Monday, December 27, 2010

Removing old glazing.

Using a chisel and hammer you get at the glazing from the side, being careful not to break the glass. Use a razor blade to get out last of the glazing remnants.
My sister, home for Christmas, helping me out. This is my dad's workshop:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Respecting this old house

I am trying to respect the architecture of this old house.For me, having windows that open with ropes is not only respecting the character of the house, but is also, for lack of a better word, quaint. I feel that I am giving a bit of pride back to this house, as well appreciating the people who originally put it together. The legacy of respecting it's historic character will live on long after I am gone.

Installing the window

Existing weight in window channel. (I use the word, "channel," for both the openings at the sides of the window framing, and the openings on the sides of the windows themselves.)

Cut you new rope to the right size for your window. Ideally you want to use 100% cotton sash rope (nylon will stretch over time). Despite an exhaustive search I could not find any, so I settled for a cotton rope with a nylon core. Tie a knot at one end of the rope and put it in your window channel. Nail through both the knot, and about 3 inches above the knot, to help hold the rope in place in the channel of the window. Once the ropes are secure in the window, loop the other ends of your ropes through the window wheels at the top (see picture below).

You can insulate against drafts coming through your window wheels during the winter by using carpet padding, or something similar.

Fill in the opening at the bottom and top of your window with maximum expanding "Great Stuff" window foam to prevent drafts. (Later, once the window weights, with their new ropes, are in place I will insert 2 inch foam board in this channel--between the opening/channel pictured here and the window trim--for further insulation.)

Once both sides of your window have ropes in the channels, and you have sealed gaps in the window channel with "Great Stuff," loop the other end of the rope (the end not already nailed to your window) through the weight and tie a knot at the end--this knot will prevent the rope from slipping through your final two knots (see picture below).

Here you can see how the original end knot will prevent the rope from slipping through the final two knots.

Install the weight in the window channel. Use parafin (Gulf) wax, beeswax, or soap on the sides of your windows where they will rub against the window framing so to make it easier to open and close the windows.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Repairing Historic Windows

Once the old paint is taken off the windows with a heat gun you need painter's tape, a bucket of water, White Lightning glazing compound, metal window points, a scissors, and paper towel. The glazing compound is available at Ace and Benjamin Moore. I would stay away from the cheaper compounds, like DAP, that are available at the Home Centers. The great thing about White Lighthing is that it remains flexible, and will not crack, thus you can trim excess away, for a clean line, at antyime.

Take your painter's tape and seal off the part of the window where you don't want the glazing compound to go,and so as to achieve an even line of compound. Leave enough room between the tape and the wood for your metal point placements.

This is a photo for the metal points (you can buy them in the paint department at the Home Centers). Push them into the wood with a flat head screwdriver. Be careful not to press too hard down on the glass or you will break it. I have heard that instead of using these metal points, you can just put a narrow bead of compound in the space (below the glass and against the wood, not on the top part of the glass) here to hold the glass. I have not tried this, but it sounds like it would work. The next step is to squeeze the compound onto the top of the glass so as to hold in the window panes. Put your finger in the bucket of water and then spread the compound against the window glass and muntin to create a smooth seal. (The water facilitates the spreading of the compound and makes it easier to clean the compound off of your finger when you are finished spreading.)

I wait to peel off the tape until everything is finished--final paint coat and all. When you are finished you them simply take a razor blade and make a clean, neat cut along the frame to get a perfect finish for the glazing.
(I read later that it is good to paint the wood frame with oil based primer before beginning the glazing process because it is additional protection agains moisture.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Color coordination

Trying to decide if blue works with green here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Before and after stripping of polyurethane and cherry stain.

Maple cabinets by Hartwood Custom Cabinets in Monticello, GA. Benny Hart, owner of Hartwood Cabinets, took off with a few hundred dollars of my money. I was foolish enough to pay in full after he promised to come back and finish the job. I tried calling him for weeks. Finally I tried from a different phone; he was very surprised it was me. He told me BS about going bankrupt and that he would come by on that Monday to finish up. Never heard from him again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Paint color and lighting

Two pictures taken at the same time that show how lighting changes paint color. The first is without flash, the second with flash.

