Monday, October 24, 2011

Winterizing Windows

Since my house has a couple of sashless windows (essentially single panes of glass that slide along each other) And I can't afford (yet) to replace them, this winter I need to winterize them.  What does this mean? Essentially I'm shrink-wrapping plastic on the frames in order to prevent heat loss and stop (or at least slow down) condensation.

Not having done this before, I spoke first with my brother and sister in law, who also live in an old house with a lot of single paned glass windows to find out how it works. My bother has built frames that tuck into the window structures and these help them keep in the heat and keep out the damp.  I'm not at that particular level of sophistication as yet, so I went to my local hardware/building supply store and bought an RCR Climaloc Shrink to Fit Window Insulator Kit.

The kit includes a giant sheet of uber-thin plastic sheeting and a roll of double-sided sticky tape. Additional tools needed include a hair drier and a pair of scissors.  Today being a good day off for me to tackle installing at least a couple of windows' worth of this, I started in the living room.

Hm.  Minor issue at hand - the windows are a titch grimy and so I actually FIRST needed to clean them. OK.  Window cleaned, I opened the box and then read over the instructions.  Pretty simple:
Step 1 - use hair drier to heat up window frame
Step 2 - attach double sided sticky tape around window frame
Step 3 - wait 20 minutes

It was more like 45 since I decided to have a snack and coffee while I waited.

Step 4 - measure window and cut film to size (allow extra room all the way around to be sure I can stick it all around)
Step 5 - warm up tape with hair drier, pull off non-sticky stuff and position plastic all the way around
Step 6 - reposition to pull out wrinkles and then press firmly into place
Step 7 - use hair drier (from outside to inside) on film to "shrink" to fit.
Step 8 - trim off excess with utility knife.

How hard could this be?

Surprisingly, the biggest challenges I had were first getting the windows clean and streak free and then second actually finding my hair drier!

Two windows have been sealed - one of the living room windows (the smaller of the two) and one of the sashless windows.  The other sashless window is in the laundry room and I will actually need an extension cord in order to use my hair drier in there, so that one has to wait until after the Telus guy shows up to install my jacks (he's now an hour and a half late past the appointment window END time) and I can take a run over to Slegg Lumber to pick up an extension cord and a couple of lamps.

Hopefully the Telus guy will show up soon - Jasmine and I have a walk-date for 4PM this afternoon and I would like, very much, to get the window dealt with before then.  I know I could do it after dark - there's a light in there, but Slegg closes at 5:30...

With love across the waters...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Yard Work and Magical Finds

My Mum and Dad came up to visit today and brought my Grandma with them.  Their trip up was partly to see the new house, but also, partly to help me out with some of the yard work that needs two pairs of hands.

Dad and I started out front – we trimmed back a shrub that was growing up across the big window and then Dad climbed up the step ladder and pulled out the rest of the Wisteria that had grown up into the roof line.  I had already cut away all of its connection to its roots, but some of it was too high up for me to get without help.

Once that was done, Dad and I headed into the back yard to tackle some of the overgrowth back there – namely the big dead Sumac tree and its smaller sproutlings on the left side of the yard.

When I took possession of the house, the back yard looked something like this:

Welcome to the jungle, Baby!

Believe it or not, there's a pond under there somewhere!

There's actually a maple tree back there somewhere!

Overgrown Sumac on dead Sumac...

And now, having cut down the dead Sumac as well as its sproutlings, it looks like this:

Holy smokes - I can see the yard!

A Sumac tree still destined to come down...

Huh - there were paving stones under there!
Did you notice? There’s a GORGEOUS Japanese Maple back there – one that was being choked out by the sumac and was completely invisible from the house because of it!

Here’s another shot of this gorgeous little tree:

Now… I think I also mentioned that Mum & Dad gave me a Coral Bark Maple as a house warming present? She is in the back yard right now too – until I can dig her spot in the front.  They are called coral barked trees because new growth has this beautiful coral colour to it – see what I mean?

And neato-fenito? I am finding all SORTS of interesting stuff now that I can actually SEE much more of the back yard… here are a few of the finds to date:

Dragonfly Plaque

tumbled rocks around the pond

wind chimes that were hidden in the Sumac 

PVC pipes - I think used as "fencing"
So... next up will be multiple trips to the dump with cut down trees and branches and stuff... here's just a little of what will eventually end up going:

Everything needs to be cut into smaller pieces

the whole back fence is piled high with stuff!
And just so you know she was there:

The Supervisor!
My neighbour has put me in touch with a friend of his who will, for a very small amount, load the back of his truck and haul items to the dump. Next Sunday we will haul out load #1 from the back. 

With love across the waters,

A Room With A View

This morning, while sitting in my living room, enjoying my coffee and relaxing before my day started I was looking out the windows at the fall colours that the maple trees across the street are sharing with me.

This is the view from my living room:

 With love across the waters,