At It Again

At It Again

Attila and I had planned to spend our weekend at the Rideau Camp. But this morning dawned grey and wet and cold. So, we decided that we would spend this weekend installing the new windows in the dining area of the kitchen. This is preparation for our big project next spring/summer/fall, which is to replace the roof on the garage, which is just under the windows we are replacing.

The new windows are shorter, much, much shorter, and will be high. The garage roof is under these windows, so it will allow Attila to raise the side of the roof beside the house by several feet, allowing adequate slope for runoff. With the window segment of the garage-roof-replacement-project done, we will be ready to roll when spring comes around again.

I will miss the light, which will be much diminished. But there is no view to be missed. The windows look out over the garage roof and into the windows of the neighbours bedroom, and above to their roof. The advantage in the new smaller windows is that they are energy efficient, which will make the house easier to heat and cool. They offer a smaller glass surface to the great outdoors, which will make the house easier to heat and cool. The real coup de grâce is that the new windows open and close more easily, which a bonus for an old geezer like me.

The hole in the side of the house today made for an interesting day. I spent a fair amount of time killing yellow jackets and flies. The indoor temperature fell to about 16C, not warm. But here we are, it is almost 7 p.m. and Attila has closed in the wall from the exterior, caulked it, and painted it the same colour as the siding. It will be inconspicuous from the street, important to our visually discerning neighbours, some of them actually care what the houses on the street look like, and we like to keep those neighbours happy. We will be able to have the heat on tonight, and we will need it, as the low is fall to 5C (41F).

Tomorrow will show how far we can get with a project like this on a weekend. The fiddly bits are always time consuming. We have to finish the new wall under the new windows. That space will need insulation, vapour barrier, and finally drywall. The drywall will need to be mudded, sanded, and at some point painted. I doubt we will get past the mudding though, it takes time to dry, best not to rush things. After all that the trim must be installed. The trim is a little more complicated because I would like a wide window sill, I love window sills!

Well, here I sit, snug as a bug on a rug. It is Saturday night. Attila is making himself a pizza in the kitchen, for his second supper. That man loves to eat! I am thinking, suddenly, that although almost none of my dreams have ever come true, the few that did are the ones that really count!

More by luck than by design.

DSCF1301 The windows are gone! The first step in the process is to remove the old windows. They will come in handy somewhere else. This big hole in the house meant it got cold in here!

DSCF1313 The framing for the new windows is done, and the new windows are in place, but still need to be secured.

DSCF1326 The new windows are secured. The exterior sheeting (3/4″ plywood) is installed, the caulking has been applied, we are bug proof now!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 PM EDT Saturday 30 September 2017
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 10.6°C
Dew point: 3.4°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: NNE 4 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“The highest courage is to dare to appear to be what one is.”
John Lancaster Spalding
1840 – 1916


  1. Teri

    Great job! This is something we will need to do but I find I’m somewhat put off by what seems the complexity of it. Okay, I’m afraid we’ll do it wrong and the house will fall down around our ears because there wasn’t enough support. *nervous smile*

    Any chance of putting in a outer door with window to that room or a nearby room to add back in some extra light?

    Strange how your weather has been opposite of ours, lately. We had beautiful blue skies today, though the temps were the same as yours. Tonight, it’s supposed to hit freezing and we have a frost advisory.

  2. Teri, there are probably videos from reliable sources online outlining the proper way to frame a window. Attila learned through his jobs, doing it, and then estimating materials for doing it, so he knows the drill. I don’t think it is complicated, you do need to respect load bearing walls, but once you have identified them in your dwelling, you can follow the correct steps for any window installation/replacement.

    We considered putting a window on the other wall, but it gets the afternoon sun and that would make that area unpleasant in the afternoons during spring/summer/autumn, so we will just have to live with the reduced light. The room has good lighting, so we might not notice it too much.

    Our weather improved as the day progressed, by noon it was mostly sunny skies. Two differences, we are west of you so that the westerlies carry weather our way from where you are, there is a lag. The other is lake effect, we are very near Lake Ontario, which has a very big effect on the weather. Usually it is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, but it can be cloudier and wetter too. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, a good day for working on the windows!

  3. Putting in windows is an art. Paul put in some here and we had a carpenter put in some others. Our neighbor is replacing his tiny little slit-type-windows in their ranch with a few double-hung windows… they look funny mixed in with the ranch-style slit-windows but maybe they will be replacing all of them. I need windows… the more the better.

  4. So glad you are getting your windows replaced! Windows are so necessary, especially during the winter. I’ll never forget the lack of light on the homestead where I grew up. Because of the extreme cold, we couldn’t indulge in having lots of large windows, so our home always seemed to lack light. Of course, when spring came, that prompted us to spend even more time outside!

  5. I love windows too Bex! They are so cheery, and the light is wonderful. I don’t like my windows to allow strangers to gaze into my house though, which the dining area windows did. I covered the bottom panes with a film that obscurred the view into the house, but let in the light; but when the windows were open anyone standing on the street could watch me cook, I did not like that. The new windows are high, they can remain open without letting the world watch me, I like that abou them. I can also gaze out without the uncomfortable feeling that the neighbour might think I am peeking into their bedroom window, I like that too.

    Windows make a real difference to the “curb appeal” of a house. I had my concerns about our new windows, but they look really nice from outside, much nicer, in my view, than the style of the windows we just removed, and much, much nicer than the original window that was there when we bought the house. I will be very picky about what windows we choose for the front of the house, these will be crucial for the appearance of the place. It is a tiny cottage, and needs windows that enhance that fact.

  6. Diane, light in the winter makes a very big difference. It is a trade off between warmth and light. I can really relate to your desription of the homestead needing small windows to cope with the intense cold! I am hoping that here we won’t notice the reduced light in the dining area so much, as I can still gaze out the kitchen window while I am cooking, and we could not see out the previous windows when we sat to eat. But I do notice the reduction in light. I do spend a lot of my day in the living room, with my chair arranged so that I can look out through the windows into the tree tops all day long, and can sit in the sun in the morning hours. When we replace the living room windows there will be no expense spared to get just the right ones.

    When I was a child living on the farm, our windows were not weather proof. If the wind was blowing in the winter, the snow drifted into the bedroom through the gaps in the window frames. We had light in the room, but we also had weather. We knew no other way, so that it seemed quite natural to experience mother nature more directly than I do now here at Mist Cottage. My Mom kept us healthy and strong, we were seldom ill, so it didn’t hurt us. At this time in my life I am loving my thermostat!

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