Adding a window: Sliding on some Siding

I've resumed exterior work as my install of the added window is looming.  The special order even came in; the beautiful window is sitting calmly in the garage ready to be deployed to its new home. But first, I have to replace the siding I'd torn off, cut the opening around the new, framed window space, punch into the house, and prepare the opening to receive it.

Since I'd torn a piece of siding in half to get to the area for framing, I had to go back into demolition mode and make space for an new, full-sheet. It was back to more crow-bar and  hammer work to rip the rest of the second sheet off. Once again, I was pulling nails and picking them up from the ground of my pool-side workspace.There's no sense in finding them later in the summer, whilst barefoot, if we ever get to swim again.

Re-Plumbing an Exterior Hose Bib - Fun with Fire!

When one has a closet renovation / window install project well underway, one's imagination naturally goes to plumbing, right? In our case it does anyway. Our existing, exterior hose bib, bibb?, biiibbbb? (faucet) is located below our new window opening. It's not only too close, it's a wobbly, corroded horror. I've wanted to clean it up for a long time. Finally, it's time to attack it.

I'm going to share a heaping helping of the tips and tricks I use working with copper plumbing pipe as I work through this project. Thanks to my friends at Bernzomatic, I'm also taking my new, professional-grade torch for a spin with some serious soldering action.

The old faucet is nasty alright. This gorgeous specimen features an extra-special bonus, a broken manifold assembly feeding a garden hose reel and the short chunk of hose we use to constantly refill the swimming pool as it rapidly evaporates under the blazing summertime Arizona sun.

Adding a Window: Framing Fun and Foolishness

I've never added a window to a house before. The way I see it, it's another one of those required baby steps along the path from being a home renovation duffer to a full-blown DIY rock-star. I'm ready for this one,.. I think.

I'm adding this window, in my daughter's closet, to give a second means of emergency egress from her room. I'd already cleared out the closet and laid out where the rough opening for the window would be (last time).

Because there was an ugly, exterior hose bibb that would be in the way of the window, or at least the trim, I decided I'd attack the project directly, from the outside of the house. It's just 4x8 sheets of siding anyway, easy enough to replace. I figured I could do a lot better with all the framing exposed.

To precisely target the window on the outside of the house, I used a super-long 1/4" drill bit to punch through the wall in each of the corners of my layout. I knew roughly where it was, but wanted to be sure.

stay,.. on target,... stay,.. on target

Closet Remodel and Emergency Escape

We've put this project off for too long. Our daughter's bedroom has a serious issue. Technically, it's not a bedroom, because it doesn't have the second exit point required by code.

Through a feat of impressive, intellectual gymnastics, our predecessors saw fit to completely surround this room while installing an addition. They sealed up an exterior window which was on a wall, now part of an interior mini hallway to the office / family room area. The room found itself marooned in the center of the house, with no second exit, no emergency egress.



We didn't think about it when we bought the house, it never came up. The room has plenty of natural light from a skylight. However, without a ladder or a jet-pack, it's useless as an escape window. Unfortunately, our daughter is still to young for a jet pack. 

Michigan Trip DIY Blitz

Photo by Dad.
Part of my recent trip to Michigan to spend time with my parents resulted in a mini-blitz of small projects around their home. I absolutely loved the opportunity to help my folks and work on the house I grew up in. This isn't much of a step-by-step, how-to post, since I didn't shoot nearly enough pictures, but you might pick up some nuggets along the way.

As an old cottage, the home is a Frankenstein blend of decades and decades of expansions, renovations, and repairs done well before my parents bought the place in the mid 1970's. Like my own home, it's still full of surprises.

It was a challenge to use someone else's tools. I enjoyed the game of figuring out what to use from my Dad's collection, and where he stored it. He had everything I needed and if I asked, he' d send me to the right location, but I really enjoyed poking around in his workshop and using different tools than I am accustomed to. It was fun.

The mighty Craftsman 7.2 volt drill
This particular species surfaced just after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
(Craftsman-icus Seven-point two volt-us)