October 21, 2014

The Big Window and Door Switcheroo- Part 1

Last week I promised that I was finally going to put my money where my mouth is and get to the big window removal/door removal/window install project.  Good news friends- I was able to head up to the Cabin with the boys for an extra long weekend and we got a ton done! *brushes shoulders off*
I have about a thousand photos and, as always, way too many words, so I'll break it up for you in a few posts.

If you're just joining us, the Cliff's Note's version is that we added a new front door to our cabin in order to build a third bedroom in the old entryway.  While the new front door and bedroom are functional, there were just a couple last steps remaining; remove the old front door from the bedroom and replace it with a window.

We've already started to wear a path to our new front door. We'll work on the landscaping and hardscaping next spring.
Lucky for us, we had a window to spare.  The Great Cabin Plan includes installing a fireplace and mantel in the center of our Living Room wall, and flanking it with floor to ceiling bookcases.  This off center window had to go, and it was the exact size and style of all the other windows in the cabin, so the hope was that it would fit right in to it's new spot and look like it always belonged there.

So on Day 1 when I arrived at the cabin, I started by carefully removing the trim from around the window so that I could reuse it in it's new place.

 Once the interior was clear, I grabbed my ladder and headed outside.

Once again I carefully stripped the molding, first the siding trim and aluminum casing:

And then the brick molding:

With everything clear, I could run my reciprocating saw with a metal blade around the edges to cut any of the nails holding it in.  To be honest, it was way easier than I thought, and then the window just tipped in for a quick and easy removal.  

Then I cut 2x4 studs to the length of my opening, and installed them into my new hole, (16 inches on center.)

I covered my new hole with scrap plywood on the inside:

And on the outside filled the hole with a plastic vapor barrier, insulation, and then another piece of scrap plywood:

It didn't look pretty yet, but I felt pretty accomplished for Day 1, which was just a half day.
  • Window and molding removed without destroying any of it- Check!
  • Hole filled in and insulated- Check!

On Day 2 I couldn't get started tearing out this door fast enough.  Take one last look at my brown, gross wall.


Then I started by removing the interior trim, and Little Man helped. (Don't worry, those exposed wires in the wire box above him are all completely dead.)

Again, I went back outside, and first removed the screen door:

And then the trim:

Same as the window, with the trim removed I could take my reciprocating saw around the edges and cut any nails attaching the door to the frame. With the nails removed, I could carefully tip back the door.

Cue the forth, "Well, now I've done it.  I have a hole in the side of my house" moment that I've had in 2014.  (Here's the first and the second.)

In order to install the old window in this new spot, I needed to build out the frame work.  After triple checking my rough opening measurements (which is 1/2" wider and taller than the outside of your window), I started to build my wall.

Not a bad day of work when you're looking out at a glorious day like this and your kiddos playing in the lawn.
Surprisingly, I tipped the window in and it was a perfect fit! We used shims around the edges and checked a thousand times to make sure it was square and the the window went up and down smoothly before we nailed it in.

Once the window was in I could measure exactly how much paneling I needed to cover the wall.  I carefully removed the old paneling, as to save money I would need to put some of it back up again in a slightly different spot. (And I'm nothing it not cheap thrifty.)  I also moved my electrical box to get rid of the old switches and add an outlet along this wall.  

Here's what it looked like from the outside, with just the plastic vapor barrier in below the window.

It was getting late though, so I filled the studs with insulation, sprayed expandable foam in small gaps around the window, closed the window and called it a night. 

