Sunday, October 16, 2016

There's no business like house business (an instructional post about window repair. mostly)

The marigolds of October
This weekend in Seattle was, of course, all about preparing for and surviving the major storm that never happened. Oh, it rained a bit and some people lost power--including me on Harbor Island for just long enough to lose 40 minutes of unsaved work which, yes, was vexing--but the big storm never really materialized chez Aurora. This was sort of a pity since, emulating Alex, I had prepared:

Life-sustaining necessities: scones and tea and crosswords and Proust
And although the storm never materialized, we didn't let my preparations go to waste. We didn't plant tulips and instead stayed indoors having tea and scones. (I've also got Marcel nearly to Balbec.)

But all that's just by the by. This point of this post is to share last weekend's installment of This Old House of Aurora's. Earlier this month the window over the kitchen sink closed violently, causing the cute little crack that has been in the corner of the pane of glass since we first looked at the house to spawn a number of additional, potentially more troublesome cracks. We responded like the responsible owners of a 90-year-old house that we are and put some tape on the new cracks and headed to Boise for a wedding.

Scott assured me that fixing the window would be a simple matter of ten or fifteen minutes; the main thing was to get the old window up the hill to True Value so we could get the right size of replacement glass. That time estimate was before he'd actually removed the window to discover that whereas some people might feel like a bit of putty is sufficient to hold a piece of glass in place, "Ned" (as we call Aurora's imaginary son) had opted to keep the glass in place with a strip of well-affixed wood. Since getting the glass out was taking longer than planned, and since the cause of the sudden crash that started the adventure had been, presumably, the cord that held the counterweight breaking, I figured that I might as well fill my time while Scott worked on the window by removing the molding around the window so we could get at the weights.

The attentive reader will note that none of the photos that follow show me working on the molding. It turned out--and perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised--that the final piece of molding which was holding everything together wasn't a simple strip but rather a specially milled, sort of angled block of wood that was nailed in place through the wall of the neighboring cabinet. It wasn't a piece that came out without some destruction.

Fortunately, Scott is pretty imperturbable so he took it all in stride. (There are no photos of him finally breaking all the old glass out of the frame; he did that downstairs without telling me in advance.) The trip to the hardware store was successful and we came home with glass, putty, and glazier corners which Scott knew how to use. There was really a lot of me not doing much other than take photos. Maybe I'd rather be more useful, but I'm told my time will come when we get around to painting.

The ever so clever glazier point that you use to sort of hold the glass in place.
Scott applying the glazier's putty
The sash cord installation. Do note all the fascinating crap behind the wall. Some lath. Some plaster. A bit of drywall. 

There were a few casualties: Ned's screwdriver snapped under the pressure.

There's still some work to be done but the new window--with its new sash cords and re-attached weights--opens and closes like a dream.

I'm not sure what the horseman with a very fine hat I found in this morning's tea leaves might signify, but I tack it on here anyway:

1 comment:

  1. I think the guy on the horse is the Herald from Shakespeare's "Henry V." Take that how you will.