The Men’s Shed of no Returns.

Double glazing in Finland

Double glazing in Finland

There has been a ruckus in my shed. The shelves in the garage were put up in ever increasing numbers. I now have spare shelves. I never seem to do things by halves. An accusation levelled at me over the years by my dearest H follows a certain tradition. This is often followed by introspection and soul searching. “You are an obsessive maniac” followed by “calm down, think a bit more about it.” She then adds, ” think it through!”

It is true that I get overly wrought up about things. I have learnt to accept that part of me which I can’t change. The shelving is but a small but pertinent example. Let me explain. The small shed called my ‘man’s shed’ (notice the singular ‘man’ and not ‘men’,) is where we store stuff un-storable inside a neat but cosy home. My shed stores items such as a lawnmower, rakes of various descriptions, shovels, a chain saw and many other tools including a circular saw, a sander, router, jigsaw and a grass snipper that is battery operated and allows to work a bit like a whipper snipper cutting grass along beams or edges. There are also various little boxes of screws, rawl plugs, balls of garden string and even an empty gas bottle, many spanners, bolt cutters, electric fence pulse reader, electric wooden beam finder for plaster walls required for banging in nails to hang pictures and lots of all sorts. Some items are not identifiable anymore, remnants of past obsessions.

So, this brought me to put up shelving in the garage away from the overfull shed. A real Man’s shed ought to be mainly for introspection and reflection and not just for listless tools or a sad unemployed chainsaw. My shed needed emptying. I followed the usual path of getting very excited about the prospect of drastic change where my shed would once again revert and become my bode for calm repose and a depository of much loved but useless empty thinking, churning hopeless and forlorn ambitions. All for future shedding. It is truly amazing how much useless thinking can be shelved.

The building of the shelves in garage followed the usual pattern. Totally over the top trips to the timber yards and more and more shelves were bolted onto the inside garage walls. I ran a gauntlet of emptying the Man’s shed while filling up the garage shelves. I stopped finally and changed over to the contemplation of double glazing the windows and sliding door inside our lounge/dining/kitchen area. Numerous quotation were obtained and the excitement reached fever pitch (again).

While winters can be chilly, Australia is no match for Finland. I spent a winter there when it got as low as -40 c. I remember walking in that cold and arriving at H’s parents farm house looking like a frost bitten Omar Sharif out of Dr Zhivago. The eyebrows coated with small cones of ice. I wanted to discover how long one could last in those sort of temperatures. H. soon embraced her Omar and brought me back from the brink. 😉

Here at our home in Australia the winters are nothing like Finland’s. I do like the idea of saving and retaining heat. Double glazing would achieve that. Of course, the idea of a cosy warmth seeping out almost immediately through lots of 4mm glass windows and door panes is disturbing for those forever drawn to the possibility of any loss. The idea of the heaters kicking in every few minutes to keep temperature to a comfy 20c. drove me to contemplating double glazing. The ceilings already have been taken care of some years ago with thermal blankets. Windows are next.

We have had three quotations. They range between $5000.- and $8000.-for about 14 sq. metres of windows and door. We will never recoup the cost but we figure that the peace and retention of comfort will make it worthwhile.

What do you reckon?

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14 Responses to “The Men’s Shed of no Returns.”

  1. Adrian Oosterman Says:

    Save the environment and reduce your power bills. Go for the double glazing by all means.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I agree. Double glazing is the future as is banning all hot water storage tanks together with the Sinodinous’s of this world with Scott Morrison for a five year vacation on Manus Island carving souvenirs out of coconut shells.


  2. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I agree with Adrian, go for it.
    I’m beyond envy about your shelves. Yet another week has passed and STILL no shelf(ves) in the kitchen. It’s time for a riot. I feel a rebellion coming on. You should never have written about shelves Gerard. Now look what you’ve started! I wonder what Helvi would do in a situation like this?


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      No man is perfect but putting a shelf up ought to be investigated thoroughly. Helvi would try and get somehow shelving done by a friend or neighbour. Drill holes in the stone wall and insert sturdy steel pins and rest planks on the pins. Build shelves by bricks stacked on top of each other with planks across. Milk crates? I am sure something could be made.A rebellion might not work. I don’t know if Spanish men would be any better in the shelf department.
      They say a good match is often made in the kitchen of give and take.

      Try…no shelf-no food or shelter. Shelf – nice paella and shelter. (Break it to him gently.)


  3. auntyuta Says:

    You say: “We will never recoup the cost . . . . ” Wouldn’t it be more economical to invest in heavy curtains, blinds or shutters?


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You might be right Uta. Here in the Southern Highlands winters are pretty cool.
      We have vertical blinds that we close in the evening and night. We love looking at greenery from our garden through the windows during the day and often also during the evening. Friends tell us that curtains help but double glazing saves roughly about $400.- to $500.- a year in the cost of gas heating bills. The quote that we accepted is $6000.- for 6.5 mm of glass panelling for the 8 windows and 1 set of sliding glass doors. So…that means a return of at least 6%to 8% per year on initial costs. If gas cost goes up, (most likely) it will be even greater.


  4. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Couldn’t get beyond the shelves. There is no such thing as too many. There are laws of physics and the universe that guarantee those shelves will be filled. Natures abhors a vacuum. –Curt


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thanks Curt. Indeed, shelves are the essence of living. Where else to store our superfluous flotsam of items gathered during life’s travels? I remember having a piece of the pyramid of Cheops in my pocket for years. Alas, I did not own a shelf. Now that piece of historical stone has got lost. It could be anywhere, probably together with a fez that I had bought at Port Said at the same time.


  5. Nick Ryan Says:

    You remember Tillicoultry, Double glazing was installed there some 12 years ago I dont know why more is not used down here in the S Tablelands? Too me it is essential. With the added bonus of reducing outside noise to a minimum, it would be great in town with close neighbours.


  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    The cost sounds high dollar but if you are satisfied that it’s money well spent then by all means fix your windows. A man gotta do what a man’s gotta do. 🙂 ~yvonne


  7. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    I spend a fair part of every autumn on new schemes to save heat both for us and for the planet. If I could afford it I would double (nay triple) -glaze throughout (we have sash windows and the cost would be astronomical). I would like to put solar panels on our south-facing roof, but apart from the cost there is marital opposition because they look so unaesthetic.
    So yes, go for it every time. There are never too many shelves.


    • Nick Ryan Says:

      Hi Hilary, why not secondary double glaze, just on the side most exposed to the cold winter weather it will make a huge difference & secondary double glazing is a lot cheaper than complete window replacement.


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