Believe it or not, that's what a successful Day 2 looks like.
  • Door out- Check!
  • Window where the door used to be- Check!
  • Wall insulated- Check! 
I mean- there is a window in the bedroom people! A human can only do so much in a day, and this human was also watching her two little boys, cooking three meals for us, changing diapers, fulfilling snack requests and taking breaks to put together puzzles, play tag, draw with sidewalk chalk and throw bean bags.  Truthfully, I was lucky that it was an epically beautiful day outside, and my boys seem to have just reached the age where they can entertain themselves by playing together.  I spent most of the day in the doorway watching them drive the Power Wheels and racing for my camera when they were giggling together, jumping in the leaves.  It was about as good as it could get, one of those days that makes me realize how incredibly lucky we are to have this beautiful place, even if it is a lot of work.
I don't want to leave you hanging, so I'll be back soon with how I put this Humpty-Dumpty back together again!

October 14, 2014

The Bunk House Bedroom Design

So far we've taken a look at the first two bedroom design plans for our Cabin Up North; the Knots Room and The Boathouse.  Now it's time to move on to our third and final bedroom design, the new, little third bedroom that we created earlier this year.  Number three on the far left:

You may recall that we recently did a little furniture switcheroo in this room trying to find the perfect placement, and we settled on separating the twin beds. 

Important note: that door and dark paneling that is currently behind the bed is on it's way out, soon to be replaced with a window.  I know what you're thinking: "You've been promising us a window all summer.  We don't want to hear the labor pains, we want to see the baby."  (You were thinking that exactly, weren't you?)  Well good news my friends, this week is window week, and I promise next week I'll have an update for you in it's full doorless glory.   But in the meantime and for the sake of this post, please try to visualize a bright sunny window there surrounded by bright, Aged Beige paint.

Now that we're on the same page, I give you the Bunk House:

Although this room doesn't host bunk beds yet (it may someday), this design was based off what I imagined as a high end boy scout camp, and what their bunk houses would look like.

1. We'll start by creating simple, rustic headboards wrapped in navy striped burlap. This will be really affordable, but make a big statement in the room.  It will also help tie the two beds together, even though we have them separated and in different directions. 

2. The brand new beds both currently host lightweight white duvets and white with light blue print sheets.  We'll stick with that simplicity, but add a ticking stripe throw blanket to the end of each bed.  Like fashion, comfortable bedding can be achieved by layers.  Lightweight duvets, and even just sheets, do the trick on hot summer nights, but adding throw blankets and quilts can create a warm and cozy bed in the winter.

3. There's not a lot of room for furniture in this room, but each bed will host a vintage nightstand that we acquired with the house.  They are both really different, but we'll paint them both with this weathered blue look to make them cohesive and much more interesting.

4. Window coverings are tricky in this room, since one window will be directly above a bed and one is located on the side of a bed, with the bed pushed directly up against the wall.  Full length curtain panels were out, so we decided on navy roman shades. Usually I'm not a fan of the way a roman shade still blocks a portion of the light and your view in the up position, but I hope to hang these up above the window in an outside mount to avoid that.  We'll see how it goes.  To save your fingers from scrolling, here's our mood board again:
5. This image represents the wood cedar wall, ceiling and closet door that are already in this space.  They are a little tricky to work with given the strange placement (the wood only partially covers one wall), but I think it adds to the rustic charm of the room.  As Tim Gunn says, "Make it work!"

6.  There isn't a ton of extra wall space, but a collection of small images like these hung above the headboard of the bed closest to the door will fill up that brand new wall we built. 

7.  Both functional and interesting, we'll make a set of wall hooks to hang behind the door and just to the left as you enter the room to hang clothes, bags and equipment like binoculars or an umbrella. 

8. How fun would a couple of statement lamps like these look on our pair of nightstands?  The camp lights maybe a bit too much, but we'll keep our eye out for something fun and vintage to serve as reading lights for our two beds. 

So there it is, our third and final cabin bedroom plan.  These rooms are going to come together over time as we find items and as budget allows, so don't expect any immediate, perfectly styled "Big Reveal" posts.  I'll definitely show you the progress, and all the details as we go along though.  I'm hoping that we can take care of window treatments and some affordable wall art pretty quickly which will make a big impact.  But first, I need to get to work on that window.