Building at the Ledge – Part 9 (Window Installation)

It’s been three months since my last update to this site.

My sincere apologies to anyone who has been faithfully checking the site for current information! Why so long?

Well, I’ve been kept pretty busy, between the house, the business, and the challenges of life in a tiny trailer.

A lot has been done in this three months, though of course there’s lots more left to do. I haven’t been doing much carpenter work myself. I injured my back shortly after the last update, and by the time I was able to do physical labor again it was time for me to be shopping. I’ve spent lots of money, probably too much of course!

The list includes cabinets for the kitchen, laundry, and master bath, plumbing fixtures, a wood stove, kitchen appliances, colors for the exterior stucco and trim, roofing material, and concrete stain.

As of the last report we had just finished installing the roof panels, and the windows had been delivered. T.B. had me start preparing to installing windows, and over the next months we installed a few windows each week, almost as a break from other jobs.

Windows Ready to Install

The first step was to prepare the window openings. I cut strips of 30-lb. roofing felt (paper saturated with tar) to fit the window opening. The side and top strips are 8" wide, the bottom 16" wide.

I used a chisel to remove any wads of glue in the corners of the window opening, and then attached the felt to the exterior wall with a staple gun. The bottom strip went on first, then the sides, finally the top, so that the raindrops would run down the overlapping felt strips and not find their way into the house.

After I’d felted a few windows, T.B. would stop his work and run a bead of glue along the edge of the felt, while I unpacked the window. They are beautiful windows, a clear Douglas fir with sage green aluminum cladding on the outside. The wood interiors will be clear-coated; in the meantime we’ve been very careful to avoid getting fingerprints on the wood.

Installing Windows

Next T.B. would carry the window to the outside of the house and set it into the opening. I stayed on the inside and held the window in place, levering it up or shimming it while he made sure that it was level and square in all directions and nailed it in place.

The next step was to open and close the window to verify that it worked smoothly. Finally, T.B. applied a smear of glue on the outside of the window frame to cover the nails and ensure a final waterproofing.

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