October 15, 2013

Progress on the Bedroom: The Window Wall

Deciding to tear down the window wall in our soon-to-be bedroom was the easy part. We knew we were going to replace the old drafty windows with energy efficient ones. We also knew we were going to put in better insulation and a vapor barrier. The hard part was trying to decide what to put back.

A view out the windows
Before photo of the window wall in the original bedroom

Dan tore down the planks & removed the loose insulation
at the same time. Being 90 years old, the planks were dry
and brittle. Most of them shattered during deconstruction.

New energy efficient windows installed.

New insulation and plastic vapor barrier.

We couldn't reuse the old tongue and groove planks, and didn't want to try and replicate it. I felt a failed attempted match wouldn't look as good as a totally contrasting look. We discussed drywall, but even though he did it in the kitchen for me, Dan really dislikes doing drywall. The next idea was a Victorian style wood panel look. That's what we did.

Dan used finished plywood panels and a stain that matched the
color of of wood that was beneath the painted tongue and groove. 

We bought and stained ready-made, off the rack trims from Lowes. 

Funny how the colors in the photos change depending on the time of day and light. Most of it will be hidden by draperies by the time it's done. Still to do is apply polyurethane. Then it's on to the ceiling.


Sandy Livesay said...


You and Dan have done a beautiful job in your bedroom. Having the energy efficient windows and new insulation installed will make a world of difference heating and cooling this room.

I love the Victorian style wood panel look you made in the room. It gorgeous!!!

1st Man said...

That looks really nice. We're lucky, the previous owner of the farmhouse put in energy efficient windows (though I'm sure they could be better but at least they are newer, ha). I love the wood detailing, nice choice!

Farmer Barb said...

Ooh! So cozy and nice!

Renee Nefe said...

looking good! :D

Stephanie said...

That is SO pretty! I never would have thought to go that route. Can't say I blame Dan...I hate all the steps there are to drywall lol.

Ed said...

Just knowing that behind is nice fluffy new insulation and a vapor barrier would go a long way towards sleeping easy at night, not to mention new energy efficient windows.

I'm curious as to why Dan doesn't like drywall?

Theresa said...

LOL, I am not showing this to Gene, but a brilliant solution to not having to do drywall. What a back saver too! Looks great and the windows are wonderful. I might have been tempted myself to stuff three in. I'm the "Oh heck, who needs a wall at all, let's make it all window" kind of gal, but it is a bedroom and you do live in a neighborhood. :) Can hardly wait to see it all done up. So pretty!

Mama Pea said...

I'm with Dan on disliking the process of putting up drywall and would opt for nearly any other finish if having to do the job myself. The bedroom wall looks great. I, too, love the trim you chose along with the "low" windows!

Leigh said...

Sandy, thank you! It makes a big difference already, for which we are relived, considering how hot or cold these rooms can get. The paneling idea came out well I think.

1st Man, good to hear from you! Lucky you indeed! Those windows are a must but expensive and a job to install.

Barb, yes!

Renee, thank you!

Stephanie, it comes from brainstorming and scouring the internet! Having a lot of old copies of This Old House magazines lying around helps too.

Ed, indeed. Dan doesn't like doing drywall because he's never satisfied with his results. Of course, having true 2x4 studs and then building new window framing with modern "2x4s" doesn't help. Our walls all turn out lumpy, LOL. He's not a mud guy either. He'd much prefer to work with wood.

Theresa, I am so with you on windows. What Dan really wanted was a bay window, even if he had to build it himself! We found such a good deal on these windows, however, that this is okay. I love all the light!

Mama Pea, thanks! From reading the comments, it seems not too many of us like doing drywall! It's only benefit that I can see, is if one wants wallpaper.

Unknown said...

Wow! Love the beadwork on the trim! I love reading your home make-over and homesteading. Finally put a bid on an 1865 farmhouse with 9 acres with too big of a pond but still excited! Getting ideas to renovate the upstairs which had been overlooked by previous owners for many, many years. 1940s-ish wallpaper in one room!
Love your blog!

Susan said...

Those new windows really open up the room - I love the light! I am with Dan - I despise drywalling. I like the trim around the windows, too. You two have done a wonderful job renovating your house.

Anonymous said...

I feel that our world has lots of second chances as I see two lovely people are literally building a home. We all need our own Dan too! Mine is a work in progress:)

Leigh said...

Shannon H, thanks! It's not as ornate as real life examples, but I think it turned out well. I hope your bid is successful! The place sounds like a dream homestead.

Susan, and I love all that light. Interesting so many of us don't like drywalling!

Gasilhane, I love those works in progress. :)

Willow said...

That turned out very nice and such a pretty view !

Thistle Cove Farm said...

That plastic is going to make a huge difference. I wish we'd done it but Dave thought it would make the house "too tight"...as if! grin

benita said...

What an interesting way to do the wall. I would never have thought of it, but that's pretty cool. I get more useful ideas from you two.

Kris said...

There's nothing like large windows and lots of natural light to grace a room. And look at that view! You guys did good! The place is really coming along. :-D

Shawn said...

Wow that came out looking very very nice! I really like the 9 over 9 lite windows! Just a heads up on the weatherproofing - I am not an expert, but have spent MANY MANY hours, literally, poring over what has actually become a very scientific field of home insulating and green building. From what I have come to understand the use of polyethylene sheet or plastic behind drywall or other material still is done some, mostly in places like kitchen & bath with high interior moisture content, but has steadily fallen out of favor, but it especially seems to be frowned upon when using faced batts in the walls (which I *think* is what I see. The faced batts, the kraft paper on them, themselves are vapor barriers and by putting sheet plastic on top of the insulation the situation exists for the *potential* of moisture entrapment and mold growth.

Insulating stuff has made my head spin, and much like I believe your home, ours never had insulation of any sort (beyond 10 inch thick logs in the oldest portion!)so I feel like no matter what I do it can only help. I still haven't decided exactly what we will do...

Quinn said...

I love windows and I love wood, so you pretty much hit my favorites! Great job :)

Leigh said...

Willow, that's our dogwood tree right out the window; looks good every season! I have two redbud saplings next to it for early spring color. (Someday.)

Sandra, we thought that way at one time too. But the house is so drafty I doubt we'll ever get it truly air tight!

Benita, I wouldn't have thought of it either. It helps to have a lot of old copies of This Old House lying around. :)

Kris, I agree! I love natural light. :)

Shawn, very good point. I had the same question, but Dan got some really good information from a gree builders website (which I cannot find now). The key is ventilation, yes even in the walls. As long as the air can move, it counteracts moisture content/ humidity. I know I'm not explaining that very well, but Dan isn't here to ask to explain it to me again. :o I'll try to get it when he's home, or at least find the podcasts from the website.

Quinn, it really turned out well. I'm pleased, as you can imagine!

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

What is he going to do when there isn't anymore walls to open up and poke at?

Leigh said...

Cloud, at the rate we're going we'll probably never be done, LOL. He is anxious to be done with the room before winter, so we have someplace warm to sleep. Then it's outside to build a new chicken coop and make preparations for a new barn (assuming the old one doesn't fall down on our heads first.)