This post is a quick update on our Roadrunner project. We’re making slow but steady progress. Since our last update:
- New windows are installed, but we’re still waiting on the arched windows for upstairs.
- The new light fixtures in the stairwell, living room, and other areas are in.
- Ceiling fans have all been replaced.
- Toilets are installed in all three upstairs bathrooms.
- Damage from a poorly-installed toilet in the laundry-room bath was discovered and repaired.
- The downstairs was painted.
For the rest of this post, I’m mainly going to talk about the windows. That are a non-trivial part of our renovation budget and we hope will dress up this house a bit.
Building codes change over time. In the 1960s and 70s, huge windows were in vogue. The went almost from ground to ceiling and let in a lot of light. Unfortunately, it turns out they also let in a lot of water, which tended to damage the sill plates on which the walls rest. For that reason, code now requires windows to be at least 19″ above the ground level. We discovered this fact when we had to replace the wonderful architectural windows at the Ash House.
From the beginning, we knew we had to replace and raise the bay window in the front living room or office. When we demoed it, Andy found that the sill plate had been exposed to water over the years and rotted. So we ended up with another “invisible repair.” This is all part of making a house a safe home again.
The Doors to Nowhere
At some point in the past, the house had small decks cantilevered outside of each of the back upstairs bedrooms. Because they were cantilevered, they were never big enough to be useful—not much bigger than Juliet’s balcony in a community theater production. By the time we bought the house, the decks were long gone, replaced by a “picket fence” type thing to keep people from wandering out the sliding glass doors and falling to the ground below.
We considered rebuilding the decks, but that really wasn’t in the budget, and they would not have improved the value of the house. So, we decided to replace the patio doors with energy-efficient windows. Since these windows are on the western wall, the smaller openings and high-quality windows will reduce the future owners’ electricity bills while still letting in enough light to make the rooms cheerful and bright.