Saturday, September 19, 2009

Our house was like the nerdy girl from all the teen movies

Thanks to HGTV and all the other home/real estate shows, the words "curb appeal" have now been permanently added to our everyday lexicon. While you now hear the term ad nauseum, there really is something powerful about the impression one's home gives. Not only are we all now aware of the "curb appeal" term, i think our society has learned to associate personal characteristics with curb appeal. I've learned the quickest way to change the way your neighbours act towards you is to change the front of your house. They used to say, "it's the clothes that make the man", these days i'd say it's the front of the house that makes the family. As we've done various little projects to improve our curb appeal, it really is amazing how many more people stop to chat with us, especially if they see us working on something out front.

When we first moved in to our house, the front had a lot of potential. There were nice architectural features like the ornamental brick work and the ginger bread gracing the front gable. Unfortunately, for every nice feature there were also areas of neglect and bad design decision-making. Our house was like the nerdy girl from all the teen movies - really pretty underneath all the drab. One of the most egregious signs of bad design decision-making, was a previous home owners decision to install ugly brown aluminum half sliders, with aluminum caps on all the windows. These windows are everywhere in this city. Judging by their popularity, i imagine some salesman must have made a mint in the 80's, convincing people these would improve their home's value -WRONG!

So we decided we needed to change them. We were originally intending to get wood windows, that would be more in keeping with what would have originally been on the house, but we simply couldn't find a contractor who had time to come quote us. So we ended up going with...vinyl. Yup that's right PVC, the same stuff they make drain pipes out of, the same stuff they make those dreadful plastic lawn chairs out of and yes the same stuff they make S&M gear out of. I know PVC does not belong on a house of any age, least of all an historic one. So to disguise our shameful choice, we decided not to get any mullions, because the vinyl mullions often look like thick cheesy tacked on notions. We also opted not to go with the "brand new running shoe" white, that comes standard with PVC windows. Instead we spent a bit more for the "hope you can't tell i'm not painted wood" grey. Cross our fingers, we hope in 20 years some new owner isn't bashing our choices in cyberspace. So far the neighbourhood response has been positive.

Here's the new look:


Maggie said...

Looks great! I like the grey.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking to replace a few windows in my Victorian (also in Toronto)...can you tell me the company you chose to install your vinyl?
Cheers, Sean

Roncy Vic said...

Hi Sean,

Thanks for stopping by. We had Florio Aluminum come out to measure then install our windows. You can reach them at 905 770-1308 or 416 996-7543. Good luck.