October 23, 2014

The Big Window and Door Switcheroo- Part 2

On the morning of Day 3, I woke up to this motivation.

A wall desperately begging me to "make me pretty again!"  I wasn't about to get discouraged though, there's a window where a door used to be people!

Since the structural and insulating part was already done, all I had left was to cut and attach new paneling.  This first piece wasn't going down without a fight though, it was shaped like a Tetrus piece and included 2 electrical boxes to cut out.  I owned it. 

For the next part, I used a piece of the old paneling, slightly cut at the top right and moved over about 2 inches to the right of it's original placement (since the window is slightly skinnier than the old door was.)  Then I had to carefully cut a 2" strip of paneling to fill the new gap on the left.  
Too. Much. Thinking. Not. Enough. Coffee.

Gorgeous no?  Nothing a little paint couldn't solve, so I quickly threw on a coat of primer.  This is what progress looks like:

While I was at it we filled the Living Room window hole with a piece of scrap paneling and threw a coat of primer on that.  The plan is to cover this full wall with a fireplace and built ins, so there was no need to professionally cover this hole as it will all get covered eventually, but we didn't want it to be an eyesore in the meantime.

With my paint drying, I headed outdoors to tackle the old window wall first.  Now we may have been throwing windows and doors in and out of this cabin like Taylar Swift goes through boyfriends, but the reality is that our exterior siding makes it really easy.  Our vertical board and batten is simply large sheets of plywood, covered by strips of 1x2s at the seams and studs to cover the nails.  If you have vinyl or aluminum siding, this would be a lot more challenging, as you would need to pull out a bunch of siding and stitch it back in to make it look random and seamless.  In our case though, I just needed one 4'x8' sheet of plywood to cover the hole.  

Unfortunately nothing is ever that easy.  In a perfect world my existing plywood would have been centered over my window like this:

Then I could just rip out the old piece and put up a new one.  Instead, I had two sheets of plywood overlapping my window, like this:

Which means I had to use my circular saw to cut each piece of plywood in half.  I set the depth of my saw so that I was cutting just the plywood and not the stud below it. Luckily the trim piece would cover my seams, so I didn't have to be 100% straight, but it was still a challenge to cut vertical up the wall, balanced on a ladder with sawdust flying.

"Pro" tip- Sunnies double as protective eye gear.
One side down, one more to go.

After both sides were successfully cut, I could nail in my new piece of plywood.

And then place the 1"x2" strips over the seams and studs, carefully measuring with my level to keep it straight.


A little paint and that will look as good as new.  But I couldn't break out the paint just yet, as I had this mess to tackle.

In the category of "Things Can Never Be Easy," I couldn't just use the same trim for the window on this side of the house as the studs on this wall were 2"x6"s and the studs on the other wall were 2"x4"s.  We used some good scrap wood leftover from the old deck to build the new trim (which is why it's a dark red.)

Then I could fit the old brick molding and sill back over it.

At this point it was getting to be the end of a really long day, (which of course included breaks for running into town to get ice cream with the kids, eating, cooking, diapering, playing, raking leaf piles for the kiddos to jump in and crafting.)  I finally got my last piece of plywood, which had to be strategically cut to include 2" panels on either side of the window, by flashlight.

The sun's not the boss of me though.  After I put the kiddos to bed I finished up the work day by adding a couple of coats of paint to the interior paneling.

All in, Day 3 was a super successful day:
  • Install paneling on the interior walls- check!
  • Prime and paint interior paneling- check!
  • Install new board and batten siding over old window- check!
  • Trim out new window exterior- check!
  • Install new board and batten siding around new window- check!
Whew!  Hang with me- the big reveal is next.  Has anyone else tackled this type of project at home?  Has anyone had to weave in new siding?  That seams incredibly hard to me, and I don't envy you.  I have to admit that I'm pretty lucky with this project working with paneling and board and batten.  If I had drywall and vinyl siding, things wouldn't be going quite so easy. 

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