5.31.2010

More Electrical Work

My parents are in town for the long weekend, which of course means we're tackling some more electrical work. The last time my dad was here he mapped out the electrical system in the Hive and we discovered that most of the house is two circuits. The goal for this weekend was to split off a few of the more heavily used outlets to their own circuits with new heavy-duty wire.

Since I'm all moved into my new office, minus new storage furniture, our top priority was to dedicate a circuit to the new room so I can run a window a/c unit during the summer rather than cooling the entire house. My dad spent an entire day trying to figure out where the wire to the first office outlet came from, since the obvious answer, the outlet two feet away, proved to be a dead-end. S and I remembered seeing a junction box hidden behind the paneling in the basement when we removed it to replace the insulation a few weeks ago. So we took down the basement wall. Again. Success came in the form of a dedicated circuit to the new office merely an hour later.

We weren't so lucky finding the hidden junction box leading to the kitchen outlet, which was ungrounded and therefore completely useless. Over the past few months we had checked every single outlet and light fixture looking for the yellow wire leading to the outlet to no avail.  The guys removed the outlet in the kitchen and used a small mirror to spot what they thought could possibly be a junction box low in the wall. So with frustration mounting, S and my dad cut a hole in the perfectly good wall behind the kitchen outlet to investigate. How hard can it possibly be to fix a big hole?
Lo and behold they found the hidden junction box. (If you watch Holmes on Homes, you know hidden junction boxes are a big no-no. Plus, they're super frustrating if you ever need to, say, rewire an improperly wired outlet that causes the house to fail an inspection.)

With the junction box in question located, the guys cut a larger hole in the wall, which enabled them to string new wire from the circuit breaker all the way back up to the new kitchen outlet. Then, since we had a big old hole in the other side of the kitchen wall anyway, the stuck in a hallway outlet too.

So now we have a have panel of GFI outlets in the kitchen on a dedicated circuit that are properly grounded as you can see from our new tester here.
All of this electrical success means I can use our mixer without an extension cord, and we can probably make some toast, or bake cookies in the mini convection oven at the same time.

Next up is figuring out how to string wire so the pendant lamp above the kitchen sink, which we expect to be delivered in the next few weeks, has its own switch and doesn't come on with all of the recessed lights in the kitchen. We're dealing with several joists and 90 degree angles, so it's not as easy as we would like and will probably have to wait 'til the next visit from my family.

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5.27.2010

Our New Dog is Coming!

A few months ago we told you about a beautiful black goldendoodle, "Doodle" who is looking for a forever home. He has been living in Florida with my friend Whitney since his owners gave him up last December. She's in love with him, but she has her hands full with another doodle, a baby and a cat (who absolutely hates this sweet pup) and knows that he needs a home where he'll finally be #1.

I took a day off from work about a month ago when S was overseas and flew down to Florida to spend a long weekend with Doodle. Even though S warned me not to fall in love with him just because he's cute, I fell hard. He's coming to live with us next weekend and the UPS man just made it official:
We have Lexi's extra dog bed that we brought down from Maine, a hammock for the backseat of the car, a ball inside a ball, which is supposed to drive ball-crazy dogs nuts, a brush, a training collar, a dog tail leash hook from Ikea, matching water and food bowls, a poo baggie holder, a water hog bowl mat from L.L. Bean's, and a remote trainer.

Our first order of business is to change his name. We've settled on Feeney Doodle after the bar where we met, coincidentally on the same day we'll adopt him, June 4, five years ago.

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5.25.2010

Next Major Project: Fence or Shed?

We keep two running to-do lists of projects to be done at the Hive: a major project list and a minor project list. S is the major list task-master and as far as I know the list is kept in his head. In fact, we can recite it from heart: "windows, fence, shed." Of course now that we've checked off windows we'll be changing our tune to: "fence, shed, porch, bathroom."
Fence and shed go hand-in-hand as yard improvements, which we're desperately in need of. The other day when a neighbor commended us on our efforts around the Hive all I could do was thank her and then profusely apologize for the exterior disaster, as if we haven't lifted a finger since we've been here. If she hadn't been walking to the bus stop to pick up her kids, I would have dragged her inside to show her that yes, we really have been working very hard!

Since we've obviously a bit stressed about the condition of our yard, we've given fence and shed top priority on every list. But how can we give two labor intensive projects top priority when we have few free weekend days and S has several long trips scheduled from now through September? We poll the crew (our dads) and ask around to try to decide which is the preferable DIY project.

