Well I Never!
During the course of the 17.5 years we have owned this house I have replaced or re-located 15 windows and a set of sliding glass doors and the main (big ass) front door. Some were parts of larger projects, some were done to finally replace the leaky, drafty, chintzy contractor grade windows & doors the house came with back in the 60’s.
In an amazing run of common sense, any work done strictly off a ladder has been the simpler ‘replacement only’ variety. Any of the larger, project oriented massive re-arranging has been done on the first floor with one exception – in our original master closet I removed a window and re-located it abut 8 feet to the right in what was (until yesterday) the master bath. Even then, I was able to do most of the grunt work from the inside and really had to hang off a ladder for the final install.
In all of these cases – the sliders, the front door, the sets of 3 side by side by side windows in the living & family rooms – I was able to get the bulk of the work done in well under 8 hours. It should also be noted that in nearly instance I had help. Sometimes it was Cindy holding window units in place while I shimmed & nailed, other times it was the boys helping me to muscle a 7 foot wide door unit into place. But none of that work was done completely alone.
We are in the process of merging the current master closet & teeny bath with the 4th bedroom to come up with a make-up table nook, a full sized bath with a shower, separate claw foot tub and a 6.5’ wide dual sink vanity and a uniquely “L” shaped closet that is a little bigger than the walk-in we have now. To pull off the merge, we are moving 3 walls and we have to shift a set of dual windows about 4 feet to the left, to center them on the tub.
Saturday I removed the wall between our former master bath and the 4th bedroom. I also peeled a shit load of drywall off the north (exterior) wall. All of that was hauled to the curb for the Waste Management boys to cart off. (That was Monday morning. I’m sure the WM guys hate us). Saturday wasn’t too bad, and I got to quit around 5 so we could all head over to Zach & Jill’s for dinner.
Sunday was brutal. The best part of the day was tweaking my plans to correct some dimensions. With a wall or two out of the way I was able to get more accurate measurements. Turns out the closet will be 9” wider than I originally thought. Who doesn’t like a little extra closet space?
Then it was off to the home store to load up on supplies I was sure I’d need for the window relocation program. Got back home, unloaded, tossed a bunch of lumber up onto the back porch roof and grabbed a bit of lunch. Then the real work started.
Getting the original window out wasn’t a big hassle. Peel off the storm windows, pry off the moldings (I just picked splinter #58 out of my right middle finger), then pull the double wide double hung frame out. Easy peasy. Then I had to start peeling the shingles & shadow board off the exterior to clear out the wall for the new window. I thought I could work strictly off the porch roof for the whole process. Wrong. Went out to get a ladder from behind the shed. Got sidetracked at the pond for 30 minutes or so, emptied the filter basket, washed a winters worth of algae build op off it, went fishing for a few skimmer nets worth of leaves (stinky!!), then got the ladder in place and peeled shingles.
Back inside. Now that I knew just how far the window was going to extend, I realized I was getting the opportunity to move an outlet. I <i>thought</i> it was at the end of a line, but no, it had two cables at the box, one in, one out. The bad part was that the outie went up through the ceiling – right through where I had to install the new 4×6 header over the window. Lost an hour to get the outlet power off, move the outlet and re-apply power. Had to get power back on because that was the circuit I was running all my toys on.
It took about a half hour longer than I had hoped to get the old 4×6 out of the way. Took longer to get the new opening cut. Took longer to get the sill plate set. Took longer to (sensing a theme here?) get the jambs plumb. Everything took longer. Even worse – I had the boys over for help from the point of setting the sill plate right on till the bitter end. We took a break for dinner then went back at it.
Had to break out the flood lights towards the end. Hell – had to break out the floods for the last 2 hours. At the end, the windows fit perfectly. Good thing we wrapped it up too, because Eric & I were literally standing on the porch roof in the rain putting the last nails in the window flashing.
Sunday night, I was woken up twice by wicked hamstring cramps. Never got cramps there before. Kinda wrecks a nights sleep. Killed the alarm in the morning and slept in an extra 45 minutes. I still hurt all day long Monday.
Pictures forthcoming. I gotta go pass out.