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Window Pains and Sunday Sneak Peek

September 13, 2015 by Scott - Saws on Skates

Hey there Skatemates! How was your weekend? I continued with my bathroom restoration project. Let me catch you up on what’s been done so far…

This past Labor Day holiday I labored, but the effort was worth it. My goal for Saturday was to button up the outside of the window project I started last weekend.

To prepare for the exterior trim installation I needed to do a little shimming. The siding around the old window actually stuck out beyond the trim boards which isn’t quite right. Typically the trim should be proud of the siding. I resolved this design flaw on the new window frame. Shimming was necessary to get the trim boards square with the window frame. When working with old houses shimming and “cheating” pieces this way or that way is almost a given. In fact, with an old house there’s more cheating than the Ashley Madison website!


All of the window work done so far was to ensure the window could be removed in the future if need be. I used mahogany, a rot resistant wood to build the frame and for the exterior trim pieces, so chances are it would never need to be removed in my lifetime. Sure there are less expensive rot resistant wood choices, but there are only nine windows in the house, so even if I had to replace them all, the cost wouldn’t be tremendous. And cost wise it was less than a new window, but time wise is another story. I figure I’ll have about five days of work in this window. But now that I have for a plan for the window frame, I expect any future windows will take me 3-4 days to complete.

The prior bathroom repair used spray foam insulation which isn’t the easiest to work with when you need to remove a window. To continue with the thought that the window may need to come out in the future I used fiberglass insulation.

window insulated

Once the shimming and insulating were complete it was time to begin cutting and installing the exterior trim. I knew this would be a bit of a challenge because the size of the window frame increased which meant the size of the opening in the wall would need to increase. It’s strange, but the windows on the South side of the house measured 53-1/2″ from the top of the trim to the bottom of the sill. The windows on the North side, the side I was working on, measured about 52″. I thought it would be easier to increase the size of the North side windows rather than shrink the South side. Not that anyone would be measuring the windows on either side of the house, but I wanted to create a plan for one size window if I ever needed to replace another frame. And actually the North side living room window also has a rotted sill and will need to be replaced soon.

window sketch sos

First I cut and installed the side trim. When I remember I like to stain the end grain to prevent water from wicking in. “When I remember” is the operative phrase! After the sides were installed I could determine where the top trim and drip cap should end and how much of the siding I would need to cut. I used to be nervous about cutting into the house. But with the reassurance of the measurements of my SketchUp plan I was pretty confident I wasn’t making too large of a hole.

window trim stained

After I laid out the area that would need to be cut I tacked a scrap piece of siding to the house to give me flat surface to run the circular saw. I took a deep breath and plunged the saw into the siding. There was no turning back now. Surprisingly I was able to keep the circular saw right on the pencil line. A second cut would be necessary to accommodate the angle of the drip cap. I decided to make the cut a two step process because I suck at dealing with angles! I adjusted the angle of the saw to 15 degrees and followed the cut I just made. I didn’t increase the size of the hole, just made the interior of the cut beveled to accept the drip cap. Then I just cleaned up the ends of the cuts with a chisel.

Now I could cut the top trim piece to length and make the drip cap. Sure you could buy drip cap, but it’s not really very difficult to make your own. First I ripped a piece of 5/4 material to a width of 2″. Then I adjusted the table saw blade to 10 degrees and ripped an angle to form the drip cap. I returned the saw to 90 degrees and used the kerf of the table saw blade to cut dado. In retrospect I should have used a round over bit on the router to rout the dado. This saw blade method works, but it looks a little amateur to me. The drip cap was cut to length and installed along with the top trim piece. That’s it… I called it a day for Saturday.

window trim installed sos

Let’s skip ahead to Monday. Monday’s goal was to put the finishing touches on the exterior and button up the interior trim.

I began by removing the sashes. They were easy to remove now, so I might as well sand and repaint them. While I was at it, I should touch up the glazing. For the most part the glazing was in good shape with only a few cracks here and there. I thought about removing the old glazing, but two things came to mind. 1. Any time I’ve tried to remove glazing I end up breaking the glass and 2. I suck at reglazing! It’s good to know your limitations!

bathroom sashes sos

I certainly didn’t want to break the stained glass that Leslie lovingly made for the house. Instead of reglazing I opted to patch the glazing with one of my favorite products… Ready Patch. After the Ready Patch was dried, it was sanded and the exterior was stained. After two coats were applied the sashes were flipped, the interior side was primed and painted with Behr Semi Gloss “Candlelight Ivory”.

bathroom sashes 2 sos

In between the sashes drying I worked on some final prep of the exterior trim. All of the joints were caulked and two coats of Sherwin Williams Woodscapes “Greenbriar” was applied to the trim.

On a side note, I received a surprise visit from someone who read my “Window to the Past” blog post. And it wasn’t just someone, it was a former owner of the house! It was so cool to chat with her about the house. She thinks she may have some old pics of the house for me and if she finds them, I’ll add them to the Restoration Gallery.

Back to the window. The weights and pulleys that would have kept the window in position were long gone, so I installed some metal sash springs and they work great. I’m so excited to not have to use sticks to hold up the window anymore! Opening a window and having it stay where you put it is an idea I’m still getting used to! I’ll definitely be installing these on the other windows.

sash springs

The last step of the day was to reinstall the interior trim. As soon as I put the trim up to the window I could quickly see the wall to the left of the window had a bow. A wicked bow. A bow that equated to a 1/2″ in the middle of the window. It’s easier to see the bow on the outside where the wall bows in.

window bow sos

The trim wasn’t getting installed today. It was late. I was hot, dirty, sweaty and hungry. It was time to pick up the tools and call it day. I took a shower and went to decompress with a Carolina Pit Burger and a couple Guinness.

bathroom window finished sos

The weekend wasn’t all work. Sunday I went to the Garlic Festival in Bennington, VT. I didn’t get any garlic, but I did pick up some raw honey. For lunch I had a pulled pork parfait. It was layered in a plastic cup just like a parfait. In the bottom was a piece of cornbread, then baked beans, pulled pork and topped with coleslaw. It was the perfect meal for walking around the festival. Dessert was an apple cider doughnut a la mode topped with a little maple syrup – YUM!

Sunday Sneak Peak

Here is pic of the interior trim. Leslie, the previous owner, faux painted all of the bathroom molding to look like marble. She did an awesome job and I would hate to lose it. It took me some time, but I came with a plan to deal with the bowed wall and get the trim installed. Next week I’ll share if I was able to make it work!

bathroom trim sos

We’ll catch up soon!


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