About a month ago it was suggested to me that I join a social networking group, Facebook. Reluctantly, I logged on, uploaded my photo, photos of my wife, Tonia and my two sons, Nicholas and Christopher, and my Websites, Within an hour I was delighted to hear from people I had not been in contact with for 30-40 years. Fantastic people I had known and loved and neglected by way of....what's my excuse? Now, each time I log on, my friends, many of them my former colleagues in The New Christy Minstrels, let me know what their up to and who they've found that I should connect with. If I manage my time correctly, it provides a way of attending ‘multiple cocktail parties' from the comfort of my chair. While not everyone embraces this way of connecting, the fact is that for everyone who does not want to get involved, there is one who does. To all of you who are now on my "Friends" link, "Thank you!" I can't wait to log-on to see which long-lost friend I've found and who has found me.
Michael's Bit of Real Estate
If you feel a draft every time you walk by your windows, it's probably time to replace them. Likewise, windows that stick, glass that is cold to the touch, and costly energy bills despite new insulation and other home repairs are all signs that you've put off replacing them for too long.
Whether you intend to buy and install the windows yourself or have a pro do it for you, do the research first. Know your window type: double-hung windows that slide up and down, casement windows that swing out, awning windows, etc. Then pick your preferred framing material, such as wood, vinyl or fiberglass. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, from style to price to longevity.
You must also consider where you live; energy needs in the Northwest differ from those in the Deep South. Ratings for energy efficiency, light visibility, air leakage and other factors are available from government programs such as Energy Star, publications such as Consumer Reports and industry sources such as the National Fenestration Rating Council.
Armed with the right information, you can shop smarter. Have a target price in mind, get estimates and have the patience to wait for the best possible price.
Sources: www.energystar.gov, www.nfrc.org