Two new windows, plans, and more plans

When we bought our house about two and a half years ago, the front porch window was already broken out. They had ‘fixed’ it by putting up a sheet of black plastic. When we got the keys to the house, we screwed up a piece of plywood behind the plastic. That is how the window remained until the momentous occasion of a new window install on Sunday. The picture below shows the window installed and flashed, but no trim yet.

The side window in the same front room was also replaced. I have to say that it’s pretty amazing not being able to see daylight through cracks where the old window didn’t line up right. The window opening had to be completely re-framed as the original was one of the most amateurish debacles in our house. (It’s actually worse than it looks. Originally, this structurally weak window framing was supporting one of the heaviest point loads in the house. The new 4×8 header above the opening is a recent structural upgrade.)

Dozer, the job site dog, chills in the window opening while making sure his owner was doing a good job.

The front room with new windows will eventually become Lee’s office. Perhaps more exciting than the windows, is that “eventually” may be shorter than we thought. This coming weekend we’re bringing back our framer pal to rip out the old floor, shim and level out new underlayment, and frame in the other two walls of the room (this will require ripping out one side of the bathroom wall). The hallway will also be updated by adding leveled underlayment and the missing hallway wall framing. This has me very excited!

But wait, that’s not all!!

We ordered the three windows for the front of the house. When they arrive four to six weeks from now there is going to be a week-long rework out front. The porch deck will be leveled and replaced with cedar, issues with the front door are going to be fixed, a new door is in my future (woohoo!!), the entire front of the house is going to be reshingled, the missing corbels added, and various other things. All told, it should be a major facelift for our house. Only painting and gutters will be missing.

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16 Responses to Two new windows, plans, and more plans

  1. Ali says:

    Your house has a high cuteness factor already, I can’t wait to see it after this work is completed. In someways I envy your ability to go right down to the framing and start over. I often think in the long run it would have been easier to do that at Henbogle House. Good luck and have fun!

    • lee says:

      Sadly, I think a few gallons of paint will have the largest overall impact on the house exterior. I mean, we really do need to make most of the updates we are making, but since we’re trying to maintain the same look (for historical accuracy), it won’t be as noticeable as the final paint job. Going to studs has been good and bad. Good, because there are no unknown problems. Bad, because we have to live in our mess. 🙂

  2. Benita says:

    Wow!!! This is so exciting! I can imagine you are on pins and needles waiting for all of this to get done. Are you going to leave the shingles natural or paint them?

    If you were here in Indiana, you would be waiting much longer. 🙂

    • lee says:

      Yeah, we are pretty excited. The windows have been ordered, so it’s a matter of Robin tracking down a door and then ordering the remaining material. We’re going to paint the shingles, much to the chagrin of our contractor friend. I don’t like letting cedar weather out to gray, and keeping that much surface area stained would be a huge maintenance chore. (Most penetrating oils are really supposed to be re-applied every year.)

      I remember winters in Indiana. Nobody would willing knock out three windows, that’s for sure! Here we will have a week of highs in the 30’s followed by a week of highs in the 50’s. It’s a matter of timing I suppose.

  3. Charity says:

    Progress is exciting, especially the big changes that you can easily see! Better get that office finished soon so Lee can hide from the kids when we move back and visit. hehe

    • lee says:

      It’s looking like the office might be the first room to be totally finished. It’s small, easy to wire, and getting shelves and storage in there would reduce clutter elsewhere. Still, there’s a lot of steps between framing and final trim …

  4. Leigh says:

    Looking good! You must have felt elated to be getting this done. Windows make such a difference. I look forward to the day we can do the front of our house too. I know the neighbors must be tired of looking at it, but oh well, I’m happy to be focusing on the inside for the time being. 🙂

    • lee says:

      I agree that it’s best to focus on the interior. For us, the window replacement tends to hold up interior work though, so it seemed that just re-doing the whole front wasn’t really that much more cost than the framing and window work that already needs to be done. We’re definitely the ugly duckling of the whole neighborhood though, so I think there will be much rejoicing around here too.

  5. Ron says:

    Looking good! It sure is nice when you can finally get to the finish details, which are the only parts most people ever see. 🙂


    • lee says:

      I think completing the office would be a big boost for our confidence too. When Robin starts having an I-hate-studs meltdown, I can just push her in there. (Shouting through the door, “Look at the walls honey. Drywall! Now breath in, breath out, … good … feeling better?”)

      • Ron says:

        Having somewhere to escape to that is “civilized” sure is priceless! If we were to do it all again, I would have spent more time making our temporary quarters better. Ahh, well…


        • lee says:

          I’m beginning to appreciate this myself as well. Not so much for myself, as for Robin. Initially I also didn’t understand the import of it.

  6. Lynn says:

    Yeah, yeah, it’s coming along! So exciting! I go crazy with our old house, I’ve had my share of I-hate-this-old-house meltdowns lately! Good luck!!

    • robin says:

      Lynn I have been having a lot of those I-hate-this-old-house meltdowns too. I so desperately want a room that has some drywall and looks nice. That and I want to be able to have friends over for dinner and such.

  7. Ann says:

    We’ve been in renovations for 10 (long) years. Not to sound discouraging, but it’s become a way of life, these plywood floors and open walls… Life doesn’t stop there though, with enough candles and a fire in the wood stove, it’s nearly like high-end camping. I stopped apologizing to visitors for our work-in-progress a long time ago. Surely, there are moments of “renovation meltdowns” like other readers have mentioned, but I don’t know if I’d trade it for anything in the world. We’re lucky – all of us – who have been blessed with these remarkable opportunities to salvage (literally!) a piece of history. Your work is admirable, keep on keeping on! I’ll be back for more.

    • lee says:

      Thanks for the encouragement Ann! It definitely has the high-end camping feel. We even have a washing machine (but no dryer). For me, the most annoying thing is the lack of a bathroom light. I can only shave in the morning, and even then the window only lights half my face. Robin takes the studs and extension cords a lot harder than me. We’ve got to make some real progress on the second floor this year for the sake of her sanity.

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