makes the house so much more attractive to the public. Will use them every time we need new windows.

  10. Haha! They say your windows are like the eyes to your house. Just like the little laugh lines appearing around my eyes, the revelation that even you have windows needing attention makes you even more endearing. However, I don’t know a gal who is opposed to some botox or a great eye cream…so armed with that knowledge, go forth and conquer the window replacing world! We’ll be watching from the sidelines cheering you on.
    Have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious weekend!

  11. KariAnne, the window seat is lovely. You did a beautiful job of hiding those cracks. Beautiful room.

    That’s some fantastic (photo staging) natural light pouring into the room too.

    It will be fun to see how it all looks once you finish the window over-haul.

    Happy weekend!

  12. Love the pom pom pillow, did you make it or can you let me know where to find it? I have 2 couches so similar and would love to change up the current pillows!

  13. I so love how your writing draws me in – and the reveal is always not what I was expecting! Replacing old problem windows is such a satisfying experience, and I am sure you will enjoy finding the perfect ones for your charming farmhouse.

  14. We replaced our windows last year. After you replace yours, you will NEVER say they are only windows again. I cannot believe the difference in the warmth of each room now, how much money we have saved on our heat and best of all how beautiful our rooms look now. You will love them. The only regret I have is that I didn’t want to pay extra for the grids in one particular window so we didn’t get that. I do regret that now but we can go back and get just the grid itself. Good luck.

  15. Christina in FL :

    Oh Karianne, how exciting! Cindy has wonderful advice! I would add that if your current windows are original to your home, SAVE THEM!!! The old glass is marvelous for all kinds of projects. You probably have already thought of this, but still… I just had to say it! 🙂

  16. Every home owner at some point faces the new window drama. Ugh
    I am looking forward to how your adventure unfolds!

  17. Yvonne Shafer :

    Good morning! We had to replace a window in our kitchen because I smashed my finger when the old heavy original wood window broke and fell on it. The pulley ropes broke and the window fell. Anyway, there were a few other broken ropes so we ended up replacing four of them for now. We got Pella wood windows with built in screens and had a wonderful experience throughout the whole process. More new windows coming for our 110-year-old house as the budget permits. Enjoy the adventure!

  18. Robin Stephens :

    Can’t go wrong with replacement windows. We have them on the to-get list, too. The ones we have are distant cousins to yours….but nonetheless, they are not what I want. I want fresh and new. A friend was over recently and we were discussing home upgrades. We live in a nice neighborhood of 25 year old homes. Not bad, really….but not “new”. I mentioned wanting (needing?) replacement windows and she asked “Why??!” I said it was easier than washing these. What me do? =).

  19. I re-sided my home and replaced the windows after my husband passed away. Many of the sills were rotted and you could see the curtains move in the winter when the wind was blowing a gale! I chose vinyl covered wood windows with grids between the glass. They were not the most expensive windows I could choose from, but not the least expensive either. Resist the temptation of buying cheap windows. You get what you pay for. The thing I love the most??? They TILT INSIDE so I can wash them. Brilliant huh? Used to, I had to cart a ladder around the house to wash the windows from the outside. At 65, I decided it was time to retire the ladder. I wish I would have had these windows a LONG time ago. I can wash ALL of the windows, inside and out in no time at all. And with the inside grids it is so easy to get them clean. Other perks…how quiet it is when the wind blows outside and I was able to turn my thermostats down because they have made such a difference summer and winter. New windows will make you VERY happy. Just make sure you get a GOOD installer!

    • We also have the vinyl outside and wood inside with grids inside. Great choice. Because the sun can be scorching we also have shaded thermal glass, which is only really noticeable when you open the bottom half and the 2 halves are seen together. You will be thrilled when the sun shines. Easy care and easy on your fabrics, too. Looking forward to the Great Window Adventure.

    • Linda, we completely agree that the tilt-and-clean double-hung window feature is one of true convenience. Glad you decided to retire ladder! 🙂 Hope you come back for the rest of Karianne’s story & enjoy your new windows!

  20. Umm, marshmellows that partied too hard?!
    I am just dying with laughter here!! You are
    hysterical!! I loved every honest bit of this
    post and look forward to the journey! : )

  21. I have grills on the inside that I can take out which I did for the bottom portion for the longest time, I just put them back in for a new look.

