Home Improvements

posted on 04/18/04 at 01:37:58 am by Joel Ross

The house we own is just over 100 years old. Built in 1899, it was recently refinished. The guy we bought it from gutted the house, and redid almost everything. And he did a great job. We love our house - very few complaints about it.

Once we'd been here for a while, we had three major issues with the house. When he redid the house, he left the original front window in the house. It's about 10 feet wide, and has three pains to it - the two outside ones are about a foot and a half wide, and are single pane. Living in Michigan, in the winter, we lose a lot of heat through there. That's our first complaint.

The second was the main level bathroom, which he also didn't touch. It didn't fit into the rest of the house, and had old windows in it. We've since repainted the room, and discovered the windows aren't a problem. The bathroom is the hottest room in the house in the winter, and the coolest in the summer. Why replace the windows then?

The last complaint has to do with the basement - it's a Michigan basement, meaning it is dark, damp, and musty. We can store stuff in it, and our cats love it, but that's about all it's good for.

After painting the bathroom, we are happier with it, but not thrilled. It could use a new shower, and the tub is deep, yet only about a foot and a half off the ground. Getting our daughter in and out is difficult. But we can deal with those issues. We can't do anything about the basement either. And we knew that coming into it.

That leaves the front window. Worse than letting heat out in the winter and cool out in the summer, the wood is rotting completely around the outside of the window. Because of this, we've decided it's time to do something about it.

So, we've started the planning process. Two new windows and some extra wall between them - no more 10 foot wide window, but two seperate windows, which can be opened. But that's not the best part - we're also adding a deck on the front, which involves extending the roof line, and removing an existing cement porch. So far, we have a part list (including prices), and a drawing. Next, we need the permit, and the time.

Oh yeah. I need the skill too. I am not a handy person. Let me qualify that. I am handy, if I'm told what needs to be done. Without my father-in-law, I wouldn't have a clue what would need to be done. I grew up in a rental house, so we never did construction like this. Hopefully, with time, I'll learn. I've already been given ample opportunities to learn about wiring in my house, and I'm still confused by that - since when is a black wire the hot one? And why are bare copper wires acceptable? I've wired a ton of car stereos, and experience was always that bare wires are bad, and black is ground.

Anyway, by the middle of the summer, I should have new windows in the house, and a porch to sit on.

Categories: General