Wednesday, November 19, 2014

German windows!

One thing about living in Germany that is very different than living in America is that Germans take their windows very seriously.  When we were looking for places to live, we talked to our current landlords, who proudly informed us that they were in the process of replacing all of the windows in the house we're living in.  And then they told us they were going to put screens on them!

I come from the southern United States, where screens on the windows are a given fact of life.  We put them on our windows to keep out the intense sun and all the bugs and leaves that tend to fly around down there.  Here in Germany, screens on the windows are pretty rare.  When we lived here last time, my husband Bill, who is perpetually "hot-natured", would complain about having to choose between having a cooler home with the windows open or dealing with bugs.  So when our landlords mentioned screens, he was interested.

Personally, I like to keep the windows closed unless it's very stuffy because I am sensitive to noise, either the noise I make or the noise others make.  I also get cold easier than my husband does.  Especially during the summer, we're often gently fighting over the temperature.

Some of the windows in our house were already replaced before we moved in.  The rest were finished last month over a couple of particularly chaotic days.  It seems the local company that did the windows has someone on staff who routinely messes up the measurements.  She happens to be the business owner's daughter, so she stays in the job, even though her mistakes sometimes cause waste.  She happened to get the wrong measurements for the windows pictured below.  At one point, that entire panel of windows was removed and covered with plywood.


But look at them now!

The new windows are fantastic!  They are very heavy duty, high quality, and triple paned, so there's a lot less noise going into or out of the house.  With two loud hounds and my own penchant for making and playing music, that's a good thing.


It was great to get the glass back after a week of plywood.


This is a door that got a new screen on it.


The screens were added yesterday to several windows.  This screen door has powerful magnets that keep the door closed.  If we wanted to, we could leave the big door open and let fresh air in without fear of insect invasion.  We probably won't, though, because we have dogs that bark!

I was really glad we didn't get screens on all windows because one thing I love about German windows is being able to look out of them without any obstruction.  Our windows happen to overlook a nice field with lots of trees.  Sometimes I like to take pictures of the scenery.  Not having screens on all of the windows lets me do that, yet I can also open the windows that do have them and prevent insects from invading the house.  I also love that they have three settings.  You can open the window, close it, or set it to crack at the top.  It's very cool.

I never thought I'd be so excited about windows, but I am.  I love the fact that they are large and let in a lot of natural light, even if it can mean buying curtains that are huge!  I have never been one to like using overhead lighting and much prefer lamps in my house.  And I really only want to use those when there's no natural light coming in.  Large German windows make it easier to do that.  They probably help save money, too.  Our landlords also put in electric shutters on the window panel in our living room.  They work by remote control and are fabulous when we need to go out or want privacy.

My landlord asked about our windows in the USA.  I told him that most of them weren't like what we have here, though I knew of some people that special ordered German windows with the rolling shades.  I imagine most people who are willing to do something like that are either immigrants or people who lived in Germany with the military.  It probably costs a bundle to do.  

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