About a month ago, I installed the upper sash in the living room window. It only took a few days to start and finish it–another one of those “why didn’t I just do this in the first place?” moments. I have no official plans to start another one anytime soon.
I’m behind AGAIN… This was installed January 31st. Apparently, it takes me a full month to post updates these days. The only real downside to this panel is that when the light refracts through the facets and bevels, it reflects off my glasses since my chair is in front of the window. Oops… That was not considered as part of the testing plan.
Since it was 70 degrees his weekend, I started cleaning up and prepping the new, old window for the living room redo. This window came out of a house that had been abandoned for decades, but is in nearly perfect shape because it was protected under a porch. All it really needed was to have the old paint removed and the interior stripped of the varnish and insect droppings. I’m used to sashes being built out of white pine but these appear to be Douglas Fir or some other harder pine. Using the steel wool to remove the stripper released a sweet smell from the sap. The downside is that the wood is easily splintered–my thumb can attest to having been impaled (almost literally) upon a long splinter while removing the stripper.
This window is destined to become a stained glass window. The design is still in-progress but it’s getting closer. The long, narrow cottage window was simpler to design because the bevels dictated the layout. These two panels, while they do incorporate bevels, are less “influenced” by them; in other words, the bevels are a smaller part of the overall design.
Yup. That’s pretty much it. It cooled off dramatically this week, so I’ve forced myself to be outside working on the paint project.
Since the last post:
- Replaced four small pieces of siding between the two upper windows. (Swore a lot, but got it done.)
- Painted the cottage window sash the dark brown and put up the new storm window. (OMG! It is 1000% better than the old one. Larson even had the option to not split the window into two equal pieces of glass.)
- Installed the cove returns on both corners of the south side of the house.
- Finished the east gable on the garage.
- Primed, painted, etc.
Part of what takes so blasted long is moving the ladder for each step of the process. On top of that, I have two sets of ladder horns (one for corners and the other for flat surfaces) so they have to be changed as necessary. With the multiple colors, you have to paint on one, wait for it to dry, and then come back again with the next color. Unfortunately for this part of the project, moving the ladder consists mostly of trying not to drop it on the electrical drop that’s on the south side of the house. Tedious, time-consuming, and nerve-wracking.
I hoped to get the upstairs sashes trimmed out with the dark brown, but didn’t get to it. My daughter returned on Saturday night from a three-week trip, so today was spent hearing about everything and getting reacquainted. It sure was quiet around here without her around. Gonna have to get used to it one of these days because in about four years or so, she will graduate. (shudder)
Repairing, scraping, priming, trimming, painting… Yup. That pretty much sums up the weekend thus far. And the weekend before, and before, and before… Well, heck, the last full two months. I’d estimate that I’m about 1/3 done with the whole job. (sigh)
I finally got the east side painted so that the Night Owl and Rock Bottom were near each other. I think it works as the gable is only slightly darker and as a result doesn’t make the house quite so top-heavy as I feared. Alas, I see now that I have one more bit of intensive trimming to do that I think will really make the gable pop. A last minute addition to the lineup, but I think it will be worth it. Stay tuned…
Last weekend, I removed about half of the plain 1×2 the PO had used to transition from the porch ceiling to the side walls with a shingle mould trim. It makes it look so much better. As for today, the window sashes on the east side and the large, cottage window from the dining room on the porch received their dark brown trimmings. I really like the looks of a dark sash. Just seems so… right, perhaps?
And just to distract myself and to provide a little less of a broken record post, I included photos of the hollyhocks that come up each year. I’m always amazed at the variety. The originals came from my grandmother and who knows how long she had grown them. Surely, they would be considered “heirloom” seeds by now.
It hasn’t stormed here since at least June or before.
Admittedly, installing the storm window for the Palladian attic window is a bit premature considering that the interior side is not yet painted, but I wanted to see how it would look. Not too bad, actually. It was a bit of a trick getting the curve joints right and fitting it in the opening once built, but it’s in. I wonder if there was originally a storm for this window?
The window is built from some reused 5/4 window trim left over from when I replaced the windows in the second-story bay window. It took gluing up a couple of pieces for the top section to get it wide enough to accommodate the curve. Then, after I cut out the curve, one of the pieces ended up having a sizable crack that wasn’t noticeable until then. So, a spline was added to give it strength and (hopefully) fix that permanently. The spline is visible at the top in the photo of the unfinished, interior side.