The resounding answer is "shed!" But even with that, it's hard not to be tempted by Home Depot's pre-fab sheds that are delivered and assembled on site, especially for someone like me, who used to dream of living in a one room cottage/shed by her parents pond as a kid. One swipe of a credit card and the shed would be delivered (as budget conscious DIY'ers we'll pay with a credit card for the points, but we never buy a thing we can't afford to pay for immediately). 
We're quite sure we can build a shed that's just as cute, just as functional, and probably a bit larger, for half the cost of this one. Doing so will also give us the perfect excuse to buy a few more of our own tools too, especially since it will give us much needed space to store those tools. The jury is still out on this one, but I have a feeling the verdict is going to be "DIY."

There is nothing tempting about a DIY fence. Not even the savings. And we're pretty sure that the hassle of renting a post hole digger and a vehicle to get that digger to the Hive would really just not be worth it. At. All. Unless we were using something fabulous like Trex, which we aren't since most of our fence needs to be four feet high and Trex only comes in six foot pieces that we would need to cut and throw away.

And that brings us to the experts; even the fence experts say not to use Trex because of the waste issue. So we called five local fence companies to come to the Hive to give us quotes for our fence project in wood and in vinyl. One company's sales person called shortly before our appointment time and canceled, saying that he would email me a quote, sight unseen. Their company is obviously out of the running, but with four solid quotes in hand we're ready to choose one and schedule fence work to begin. Now it's just a race to see who's faster: the fencers or us, the shed builders.

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5.24.2010

Sorry, We Can't Reveal the Office Sun Room Yet

We worked incredibly hard to renovate the once unusable sun porch into a beautiful office with room for a little sitting area. We insulated the attic space, removed fiber ceiling tiles, insulated the floor, installed new windows, added more outlets, and painted until I couldn't stand to paint another drop. However, when we moved my office furniture from its temporary location in the smallest bedroom upstairs, we discovered that my bookcase did not fit well in the new area.

So I'm sitting in my new office, loving the view of our bird feeder and the nice breeze coming in through the windows. But, I can't show you what it looks like in here until we purchase a hutch and a tall bookcase to conceal all my office goodies. Right now I'm coveting two pieces from Crate & Barrel's Abbott collection

The two door cabinet:


And the media gaming tower, which looks like a glorified bookcase to me:
These pieces are a bit more money than we'd like to spend; our fingers are crossed that a 10% coupon will arrive in the mail soon. It's a test of patience and time will tell how long I can actually hold out as I run up and down the stairs to grab an envelope here and a stack of printer paper there.

Have you bought anything from Crate & Barrel's Abbott collection?

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5.23.2010

Pimped Out Toilet: Converting to Dual Flush

A few months ago I told S that I'd like to buy a dual flush toilet when we put a bathroom in our basement. It's no secret that I'll hug any tree, bird or bunny that crosses my path, so the thought of using less water when it ahem, wasn't called for, appealed to me. I had no idea that you could convert any regular toilet (or eco-friendly 1.6 gal toilet like ours) into a pimped-out dual flush toilet with a $20 kit from the hardware store, or in our case from Amazon. Then the other day the Youngsters over at Young House Love blogged about their toilet upgrade and we had to follow suit.

So yesterday when I got home from a run and was good and dirty, I shut off the water to the toilet, emptied it out and set to work installing our new HydroRight Drop-in Dual Flush Converter. The box claims that installation takes only 10 minutes and requires no tools.
I grabbed a wrench from the tool box just in case, and was glad I did when I discovered that someone had over-tightened the handle on our john. Thankfully it wasn't cracked from the unneeded pressure, nor did I cause any damage when I messed up righty-tighty lefty-loosey.

Apart from the wrench I needed to remove our old handle, this installation truly did only take ten minutes with no tools. The only problem I encountered was when I turned the water back on and could hear a bit of water dripping from the reservoir into the bowl. I pushed down on the converter to better seat the seal that led to the bowl and the dripping stopped. Installation success.
The little push button flush is pretty cool. One water drop for a small flush and two water droplets for a big flush. The whole thing works like a charm. We haven't had this much fun flushing the toilet since we were kids throwing our toys in the toilet and watching them swirl away. (S doesn't admit to doing this, but I certainly do, and I remember my parents having the yard dug up to find the clog in the drain pipe. Oops.)