  22. Those windows sure have a lot of character.

  23. Debbie Klausing :

    We had to get 7 new windows upstairs 6 years ago. I wanted to match the 20 downstairs windows, which were 6 over 6 muntins. They also need to be updated, but way too pricey. We ended up choosing Marvin windows upstairs because they were the only ones that came close to looking like our originals. I like our Marvins, but if I had to do again I might try something less costly, since it is unlikely that we will replace our downstairs with Marvins at their prices.

  24. I can’t wait!! I have windows that make me feel I have teenagers who need braces…replacement is in my future…thanks for taking me along for the ride.

  25. Oh this will be fun…I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose and how it turns out! I have a couple of your window’s relatives living with me…

  26. Excited for you! We used Window World for our last home, and it was one of the best customer experiences ever. Amazingly fast, professional, and with great customer service.

  27. Oh, KariAnne…I am sooooooooo very excited and happy for you and your home!!! One of the selling features of the home we moved into almost two years ago now (YIKES! Can’t believe it’s been THAT long already!) were the new windows. We had come from a century home that had the original windows still intact…they were beautiful, but also massive and back-breakingly heavy to open. When I wanted to wash the outsides of the windows, I had to take down all of the screens which were screwed onto the outside of the house and then remove the outside panes so I could get to the ones underneath…it was a ton of work. The windows I have now tilt so it makes cleaning easy peasy! I think you’ve already got the major concern behind you and that’s finding a reputable company that will listen to your concerns and work with you, making suggestions along the way when needed.

    I just can’t wait to see the start of this journey…I know there will be many many helpful tips for all of us to keep in mind should we ever need to install new windows…this will be such a great resource to bookmark and come back to! I am certainly wishing you all the very best in this and I dearly hope you will come out of the process happy and satisfied…and as beautiful as your family room is right now, it’s going to look even more beautiful once those windows are fixed up!

  28. Kimberly Bruhn :

    We have slowly but surely replaced the windows and doors in our home. We bought our home, a repo, in 2000 before the bottom fell out of the economy. The windows we’ve replaced have all been the funky vinyl ones. The wood windows I’ve just been able to paint and refresh the hardware (spray paint princes, here). My favorites have been steel-over wood on the outside and, wood on the inside. The outside steel came powder-coated so it was quite the color commitment but gotta love the low maintenance! If there is one thing I would do differently it would be to choose to pay up-front and have the inside wood finished, too! It is so difficult to stain/paint/finish double-hung windows…ugh! And, I might be guessing here, but I bet you would choose to have them finished in white? Congrats on your new look at that gorgeous view!

  29. It was Sunday morning. I had just opened my eyes and was just enjoying being all cozy and warm while I watched our curtains blowing in the breeze. Except. It was January and the windows were closed and there shouldn’t have been any breeze. That’s when we decided to get new windows. We went with a company that worked on historical homes in our area and they were done in a day. Best decision ever. By the way, our present house has very good quality windows and those bugs that pretend to be lady bugs get in anyway. How DO you get rid of those things?

  30. This will be very exciting! Looking forward to seeing your progress.

  31. How exciting for you!! I knew when I bought my house the windows were going to need replacing and I used that when negotiating the price. I didn’t know what I wanted for style so I went on Pinterest (where else?) and kept looking at window styles until I found what spoke to me. And I knew immediately they would complement my home style. I went for vinyl rather than wood for maintenance purposes…..let’s face it, there’s not enough hours in the day as it is to get everything done I need done on a daily basis! The end result? I absolutely love my new windows! and the energy efficiency means that they will pay for themselves in savings on heating bills in no time! I stood by the windows when the storm was raging outside the other evening and couldn’t feel even the tiniest draft – that’s quite the improvement over the old crappy windows I ripped out! Looking forward to seeing what you choose, KariAnne!!

  32. Yay!! you have just decided the best thing you can ever do for your home. We used Window World about 6 yrs ago….best thing ever. just the plain windows with the screen on the bottom. Lessens your utility bill, too! So happy for you!

  33. I know you will have an absolute BALL going through all the processes required to reach the final product….! Fretting and stressing will be the highlight of this fun time for you, Miz karianne! But girl, I know YOU up for the task at hand….LOL. My only suggestion is, be sure to get the tilt-in windows, #bestthingwindowreplacementpeopleeverdid.

  34. Loved the reveal! As usual, was presented with style and humor! Looking forward to reading about your new windows since I have to replace some soon and have been considering window world. My must have list? Double hungs, because they flip in for easy washing…great on second story windows for sure. Plus you can open just the top for breeze and not worry about pets or kids pushing out the screen and falling! And a casement if I can coordinate style for over the sink and the garden tub so I crank it open instead of leaning over and pulling my back to open them. And screens, for sure, to let the southern breezes flow through without bugs…..and probably vinyl or fiberglass or coated wood since have had to repair wood rot in our existing ones….am sure you will love your new ones, and thanks for letting us travel along with you!

