Windows on the world

When we first moved into the apartment, I briefly considered renovating the windows and putting in double glazing. My beloved said there was nothing wrong with the existing windows, so I didn’t change them. However, it’s something I’ve since regretted and had planned to replace them either this year or next. Recently, our building’s management committee proposed everyone have windows that meet a specific standard so that we can reduce the building’s carbon footprint, and its heating costs. The vote was passed by a massive majority.

This has occasioned lots of noise over the past year as most owners have had to replace their windows to meet the standard. I’ve been dragging my heels a bit as I’ve tried in vain to find a self-cleaning glass. Keeping 10 large, floor to ceiling windows clean is one of the banes of my existence. It’s supposedly one of my beloved’s chores but I’m lucky if I get him to do it more than twice a year. From time to time, I find someone prepared to clean the windows but they soon lose interest in such a tough job.

I have bought my beloved various tools with which to clean the windows. He’s got a steamer and one of those Karcher window cleaners but he makes such a mess cleaning them inside and out, it’s often quicker and easier to do it myself! Somehow I think that’s the point he’s trying to make.

As many of my neighbours have now replaced their windows with all-singing-all-dancing double glazed windows, I’ve been able to check out the results. My philosophy tends to be that if I’m replacing something, it has to be superior to the existing product. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything with self-cleaning glass, but I did want improved function and greater security.

The frames have to be aluminium with champagne (gold colour) exteriors but I can have any colour I fancy on the interior. Most of my neighbours have gone for white but that’s too bling, bling for my period interiors and off-white window frames. So I’m replacing like with like, champagne inside and out. It’s champagne coloured aluminium all the way through rather than being painted that colour.

We’ve gone with a firm nearby in Antibes who are the local partner for a German window manufacturer. We had their windows in both of our flats in Germany, and I loved them. Many of the neighbours opted for windows from Italian companies which generally prove to be a less expensive option but this firm is closer, has a superior product and excellent pre and post sales service. It’s a long-established family firm whose employees have been with it forever. Quite my favourite type of firm!

So I’ve signed the contract, paid a deposit and my windows are now being made with fitting planned for the week beginning 21 January – can’t wait. Meanwhile, I have no chance of getting my beloved to clean them.