Going Green

An expensive lesson learnt in home improvements

There’s this quaint but somewhat useful Vietnamese wedding tradition where wedding guests gift the bride and groom red packets filled with money for luck. Cheap Geek and I cashed in on this tradition; instead of setting up a wedding registry, we asked our friends and family to gift us money so that we could get some double glazing for the house.

A window into domestic bliss?While double glazing has good R values, there are cheaper ways to improve the passive design/thermal efficiency of a house: door and window seals, roof insulation, pelmets and heavy drapes. With the exception of heavy drapes, none of these things are good at keeping sound out unfortunately, and because we live on a main road, sound is a big issue. Cheap Geek and I are sick of being woken up by morning traffic, of having the trams compete with our favourite TV shows, and I’m pretty sure my hearing’s being damaged by the constant noise. So now that the wedding is over and we’ve kept to the wedding budget, we’re putting in some double glazing. 😀

However, as I hand over thousands of dollars to the windows installer, I keep on thinking whether the money was well spent. The window installer discussed how a lot of real estate agents recommend double glazing to investors with properties that are situated on main roads; double glazing is a major capital improvement that should boost the resell value or rental return of a house. His reasoning is good in theory but my area, like the rest of Melbourne’s transport corridors, is experiencing major redevelopment. It won’t be a nice family moving in after me; someone’s going to knock my house down or rent it out to a whole bunch of feral tenants; improvements aren’t going to be appreciated.

Of course, double glazing is going to make ‘domestic bliss’ (not to mention energy bills) a whole lot more pleasant, so as long as we live in this house, it’s going to be worth it. This improvement just means that we need to stay for a little while longer. We’ll have to temporarily shelve those dreams of upsizing to block that’s big enough for us to grow our own avocados and keep chickens. It’s an expensive lesson learnt, but one we’ll keep in mind in the future. 

Image credits: Emilia113

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