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5.20.2010

Seeded Glass Pendant for the Kitchen

When we installed recessed lighting in the kitchen last winter, we also cut a hole and wired a space for a pendant light above the kitchen sink. I have spent hours searching online for the perfect pendant at the perfect price to no avail. At least once a week S looks up at the bare wire hanging from the rough hole in the ceiling and tells me he wishes we never wired for a pendant.
Given my crummy luck finding the perfect pendant, I gave up actively searching in favor of passively hoping the perfect pendant would just appear. And even though this approach is fairly close to giving up, I did not join the regret party S was throwing.

Today's Daily Candy Deals email featured a coupon for 30% off at Layla Grayce, a company that I am completely unfamiliar with. The email featured a photo of a rug that caught my eye, so I clicked on over to the site, only to discover the most amazing selection of well, everything. After drooling over dozens of rugs I would trade ours for ten times over, I clicked on lighting. And I found the perfect pendant. Just like that.
I took a few quick measurements, fell in love, and hit "submit order." Head on over to Layla Grace and check out the beautiful bits of everything. Use code DCDEALS to save 30% on your order too.

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5.19.2010

Updating the Porch: Removing Weird 50's Criss-Crosses

We have these weird criss-crosses between the posts on our front porch that cannot possibly be original to the house. They're just waaaaaay to 1950's or maybe 60's and do not fit with the colonial look at all. They're distracting and weird. In short, we kind of hate them.
So the other day while I was engaged in a painting marathon without a roller, I mentioned to S that because he had his reciprocating saw out, perhaps he should cut off the criss-crosses. His response was, "are you sure?" And of course, since I had my pissy pants painting pants on I snapped, "yes just get rid of those god awful things!" So he did.
And now with the new windows and the normal looking entry, the Hive is fitting in so much better with its neighbors.

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5.18.2010

I Squashed that Painting Bug

We hung the exterior trim just in time for a few days of dreary rain, which made us pretty happy we chose to prime the board before hanging them so they had at least a wee bit of protection from the rain. With new windows keeping the elements outside we had no reason not to start painting inside, so after work on Thursday I stepped up on the ladder with my 2" angled brush in hand and set to work painting the ceiling...the entire ceiling with a 2" brush. With two coats. If I didn't have a great audio book to listen to, I would have gone out of my mind.

We used the same color as the ceilings in the rest of the house, which is the palest of blueish grays. You can see why I needed a brush to get in all of the cracks of the bead board.
Some gaps remain, but it's an original bead board ceiling so it's to be expected. We're just really happy that all the wood filler I used to patch all the holes from the fiberboard ceiling we removed helped us restore the ceiling. There's very little evidence that the fiberboard ceiling was ever there.

Friday afternoon, even though my neck and back were aching from painting the ceiling the night before, I some how managed to muster up the motivation to paint the walls...with a 3" angled brush. I thought the bathroom was a total pain with all the caulk, but it has nothing on a room that needed to be painted entirely by brush.
One would think that after two evenings of painting inside, I'd be ready to throw in the painting towel (or rag), but on Saturday we woke up early and before our neighbors were even awake, I was outside on the ladder painting the trim that S cut and hung and his dad caulked earlier in the week.

On Sunday I moved from exterior paint back inside where I assumed that painting the interior trim would take an hour, tops. Thirteen hours and two coats of paint on all the windows, baseboard and crown molding later, I proclaimed the renovation done.

The weekend of painting definitely squashed that painting bug I was bit with a few weeks ago. I'm sure it will surface again, but for now I'm googling ways to restore a worn-out paint brush and day dreaming about a spa day.

Next up is a giant clean-up and then the BIG move as we introduce my office to the new space. Stay tuned for the big reveal!

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5.17.2010

Exterior Window Trim: Trading One Pain for Another

We decided to use wood to trim around the exterior of the windows, even though S had painstakingly removed every piece of aluminum siding trim with hopes of reusing it. But because we made the window openings slightly larger than they were previously, the aluminum would have been a giant pain in the neck. So after S re-attached the aluminum siding edging, cut off the over-expanded Great Stuff, and stuck on yet another strip of waterproofing tape around the edge of every windows, it was off to the 'Depot again for more supplies.

