Disclaimer: we aren't professionals

Thanks for reading our silly little blog! As the disclaimer says, we aren't professionals in either blogging or house stuff, but we try. This is mostly to let our friends and family know what we've destroyed so far in the house. We post irregularly and usually forget to take pictures, so thanks for your patience, and please feel free to comment with your thoughts and suggestions!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kitchen Window Part 1

The kitchen was the first major renovation area that we did that had a window. We wanted to remove the old window and put in a new double hung window replacement to create a better seal and to improve the view in the kitchen. I am still not sure if I will replace all of the windows in the house. For now, I am slated to replace the kitchen and two bathroom windows.

I measured the current window opening by following American Craftsman's replacement measurement instructions. I came up with a 36" by 37 5/8". Dad originally felt that I should have had a window merchant measure and order the window, but I found that the 36x38 window from American Craftsman would actually fit the hole by looking at the actual measurements. We found windows on sale at Home Depot because they were LoE2 technology and Home Depot was stocking only LoE3 because of the tax credit. We ended up walking out with a window for $68 (50% off). This was the lower end 1200 series window. I would have chosen a better series (or even better brand) but we don't want to make the mistake of over improving the house above its potential.

We started removing the old window by pulling out the interior stops. The old wood double hung windows use an aluminum track with springs instead of string weights. We detached the springs and slid the inside window to the top. We then ripped out the lower section of aluminum track and slid the window back down until it cleared the upper section of aluminum tray (sorry for error in window nomenclature). This picture illustrates the aluminum track. The inside window is already pushed up

The following two shots are post inside window removal.

The next picture shows the entire window removed and the frame exposed. The angled sill was in pretty rough shape with all of the old paint layers. I probably inhaled some lead while chipping and sanding. I spent about 35 minutes chipping, sanding and smoothing out with wood filler to get a nice smooth sill to work with. Annie scraped the exterior stops and I followed up with sanding to make sure the caulk had a nice bonding surface for the new window.

The window installation was fairly straight forward. We had to cut the sill skirt to match the sill angle from the front to backside of the window. We placed some insulation in the space between the top of the window and the expander head (plastic u-channel that is used to make up the gap between the top of the window and the frame) and then caulked the exterior stops, the expander head and any joints in the frame that we would not be able to get to after installing the window. We then set the window into the frame and made sure it was as flush with the exterior stops as we could get it. We also caulked along the front and back base of the window and along the exterior sides and top. I used my finger to smooth out the caulk. I used some leftover GE Silicone 2 Gutter caulk. I realized too late that this stuff isn't paintable. I will be using Dap ALEX Plus to go over this caulk to be used for painting. There was a bow in the base of the window, so when I caulked the base, we used two flag stones to flatten out the base.

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