A/C units and making our Curb… Appealing

Our asymmetrical windows are unbalanced no more! I swapped the AC unit from the front, street-facing window to the side facing the driveway and am really pleased with the result. It was not as simple as I thought it would be! Still, I was able to do it by myself and within only about an hour.

Here’s the house mostly as we bought it, with humongous bushes concealing the front.img_0849

Here’s after Handsome Husband cut the bushes down. Look! A house! img_1124

And here she is – with symmetry fora  front face!

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I started by taking stock of what had to be done- it turns out the unit is not only sitting in the sill but wedged in on both sides by extending flaps that screw in tight as well as blocks wedged between the top of the window and the pane that sits on top of the unit. That may be elementary to AC window unit installers but I never knew!

I unscrewed the extending flaps and moved the wooden blocks the unit sat on to their final destination : the window that faces the driveway.

I was nervous not knowing how heavy the unit was so I gently pulled it back from the window once it was unscrewed and I had all the wooden blocks dislodged. A ton of water came pouring out of the back. What does that mean? Is that supposed to happen? Unlike a different window unit we own, this one has no visible holes or rust marks, so I’m not sure why… oh well! Google it later! Onward!

I heaved that thing out and onto my chest and carefully walked (read: staggered) the 15 feet over to the other window. I placed it on the sill and then lifted and shoved and leaned and heaved and hoed and huffed and puffed and begged the gods of every religion – WHY WASN’T IT GOING IN?!?!?

In the meanwhile in the inside of the house in her room. the front plastic plate fell off and hit my captivated kid in the noggin, so there was a little mini crisis that distracted may attention. I set it down and ran inside, first for the kid, then to take a closer look at why my unit wouldn’t just slide in. It had just slid out of what I assumed was the same kind of window – they look the same, they’re even in the same room for goodness’ sake!

There was a 1/2 inch metal ridge on the bottom of the second window! The first one had no ridge.  What the !@#$$!@! That made the space between window panes, when  it was opened, too short to accommodate the unit. Holy mother of DIY, my husband was going to kill me. “You smacked our kid in the head with an AC unit plate and then didn’t even end up moving the unit?!” I had to figure it out fast – before he came home. Full confession: I do nearly all of my DIYscapades while Handsome Hubby is away because he despises my methods. And my ideas. And my scatterbrained-ness that  leads to me endlessly starting new projects without fully finishing the last one. Squirrel!

If the mystery ridge was not enough, I took an even closer look and realized something else was different. The small metal pane affixing the vertical lift piece (on a car it’s a “strut” I think…) was longer on the second window than the first. Hmm, maybe I could swap them out? Wait a minute, we don’t need the struts at all –  the window is going to be held up by the unit! It can’t come crashing down! I gleefully unscrewed the little fixture holding up the strut and boom, the window was able to open another few inches, and the AC unit fit in, after lots of swearing, because now there was nothing to hold the window up and I had to pick the unit up off the ground instead of just off of my chest. Where’s my third arm? ! I used a piece of wood that wedged the unit in on the sides to prop the window up temporarily while I slid it in. I re-did everything I had undone and alakazam. No more window unit facing the street!

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Now all want to do is fine a nice cheap couple of hanging baskets to mask the units and I will consider that eyesore as remedied as possible! (We’re thinking of having AC installed in the house but that’s a $6500 project that is at the bottom our priority list. The window units stay. Another dream that’s not even on the totem pole, it’s lying on the ground sleeping next to the totem pole, is to have new windows  installed. These suckers are no longer weatherproof, are single paned, and look janky. Oh well! Debt freedom is more important than windows!)

What did you do this weekend? Any Curb Appeal upgrades? Let me know!

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