Windows Pt. 5 – Interior Plaster Wall Repair

Because when it rains it pours, as demonstrated on day two of this three-month project, the water and neglect had caused the plaster keys to break which allowed the wall to bow out significantly. The cracks this caused were masked with drywall texture some years back but the wall was never properly repaired. Traditional plaster washers are a good idea but they require re-plastering the entire wall to cover them. Not wanting to do this, Jeremiah found a good solution that required drilling … Read more…

Windows Pt. 4 – Sash and Exterior Trim Installation

With the repaired sashes and new casing frame compete, it was time to finally get rid of the chipboard window. We took final measurements, positioned the sashes, and restrung and hung the window weights. With the window stops all positioned correctly, we could install the new exterior trim. Although I’m sort of a purist when it comes to restoration, we decided to not install the upper sash weights and pulleys. We added stop blocks to hold the uppers in place, then sealed … Read more…

Windows Pt. 3 – Sash Repair

When we moved in, my mother gave us a book titled Working Windows by a man named Mr. Window. Actually I think his real name is Terry Meany, but he refers to himself as Mr. Window. Anyway, the book has diagrams, examples and all sorts of helpful information about repairing and restoring antique windows. I highly recommend it to anyone considering window repair. While Jeremiah and his dad were building the casing, I worked on the sashes. Every one of them had rot at the … Read more…

Windows Pt. 2 – New Casing Frame Installation

So with everything removed it was time to build a frame. Measuring the rotten and partially replaced structure in the wall would be extremely impractical if not impossible – and honestly just the thought of trying to figure out where everything went makes my stomach turn even now. So those geniuses, Jeremiah and his dad, used the old frame as a sort of jig, laying it flat in the driveway and building the new frame on top. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much left to use and what was there … Read more…

A crap storm – literally

Before I get to the casing frame rebuild, did I mention it rained the night after we started this project? No? Oh, well let me elaborate. We went to bed sometime after midnight knowing the city was expecting rain. Except it wasn’t rain, it was a watery nightmare. A blowing, pouring, lighting-and-thunder show, movie-style nightmare storm. Jeremiah woke up when the it started to get heavy at about 3 a.m. He went downstairs, then ran back up to get dressed and to find … Read more…

Windows Pt. 1 – Discovery & Demolition

“I guess I’ll tackle these windows this weekend since I have Friday off,” said a man to his wife as they were about to embark on a harrowing project. The front windows had drippy upper sashes, we assumed because they were caulked and painted shut without being properly closed (hence the need for Window Wieners I made last winter) and the caulking was cracked. Due to what we thought was just normal environmental wear on 85+ years of paint buildup, we knew we’d be … Read more…

Quick and easy reupholstered dining chairs

Our lovely dining table was reupholstered sometime likely in the 1990s with a sort of satiny jacquard fabric in navy blue with a gold and red pattern. The table is so formal that I wanted something a little less formal to soften the room. I loaded up a cushion and headed to the upholstery and drapery fabric store down the street (have I mentioned how much I love living here, close to everything?) to get an idea of what was available. I’d been … Read more…

Anniversary dishes!

For our anniversary, my husband tried to surprise me with dishes he picked out all on his own from Pottery Barn. He even went to the trouble of hiding them in the attic. Unfortunately he forgot that when he gave them my rewards number, it emails me the receipt. I was surprised nonetheless, but just a little more immediately than he was expecting. Anyhow, he did a great job and picked out the Cabria set in turquoise blue. He got me (I mean “us,” … Read more…