May 24, 2011

Window carpenter
Photo by Jim Ruen
When it comes to fixing windows, it pays to have an expert carpenter do the work.

As I write this, a couple of carpenters are squaring up and adjusting our 15-year old Pella windows. A couple of the windows have given us problems since they were installed, and others have gotten worse over time. Initially, the local Pella sales office recommended a carpenter to replace a failed window. Once finished with that, I asked about the other “problem” windows.

Jacob, the carpenter, showed me how to check the windows to be sure they are square and what I would have to do if I were going to fix them. I declined the DIY advice, and set up an appointment for him to do it instead. As I listen to him and his assistant struggle with a window in the next room, I am confident I made the right decision.

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I learned to call in the experts quite a few years ago. A key had broken in the ignition lock of our older second car. Deciding that a locksmith would be too expensive, I proceeded to buy the bits necessary to drill out and remove the ignition lock. I spent more winter evening hours than I like to recall in our unheated, poorly lit garage. For hours, I contorted into various uncomfortable shapes as I worked at the lock on the steering column.

Later, when another lock failed, we did call a locksmith, and it cost us around $50. In retrospect, I would gladly have paid him twice that or more to do the job on the car or would have paid to have the car towed to a repair shop. Fixing things yourself is great, but sometimes it just pays to pay someone else.

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