When S returned from the 'Depot I sent him outside with a can of primer and an old paintbrush so he could hit the ends of each cut of pre-primed wood with a little primer before nailing it up. S measured the first length across the top of the window, cut piece of trim board on the miter saw his dad dropped off earlier in the week and cracked open the can of primer.
He dabbed the ends with primer, hopped up on the ladder with a pocket full of nails and his hammer, lifted the trim in place, and...discovered that there was nothing level, straight, or true about the edge of the siding. So much for avoiding a giant pain in the neck.

So back down S came, trim was tossed on the bushes to dry, and the hammer was placed back down on the ground as S grabbed his tape measure, a pen, and a tiny piece of paper. Back up on the ladder, S measured the width of the trim space every five inches and wrote the measurements on the tiny piece of paper.
He then took the measurements, made corresponding marks on a length of trim, and then connected the dots with a straight edge before cutting the trim to fit with the circular saw.
The resulting trim pieces fit like a glove and I'm sure that working with wood produced much better results than the aluminum would have, but it the project wasn't without hassle.
We've definitely given all our tools a workout on this project and we're learning way more than we would have had we hired someone to do the work for us. Plus our can-do attitude (naivete?) means we're saving money to put toward more projects around the Hive.

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5.14.2010

And Those Windows are IN!

With one quick diversion down we got to work on day two of the window installation much earlier than the day before. S had prepped the window openings earlier in the day before his dad showed up, so all that was left before window number three could meet its new home, was more of the black sticky water barrier stuff.
 Our team of three learned a lot on day one so window number three went in way faster than the first two.
Maybe it's more accurate to say that our team of two learned a lot the first day because S and his dad did the bulk of the work, while I continued to wave around the level as I told them to bump the window in "just a touch" here and there.
We still had hours of daylight left after window four went in, which meant we had plenty of time to add shims to all of the windows and secure them tightly in place. Shimming was definitely a two or three person job since one of us had to stuff a shim through the side gap from the outside while the other had to stick a shim in from the inside while simultaneously holding both in place. Then S drilled through the window frame, both shims and the 4x4 in the wall. He also went in with a countersink so we could make sure to hide the screw heads with wood putty later on.

Once all the windows were screwed in place S grabbed a can of Great Stuff expanding foam and from the outside filled in the 1/4" gaps all around the windows.
Then he came inside and did the same from the inside, ensuring that if we have another season of snowstorms like we did this year, the snow and cold won't be getting in our house.
The Great Stuff got all over the place and made a bit of a mess. I've found dregs of the stuff all over the house, including on the dish washing soap. Fortunately it cleaned up off the house and walls pretty well, despite being the stickiest stuff ever.

With all the windows in, it's time to get on to trim and finishing work. 

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5.13.2010

Sidetracked by a New Outlet

Shortly before S's dad arrived for day two of window install I decided that we needed another electrical outlet closer to where I anticipate we'll put my desk. It was kind of out of the blue, and no one was really all that psyched to have another side-project thrown in the mix. But, because my dad has been working to rewire the Hive we have a bunch of wire on hand, so this is one project that only took twenty minutes and zero trips to the 'Depot.

S popped off one of the metal circles in the last on the series of three electrical outlets already in the sun room and wired up a length of new wire. Then he ran the new wire inside the wall, which was easily accessible through the giant window openings, over to the new outlet opening.
After cutting a hole in the wall paneling under the left side of the window where we thought a new outlet would match the rest, I grabbed a white outlet from the box of ten we have sitting around, and a few minutes later we had a new outlet. Just in time to move on to the real work.

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5.11.2010

Working Into the Night

It was nearing seven o'clock when we finished wrapping the first window opening with Protecto Wrap and were finally ready to pop a window into place.
The guys called me out of the kitchen where I was making guacamole and tacos; it was Cinco de Mayo and we asking our seriously awesome help to work through dinner after all.

We guided the window into place, thankful that this time it was for real and not just another test run.
I assumed the role of level and plumb girl, which I think means that if any of the trim doesn't fit around the edges, the windows don't open properly, or anything else goes wrong, it will be my fault. I suppose that works for us since I seem to be the only one who holds anything over anyone around these parts. So while I held the level, S shimmed, counter-sank and screwed the windows into place four inches from each corner of the window.
Even with a gap surrounding the entire window, and no trim on the house, it still looked fabulous in comparison to the old windows. And the windows open. It really doesn't get better than that.
Before our work day was delayed by a few hours, we set a goal to have two windows in place before quitting for the night. So, rather than adjusting our goals accordingly, we secured the first window in place and then rather than going along each side of the window carefully shimming and screwing every eight or so inches, we decided to make the most of every last minute of daylight and moved on to the next window opening.

