Thursday, May 27, 2010

are we done yet?

Yes, I think we can finally check these off yet again. I'm hopeful this time it's for good. And while I'm anxious to get started on a new view of the house with my window rehab, I think I'll take a week or two off from house projects. Then I can get cranking on these again. There's still much to do and I'm determined to get my house completely painted this year.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

more progress shots

Not sure if this is worth posting, but I think it's kind of cool.. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

coming along nicely

Ok so with the old rotted trim removed, we can finally see how it looks with some tight new wood. The right side was really bad, but the left only needed the lower half replaced. Hopefully we've fixed all the issues with this window. I think once we get it caulked and water tight it should weather very nicely.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

more window damage

Let's head back outside -- that one window of the dining room trio was definitely the worst. There was a lot of rot and warpage of the wood that was still there. Over time, people had tried caulking the difference, but it just made it look like crap. We needed crisp new wood. Here you can see one side of the framing has a brick molding profile. Luckily the big boxes have this available so it wasn't too painful to fix. Check out how damaged this stuff is though.

As we pulled that off to get to the warped inner trim we found it was a 1x6 that was pretty rotted. This got yanked and replaced as well. When all is said and done this corner will look like new.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

dining room window repair

Look closely. See how the bottom of the top sash is kind of wet? I took this picture about a year ago when it was raining. I didn't like what I saw. Mostly because after basking in the glory of "completing" my rear dining room windows in the fall of 2007 did I ever imagine I'd see anything like this. It's been bugging me since then -- the problem never really went away and actually got worse.

The problem was that the bottom part of this top sash had suffered so much wear and rot, that it was still kind of flexible. Over time, the thing would literally slide out of the nails holding it in. It didn't help that the thing was still kind of bowed. To compensate at the time I added a little glazing to make up the difference. Obviously this didn't work very well.

It all started innocently enough -- I wanted to put up something over the large middle window in the trio to help diffuse the intense sunlight that streams through in summer. Stained glass perhaps? Of course to do that, we'd need to pull out the glass since it wasn't seated very well. The silicone that was smeared all over the inside and outside of the framing needed to be cleaned out and sanded down before it was reinstalled flush with a new bed of silicone. And since I'm doing that why not just fix this window that never really got fixed before it deteriorates even more? And while I'm at it why not just give the whole deal a fresh coat of paint?

You can see here the glass is cracked. This was after a failed attempt at drilling in some screws into the bottom of the mullions to hold them flush. The glass was a little fragile and we had a casualty. That's ok though. I'd rather have the integrity of the wooden sash than a small pane of wavy glass.

Holy cow, look at all that caked on dirt! My guess is there were some broken panes that had let in years of dirt and rain, slowly rotting that piece of wood. In the next few entries you'll see how we hopefully solved the problem and made these windows feel as good as they look. Hopefully.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

it's got potential

This house is a few blocks away from my house and every time I pass by I give a smile, admire the details, and say "it's got potential". This isn't a hulking queen anne -- it's much more modest. But I love the wraparound porch with free classic details and the restrained "baby turret" over the stoop. It overlooks a park on the edge of downtown and is flanked by its twin just across the street. They stand like sentinels overlooking the park. This one is a little more rundown than its neighbor -- the brick has been painted and the landscaping is nothing to get excited about. It's been made into apartments too. From the outside though it doesn't look too bad though. Some TLC to be sure, but it doesn't look to be falling apart. It just went on the market. If I were in different circumstances I would go make an offer tomorrow. Alas it's not to be, but maybe it speaks to you?

Friday, May 14, 2010

backyard tuneup pt2

Yay -- I'm finally able to use my planting bed. It was a very long wait but worth it (I think). I happily filled it with some plants. In a month or two these should fill out a bit so it doesn't look so sparse. 'Til then, I have a bunch more planting to do. We got some indian hawthorn, a dense evergreen shrub with pretty whitish-pink flowers. Fairly common in landscaping around here.

