Category Archives: Windows

Fabric bought…


I guess this will be a bit of a girly post, so those who are already suspicious of the title might want to flee before you get too far in…but oh my god fabric!!!! Don’t worry, I’ll make it short. On Tuesday, my sister and I went to downtown LA’s semi seedy fabric district and spent hours and hours searching and weighing options like children in a candy store. A really big block of candy stores with beautifully inexpensive linen 😀 After much deliberation, comparing and wandering, we got everything to make all my curtains and upholster the window seat bench!

I’m going to make split curtains for each window so that they’ll tie at the sides when not in use, and have another rod for a lighter material (the white stuff) behind to provide a thin covering if I don’t want to block as much sunshine. I say ‘I’ am going to make them, but really my sister gets the credit. I’m pretty decent at hand sewing, but it would take forever to do them all that way and her skills with the sewing machine trump mine by a lot.

Apparently I ‘break’ her machine every time I try to use it. Confounded piece of…Anyway 😀 It’s actually really nice to have help when that someone is far more efficient than I could be.

Can’t wait to get these going!


Of corner shelves and window trim…


For some reason, I’ve started calling the back/changing room adjacent to the bathroom ‘the pink room’. It’s not pink, nor shall it be as I’m not particularly wild over large amounts of the colour, but that’s what it has named itself and I can’t seem to shake it.

Last week, the pink room got corner shelves. Lovely, crooked corner shelves with irregular spacing…but there you go. I stand that if I had a third arm or so they’d be perfect 😀 Making 45 degree angle cuts on the 1×12 pine took two runs through the chop saw for each side and I attached them to the wall with 3/4″ cedar strips.

I was going to use galvanized corner braces to hold the shelves up, but those little buggers aren’t cheap when you buy enough of them. I also decided that I didn’t like how they looked (probably because of this), so I ran some cedar fence boards through the table saw and they provide perfectly adequate support. Best to nail each strip to the bottom first though unless you want the shelves to slide off and on. Don’t try to attach them to the wall at the start, what a faff. Hammering up-the-way is not a calming task.

As of yesterday, I finally have all of my window trim up. All of it, wahaha! This is exciting mostly because it makes things look pretty and finished, but also because my indecisiveness regarding them was so vast as to take several weeks of delaying. I put 1 x 2-and-whatever-each-window-is-wide pine boards in first (it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’re all different) then trimmed them with 1/4″ tongue and groove pine wall paneling. I decided to make them swirly, sort of like my fascia boards outside, and cut each one with the jigsaw. It didn’t take as much time as I thought, and I’m glad I put the extra effort in. My windows look so pretty now 😀

It is worth noting that I bought shorter (3′ long), slightly more expensive wall paneling for my trim that is intended to be wainscoting, and the quality of wood was considerably better than the 8′ bundles I used for the walls and ceiling. Good to know if you’re working on something that doesn’t require longer boards.

And now, one of those horrible gripping moments for you. I woke up the other day to some tree pruning going on across the street where a flatbed trailer had been brought in to haul out the debris. A 7′ x 18′ trailer I’m pretty damn sure, and when I looked out the window in my half-sleep haze, I was in an absolute panic that I had dreamed my house’s existence and had to go back to the floor framing stage. It didn’t take long to trip downstairs and assure it was still sitting pretty out there, but gad zooks. A beastly, beastly feeling!

Of painting, squint windows and getting siding between the rafters…


In my quest to get the outside done, I have to inevitably reason with things I’ve been putting off. One of these things is painting. Painting window borders to be exact, and I have an irrational dislike for painting window borders. Generally, I try to do it in sections so as not to have too much at once, but this always happens to backfire and I end up with more and more bouts of the task.

So this time I went for it, the whole hog as they say, and finally reached the light at the end of the sticky painting tunnel. I rejoiced in my accomplishment for a few glorious moments then found out I measured the two top boards for the loft windows wrong and will have to redo them in the morning. Darn.

The day’s highlight was definitely how the bump out windows came together. I haven’t written about the issues we had with them because it was really pissing me off and I was worried that they wouldn’t look nice, but as they are lovely I feel I can face the subject.

Basically, there is a super awkward amount of space surrounding the sides of each of the three big windows. The front one in particular is tricky because it isn’t centered so very well and neither side had enough for a 2×4 border. I eventually decided (actually, I think it was my mother’s idea) to use 2x2s instead and filled the gaps with a strip of some cedar fence boards that my neighbor gave me.

They happen to be almost the perfect thickness to look nonchalant and since they’re the same wood as the siding, it’s surprisingly nice looking. In fact, I feel it’s almost as though we meant it.

A great deal of today was also spent making little pieces of siding to fit between the rafters. This part, I can imagine, would be a jolly little breeze if your house was square. If it’s like my house, it involves tweaking each side to dimensions that are very much not symmetrical and hoping that no one looks long enough to come to this realization. Things are also at a wicked angle up there for the drill motor, so most of my little crooked boards are haphazardly screwed in at laughable directions. Good thing most people aren’t 9 feet tall…

Teal paint, siding and jigsaw-cutting window notches…


The last few days I’ve been working on siding and making new window borders. The previous ones my dad and I made didn’t end up looking as nice as I’d like them to so we rethought and started over. Darned waste of the 4 hour intervals I waited before applying new coats of paint, but never mind.

