Mastering Windows in the Master

Okay, so technically we’re talking about two weekends—one to start the project one to finish it but man did we get a lot done and does it ever look good!

So here are a few things I’m excited about:

  • Windows that actually open and close (smoothly!)
  • Windows that keep harsh weather OUT!
  • Windows that don’t have cracks or rotted frames!
  • Windows with waterproofing!

Let’s back it up for a sec…a week and a half ago, our master bedroom looked like this:


This is father-in-law, Terry, breaking the news that not only are the walls pretty much unsalvageable (you might remember when my mom and I tried to strip the wallpaper from this old post), leaving paneling as the best option for cosmetic cover up (eww!), but that in order to determine why the room was so dang cold, we’d need to tear out the drywall anyway. 


So? We did! Demo can be way fun. Funner than putting stuff back together, for sure. :) Chris had one night off after a week-long fire training before he had to take off (at 6:30 a.m. poor guy!) for Arizona/New Mexico with his crew to beat back the flames, so he pitched in, too.


I’m telling ya, ain’t no rest for the weary ‘round here. No sir.


Removing the drywall, while a total pain in the…keester, gave us the opportunity to deal with some of the strange stuff that had been done to the room previously…like removing this ancient wall heater.


One thing we discovered is that the room was indeed insulated. Much to our surprise. I mean…icicles were forming in there last winter!


Another thing we discovered (after we removed the window trim) is that you can see right through the crevices around the windows and the window framing! You heard me right…that’s daylight out there! You should be able to see through your windows, not under them!


Man, were these windows ancient! The wood was rotted, the glass was single pane, and there were spots where the frames didn’t meet the glass and the glazing had disappeared (biodegraded?). Plus, there was no insulation or caulking or backer rods or anything around them! No wonder the room was an icebox!

This particular window was about 20 years older than the other two in the room. We guess it had been taken off what was prior to the addition the back of the house and added here.


But still, the other two were no better. And see all that excess framing on the sides? So strange.


After removing the drywall and window trim inside, we tackled the trim outside. The pretty lady is mother-in-law Edie, giving Terry a hand. I had the very important task of documenting all their fine work.


Just kidding! I worked. ;)


Finally, the windows came out! For the first time in who knows how long, that poor room had a breeze blow through it (the old windows really didn’t open). As you can see, we had to remove the siding shingles, which were a mix of asbestos (again, eww!) and cement fiberboard replacement shingles.


All that excess framing I mentioned above gave us the opportunity to move the windows a few inches into better positions. Plus, Terry’s new framing was perfectly square—making it essentially the only thing in this old house that is.


I know it’s a tad fuzzy but I like this picture of Terry working on the exterior amid all the foliage so I wanted to share it.


I really love those corner windows. They’re small but tall, so they let in lots of light while allowing enough wall space for furniture, and are perfectly positioned to view that gorgeous maple tree in our backyard.


I have to gather the photos and work on the how-we-did-it post. But for now, here’s a photo of semi-completed windows:


I don’t know about where you live, but we’d been quoted around $700/window here to have them replaced by contractors. And I don’t know about you, but $700/window is waaaay more than we’d want to spend on windows. So doing it ourselves was a great option.

Stay tuned for a post about how we did it—it was much simpler and more doable than I feared.

Have a great week!

<3 Teresa

This entry was posted in Renovating & repairing our old home, Stuff we're working on, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Mastering Windows in the Master

  1. rena gallant says:

    I love the pics of Terry, he looked pretty determined and even happy!!!! Yaaahhhhh Terrry!!! Way to go!!

  2. I am so impressed … oh the pride you will have when it is all done and you have your house warming>>>>]

  3. Dawn Butler says:

    Tell me now! How much did it cost? We have one window to be replaced.

  4. Mom says:

    You will love your cozy room this winter, being able to look out at snow and laugh is a wonderful thing!!

  5. Jenn says:

    I think they needed a bigger project than what they have been doing at our house. We have more tools for you guys for next time. Love ya

    • Teresa says:

      How are things going at your house? Got a whole wall of built-ins in that family room yet? Love that you’re so generous with your tools. As Terry told one of our neighbors, Chris’ tool supply is woeful.

  6. mahatmakain says:

    I recently ripped off (er… I mean, pried off… of course…) the trim around one of my dining room windows, as well as the parting bead and other trim. WHOA… the stuff that goes on inside a wall over a century! Anyway, trim removal has been easy, and sticking a window in there probably won’t be too hard, but the walls are going to need rebuilding and what we have at the moment is lathe and plaster with veneer wainscoting… new skill set, coming up! Great pics, and a great remodelogue.

  7. Pingback: My Wife Ties A Mean Knot | Our Corner House

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