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If you've been following along, you know that we recently completed our first truly major enhancement to Rock Father HQ (sans the garage door a few years back) - total home window replacement. With not a ton of information available online about the true reality of the process, my wife and I decided that I would document the experience here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine in four parts (Part I: BeginningPart II: In-Home Consultations, Part III: The Vast Realm of Pricing), this being the final installment. After careful consideration taking into account the sales approach, style, quality and pricing, we ultimately decided to hire...

As I posted earlier this month, my wife and I are finally about to start tackling some of the home improvement issues that have been lurking within the property lovingly dubbed, "Rock Father HQ." If you're just joining us, the basic gist is this: In 2010 we purchased a 1,300 sq. ft. home in Chicago's Northern Suburbs, a house that was built in 1990, and one we knew had some issues. Like most homes, it looks pretty good on the surface, but when you dig deeper, there's some things that are pretty bad - several of which stem from the previous owners, two of which fancied themselves to be "handy" - and one of whom shoddily put in windows because he "got a deal" on them. Our first project is fixing said windows, and today I'm going to walk you through my in-home consultation experiences with Pella Windows and Doors, The Home Depot, Renewal by Andersen and Feldco. The fun part? I didn't tell any of these companies that I would be writing about this experience. Out of courtesy, I did reach out to the PR team for the company that did score our business, but only after my wife and I had already done the deal and paid for the job. Bottom line: This post is not sponsored by anyone.

It's time to start improving our home... and that means I'm going to write about it. That picture up top? That's Rock Father HQ. Pretty on the outside... but some evil lurks within...

When my wife and I bought this house five years ago, we knew that there were some issues. On the surface and in the listing, the house looked nice - a somewhat "normal," generally modest 1,300 sq. ft. home in Chicago's Northern suburbs. The two-level (three, if you count the two steps down to the family room) house was built in 1990 as part of the subdivision boom of the era, and like many homes of the time, probably went up quick and with some corners cut. I would've loved "newer" and "bigger" (really wanted a basement), but my wife and I agreed that the house was good, the price was ok and it had the good size yard were hoping for - but most importantly - it had the schools we wanted and we could make it beautiful. As with any home purchase, the inspection found some problems, a few of which we knocked-out right away, and some others that were destined to sit for a bit. Maybe even a bit too long.

As we're experiencing record-highs here in Northern Illinois this week, my daughter and I have been seizing the opportunity to get outside and start working on our garden clean-up. After all, Spring is technically just a few days away. For those of you that are ready to get your Little Gardener ready for 2012, our friends at Melissa & Doug have sent The Rock Father™ word that you can now Save 15% On Any SUNNY PATCH Order At MelissaandDoug.com! through 3/31/12 Code: SUNNY15. They're also running a free shipping promo right now as well!

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