December 1, 2015

House Progress: Dining Room Windows

This is one of those projects that serves a purpose all by itself, but is also one step toward accomplishing something else. In this case, installing a larger rainwater catchment tank. The tank is large enough that it only makes sense to finish the exterior of the house behind where the tank will be placed. It will be too heavy to move once it gets put into service! Of course nothing is as simple as it sounds, and in the case of the house exterior, we need to replace the old windows first. Dan already replaced the one in my studio, next he needed to replace the windows in the dining room too.

Besides being single glazed, some of the panes were cracked.
Behind the trims are uninsulated spaces for window weights.

With most of our seasonal chores behind us, plus a few extra days off for Thanksgiving, Dan was able to make some progress on this very project. Needless to say, there were challenges.

The first challenge was finding the proper size replacement windows. I suppose we could have custom ordered them, but we can get more for our money by buying them at an area surplus building supply. Because it's surplus, inventory is sporadic and unpredictable. We felt fortunate to get three brand new energy star rated windows for a total of $50.

The biggest problem with buying surplus is that you
have to take what they have, not get what you want.

The first step was to remove one of the old windows. Unfortunately, the new windows are not the same size as the old.

The dining room walls are cement board, so cutting
means a lot of dust. Why did he cut them? Read on.

The new windows measure 27" x 71" and the original rough opening measured 37" x 66". We could add length, but what were we going to do with the extra 10" of width? Challenge number two then, was to figure out how to fill the gap. Paneling? Wide trims? Or how about more window?

We were able to pick up a couple of thermal entryway side light windows for just 15 bucks each. Their height was just half an inch difference from the lower side of the the arch windows. Challenge #3 was how to pull it all together.

Now what? Fortunately, Dan always figures that out!

A whole lot of thinking and calculating went on after that. We ran out of time before we finished, so I will have to live with a boarded-up window for awhile. Hopefully our mild weather will last until the project is done.

Continued here >>> Dining Room Windows - 1st One In!

29 comments:

  1. I am sure yous will come up with a wonderful solution! Great that you can make your money stretch like that! Nancy

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    1. We are definitely able to get better quality than we could afford if we had to pay retail prices. Somehow Dan always pulls it off!

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  2. BRAIN CRAMP! I know your pain. It is best to just take a step back and come back with a fresh perspective. Looking good so far!

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    1. Never a dull moment for the DIY home remodeler. :)

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  3. I Hate putting in replacement windows. It ranks up there with plumbing jobs that involve moving parts. I would rather clean out my manure spreader than do either of those jobs.

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    1. Oh ya cleaning out my manure spreader with a spoon.....

      In the rain....

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    2. LOL, you really must hate dealing with those windows. I can't say Dan is all that thrilled with the project, but he agrees we'll be more energy efficient with them.

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  4. I like your challenge and hope you pull it off before the throngs of winter are in full flight. Its a great feeling to do things on budget, even if it requires a little more brain power. ;)

    Your windows feel like our retaining walls - some hard yakka ahead, before you get to the job you were really focussing on. Ours is a new vegetable bed.

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    1. It's the proverbial one thing leads to another. The first one will be slow-going, but hopefully the second one will be a breeze. We're just hoping to get the rain tank in before the summer dry spell!

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  5. New follower here. I really enjoy your posts. Let me congratulate you on you ingenuity of solving your window needs and doing it so economically. We live in a very old home and nothing is square! I too am married to a problem solver. Aren't we blessed.

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    1. Debbie, hello and welcome! Those old houses are anything but level and square! We're just working within our means, and I'm thankful to have both the discount on windows and a clever husband. :)

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  6. Leigh,

    Sometimes you just have to deal with what's available. I know the end result will look amazing. Both you and Dan put your heads together and in return end up with beautiful results.

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    1. Sandy, that is so true. Fortunately it always seems to work out! Maybe not as we originally plan, but usually better. :)

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  7. Replacing windows and doors has always scared me because there is a time element involved. I finally replaced our front door last year but still felt like I had to rush to get it in by the end of the day. But in reality, like your windows, in a worst case scenario I could just board it up until the next day. Fortunately, I don't have any windows to replace so I can just live vicariously through your postings of doing the same for the time being.

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    1. Ed, doors and window are like that! We have about half of them replaced now, and the difference in keeping warm or cool is noticeable. Plywood not so much, but it means it won't be long before the project is done!

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  8. Argh! What a big teaser you are! I was so eagerly reading and scrolling down to see how those side panel windows would look combined with the big window and . . . to be continued! Just kidding.

    How well I know that these DIY projects have to be fit into the time available for them and always take longer than expected because of all the creative thinking involved! We're figuring the design part of a new chicken house and I know we've spent three times as much time on the paper plans as it will take to build it!

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    1. I was hoping we'd get farther along! Too much problem solving, though, but we agreed it would be better to go slowly and make sure it works. :)

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  9. Ugh! I thought having a new window put in was nerve wracking. We replaced a bay window two weeks ago. The old one came out easily but revealed a 4" uninsulated gap on one side. Windows made today are much heavier than those of 30 years ago, and we were unprepared for the hundreds of extra pounds. I had to knock on doors to find help. It's worth it though, don't you think! They'll be wonderful!

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    1. You know, windows are one thing that have gotten sturdier and better made over the years. That's something! All our new windows have been amazingly heavy, but I'm thankful for the job they do in keeping our home snug and cozy.

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  10. Oh my. 50 dollars for replacement windows. Makes my wallet wince anew at having had to choose time over money when we replaced our two. Hope to see those old ones reused around your farm, they're still lovely!

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    1. We were so fortunate to find that surplus supplier! But you make a good point over time versus money. Sometimes it's a tough call. Sometimes it's worth paying someone to do.

      The old windows will eventually go into our greenhouse! I think I haven't blogged about that yet, but it's a good couple of years down the road. Unless we're blessed with both time and money to get it done. :)

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  11. I am always amazed at Dan's and your ingenuity in finding economical and good-looking solutions for EVERYthing! I am confident God blesses your good stewardship. :-)

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    1. That's exactly what it is, stewardship of what we have. It often isn't much, but God is good and enables us to make it work!

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  12. My brain hurts just thinking about it. Im a round peg, square hole kinda gal and find it hard to visualise what needs to come next. Just watch me trying to put appliances together. I still havent worked out how to empty our new vac.

    Awesome bargaining - those are crazy prices.

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    1. Lynda, if it wasn't for Dan none of this would get done. I barely know how to use a hammer and screw driver, LOL

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  13. I think our windows ran about $100 each when we got them two years ago. and honestly I don't feel any difference. although I don't see frost on the insides anymore so I guess they're working a bit. I think the better plan for us was for me to make thermal curtains for the windows...unfortunately the daughter likes to have no curtains on her windows...sigh live in the cold kid!

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    1. I wonder why you aren't seeing a big difference. One thing that's helping us is adding insulation in the walls, and of course, our winters are milder than yours. Even so I like a heavy curtain and those stay closed if it's really, really cold out.

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  14. Way to go on those windows, great score!

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    1. I am always so grateful to find a good bargain. :)

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