Construction, House and Acreage Restoration

The Three Big Installations

A beautiful fall sunset
A beautiful fall sunset

Don’t you just LOVE fall? Oh October has always been my favorite month. Yes, my birthday is in October, but it’s more than that. It’s the sound of leaves crunching under your feet. It’s the oranges and reds and yellows in the tree tops. It’s the smell of burning leaves and pumpkin spices. It’s peacoats and boots and a slight nip in the air in the early mornings and evenings.

Before and after the visit to the ER, there was an agenda for the house. Getting the obscenely large windows installed. Help was needed, so my husband’s in-laws came down to do the heavy lifting. Quite literally. Because the four of us were needed for all aspects of the window process, I have only a few after pictures of what was actually accomplished.

First on tap (after Mom and I furiously cleaned the porch, the garage and both floors of the house), was putting in the large three-pane window on the west side of the house, upper story. We knew that the window would fit into the opening….but the question lay in how the hell we were gonna get it up on the second story!

A print left behind in the mud from the forklift
A print left behind in the mud from the forklift

Answer? Consumers so graciously came out with a forklift to help us put it on the scaffolding. From the scaffolding, the gentlemen lifted (at great physical duress to themselves) the window into place, while the ladies tried to hold onto the window from the inside. Something made much more complicated by the sashes and the fact that the window is flat. How do you hold onto a flat surface? I’m not sure I even know how we managed to hold on. It was a Homestead Miracle.

Large three-pane (pain…ahem…) window installed on west side of house.
Large three-pane (pain…ahem…) window installed on west side of house.

After that, we moved onto the Andersen French Doors. Which, so happen, were brand new but we did not pay for brand new Andersen Doors. There was a mistake in the order, or something, and these doors were left over so we were able to get them at a far discounted price. (Which wasn’t difficult considering we could build our door opening to fit whatever door size we wanted, it’s not like we had to fit a particular door into a particular-already set opening).

The plaster and lathe wall before we stripped it down-here is where the French Doors now sit in the house.
The plaster and lathe wall before we stripped it down-here is where the French Doors now sit in the house.

While the doors were heavy, it was somewhat less intimidating to install them. I suppose the much shorter distance to the ground aided in this feeling.

New view of the same wall with the doors installed.
New view of the same wall with the doors installed.

Having the west wall downstairs with full-light doors is amazing. However, the door handle system (because doors don’t come with handles…is that not the DUMBEST thing you have ever heard? At least include a generic handle for Pete’s Sake!) is quite costly. The cheapest we found was $200. So, while the doors are gorgeous, I’m not sure we are going to be opening them or closing them anytime soon. If you have hints as to where we can purchase Andersen French Door handles (two) and their locking systems, please, contact us. We LOVE second hand and we even more LOVE not paying full-price for something.

And last, the bay window. But, the bay window is too special. It’s my absolute FAVORITE view from the house. When I stand in that spot (southwest corner) I feel the presence of all the families that lived there before us (well, since we aren’t actually living there yet, I’m not sure I can truly us this exact wording….). I feel calm. I love the south western light. I love the view to the oat field.

The bay window, will have it’s very own post. Soon.

Back of the house before renovation.
Back of the house before renovation.
Back of the house now! Holy crap-it's a different house!
Back of the house now! Holy crap-it’s a different house!

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