Day lillies -- these are just so pretty.

And some sweet lavender. As you can imagine, the patio is much more fragrant already. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

backyard tuneup pt1

So as I alluded to earlier -- we have some backyard stuff to do. Some are upgrades I've been putting off for a while, others are re-do's. Apparently the stuff I planted a year ago didn't last too long as my dogs slowly ate them. No I'm not kidding. The added stress of summer temps didn't help either. I've tried resurrecting the planting beds several times, but for some reason or another they don't last in the eye candy department. A big reason is my dogs -- looks like they're going to be spending more time indoors. I don't care to revisit this again. Ahem.

A big thing I've been meaning to get to is repointing the rock wall at the rear of the yard, adjacent to the alley. If you'll recall when I did this the first time around, we set up a neat planting bed running along a third or so of this wall. This was all smoke and mirrors at the time as I knew the wall was in no shape to take the added deterioration from draining water. I'm not exaggerating here, there really wasn't much holding much of this back wall together other than gravity. I also never liked how the retaining wall was somewhat unstable as it wasn't able to interlock. The bottom was perfectly flat, but the tops had a rough cut stone finish. So after several courses there were certain rows that didn't really feel solid even after cherry picking them to fit well.

So we took down the retaining wall, and the entire rear wall was repointed with fresh cement on both sides. They popped in some PVC "weep holes" to allow for water drainage as well. The pseudo stone blocks were then re-stacked with a little mortar to hold them together. You'll have to wait till next time to see the finished product.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

guest room windows, day6

Guest room windows -- done.

Oh yeah that has a nice ring to it. The extra time I put into cleaning up the sashes paid off. I think these came out looking really good. It's hard to get a feel for the actual color of the stain in this room for some reason. The sunlight is blinding in here during the day so you can only really appreciate the color when it's overcast or in late afternoon. Taking pictures during the day was almost impossible as they look darker than they actually are. I took most of these at night instead. It's closer to actual color, but you'll just have to take my word for it. They look sweet. Still need to clean the glass..

This pic was taken during the day and is a much better representation of the stain color. Dare I think about stripping the doors next? Hmm..

Saturday, May 8, 2010

guest room windows, day5

Ok back to the windows in the guest room. As we saw in the last post the window casing had been installed but was still in need of refinishing. The plan originally was to just do the basic work of getting these operational with casing and I would finish them off. But after my wife's insistence, we decided to just do the whole shebang all at once. So the stain was next. This is the same Sherwin Williams stain I've been using in other parts of the house, Warm Chestnut. It's the closest match I've found to the original finish in the house. So far I've used the stain when I refinished the kitchen stairs (pre-blog) and the front door.

This actually looks a bit darker than my front door but closer to the finish I was going for with the back stairs. It looks a little darker than it came out as these got touched up a bit along the way. They got hit with some light sanding to even out the color as I wanted to still have the color of the grain very prominent. As you can see the actual sash is still in a rough state. As usual, my plan was to do these at a later point but I decided to burn the midnight oil and get these prepped so we could stain and poly all at once. I think I put about 8 hours into picking out the little flecks of white paint on these babies. You'll have to wait til next time to see the finished product. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

rear office windows

Oh yes, they look good don't they? Don't get too excited -- it's mostly cosmetic. Kinda like I did on the first floor they're still nonfunctional. The plan is to get all the windows in the office totally restored. We still have the other three that are in horrid shape. However that will wait a bit. Not sure if we'll do this room next as we'll completely inconvenience ourselves for a week or two while the workers shut the door and have at it. In the meantime the rear view will look purty from a distance.

But really, they're already scraped and sanded. They got reglazed too. All it'd take to call these done is to unstick them and rehang the sash chain. So they're maybe 85% done. But that'll be our little secret. There's been a lot going on around here -- most of it blog worthy. Hang tight, I have a few more updates. Stay tuned.