Loading Windows…3 of 7 Complete

Can anybody say ” That’s a lot of windows!” ? 2015-07-29 13.55.59

I sure can! And we have only installed three out of the seven so far!

Even with only two windows matching(they will be installed at the middle of the building, opposite each other) they are looking really awesome! The larger window size really opens up the space and lets in a ton of lovely natural light.

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What is next on the menu? Sub floor! We finally have electricity(three BIG cheers for A/C!), so we were able to hook up the air compressor and get started nailing the sub floor down.

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The nail gun made it go so quickly, we got 3 1/2 sheets down in less than an hour, finishing the back end(future bedroom) enough that we could start re-installing the insulation that we had pulled out to re-do the windows.

2015-07-29 18.14.53And before you ask, yes, we already checked and no rewiring needs to be done in the back, so the insulation should be safe from further construction. 🙂

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Second Window

New day, new window to replace! But, luckily, we do not have to replace the sill plate for this window, which means it will be faster to re-frame! We were able to simply cut the nails/screws/staples holding the framing together so we could add longer base pieces and shorten the top studs to accommodate the lager window. Pro tip: Hacksaws take a looooong time to cut though large staples, I anticipate having well developed sawing muscles by the time this project is done.2015-07-27 12.08.26

Once the re-framing was done, we just stood back and admired the view! This window looks out into a set of ceder trees and will be over the left side of the bed.

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Once we were done looking, we got to lifting and taa daa! Second new window is ready to rock and roll. Or, at least open and close. 🙂

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A Window of Opportunity

Now that we have some of the materials and fixtures needed to get started, we can, well, get started!

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Get used to seeing me in those blue shorts, it is too hot out here for anything else at the moment! We hope to get the building hooked up to electricity soon so we can have light and A/C, but that will depend on when the electric company can come back out to put the finishing touches on the new hook up points.

First to go? The wall paneling around each window, so the new ones can go in!

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The original insulation is in good shape, but was not installed correctly, as the flaps on either side should be stapled down to create a better barrier from the outside. Looks like a lot of stapling will be in our future!

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We were originally planing on just removing the paneling around the windows and then putting it back up or finding a new paneling to put up in the spots where we took it down. Unfortunately, since the insulation flaps are not stapled down and some of the insulation does not even have the paper backing on it, we will need to remove all of the paneling. It doesn’t come down nicely either, so replacing it will be necessary. Hello bead-board!

With the first chunk of paneling removed, we got started right in on replacing a window. It will be on the driveway side of the house at the foot of the bed, so we decided to use the lovely patterned privacy window we had found at the ReStore. Since the windows we got are all bigger than the existing windows, some re-framing was in order!

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We also had to replace a chunk of sill plate on this window, as the sealing around the opening had given way in spots, allowing the bottom board to rot. Here is the shiny new one we put in!

IMG_0384We didn’t expect re-framing a single window to take so long…but it did. I finished cutting away the excess siding that was within the new window opening a little after dark, too late to put the new window in that night.

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So, we put plastic over the opening, went to bed, and got up early the next day to get that puppy installed the rest of the way!

IMG_0388With a little bit of lifting help, some shims, and a nice bead of caulk all the way around the outside, we had our first new window for our house all done!

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Nothing to see here, just an awesome window!

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Windows and Doors and Floors, Oh My!

Whew…busy day! We got up early and hooked a small flatbed trailer to our car and headed into Saint Louis this morning so we could see if either of the ReStore locations had items that would work for our house!

Our first finds were a number of very large windows that would look great in our building:

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Have you ever lifted a window that is almost as tall as you? They are heavy! And we needed 7 of them…better get a second cart!

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We also found two matching exterior doors that should fit in the current framing. The windows are all larger than the existing ones, so they will require re-framing and the siding to be cut away in places to be installed. After checking out and loading everything into the trailer(5 windows, two doors, and a LOT of padding!) we headed over to the second ReStore location. Second jackpot of the day? Cabinets! There was a 12 piece  tongue-in-groove construction set that we thought we could use pieces from(no way we have room for all of it!) Since we will have wood flooring of some sort, the cabinetry will be painted to avoid wood overload.

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Speaking of flooring, we also found a bunch of that! It is looking like we are going to change our plans a little and instead of buying flooring new so it is the same throughout the whole building, we will have lovely hardwood in a variety of finishes in the different areas of the house. It should be interesting!

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!

Now that we have the building and can get in and out, time to get started with the inside! You can see that it is basically just a long rectangle with three doors(one on the inside wall), 7 windows, and about a gadjillion coat hooks:

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The floor is very dirty painted plywood that we will mop and then put a new sub-floor over, so as to have the right support for new interior walls, furniture, and appliances.

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First thing to go? The existing interior wall!

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We used a cats paw and crowbar to remove the trim and wall paneling after removing the door. Aaron got the wall out in less than an hour! We also removed all of the coat hooks and started pulling down the trim around the wall panels that have to come off to replace the windows.

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Once the wall was out we were able to bring in and stack the sheets of AdvanTech plywood that will become our subfloor.

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Since we can take proper measurements now, we need to get new windows, new exterior doors, and flooring. This means tomorrow we take a trip to Saint Louis to visit the Habitat for Humanity ReStores!

Work Officially Commences!

Guess what?!?! The building was delivered today!

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It was a little bit of a tight fit to get around the corner of our diveway, but the driver was a pro and made it without too much trouble.

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He was able to back it in and get all of the blocks down to level and support the trailer, so we can start work right away!

IMG_0377First order of business? Get the stairs set up in front of the main door so we can get in and out easily! We dug holes and set the cinder block feet for the stairs so they will stay sturdy and dry.

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It took a lot of muscle to move those stairs!

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But wow, do they look great!

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Next step: Inside work!

Shovels Dig the Dirt!

“Shovels dig the dirt!”

That was my first complete sentence as a kid, uttered during the construction of the first house I have any memories of living in. Now the same sentence runs through my head as the last of the leveling and gravel needed for our houses pad is finished!

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We should be able to have the building delivered some time in the next two weeks! I am just about bursting with excitement and everyone is thoroughly sick of hearing me talk about what the first things we will do as soon as the building arrives:-)

Another chunk of progress is that we have stairs!

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A mutual friend and co-worker built these over the weekend as a test for the stairs that will be used for the business buildings. The design looks great and they are very, very sturdy, so now he will make two more sets for the other buildings and we now have a way to easily get in and out of our house while remodeling!

Now, I must go and help level the gravel in our diveway:-) More soon!