Last window

Last window

Dean came over and helped me take the last window out of the first floor North wall. Because our house sits so close to our neighbor (less than two feet in places), we decided early on to take out the windows on the North side. Eventually we’ll have a sliding glass door with transom in the back, an entry door with sidelights and transom in the front, and a large solar tube in the kitchen to bring in natural light. For now it’s gotten a bit dark.

Windows removed

Window removed

While the windows on the North wall did bring in some light they had no view to speak of (as you can see) and are a major source of heat loss in the winter. Even new, Low-E windows would lose a lot more heat and air than a solid wall filled with foam. Eriq helped me remove the other three windows on the North wall last year. At the time I was hoping to get an inch of spray foam into the first floor before winter, but for a variety of reasons that didn’t happen.

Frame assembly

Frame assembly

Taking lessons from the previous effort, we assembled the new piece of wall with the sheathing already attached and then fit the complete piece into the wall. The hope was to eliminate the step where I’m hanging from the side of the house trying to jam a piece of sheathing that doesn’t fit into a hole that isn’t quite square. Unfortunately we wound up still honoring that tradition due to a section of sheathing above the window. After we put in the assembled section there was a large gap, so we wound up taking it off and cutting a new one, which of course didn’t fit properly until we’d both spent time trimming it and then pounding it with a mallet at the top of a ladder. Eventually we got it fitted and the result is a solid wall on the North side, at least on the first floor.

Closed up window

Closed up window

With it closed up we then stapled house wrap to it ship-lap style and taped the seams. Since it doesn’t have siding for now I want to make sure it’s weatherproofed. We’ll have more of these to do when it comes time to remodel the second floor, but that’s a ways off. In that case, though, we’ll have to get it right from the inside, because I don’t want to be on a ladder ten feet higher up, trying to jam in sheathing.

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