Big Windows, Bold Color, and Buying Local

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We put days of research into the brand and style of windows to put in our house.  Why were windows so important to us?

  1. We needed windows strong enough to endure the forces of towing.
  2. Energy efficient windows were a priority, especially in such a small home where we would be in close proximity to the windows at all times.
  3. We valued windows with quality craftsmanship and a sleek appearance.

Basically we needed windows that would look good and perform well!

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Nate showing off our cutest little window

We read about Marvin Integrity windows and it seemed that other people were very pleased with the brand.  The windows are made of fiberglass which gives them the energy efficiency, durability, and seamless appearance we desired.  They have a “low-e” coating on the glass to retain heat in winter and block solar radiation in summer (read more about windows and solar considerations in my post here).

We purchased our windows through Cowls Building Supply, a family owned lumberyard and building supply store.  photoThe staff were truly interested in our project and went out of their way to help us.  Our window consultant, Jen, met with us multiple times to help us revise the window schedule.  Kevin at the sales desk crunched the numbers to help us get the best possible value on our lumber in the board lengths that we needed.  The delivery people were quick, friendly, and professional.  Finally, the paint experts spent a lot of time with us discussing the different paints/stains and helping us choose.  They created a custom color to perfectly match the shade of white of the windows.  For the siding, we went with Benjamin Moore Arborcoat black semi-opaque stain.  We took a risk choosing such a bold and unconventional color but we absolutely love the result!  In the sunlight you can see the beautiful swirling grain patterns on the boards.  When it rains, the water immediately beads up so we know the wood is well-protected.  We are glad we followed the recommendation to stain the boards on the rough-sawed side because we like the rustic texture and the stain seemed to really penetrate the pine.  It will be fun to add pops of color to the black and white exterior in the form of flowers, seasonal decor, and a brightly painted front door.

I’m glad we chose Cowls because it feels good to support a local business especially when the Cowls Tree Farmpeople were so great to work with.  Another reason we liked Cowls was their  commitment to environmental responsibility, which is a huge part of our tiny house build.  For example, they operate on solar power and are committed to sustainable forestry.  In fact, one day while hiking I stumbled upon one of their tree conservation areas like the one pictured.

We were also able to save money by shopping at Cowls.  They have a bargain trailer of odds-and-ends where we found two new Integrity windows at about half the retail price.  We were able to incorporate the sizes into our design so it worked out great!

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Cowls generously provided a special discount on our window and siding purchases, but all opinions expressed in this post are completely our own.

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