Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Windows Part II

I finally put the window bench into the box window today. The final coat of polyurethane went on yesterday and was dry by the time we got home from church this afternoon. I put together a mini collage like last time showing the stages of progress.

And here's the final product, as seen from the living room stairs.

We're really pleased with the final product. We also had my friend Patrick do the painting in the living room and halls. It took him about 55 hours and $600 in materials. We went with some Sherwin Williams high endurance paint, hopefully strong enough to hold up to the kids.

My oldest and I played a game of Meggido sitting on the new window seat to officially Christen it. It's a surprisingly warm and cozy spot on this cold, blustery, overcast November day.

Now, some of the structural details are really worth talking about. The original window used a 2 x 10 header constructed of three 2 x 10 boards spaced with 1/2" plywood, all glued and screwed together. I know because I tore apart the old header after it was removed for salvage. (I incidentally netted a nice hoard of materials post renovation, now waiting out the winter in the garage). The old header was supported by two 2 x 6 studs on either side. Pretty sturdy and appropriate for what was there.

The box window, however, cantilever's out from the wall, creating some extra weight and strain. The new header is three 2 x 12's supported by three 2 x 6 studs on either side. The exterior wall is also now sheathed in OSB plywood instead of the completely non-structural Celotex which was previously used. This provided a bit more strength.

The best part is the box construction itself. My Dad did the design work and used 3/4" OSB plywood as sheer panels, glued and screwed to the king studs, knee wall and header. This provides fantastic strength all around and once completely framed held the combined weight of both Jeff and Shawn, the carpenters who did the work. I even got up in it and jumped on it before the window was installed. ROCK solid. The front of our house is a LOT quieter in wind storms now. Inside the sheer box, regular stud furring was applide for an insulation space on the sides. A ladder was built to bring the height of the knee wall up to just under sitting height, and this was like wise well anchored to the king studs, through the sheer panel and to the knee wall. This space was filled with fiber glass batting. The roof of our home was extended down over the box window for a final finish.

Overall, it looks a little different than originally intended, but I really like the appearance. With the way the economy is going, putting our money into retirement accounts to loose value doesn't seem like such a great idea, so we're putting it into the house, hoping that yields a better return in the long run.