This color was changing to pea green at night, it took me days to realize it was because of the energy efficient compact flourescent bulbs which give off a blue-green hue. With halgoen or incandescent,where the hue is warmer, the color is totally different--a color true to the acutal color.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stripping front windows

Stripping windows with a heat gun. Takes about eight hours to do the window and the frame. I was surprised that this 1935 house had only two layers of paint. The original paint layer was bright yellow!

new floor in laundry room

Ripped off vinyl floor, covered existing with hardi cement board. Important to use the special screws with the square heads otherwise, because of the hardness of the board, screws will strip.

A layer of highest quality thin set mortar on the underside prevents pops and air bubbles, giving the floor a solid base on which to lay your tile.

New paint (Glidden's "Gentle Tide") in laundry room

Surprised how well Glidden---the cheapest paint--covered. It covered better than Valspar's highest grade paint I had used on the house next door.

Friday, March 26, 2010

original wood floors

I decided to take somewhat of a risk and not replace the kitchen flooring but to have the vinyl and glue stripped to see how the original wood floors underneath would look. They are immaculate. Now I need to decide on a stain color.

Monday, March 15, 2010

paint ideas

Paint ideas. My friend Greg's house in Oakhurst.


My neighbor replaced the perfectly good original windows with this job--notice the plywood infill. My realtor friend says that when you replace original windows and doors you take away 40% of the re-sale. We see this going on all over our neighborhood, people just don't get it. You can try to tell them, and it still doesn't register. Putting storm windows over the original windows, is a third of the cost of replacing them, has equal energy efficiency, and retains the value of your home: Also, the wood used in these historic windows is slow growth, very dense, high quality, unlike the wood today The life expectancy for historic wood windows is hundreds of years, for vinyl, approximately 20-30 years.

My neighbor was intent on replacing all these windows below, like you see on the top photo. This side of his house dominated the view from my house. To try and prevent it, I offered to paint them for the cost of materials:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Trying to decide on a paint color is proving almost impossible:

After my dad applid Soy Gel paint remover to the wood work:

The bank applied the ugly red stain and plastic polyurethane to all the woodwork in the house (seen on the right). I believe that the removing it exposed the original finish of the wood (on the left). Originally, they would have likely used a high quality Danish Oil type stain that penetrates deeper into the wood, rather than the cheap stuff most people use today, thus, perhaps the original stain is not so much affected by the Soy Gel?
After stripping the woold floor in my kitchen of the glue and vinyl: The black spots are from the glue residue leaching into the wood. I was advised to save this old wood becaus I was told it is much better than the new replacment wood which comes from new growth oak. I tried sanding and bleaching these stains out, but it doesn't work. I will have to replace the flooring.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chogi likes to climb the ladder when I am working.
Lots of waste on drywall, but it is recyclable. Each 4X8 drywall piece has slight indentions at the end sides so that you can apply the fiberglass tape and put mud over the tape without creating a rise. Even with sanding, if you don't line these indentions up, you will get a slight bump in the wall along the seam which is very visible if the light hits just right. That is why there is so much waste, because you don't want to line up pieces that don't have the corresponding indented portion.
The screw to the left onthe junction box allows you to extend or retract the outlet so as to get the correct depth--awesome invention.

Drywall (in the South they call it "sheetrock") tools of the trade. Easy to install but a very long, tedious process--a minimum of four coats of mud. Wait time is 24 hourse between each, sand, and then repeat. Very, very dusty. I have found that the "low dust" option does not cut down on dust much at all, so I just go with the regular which seems to set harder than the low dust option. Fiberglass tape to the left is to seal the seams; the tape to the right has metal in the middle, this is applied over where two walls meet at a corner. Lesson learned: it is best to put down dry wall mud first, then apply the corner tape, wet down the corner tape so that the paper of the tape lies flush agains the wall, then spread your mud over the tape. On the corners the mud is spread initially with the corner trowel in the photo, then the medium size trowel is used to feather it out, then the largest trowel is used to spread out even further. The small trowel is used to fill the screw dimples with mud.

6 mil plastic cover for the crawl space to cut down on moisture. The cover should overlap 12 inches at the seams, and taped. And go up a minimum of 6 inches on the side walls.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The simple pleasure of creating one's own heat.