Tuesday, April 20, 2010


These are four words, you do not want to hear from the gentlemen installing the windows on your house.

Yesterday was very productive, and very long, so this post needed to wait until today.

I headed out to the property yesterday morning to meet Junior (the framer, and the one installing the windows) and the delivery truck from Pella, with my windows. It was a bad time of morning, I got delayed by two school zones. But I had started out a little early, so I figured I would be there before the delivery (no one is ever on time with a delivery when you are waiting for it). Then I found that they were doing construction on the next the last road to get to my house! They had it down to one lane, and were making traffic take turns. I had to wait for my turn. Then they were doing maintenance on the road where my property is. I had to maneuver my truck between their truck, and a concrete culvert. I was waiting for a loud KTHUNK as I figured for sure one of my tires would hit the concrete. I got through though without any bumps. I got out to the house, and there was the truck from Pella, waiting! He apparently had even more fun getting there than I did, and had gotten there just before I did. So at least I didn't make him wait much. We started unloading the windows and the fire doors which were also in my order. The fire doors are to slow the spread of a fire, if there is one in the garage. Junior showed up in time to help with the master bedroom window. It took all three of us to manage the dining room window.

After I paid the driver, he left and I talked to Junior about the schedule for the day. He said that his helper - Rod - was working on another job, and wouldn't be available until going on lunch time. So we walked through, and looked over any remaining interior framing items. He wanted to add another top plate on the pantry to make it really sturdy, and he verified with me that I was going with standard height doors through the center wall. He had been out the other day, and had added furring strips to the garage wall to even it out with the concrete, and he had gotten all the wall heights adjusted to where they needed to be. After we discussed the remaining framing items, he went to run some errands, and so did I.

I ran my errands, and had an early lunch. On my way back, I decided to stop by a nearby landscaping business, since they mentioned retaining walls on their signs. I talked to a fellow named Scott. I asked if they took care of the large retaining walls, or just the small garden ones. He said they could do big ones. So I described to him what I was looking at, and we scheduled to meet out at the home on Thursday so he could get a real idea of what was going to be needed.

I took a slightly different way back to the property, and avoided most of the construction delay. When I got there, Junior and Rod were working on the rest of the framing, cutting studs, and driving nails.

As I looked at some of the framing they were adding to lower the top of the doorways, to match up with the doors that will be put in, I had a thought.

What if I put small windows in those openings?

I thought, it might work nice to put some small windows in those openings, and then light could come through from different rooms. Junior thought that might work well.

Junior finished up the pantry. This should be a sturdy little room.

Two top plates on a corner pantry.

Rod started getting the wrappings off the windows so we could get started on the install.

Not a present, but a lot of unwrapping to do none the less.

That is a big window.

I decided, that I would let them do their work, and not hover over them. So I went and checked out the wild flowers that are coming up.

Some lovely little flowers just growing where they like.

I found a spot, where my phone got a decent signal, and sat down. I looked over the email that had come in to see if there was anything I could take care of remotely. As I was responding to one of the emails, I heard words that made me chuckle, and cringe in terror at the same time: "We'll make it fit!". I thought, uh oh, I better check on this, because it can't be good, and I want to have a say in what the fix is.

They were working on installing the big window, and found that when they leaned it up to put it in, it wouldn't fit! Upon careful inspection, there were two things that went wrong. The bottom Vbuck, had been bulged up slightly by the concrete, so it was no longer flat, and was higher in the middle than at the sides. The second thing, was that the Vbuck on top, had not gone in the hole centered, so it was low on one side, and the curved Vbuck, had a bow in it from center to outside edges. So the hole was a little smaller than it was supposed to be. Junior explained that there was a strip of wood along the top edge of the window that he could try trimming to see if he could get enough off, to make if fit in the hole in the wall. Well, he started that, but quickly concluded that he wasn't going to be able to safely trim enough to make if fit. Ok, well, if you can't trim the block down to fit in the hole, then you are only left with making the hole bigger. The Vbuck is hollow, and we checked, and it sounded like the outside edge was still hollow on the top, so Junior got out the saws-all, and started surgery.

Not a smooth cut, but it all gets covered, and shouldn't effect how well the window is fastened.

It still took a couple tries, and I helped on the final attempt, when we put the top in first, then slid the bottom of the window in. That finally allowed the window to go in. It was actually a good fit at that point then, just enough play for them to get it leveled up.

A tight fit on the upper left, but if finally went.

The other windows went in fairly easily. It is finally starting to come together and look like what I want to call home.

The windows are in!

After that adventure, I went down to my folks place, and we went and got materials to start building the structure that will be attached to the overhang to provide a place to attach the facade to. We did some cutting until late evening when I went home.

Fabricating furring strips from composite deck material.

We are making the furring strips from Trex. This is a mix of recycled grocery bags, and sawdust from mills. The boards are not as stiff as wood, but they should provide a good material to attach to with screws, and they are insect and rot resistant.


  1. We can fix it. We can build the world's first bionic earth dwelling.

    Er... sorry about that.

    Good to hear from you. I was wondering how things were going, now that the weather's gotten nicer.

  2. Moving along again. Of course, there is weather to dodge, and schedules in the spring time, get a little challenging to coordinate. Hopefully the weather will stay cooperative, and we can make some significant progress in the next couple of weeks, and get it all really enclosed.