All of the small joints have at least two biscuits and one Kreg screw to keep them together; the larger, bottom joints have four biscuits and two screws. The four turnbuttons were reused from other windows on the house, but only after cleaning a million coats of paint off them.
And, oddly enough, it only took one piece of glass, again, recycled. I fully expected to break at least a couple of panes before I got it right… I don’t expect the storm to really make any difference with air infiltration in the winter, but it should help protect the inside sash from condensation and the ensuing rot.
Next weekend, I’ll take it down and paint the inside along with the glazing compound. Sad that I waited 12 years to do about five days worth of work…
My house is suffering, in some ways, from the ravages of deferred maintenance. I’ve been fully funding interior renovations and putting off the exterior stuff. I trimmed the south window in the sitting area at the top of the stairs a couple of weekends ago. That got me to thinking about a lot of things that were wrong with that window. Last weekend, I decided that it was time to rectify that. Ages and ages ago when they added that window, they didn’t do the best job repairing the decorative shingles below it. Doubtful anyone but I would notice but it was driving me nuts! At any rate, I got out my ladders and put that project to bed once and for all by repairing and replacing both the diamond and some fish-scale shingles on the porch while I was at it.
Since the ladder was out, I decided that the Palladian window in the north gable probably needed some well-deserved attention. It’s a little over twenty feet off the ground; doesn’t sound like much but it’s plenty high when one is up there. My wife and I man-handled the ladder over there and I shinnied up to take a look. OMG!!!! It was far worse than I imagined. The old sill was just laying there out of habit. When I started taking it out, it came out in these light-as-cork chunks. The window trim itself was so worn by water that you could see the grain pattern. Not to mention the fact that most of nails holding it to the house had long ago rusted away. The window sash itself was very rotten on the bottom. What kept the whole thing in the wall is beyond me. How embarrassing that I let it go this long!
All of that is now history… I replaced the sill, reattached the frame to the house using stainless steel finish screws, and primed it. I also replaced the bottom of the window sash with a new piece salvaged from another old window, and primed it. Now I just need to paint the exterior with a finish coat and add the glass. I’m hoping it can be installed tomorrow as there is a chance of rain on Wednesday (although, I will believe that when I see it considering that we are six inches below normal so far).
The next step is to build a storm window for that Palladian window. Shouldn’t be too hard, really. Maybe a couple of weekends and it should be in place. And now I’m seriously considering painting the house next year. It really needs it…
After 45 minutes, my attempt to remove the upper pane of curved glass failed bigger than life. I was being tender and loving getting it out, but I’m convinced there was a hidden flaw that killed me in the end. I will now have to build four leaded glass windows instead of two. I was so mad, that I decided that the lower pane of glass could just as well break when I took it out, too. I showed it no mercy, carelessly chipping away at the old putty. In less than 15 minutes, it was out of the frame and in perfect condition. Argh!
Knowing that the design now had to include both the upper and lower sashes, I revisited my original concept. I found it to be lacking and embarked on a new one. The colors in the new design have nothing to do with what I plan to use; they only show those elements that will not be clear glass. The red border will actually be a white and brown/purple cathedral glass; the yellow-ish diamonds are maybe going to be amber; the empty square section in the upper sash will still use the shield and ribbon from the original design; and the blu-ish sections in the main field will be chip glass. Very little direct light hits these windows because they are under the porch roof, so the less color I introduce, the better.
After a somewhat lengthy hiatus from projects, it’s time to begin another in earnest. I’ve been meaning to convert the upper, front curved windows into leaded glass for several years now. Now that the appraiser for our refi has come and gone, today was the day to start. I removed the right-most sashes and extracted the cracked glass from the top and plexiglass from the bottom sash. Next, I will strip off all the old paint from the outside and strip the inside finish.
The cracked glass will be used in the new window design along at least the top and bottom. The intact, antique upper glass from the left window will be moved down to the bottom sash in the right window; the lower right glass was replaced with plexiglass before we moved in. To be honest, it is with great trepidation that I face this new project. Building, leading, cementing, reinforcing, and installing the new curved, leaded glass window scares the crap out of me!…