Brothers from Another Mother?

I hope you all had a fun and relaxing Labor Day weekend.  If you didn’t, I hope you got some work done, like we did.  Our weekend started with a bang, literally.  Ben finished demoing the pool house wet bar with the help of his trusty hammer Meowmeow.  Thor has Mjölnir, Ben has Meowmeow.

Do you see the resemblance?  Sure, Ben can’t grow hair, but he can rock a mean hat.  Though Ben rarely wears a cape.

{unedited picture via}

For now the doors are awkwardly low, but that will change.

A little more digging and knocking down the stone wall to go.  Then we can have someone come in, cut the concrete, and we’ll have a ground level opening to install the new door and window.  Ben will build a lower header to make these the same height as the rest of the house windows.

Thor Ben and Handy Sammy started in the kitchen and worked their way down the line to the rest of the windows.  Taking out the bay window wasn’t terribly difficult.  Some prying, hammering, and wiggling and it came out.

After installing the kitchen window, the big window in the breakfast nook came out.

The original bay window sat about six inches off the floor.  We don’t consider our patio a view, so we decided to shorten this window by about a foot.  Ben built a short wall to raise the new window up to the header.

Saturday afternoon brought on an unexpected complication, this:

So many problems here.  First, someone cut out the rim joist.  Bad. idea.  Unlike Nike’s slogan, just don’t do it.  Then, some genius ran plumbing for the solar panels outside, only insulating with thin foam.  And we didn’t have any support for the window.  Good thing those solar panels aren’t there anymore.  Ben cut off the water lines inside the house and replaced the cut rim joist.  We also shortened the stationary panels on either side of the sliding door, so he built a short wall to raise these windows to the headers.

The sliding door at the back of the house is the first of six we’ll have in the house and pool house.  So, it was a good learning experience.  After reading the instructions, install was easy enough.

I guess the panels are crazy heavy though.  Oh, we found another no no when removing the old door.  Wiring for the scones doesn’t come from the floor or attic.  The right sconce is looped from the left over the door.  Fortunately Ben didn’t cut at that door to get it out.  One more reason those have to go.

Soon, Ben will start wrapping the house with insulation.  To accommodate the added depth, the new windows have supports made of three 2 by 4s.

While we love all the new windows, our favorites are the two larger bedroom windows.  For egress, these double hung windows are 4 feet wide by 5 1/2 feet tall.  In a word, huge.  And fantastic.  The guest bedroom window is about ten inches closer to the floor than the original.

And the boys’ window is about 18 inches closer to the floor.  

An outlet right below the boys window was in the way, so Ben turned off the breaker, cut down for the window and added an outlet on either side.  A nice little two for one special.

Now we’re really excited to get the pool house windows cut and installed.  That means this whole window process is done…until we’re ready for the other three sides of the house.  This is a nice stopping point as the back of the house isn’t easily seen.  And it will give us enough to do before winter sets in without being rushed.

Bring on the insulation and siding.  And tearing up the back yard.

Because this post is already long, I’ll share pictures of the windows tomorrow.  Until then, tell us what you did over the long weekend.  I saw a lot of camping pictures on Instagram.

11 thoughts on “Brothers from Another Mother?

  1. It is always interesting how many issues you find mid project when renovating a house. How often do you shake your head and wonder, “what were they thinking”? Good thing you and your hubby are well versed in house repair. We were planning on blowing in insulation to raise our r-value up from R-19 (and save some $ come winter). Low and behold there is a hole in our roof that needs a repair- stat! I always am inspired to tackle another project after checking out your blog.

    1. Hi Anne!

      Totally! There are so many strange things the previous owner I’d that we scratch our heads about. And now we have to fix it. Oh well, we wanted a project house. 🙂 We’ve got tons of insulation to add to our attic, too. Just waiting for the weather to cool down enough to get in the attic.

      And, it always puts a smile on my face when someone finds inspiration from our blog. 😀


    1. Hi Hollyloo!

      Thanks, lady! 🙂 We briefly considered it, but the price was a factor. Also, there’s a 6 foot square skylight right above the wet bar, so we don’t have a shortage of light in there. I do love me a transom window though. 🙂


  2. Wow, Amanda….everything is coming together! It looks fantastic & you are so lucky to have such a handy hubby!! ;O) We finally took possession of our ‘mountain house’ and we’re starting to figure out what we need to do here. Overwhelming, to say the least, but ironic that we also have a wet bar in our pool room that we’re not sure what to do with, too!! lol

    1. Hi Julianne,

      Thanks so much! I really am lucky that Ben is so handy. 🙂 I’d love to see pictures of your mountain house, if you’re willing. Good luck with all your future projects!


  3. You guys are seriously rockstars! I love that it seems like you guys just dig in, even on the BIG stuff! Your pool house is going to be awesome with the more open space there! Hae you guys considered transoms over the sliders? That might be sort of a cool addition….I dream of transoms, lol.

  4. Wow! The speed these two guys work at, has left me reeling! I’m so used to each job taking around 4 days to complete around here. 😉 Your home is coming along great guns, and I’m enjoying being in on the action. Well done, boys! H 🙂

  5. Looks soooo much better, and more modern!

    And a quick question (maybe I’m a bit tardy to the party on this one); who is Handy Sammy? I’ve noticed he helps on a lot of your large-scale home projects – is he just a friend who helps out?

    1. Hi Amanda,

      Thanks! Handy Sammy is Ben’s cousin. He’s going to college out here and living with us, so he’s stuck helping with projects when Ben needs more muscle. 🙂


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