Damn you, troublesome windows.
See, the foundation of the house is poured concrete, but only rises about 8″ above the surface of the earth. Baked right into the foundation were five windows that I had replaced last November with a more durable glassblock variety. The windows that were there weren’t sitting in the foundation like you’d regularly encounter though; instead, they sat on the base and were wrapped in house framing. Weird? According to Craig, the handy and highly-recommended glassblock man (and my new savior-slash-best friend), only 2-3% of the houses he worked on had this “condition”. And yes, I’ll call it a condition because for awhile after he explained the issues, I felt like my house would never be cured.
Last fall when I quoted the job with him, Craig didn’t even want to treat me. Not me, I mean them. The windows. It’s not that they weren’t ideal candidates for glassblock replacement, but the manner that they’d need to be framed from the outside made it an overly complex job, and while he rocks his own socks off when it comes to the mortaring and glassblocking thing, woodworking wasn’t something he was up for. I negotiated some more (and begged) and eventually he agreed to take on the job if Pete and I agreed to do the woodworking part separately, whether it be with a local handyman, or by ourselves. I don’t think there was eyelash batting involved with this do-my-job-or-else coercion, but there may have been.
Truthfully, his initial diagnosis of what we were going to find sounded way worse than what we were really left with, which looked like this:
Because of how the window needed to be installed, the previous layers of siding, insulation, and new siding were left exposed both to the elements and to anyone’s line of vision. That equals ugly. 8 months of ugly, if you want to be exact. Fortunately, only two of the windows along one side of the house are actually exposed to the everyday passerby, so we turned our focus on neatening those two up (two others look out beneath the deck, and one looks under the sunroom).
The solution, we decided, was to frame in the inset exposed area to make it appear purposeful, tidy, and completed. Oh, you know, like this, which is the completed look. Ooohs, ahhhs, yes. Keep reading to see how we did it.
See, what we did was line the left and right sides of the window with 1″ x 6″ pressure-treated board scraps that we had on hand from back when we built the front porch railings. Each window was a smidge different in depth, so we actually narrowed each board with the circular saw to be more about 1″ x 4.5″. There was enough of a surface with the exposed framing for us to nailgun too, so that’s what we did. You know how much we love that pancake compressor. I still think you all need to own one.
The extra trimmings from the boards we cut down were 1″ x 1.5″, and ended up being perfect to add an outer frame and neaten up the appearance of from the full frontal perspective. Sidenote: Get your mind out of the frontal gutter.
Anyways, nail gunning at it again, and hey, look, a picture of me at my peak of tan-ness. Sadly, it’s also as tan as I’ve been in 8 years. And I live at the beach.
Another sidenote: It was sunny-sunny-sunny by the time we worked on the second window; Pete insisted on DIY shade using the cardboard from the storm door (that has been used for various purposes and not yet recycled). That’s temporary resourcefulness if I’ve ever seen it.
I primed and painted them yesterday (using basic interior/exterior primer and part of the can of exterior Silver Leaf paint that I had bought when I painted the garage door and trim earlier in the month).
And the grand finale, which isn’t really the grand finale because I already showed it to you about 6 photos north:
Another sidenote: These photos also give a little sneakster-peekster of a in-progress project. You probably don’t notice unless you’re intimately involved with the exterior of my house, so stay tuned for another home improvement reveal in the next few days.