The guys set to work on the second window while I went inside to call S's mom and prep for our impromptu Cinco de Mayo party (or more accurately I went inside to "test" more guacamole).
Then wouldn't you know, just as it got dark enough so we could barely see, and just before the guys passed out from hunger, we finished securing the second window.

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5.10.2010

The Help Shows Up

S's dad hoped to be at our house by two o'clock on Wednesday to help with the first couple of windows, but a meeting that went way too long delayed him a few hours, drastically cutting our daylight working time. As you may recall S's dad is the project master, so after a quick huddle to consult of the two Jeld-Wen instruction printouts, we broke and the serious work began.
We saved a lot of money by ordering stock-sized windows, but because we needed 1/4 inch on each side of the windows to make room for shims, we had to shave down about an inch off each window opening.
Essentially it meant taking out a piece of trim on each window and a touch of the paneling inside; not a big deal at all. In the end each window fit perfectly between the 4x4 structural posts, which you can see at the left here:
This photo also shows a bit of the rotten wood that we replaced - we were lucky that there was so little damage in a room that was essentially outdoor space for so many years.

With the first opening widened, we did a dry fit of the first window. S and his dad lifted from the outside while I guided the massive double-width double hung unit from the inside.
After a moment of "wow that makes a huge difference" reflection, the guys lowered the window back to ground and out of the way so we could move on to what turned out to be the most frustrating step in the process: making the openings water tight.

The caulking process was pretty straight-forward, and unlike our bathroom project, required very little precision.
It was just crazy messy:
The part that we learned to totally dread was the sticky black water barrier tape rolls that went around the entire opening and wrapped the depth of the opening from the inside out.
The stuff was seriously sticky. Like, if you peeled the backing off too far it would immediately come to life, jump from your hands and stick to itself. Forever. We wasted the first long section when it made a giant strip of stuck-to-itself mess and then we quickly made wrapping the openings a two-to-three person job for the rest of the night.

We learned from the Fine Homebuilding videos that we had to put the Protecto Wrap around the window openings in a certain order to keep water from getting in the seams from above. It seems logical to wrap the openings from the bottom, then sides then top, but it was nice know that there was a reason to do it this way.
The Fine Homebuilding videos gave a great explanation of why we had to do certain things certain ways and coupled with the Jeld-Wen instructions (both sets) we felt pretty confident that our windows would be secure and the surrounding wood protected from the elements.

We'd love to see some videos on the Jeld-Wen Web site because we totally think that replacing windows is something the average homeowner with a touch of the DIY bug and some basic carpentry skills can master. In fact, if Jeld-Wen sent a film crew over to the Hive, we'd bake them some cookies and happily pop out some of the old windows in the main section of the house, ya know, in the interest of being the guinea pigs to show you all just how do-able this project really is. And in terms of bang-for-your-buck, replacing these windows is one seriously big bang.

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5.09.2010

And the Prepartion Continues

The windows were delivered Tuesday and on Cinco de Mayo S was still home "recuperating" from jet-lag. S's dad thought he'd be available by about 2pm to head over to the Hive to help, so we were fairly confident that we would be able to replace two windows given we expected to have at least six hours of daylight.

We set off for the Depot early Wednesday morning before I went to work to stock up on supplies and to exchange the dehumidifier that started to sound a little funky within the first week we owned it. When we got home I scurried up to my office and S sat down to watch the videos from Fine Homebuilding I sent him the day before. Before too long I heard the telltale signs on demolition: the reciprocating and circular saws whirring away below me. We only had a slightly minor snafu when S appeared at my office door, wrists exposed to show me where one pane of glass broke and cut him as it shattered as he tried to pry it away from layers and layers of old paint. At least we know that he doesn't always faint at the sight of blood.

The next time I went downstairs to refill my water bottle, we had a picture window-sized hole in the side of the house.
We knew from our home inspection that there was a bit of rotten wood around the window sills. Thankfully it was just a small portion of wood that needed to be replaced, but S ended up ripping up and replacing the entire length of wood that the window would sit on, just to make sure we had at least one nice level surface to work with.
Unfortunately earlier that morning we hadn't thought of the insulation we'd reveal by ripping out this section of the window hole.
 
