After several months of pondering and pontificating about life’s hard questions, it’s about time that I blogged about something a little more concrete. Some generous friends made it possible for the hubby and I to get away from our current situation for a night and thanks to that and this glorious and invigorating fall weather, we are heading back to the fray, strengthened and refreshed.
Here’s a quick update on the house. Work parties have continued to arrive every Saturday and we have succeeded in redoing the electrical and are moving on to the list of small things that need to be done before sheetrock can be installed.
This, as you might imagine, after a summer of getting almost nothing done, has been incredibly encouraging.
We have people constantly asking for details about the work that is going forward, wanting to know if there is anything they can help with and almost always concluding with some kind of a remark about how exciting it is to be close to doing sheetrock, since then, the end will be in sight. And to this last remark I always have to say yes and no. The sheetrock is a huge step, yes, and will do wonders for boosting morale around here, but there is one other rather large project remaining that seems to be often overlooked in our calculations. And that project is…..
This big old house has a ton of windows, which is exciting as they will add much light and beauty to the finished project, but they are, as of yet, still to be made.
“Made?” you might ask. “Why don’t you just purchase them like any other red-blooded American?”
“Good question,” I would respond. But there are a variety of reasons why we are making and not buying them. (and by we, I mean Steve, who is not an American) then reasons are these.
Our house was built in two parts- the front part of it is good deal younger but the back part of it was so old and in such terrible shape when we bought it that we pretty much had to start from scratch on it.
This means that we still have most of the original windows from the front part of the house, but most of them are in terrible need of refurbishment. This I have been trying to do very (very) slowly all summer and the process looks something like this.
Here’s a window freshly removed from it’s old place. Looks nice, eh? I’ll be honest with you- there have been many times that I have doubted we could ever make anything remotely nice out of these eyesores. The first step, obviously, is to remove the old glass and save what remnants that we can.
As you can see, we’ve salvaged quite a lot. The next step is the scraping- not a job that I delight much in, I must admit.
Sometimes the windows fall apart when you remove the glass, so we get to scrape each little individual cross piece. Tons of fun, and makes quite a lovely mess.
Here’s just a portion of the windows. Some are done being scraped, some haven’t been begun and some have been carted away by kindly friends (ie saints) to their own homes where they work on them through the week.
Eventually, we get them down to their bare bones and there they wait to be painted, have missing parts restored, get their hardware cleaned up and then, of course, get reglazed and reglassed. Quite a process.
I can’t wait until these are put back in their proper places of dormer and wall. Not only will they be beautiful, but they will help keep out the cold, which is beginning to be a bit of a nuisance.
So those are the windows in the front. The windows in the back have no originals to be refurbished and so, in order to comply with the code in our area for maintaining historical accuracy, we either have to pay someone to make them, or make them ourselves
Currently, they are just big holes, boarded up.
The hubby made a good start on the frames years ago, before everything fell apart, but as you can see, we still have a long way to go.
So long story short, the windows are what might just be holding us up for a while. We are trying to get around the problem, but there really isn’t any way except to slog right through it to the other side. As I said, we have people who are stepping up to help with the scraping and the sanding and even the building and we are so grateful.
But several of you have asked for a more specific thing you can help with and all I can say is, there’s an awful lot of wood and glass still to be purchased to make these windows a reality. Any little bit would help! Thanks!