Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now

We're getting new windows!

Pat knows windows. He worked close to 15 years in construction supply. His specialty was windows. So, when he told me he wanted to replace the windows in this house, I knew he would do it right.

Oh, yeah. He ordered double-paned, double-hung windows for the "regular" windows of the living room. I had mixed feelings about the new windows because Pat wanted good ones that are energy efficient (no complaints there) but he doesn't like the mullions that divide period windows. I wanted energy efficient windows that looked like period windows with mullions dividing the top into three sections above and having a solid window below. We compromised -- he got his way. He purchased Symington Prism double hung, insulated vinyl windows. Eventually we will have this style window all around the house.

The large window ("picture window") was the problem. I was quite willing to replace the window, but I wanted to keep the colored panel ("transom") across the top. It's original to the house and has a bungalow feel. But how could we keep it?

When Pat started looking at it, he realized the large pane and the colored pane were set up as double-hung windows. Hm... we did more looking. He could put a complete picture window into the space, then rehang the transom outside it. It would look very much like it did originally.

Of course the process was a little more involved than the plan. I presently have the transom out back where I'm stripping it for repainting. It's a slow process. (I may get it finished after I retire!) If you look closely at Picture One, you can see the transom standing under the air conditioner.

Picture One (at the beginning of this post) shows Pat removing the original window. I was impressed by the window sashes. They were still in the walls -- two long (2 foot at least) weights hanging from 1/2" rope kept the window open when it was raised. Unfortunately, one side broke some time in the 1960s so we quit opening this window. It was a lost cause, anyway. The rise was only about six inches when the window was open. Because it was so large and heavy, it was a pain to lift. Mom did it a few times when we first moved into the house. Then she declared this window would be kept closed. (Pat solved the problem. The new window doesn't open.)

Picture Two is looking outside after the old window was removed.
Can you see my peonies blooming on the left side of the porch? Mom always struggled to keep fresh peony blooms to take to the graves on Memorial Day. She would set them out in old fruit jars. Now the cemeteries don't want jars of flowers. They wilt too fast and the jars break. They want you to bring artificial flowers that last longer.

Notice too the shabby porch rails. Dad planned to replace them from the time we moved into the house in 1960. He never did. Pat plans to redo the porch when we redo the roof. Boy! I can't wait! Then on to new siding... Okay. One project at a time. Back to the windows...

Picture Three was exciting. Pat put the new window in place.

Picture Four is doing the final touches -- pushing insulation in the spaces between the new window and the opening in the wall. We have purchased red oak to make the woodwork around the windows and door. We won't do the baseboards until we have laid the new floor. That's a long way off. We still have horsehair plaster to remove from at least three more rooms.

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