And because we had the area open, S decided to go ahead and make another run back to the 'Depot for the pink stuff. He grabbed two bundles of insulation since we plan to re-insulate the area of the basement where we pulled the paneling off way too many week ago.
After stuffing the wall with new insulation and creating a new sill plate thing for the window, S moved on to window hole #2, which I fondly refer to as the point where we had better figure out how to do this whole window thing or we're going to be screwed. I think we'd all be lying if we said we weren't a bit nervous as we stood there in our construction zone looking at two HUGE holes in our house.

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5.07.2010

We Have Windows! We Have Windows!

Color us excited; the windows arrived! We got a call from the delivery driver mid-morning when he was 20 minutes away, and when they got here the three guys made quick work of bringing the four huge windows off the truck.
I barely had time to grab my camera and run outside before they were gone. We didn't think that we would be able to get all four windows installed before the weekend, so we had the delivery guys tuck them behind the house, out of plain sight from the road.

After the delivery guys left we inspected each window to make sure there were no cracks or scratches and that they were what we ordered.
I spoke with the folks over at Jeld-Wen earlier in the week and had agreed to critique their installation instructions. My mom thought this was a pretty cool task since she's a technical writer who specializes in fascinatingly detailed instruction and repair manuals for things like "the world's first self-balancing human transporter," and gerotor thingys. Transporters, gerotors, windows.... Well, you can imagine our surprise when our installation instructions looked like this:
(click the image to view full screen)
We had to laugh. And then I hit the 'net while S whipped out the tape measure to make sure the several thousand dollars worth of glass-ware sitting in our yard was going to fit in the holes in our house.

Back in the house on the Jeld-Wen site I found a whole slew of instructions. Problem is, the titles of the instruction were about as clear as mud. Sorry Jeld-Wen, it gets better from here, but "wood windows without exterior trim or nail fin" and "wood windows with exterior trim or nail fin" were our two logical options. We have exterior trim but no nail fin. I'll give these two options to the lawyers in the house and I'm pretty sure they're going to give you a mind-numbing analysis of the words "and" and "or." Note, we went with "without exterior trim or nail fin" even though we have trim; it made the most sense after reading through both sets of instructions...three times. I printed both, clipped the one I thought was correct with a green binder clip for "go" and a yellow one on the other for "proceed with caution." Then I hit up google in an attempt to find some videos for the fellows who um, well, do any guys ever read instructions?

First up was a guy installing windows in new construction. He made the whole process seem easy as pie, and totally not realistic. We're adventurous, but not gullible. Then, randomly I found videos at Fine Homebuliding and given that I trust their brand and read their magazine at my parents' house, I happily offered up my credit card number for a 14 day membership trial to their site (I have a reminder set to cancel my trial before the 14 days is up, but the "how to build a shed" video has S's name all over it). I quickly forwarded their six-part series on replacement windows to S and his dad. I highly recommend watching them if you're planning to DIY your replacement windows; we referenced "what they did in the video" several times among ourselves throughout the whole process. 

And then with S out in the yard measuring windows we had what can only be described as an oh sh*t moment.
The stickers with the measurements printed on them were right, the order was right, but the depth of the window jamb was about an inch and a half too deep. We panicked. The super helpful guys at Home Depot had sent us home twice to measure the jamb depth before placing our order; what we have and what we ordered were precise, the actual depth of these windows were not.

I called the guys at the Merrifield Home Depot hoping that they would tell me I was wrong and that the windows were fine. The first guy I talked to said no, it sounded like the windows were wrong and directed me to their vendor relations rep. The rep was a super sweet woman who jumped through several hoops to find answers to my questions. After about an hour of phone calls back and forth I finally got final word that we were classic replacement window amateurs: the windows were supposed to stick out a bit from the outside of the house...about an inch and a half. The manager of millwork from the 'Depot who I spoke with was really nice and assured me that if we had a nail fin, the measurements would make more sense and he also said he made the same mistake when he first replaced windows in his home. I'm sure he was making up stories just to ease my embarrassment a bit, but it worked and I appreciated that he didn't treat me like the amateur I am (or was). I know these big box stores can be hit-or-miss, but this particular Home Depot has been a recurring hit.

So we have windows, a whole bunch of instructions, and videos, and we're schooled in jamb depths. Let's get this glass in the house, how hard can it be?

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