January 17, 2020

And the Next Project Is.....

We're almost ready to hook up the solar! First, we were waiting on a temperature sensor for the charge controller and a vent fan for the battery box, then came days of almost nonstop rain. However, Dan can't sit still, so he had to find something to do. After finally finishing the back corner of the house, he was in the mood to keep working on the house, so he set his sights on the front bedroom windows.

He replaced the other bedroom windows (on the left) in 2013!

Good grief, has it really been that long??? It's not like we haven't worked on the house between then and now. After we remodeled that bedroom we installed the new siding, rebuilt the front porchreplaced the living room windows, then the dining room windows, re-sided the front gable ends, replaced the front windows in the sun room, replaced the front window to the room we're working on now, re-sided the back gable end, and reroofed the pantry.

He started by pulling off the trim inside to see what he could see.

Here's an interior shot before he removed windows.

Our house was built in the 1920s, and these are the original windows. The iron window weights  counterbalanced the weight of the window to keep it from slamming shut.

Iron window weights.

The problem is that the spaces for the weights couldn't be insulated, making the entire window unit an energy sieve.

He had a nice day to remove the vinyl siding and take out the old windows. Rain was in the forecast, so he covered the opening with a sheet of plastic and worked mostly from the inside.

Windows out and plastic up.

Those aren't very good photos, but we didn't empty the room for this project, and I couldn't step back far enough to get a good pic. It's being used for storage, so everything just got moved enough for room to work on the windows. Here's a better shot from outside.

Now we need a string of nice days to put up and paint the new siding.


  1. Wow, without that last shot I wouldn't have realized how nice and BIG those windows are!

  2. Michelle, we looked for exact fits for replacements, but since we buy our windows at a discount surplus building supplier, we have to take what we can get! Fortunately, we found four identical windows six years ago when we were window shopping, so we had matches for that side of the house. :)

  3. I know about the stuff shuffle to work on a house. I am getting ready here in a few weeks to start putting in new floors and ceiling in our living and dining rooms while shuffling the furniture around the entire time. Not something I am looking forward too.

  4. It is wonderful to see your new windows in. I remember the changes and fresh bright look when you put the other windows in but 2013???? It does not seem that long ago at all.
    Ralph enjoys your solar information very much. Your diagrams are excellent. Keep safe and well.

  5. My old house, built in the 20s also had those windows with the iron weights in the channels. I repaired a few of them when we bought the house,the old ropes broken and weights needing to be fished up from the bottom of the cavity. I used the Readers Digest Book of Home Repair to find out how! It was so expensive to get it done professionally, I had to learn how.

  6. Wow, windows from the 1920s. You surely will see improvements in keeping your house warm as you change out those windows. I am betting the 1920s windows were designed to just keep out wind and rain! haha! And you are so very very lucky to have such a handy and energetic husband. Those qualities are one of the major keys to reaching your overall goals!

  7. Leigh, Anther set of windows replaced wohoo! We can relate t the rain. Now the real cold weather starts too. It was nice it waited until you got to put in the new windows. LOL

  8. It's so sad about the old windows as they were really pretty but I understand. On my old farmhouse, the curtains would literally blow in the winter with the windows closed! LOL!
    I wish I knew how to do all that stuff....Dan is really talented. I always wonder how guys know all that stuff? The new windows are gorgeous!

  9. Ed, and then everything gets rearranged making it harder to find things! Both floors and ceilings will be a big job! I'm looking forward to your blog posts about it.

    Fiona, time flies faster than we think, doesn't it! I'm so glad you're enjoying our solar information. I was hoping it would be useful to others.

    Boud, that's fantastic that you learned to repair them! Those Readers Digest books are fantastic for that. They contain excellent details.

    RT, if it wasn't for Dan, none of this would likely get done! That wall received blasts of winter north wind, so the windows are an excellent first step. We're also discussing ways to improve the old tongue and groove walls. There is blown-in insulation, but no tar paper or vapor barrier under the exterior siding. Any and all improvements will help.

    Jo, winter had finally arrived, hasn't it? I was hanging laundry earlier and by the time I was done my hands felt frozen! The warm weather has spoiled us.

    Sam, we used to live in a place like that. I was shocked when I first saw the curtains blowing in the winter wind, and then realized that whoever put the windows in never bothered to insulate the rough-in space. I stuffed it with newspaper and that helped. :)

  10. Always nice to get improvements finished. We had some Mennonite gentleman custom make windows for our quirky old farmhouse. We have solar in our garage and it is helpful.

  11. Michelle, indeed it is! How nice that you have someone available to do quality custom work!

  12. Of course the old windows had to go. You can't heat the whole outdoors. I am so enjoying seeing all the progress you are making on the house.

  13. Mary, lol. Exactly! Dan had a few days to start on the siding and notes that the room is much quieter as well.

  14. My maternal grandparents' house - also built in the 20's had the same sort of counterweighted windows. I remember struggling to get them up when I was small.

    The windows look great - funny how such a relatively small change can have such a big impact!

  15. TB, we are continually amazed at how different something like this makes the house look. Maybe a better word is "relieved" lol.

  16. Tiene unos ventanales hermosos y con las ventanas nuevas te esta quedado todo genial.
    Un abrazo y feliz semana

  17. Thanks Alicia! The windows make a wonderful difference. :)


Welcome to 5 Acres & A Dream The Blog! Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation.