Window Facelift

This weekend, Nathan hopped on the home projects bandwagon and started trimming out the insides of our downstairs windows, since we’ve had them for about 5 months.
Over Labor Day weekend, we received over 4 inches of rain from Hurricane Isaac. You know what that makes me want to do…sleep and catch up on a pastime of mine… known as un-productivity and procrastination. However, all I needed was a Friday night and Saturday and I had my fill.
Poor Nathan couldn’t accomplish much trimming by himself Saturday, very selfish of me. Trimming the inside of the windows is really more efficient with two people, because of the awkwardness of holding and nailing boards.
I was able to muster up enough ambition and productivity to help Nathan on Sunday after lunch to finish all the windows downstairs. It was fairly quick and painless and required a little bit of problem solving as an old farmhouse does not equal square.
These are windows before.
This is what we were left with after the new construction windows we’re installed around April. With the wedding and the excessive heat of the summer we haven’t had much time or ideal conditions to accomplish much inside the house since then.
We opted for new construction windows versus remodel windows, because we were following up with new siding. What that means is that the siding could actually butt right up against the windows, saving some time and man power. We actually gained more window space too, because there weren’t as many mechanisms to hide with the framing as the windows had, almost a century ago. However, that prohibited us from using the existing trim, because the windows grew…dun…dUN…DUN.
Also, during the siding phase of our home, Nathan was a sweet pea and blew extra insulation into the downstairs walls before the siding was up. It was a dirty…filthy… job.
To complete this pain staking process, Nathan had to drill 2” diameter holes all over the outside of the first level of our house. He had to drill through the old wood siding, to create the space to blow the extra insulation before the siding was put up.
Now that we are working on the inside, Nathan thought it would be a great idea to insulate around the inside of the windows too. To do this, I tore off pieces of the batting type insulation and shoved them all around the windows. You can see the pink of the insulation peeking out around the windows.
While I was busy shoving pink fluffiness into the windows, Nathan would measure the width and height of the windows and cut 1x2s to line the insides of the windows. Each side of the window was unique and we had to finagle almost all of them to be level and square. As you can see here, we had to use a piece of plywood to level out the left side.
And sometimes, we didn’t get it quite right, but then again that’s the joy and satisfaction of doing home improvement projects yourself. We improved throughout the process and plan to repeat it upstairs, after the plaster is torn out and new drywall is installed.
We have purchased 5-1/2” fluted pre-finished window trim from Lowe’s. We had planned to salvage everything, as mentioned above, but that wasn’t an option. The trim we selected is very similar and is the same width. We were able to salvage the rosettes originally used around the windows. However, we had to remove or saw off all the old leftover nails on them. If we had removed the nails by forcing them back thru they would have split the wood and defeated the purpose of saving them. I left that job to the boys…
 
They were able to cut the nails off the backsides and grind them down so the rosettes will lie flush against the wall when we reinstall them. I was so grateful, because I could not trust myself around power tools. Thanks boys!
We were only able to salvage 12 rosettes (enough to do 3 windows) and we have 6 windows total, between the living room, dining room and office. We have decided to use the rosettes on each big window in each of the rooms. As for the other three windows, they are smaller and we might be able to find similar rosettes at Lowe’s to use on those also, otherwise we will go without.
Here is a before and after. Please ignore the mess.
We were excited about trimming out the windows with the rosettes, because that means square cuts and no mitering. We have yet to do decide if we are going to tackle the mitered corners of the trim on the remaining three windows or leave that to the carpenters when they come to put up the crown molding.
Who knows, we may get courageous and ambitious and tackle the mitering and crown molding. We are feeling very confidant after trimming the insides of the windows. : )
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