Week 32 – Joe
Apparently winter is arriving a little earlier this year. An abnormal “polar plunge” is dropping the temperatures below freezing and will continue for the foreseeable future. I don’t mind cold weather. In fact, I normally embrace it… but it’s too early! We have been preparing for the inevitably of cold temps, but we thought we had a little more time to get everything ready. We weren’t ready yet to worry about frozen water in our brand new plumbing. We didn’t have electricity to the furnaces, there were still several window openings covered with thin sheets of plastic, and there were several places in the house that were just open to the outside air. To make matters a little more stressful, this rapid temperature drop is occurring at one of the busiest time of the year for my job.
Fortunately, we weren’t waiting until the absolute last second to prepare for winter. We had already ordered the new windows for the upstairs and I did make some progress towards winterizing the house a couple weeks ago. I got all the storm windows out of the garage and began the process of rehabbing those. I also placed an order for new glass and had two new storm sashes made. Even though some of the storm sashes were completely in tact and in good shape, I still needed to install new hardware on the sash and the header. Here is what the old hardware looked like…
The matching hardware that should be on the header was lost when someone replaced all the window headers some time ago so I had to order all new hardware for all the storm windows.
I was able to get all the storms hung on the kitchen windows and the south side of the house. Those were the first windows I restored and have been sitting empty, covered only by plywood and plastic. Hanging the storm windows was not as easy as I thought it would be. It was a little difficult to accurately mark the hanging hardware on the header and sometimes the window didn’t always fit perfectly and would need to be adjusted.
It was a lot of going up and down the ladder, but it was rewarded with the instant gratification of seeing what the windows would look like without plywood.
Here is the south side of the house without boarded up windows… Once again, probably not exciting to anyone except US.
One of those storms had this friendly little reminder for unwanted intruders:
Eventually I will take all of these back down and put them all through the restoration process, but for now they are providing a slightly safer and more energy efficient alternative to plastic.
The biggest news of the past week is that our order of new windows arrived! These are the windows that go in the upstairs kids’ rooms and the upstairs bathroom. They are aluminum clad wooden windows and the exterior side is already painted in the sash color that we chose for our color scheme.
We are beyond excited to get these installed in the next couple weeks! They will really transform those three rooms and bring so much light to the 2nd floor. Lucy’s room is going to be especially bright and open!
We finally removed the gigantic fan from Lucy’s room and cleared away the rest of the junk. Her room already seems bigger and we haven’t even installed the windows yet! Maybe soon she will stop describing her room as “broken.”
To get ready for the impending freeze, Jim ran power to the downstairs furnace and fired it up for the first time this weekend. In addition, I spent a day boarding up all the windows to try to retain more of that new found heat.
I also finally got around to boarding up the basement windows.
The biggest area that needed to be addressed was the vestibule for the front door. There was no ceiling in that area and was essentially completely open to the outside (and racoons). I patched up a wall above the vestibule ceiling that was allowing air directly into the living room and then created a temporary ceiling.
Our house is by no means air tight, but I think we are now at least ready to keep the house at a reasonable temperature for the winter.
Next step: Electricity, more framing, demo the old stairs, and then insulation!