  35. We used Window World for replacement windows…they were great…my one word of advice which is really a no-brainer, but I totally overlooked it and it’s too expensive a mistake to change but here goes….make sure your window frames match the rest of the windows in the house. I know, perhaps ridiculously silly to overlook…but I did and I’m sorry every time I look at the front of the house…white frames…blue wood frames…black frames….in that order. All I could focus on was making sure all the windows had the little individual panes…didn’t even look at the frames…whoops. Sigh.

  36. I have not had the pleasure of new windows and now I have moved into a condo and it will not happen. My neighbor replaced her regular windows with gorgeous large picture windows. If you have a lovely view from your windows having a large picture window really looks fabulous and no grid Whatever you choose it will look fabulous. Good luck.

  37. Deborah Deaton :

    I had to chuckle when I finished reading your post about your windows! Your windows sound just like mine several years ago before we decided to take the plunge and replace all of our old windows! We, like you decided on vinyl over wood replacement windows and never looked back! I picked the 6 over 6 pane that are in between the glass, since our home dates back to the early 1900’s. Those windows are wonderful and are so easy to clean! Just tilt them in and clean the outside as well. Karianne, you will not be disappointed, and I am overjoyed for you! I was like a kid on Christmas Day when they put my new windows in!

  38. New windows will be fantastic! Save on heating and cooling and critters too. I would recommend the kind that tilt in on the second floor so you can easily clean them. We only have two windows on the second floor and when we replace them, I will most certainly have the easy clean option windows installed.

  39. Lots of good advice here. We replaced our windows when you could get a tax credit for doing so. SO much warmer (and cooler in the summer) than before. My advice, which unfortunately comes from a sad experience–ask questions about the best way to clean your windows and avoid anything harsh which could scratch the coating on the outside.

    The style I used for our picture window has muntins along the top and side–see the “prairie style” in this link. http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/window-grids-for-your-home-style How and where you do mullions/muntins depends a lot on where the room is. Is it at the front of your house and you want to have a consistent “look” from the outside? Or is it at the side or back, and the view out from inside is more important to you than how the home looks from the exterior? I feel like I’m peering through a jail cell window if there are a lot of mullions, but that’s just my personal preference. My style window wouldn’t work for your house; there are a lot of different styles out there. Can your window company upload a picture of your home and do a “pick my presto” a la Layla so you can get a feel for how house would look with different styles?

    Happy for you that you are getting this done!

  40. We’ve had two of our former houses completely “re-windowed.” I learned that several things: 1. I did not think the windows with the dividers between the glass looked good at all. They looked kind of cheap. 2. I loved having casement windows wherever possible (ones that tilt out vertically with the little knob at the bottom). That way, your screens are inside, and don’t get all dirty, and it makes for a solid pane of glass. 3. On the windows that were “double-hung” and opened by sliding up and down, make sure they can open into the house for cleaning. 4. If you go with wood windows, make sure that they are already painted inside and out. Our last replacement windows were all wood, with some sort of metal trim that was already painted on the outside to match the trim of our house.
    Can’t wait to see what you do with yours.

  41. Wendy Johnson :

    I can’t afford new windows but I am still interested in the process. I loved the comment about the bugs pretending to be ladybugs, we call them evil ladybugs, haha.

  42. Will you be offering the white bark?? trees you have on your bookcase?

  43. As I was reading your story the one thing I thought of was to tell you — don’t fret . . . Replace!! And it is a messy job. I want to warn you, if your house is that old they may have to put up an asbestos sign. Yep!! It is hazardous material and they had to do all sorts of weird things. It was almost like we were contagious with some vile disease. Our little ranch was built in the ’60’s. And the one ( three) things we didn’t replace — 12 foot sliding glass doors that go wall to wall, and two bow windows one that is 12 feet in length and the other is 10 feet. We would have had to sell our souls just to afford those replacements. Now, I love windows but the people who built the house went window crazy!! The challenge is where to put furniture — windows everywhere. Can’t wait to see your window replacement. Have a great weekend. Your rock star t-shirt got lots of compliments today 🙂

  44. Congratulations. You are lucky. I bought a 40 year old house this summer, that my parents and I have been updating by ourselves. On my very tiny budget. Everything in it was also 40 years old. Which isn’t too bad in terms of a old house, but windows and doors and all that jazz weren’t made as efficiently back then. The windows are single pane, aluminum frame. Not only that, there is another set of single pane windows on the outside of those. These have screens on both sides but you can’t really clean in the half that doesn’t open on the inside. LOL. It’s weird. I would love for someone to come in a sponsor me, but I am but a little ole blog.