This time I measured far more times than necessary (just in case it changed while I wasn’t looking) before cutting, sanding and painting. I bought some new stuff with primer in it and much to my delight, it looked beautiful after only 2 coats instead of the previous 3; I do hold quite a grudge against that particular colour of primer white.

I was so excited to get the siding up around the shiny new borders today that I almost didn’t care that I spent 3 hours cutting out the 2 notches and messed a whole board up before getting it right. I had tried to use a single, long board but didn’t find it physically possible for one of me (RIP cedar board) and settled with 2 instead.

I think it still looks alright so I’m letting it go; better 2 concise than one sloppy, even with the break between them.  I put up a few more boards around the windows in the dying light and it looks lovely indeed, but my moment of photographic opportunity had passed by then.

I feel I ought to tell all of you wonderful commenters out there how very much I appreciate your words and suggestions. I know I’m guilty of not replying to all of them, but rest assured that they generally leave me smiling like an idiot and bouncing around the house. Thank you 🙂

Window borders and the painting of them…


The other night, my dad and I went to Lowes and choose the paint for my door (yellow, of course) and the window borders we’ve started making (teal). I’m happy to report that the paint department had quite a lovely selection of colours and much to my dad’s relief, I was able to pinpoint what I wanted without staying there to debate until the store closed.

We’ve made the window borders from good ole 2×4’s; the thought process being that the 1/2″ siding will go up against them but they’ll still stick out to show off the colour. Each window has a rim about 3/4″ off the sheathing, so we ran the wood through the table saw to create a little notch and they fit on nicely now.

Being an artist, I would have thought that the painting part would be an enjoyable change from screws, nails and saws, but there are so many shapeless, repetitive 2×4 cut offs that it feels a little like putting 4 coats of slow-drying paint on firewood.

The primer is what really gets my goat. It’s white, it has to go on all sides of every piece, and since it’s so very far from the colour I’m ideally aiming for, it is not very rewarding. It also shines clearly through the first layer of paint which results in an awkward sort of half teal, half white business.

The second coat just about covers it and after the third it’s totally gone, but it apparently takes 4 hours before another coat can be applied, so there’s plenty of time to admire the uncertain colour combination. Ah well, I’ve only 10 windows…


Ten windows, a door, porch, and several other things…


I haven’t kept up on posting very well, but I have kept up on house building and last week has been extremely productive. This has been largely due to the help I had for a few days from a friend visiting from Scotland. This friend happens to be a carpenter (the best friends to have, you know) and I happen to have swindled him into building things for my house. The most exciting of these things is a simply lovely front door, but he also helped put in windows, widened the openings in the loft, and made a porch.

But really, the door. I’ve not much of a clue what kind of work went into the process of making it, but even with my limited time helping it seemed quite complicated so I’m really glad I didn’t have to bumble my own way through this part. And it’s such a nice door, I think my house looks much happier with it and all the windows in.

My neighbor has a bunch of lumber left over from his house and various projects so I bought some great 2×6 tongue-and-groove pine from him to make it with. It was previously used for decking and had a bunch of tar and nail holes but I got all I needed for $20 and it sanded down nicely. He also gave (!) me absolutely perfect hinges which are AMAZING, I wish I’d taken a picture of them before they went in. I’ve been wanting to have the door open out-the-way to save space inside and these let it do just that but, unlike most hinges, they stay on the inside. Very cool little brass buggers.

I also bought synthetic roofing underlayment, ordered my metal roof and the (frighteningly expensive, let me tell you) cedar siding this week so it’s all moving forward very nicely! Today my dad I put up some beautiful redwood boards on the eaves and it’s just about prepared for the roofing process now.

But back to my door. I love it. I love it and its characteristic nail holes. I love it and it’s not even yellow yet. I love my hinges that open outwards but reside inwards so nobody can just waltz up and take my door off. Waltzing door burglars. You just never know…


Mad winds, windows and house wrap…


It was frightfully windy the other day; blustery, wild and very cold. In short, it was a terrible day to be working with flimsy house wrap, but wrap house we did as it billowed and bucked and WRINKLED. Oh, the dreaded wrinkles… Considering the conditions, I think I’ll blame them on the wind.    

We now have a total of 5 lovely windows in! The first flashing installation guide I watched on youtube gave shabby advice and I ended up redoing two windows as a result. Though slightly annoying, it didn’t take up much time and I now feel confident in the correct process. Of course, now and a year from now when the house is getting pelted with torrential rain are different entirely; confidence is a much easier thing to have when it’s dry.

The 5 windows in thus far have been the easy ones. The 4 on the sides and 1 at the back were both easily accessible with the skilsaw, and quite small. The 3 in the bump out section at the front of the house are neither of these things, which is why we have purposefully avoided them. Today, however, my dad conjured up some brilliance and essentially solved the problem. It involves ripping out a lot of very determined ring shank nails (why, damn it, why did we not use screws…) and moving some framing around, but it’s probably faster in the end and doesn’t require the skilsaw.

We’ve been getting late starts and worked right up until dark the last few days, but hopefully we’ll get our buns out there a little earlier tomorrow. As dearly as I love my windows, I do not love their narrow rough openings and it’ll  be a relief to get past the seemingly counterproductive “lets saw off parts of the house” stage.