Sunday, September 20, 2009

Windows and people we adore

Dear Followers,
Our apologies for the 2 week delay in posting an update on our GrayNol home project. I know we've left many of you holding your breath wondering what happened after we cut all of those gaping holes into our new home?! Believe me, I've been holding my breath right along side you. Now I'm breathing again ... here's the story:

By the time we managed to successfully rip the 12th window out our house - we had boards over our windows at night, heaps of building debris all over the yard, plaster in our bed and on our pillows, and a skittish kitty who learned to cuddle-up and sleep all day next to the shock waves of the nail gun compressor.

Pat Noland's back in action! - thanks Pat.

Life without windows - it gave our home a cabana-like feeling by day (like Jamaica!) ... um, not so cozy by night with boards blocking out any light and wondering if we might encounter a squatter inside our house the next morning!

We were up to our neck in construction, and there was no turning back. After ripping out all of the windows, we furred out the house by creating another wall surrounding the existing frame of the house. This allowed us to build the exterior walls of our home out, flush with the edge of the foundation (it looks like the foundation was built for brick, but it had no brick!). That also allowed us to keep the existing insulation and house wrap and add a second layer of both insulation and house wrap. So, we easily doubled the efficiency of our home, while adding more water protection and a frame to attach the new siding to.

Notice on this corner of the house, we are building a bay window :)

Yet, we couldn't install one new window until we finished framing the house and called for an inspection. Luckily, bureaucracy was on our side. The same day we called the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development for an inspection - they arrived and we passed inspection! After getting some great tips (adding smoke alarms and proper house ventilation) from a friendly building official, finally, we could start putting our house back together.

Ready for inspection.

Jimmy Tsen came back to help frame! Thanks, Jim!

A few days prior, the big yellow truck arrived with our new windows! Two friendly guys from Pella Windows unloaded our latest investment - 14 new Energy Star qualified, Pella - Proline Windows.

Then the crew was ready to help - Christian, Fred and Fred joined in for the fun of window installation. These guys managed to install 9 windows in one day!

First new window!

Christian prepping for the next window install

Fred Perry installing house wrap

Fred Johnson spraying foam insulation - just after this photo was taken he caught an important mistake. This spray foam was not the kind with minimal expansion, designed for windows and doors, and if left to dry could have bowed our windows to the point of making them unable to open or operate. Good catch, Fred!

Now we're sitting prettier with new windows, insulation, and lots of light pouring into our house. We still have lots to finish: siding, paint, staining, and cleaning up and finishing all of the windows from the inside.

More to come.
Stay tuned,
patty homemaker