  45. We used Window World 5 years. Loved the whole process We had the whole house done and the installation was a fascinating process in our brick home! We continue to be so pleased with our choice
    Good luck and enjoy your new windows

  46. We had that partying marshmallow stuff in some of our windows at the lake and found out it was gases between the panes. Not sure how that happens. We’ve replaced all the windows at our city house and lake house so I’m quite familiar with the process. It goes surprisingly quick in spite of how involved it sounds. If this is the only window it will be done in half a day.

    Yay for you…hope to see more of this gorgeous window seat and view!

    Jane

  47. We have used Window World and love the windows and the integrity of the company. A friend is having all of her window replaced by Window World and appreciated the salesman’s professionalism, price and commitment to help her with the best windows for her home.

  48. “It’s a marshmallow world we live in” and you just happen to have a sunny one! Can’t wait to see your window progress.

  49. That is so exciting that you are getting new windows!! We put new windows in our 50 year old house, and my biggest piece of advice…have more than one person do the measurements!! Ours were totally measured wrong, they didn’t fit, some windows actually blow cold air into our house, and it took them over two days to install, when it was estimated max. 1 day. Good luck, my friend. Once they are all finished, it will be incredible!

  50. How exciting!! This will be so much fun to see the process! I can’t wait to see the “after” photos!

  51. We replaced all of our windows when we remodeled 3 years ago. One of the best decisions we made! You will be amazed at how quiet and clean everything becomes due to the new window technology. I would only hope that they match the rest of your windows in the house or it could look pretty bad from the exterior.

  52. Oh…I’m excited for you! We had our windows replaced about 18 years ago. My advice….get the best you can afford…it’s so worth it. Ours are argon gas filled….and they really make a difference. The second suggestion….wait for warmer weather! We had ours replaced in January and it was super cold…not a really smart idea…but they did give us a discount because it was a slow time of year. Getting new windows will make such a difference in your home….and how you feel about it. Your home will smile! 😉

  53. Good for you! When my husband suggested we get new windows for our 1960’s home…a great investment he said…I was initially bummed. Would much rather have spent our hard earned cash on something more “fun”…was dying to have new living room furniture and drapes…but no, windows it was. I am so glad! We used Window World and were very pleased with the entire process. We bit the bullet and did the whole house at once. Having windows that are virtually maintenance free and that actually open and close without a struggle is heaven. And they all match! And they all have screens! And they aren’t covered with years of paint! We spent a little extra and got the outside trim in cream vs. white. Our neighbors who just had Anderson Windows installed say they wish they had used WW. And their guarantee is true…had a cracked window…have no idea how it happened…and they came and replaced it for free…no questions asked. Enjoy!

  54. Oh Karianne,
    I so feel your pain!! Our three front windows are awful!! They are metal, bowed, and let in droves of ants! Besides all of that loveliness, the panes of glass are so hard to clean! They really don’t clean! I’m looking forward to reading these posts. Hopefully, in the next year we will have the money to replace them.

  55. Beautiful! Just put lace at the bottom of your window drape. 🙂

  56. One word…JEALOUS. Friends have used WW and have only good things to say about the company. I have been wanting to redo our far worse windows (can you say 1970s aluminum) for years but haven’t had the cash to do all the front windows, or the energy. You see my husbands den/office/hoarders show wanna be is in the front also and to replace all the windows in the front of the house would require being able to open the door to the room, let alone make it to the window to replace, need I mention on the second floor. Perhaps some day there will be a give away for windows and I will win OR a give away for a free week with a dumpster (placed strategically under said window so I can toss all the CRAP (excuse my language, but it is the only word befitting the room) and then move on to windows. Can’t wait to see what you pick out.

  57. Our house was built in 1972 so the windows were horrible metal ones. We replaced them when we moved here 15 years ago. The only thing I can warn you about is that it is a messy job. If you are just replacing the one window, move and cover everything in that room and you should be fine. Dust and mortar flew everywhere in our house and I had to do a very thorough cleaning to get it all cleaned up and out of the house. But you will LOVE your new windows and they will be so easy to clean!!!