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We are two house-loving DIYers now onto our second house. One of us has vision...and one has actual skills.
Design and working on our home are our major hobbies, whenever we have a few moments of free time not devoted to our daughter or jobs. We are hoping to share our ideas, triumphs and mistakes to help other DIYers and get new ideas from all of you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Window Restoration Begins

The decision to restore, rather than replace, the windows on the front of the house (at least) was a no-brainer.  The 8 windows on the front facade are curved, and gorgeous.  Brent could work his way through the windows one at a time and I'm sure do as every bit a great job, but knowing that we need to button up this house energy-wise ASAP, we decided to hire professionals to tackle this in stages. The first stage began today and will include the 12 windows of the front two rooms on both the first and second floor (each has two front-facing and one side window).

 This is how the windows started out today:

 No windows!

Chains replaced the broken ropes attached to the weights.

Here is how they currently look. The glazing (currently white) will be painted black as well after it sets.

I think they look amazing.  And to be able to open them (the ones in the living room were not functional until today) is fantastic. There remain two big projects/costs associated with the windows: storm windows and screens.  We are leaning towards internal storm windows (and separate screens) for the 8 curved windows to maintain the aesthetics.  Any external storm will involve boxing the window, taking away from the smooth curve. We will probably go with traditional storms on the flat windows.  And we better get cracking...winter will be here before we know it and these gorgeous sources of natural light will be cursed portals for our precious heat to escape through. 

Why did you paint the outside of the windows black you might ask? What is your long-term plan for the exterior of the house?  Well, they key word here is LONG term plan. Unfortunately, that siding and the porch are far down on a long list of big ticket items including the kitchen and hvac. 

I have it in my head that the house wants to be a forget-me-not blue/purple/gray that I associate with one of my favorite movies (and books) of all time - Little Women. While I know the famed Orchard House predates our home and is brown, there is something about the color of Jo's dress in the last scene and Meg's (too casual) gown that make me want to dress this Lovely Lady up in a soft cloud of violet/gray/blue. 

In this case, the exterior will have a mix of: the to-be-found dream color, black shutters and white trim with a stained wood front door. Having spent way too much time today getting a very messy rendering on benjaminmoore.com...here's the general idea:

That's not the perfect color, but I think it at least shows the dark shutters, what our door might look like in its natural glory after Brent strips the yucky blue paint off, and the contrast of white trim to black details.  Do you happen to know the perfect dusky, not-too purple, not-too blue, but definitely not gray color?  I refuse to even break out the fan decks knowing how far off this project is, but at least the windows in the front are on their way to looking their best!  We might do a phase-one redo next spring/summer where we strip the door, and paint the shutters and trim to obliterate all blue while we live with the white siding. While some conservationists will cringe, I also don't think all the windows will get restored..some will most likely get replaced for cost and efficiency reasons, but definitely not the front of the house, dining room, or landing.  I think after phase one and winter #1, we'll have a better sense of what the best solution is.  Personally, I'm ready to put replacement windows on the 3rd floor now - thank you MassSave and the fact that it needs every heating and cooling advantage we can give it.

The first 12 windows should be done by the weekend! I'll post some more pics when they are all done.

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