It was so much fun to see the windows get in. For several months, the windows were covered with paper and now the light shines in and I can appreciate all the views. My favorite view is from the great room and from the master bedroom located on the floor above it. The master bedroom has a stair step ceiling coming up from either side. That, combined with the view, will be spectacular.
I realized after visiting my sister and brother in law in Seattle, that the ability of a window to keep out the cold is a lot more important here in Wisconsin. The real test of the windows will be in the midst of winter with a cold, northeast wind blowing off of an icy Lake Winnebago. There are certainly a lot of choices for windows. I went with what the builder recommended. He is working with a new supplier. The windows are from a company called Weather Shield. Their windows are made with Zo-e-shield glass. Mine is called Zo-e-shield 6. The difference between that and Zo-e-shield 5 is an extra pane of glass.
The following is a quote from their website.
"An extremely energy efficient insulated glass system is now available. It was introduced at the National Home Builders show in Orlando in early 2007. All Energy Star requirements are substantially exceeded by this new technology. We have literature available and hands-on demonstrations available for anyone interested or as part of a Green-related meeting or presentation. Just give us a call to set up a demonstration in our showroom, or to schedule an off-premises presentation.
Zo-e shield 5 is a combination of a new Low-E3 coating with EasyCare and an Argon/Krypton gas fill. The combination of these elements along with a warm-edge spacer system gives our customers one of the highest performing insulated glass systems on the market today. In addition, the outter glass is double strength, which is more rigid, and minimizes stress cracks as well as sound transmissivity. This technology is an exclusive for the Schield Family Companies (Visions, Peachtree, Vetters, Crestline, and Weather Shield).
The Benefits of Zo-e-shield Glass
- Over 30% reduction in solar heat gain over standard Low-E
- 33% estimated savings on cooling expenses
- Blocks 95% of damaging UV rays
- Special EasyCare coating on exterior keeps windows cleaner longer
- In the winter, Zo-e-shield glass surfaces reflect heat back into a room
- The addition of an Argon / Krypton gas mix improves the overall thermal efficiency of the glass
- Flexible warm-edge spacer system
- Creates an effective insulating barrier against heat flow
- Reduces heat loss
- Reduces thermal stress cracks
- Reduces condensation that can cause mold and mildew
- Reduced seal failures (fogged glass)
- Thicker exterior glass for more durability, less flexing and distortion due to wind loads, fewer stress cracks,less noise transmissivity, and more overall window stability.
- High performance Zo-e Shield 5 insulated glass includes Low-E cubed (triple coating)."
Burning questions that I have been pondering: where to put the TV? Over the fireplace? Build shelving on either side of the fireplace and put it in there? Or keep the space open on either side and get a TV on a stand that is portable--that way I can have it change position if I need it too. The other burning question is where to place the half wall(s) between the kitchen and great room. There are 3 arched openings separating the kitchen and great room. The plan calls for 2 half walls/cabinets on either side of the central opening. Colleen's contention is that we will always run into the back of a couch with that set up. She is promoting putting the half wall in the center opening. Then the couch will lean up against it. I am still pondering that one. There are about a million and one decisions to make when building a house!
|Lake side of the house|
|View from the dock|
|Sunflowers popping up and Miss sunshine, Anna|
|Sister, Gail and me|
|My mom, next to the fireplace (I couldn't get the picture to rotate!)|