Windows and Siding

As we moved into late winter, our windows continued to give us timeline problems. Our builder, Shaun, had done some consulting for Marvin Windows and had a good relationship with them, so we were going with Marvin. But they had experienced a significant COVID-19 outbreak at their main Minnesota factory, and then when we thought we had a good timeline for them they shifted production of our batch of windows to their east coast facility, which further delayed things. Our electrician also couldn’t start until the house was “dried in” and sealed from the elements, which meant we needed windows.

Or, as it turns out, tarps over the windows. So that’s where we ended up in the meantime, with big poly tarps over our (many) window openings so that the electrician could get started.

When the windows finally did arrive, they went in in a hurry. And it was like the house got eyes! Or eyeglasses, anyway.


With the windows in, not only could the electrician work without tarps flapping everywhere, but we could also get started on siding. Our plan was to do a board-and-batten for most of the exterior, with some blackened pine for the living room “glass box.” We debated about batten spacing for a while – our neighbors had 12″ between their battens, and since we didn’t want to look to same-same with the other new, modern house next door, we decided on either 16″ spacing or 8″ spacing. We liked the narrow look better, which then triggered a minor revolt from the crew – they wanted to increase their bid if we were going to add more battens per square foot. Ultimately, we let Shaun deal with the issue.

The minor siding revolt was a piece of a bigger issue though. Material costs had been on the rise – primarily lumber – and up until this point Shaun had been pushing for labor bids using 2019 pricing. That worked up until early 2021, when just about all of the subcontractors started agitating for more money. More on that later.

Meanwhile, the siding started to go onto the house. The first photos from Shaun triggered a minor panic on our end: the siding was tan, rather than the light grey we had discussed. The original plan had been to paint the siding before it was hung, but a Summit County cold snap meant that it was too cold to paint everything ahead of time. So the tan is primer, not the final color. The blackened pine is still to come.

Job Stuff

Finally, on the home front, our plans to move to Summit County from Denver involved some hope on the job front. Before COVID, my job required me to be in my office in Denver at least four days per week. I had hoped to argue for more telecommuting time, and in one of the few rays of light of the whole COVID pandemic, I went fully remote for a year. Nevertheless, I wasn’t sure what my office’s plans were to return to the “new normal.” I told them about the move while their plans were still in flux, and a few weeks later they announced that we would be going back one day per week in early summer, and then two days per week in September, with no current plans to increase the in-person requirements. I wouldn’t drive down to Denver four days a week, but two days a week certainly seems doable. So I’ll continue to be gainfully employed! Yay!