In this blog I will do my best to describe the process I went through in turning my 1957 Ranch-style house into a 2006 Craftsman house as inspired by the Gamble House in Pasadena. Please feel free to comment on anything I write and ask questions as it is the only way we learn.

Note: Since completion of the house I have also decided to allow guest bloggers to post articles related to remodeling. This continues the education process.


TIMELINE
Architect Selection - December 2002 through January 2003
Getting a Permit - January 2003 through November 2004
Construction - November 2004 through September 2006
Post Construction - October 2006 through ???



5 Warning Signs That You May Need New Windows

New windows add architectural interest to the exterior of your home and enhance the style of your home's interiors as well. When it comes to buying new windows, however, it's a desire for improved function rather than style that often motivates people to take the plunge and make the investment. If you're unsure if the purchase is worthwhile, here are five signs that can indicate the time is right for replacing your windows.

1. Drafty Rooms


If your home's thermostat is telling you that your home is at an ideal temperature yet you still feel uncomfortable, chances are that your windows are drafting outdoor air into your rooms. Windows are strongly affected by the airflow around them. They require modern insulation technologies and techniques to keep them air-tight. You can check your windows for drafts by slowly moving a stick of incense or a smoke pencil around the interior frame. This test is most effective when it's windy outside.

2. Worn or Rotting Window Frames


If your existing windows were improperly installed, painted or maintained, inclement weather can cause frames and sills to rot and decay, potentially damaging your home's structure. Peeling paint and soft wood are clear signs that windows need attention. Frames and sills that are misaligned are another clear indication that replacement is needed.

3. Shakes, Rattles and Noise


Windows that rattle every time that someone in your household opens or closes a door are sending you a clear message that something is amiss. Loose windows can pose a real danger to you and your family. Old units also do little to block outside noise. New insulated windows are not only great at blocking drafts, but help muffle outside noise as well.

4. Rising Monthly Energy Bills


It's easy to assume that increases in your monthly energy bill are due to rising energy costs, but a closer examination may reveal an unaccounted-for increase that can indicate drafty or energy inefficient windows. Today's modern windows can be far more energy efficient than the windows that came with your home. Replacing old units with double-pane insulated glass windows can reduce your energy bills by as much as 25 percent.

5. Increased Maintenance


Sometimes, windows let you know that they need replacement by making increased demands on your time and wallet. If you find yourself having to caulk, seal and weatherstrip your windows frequently in order to keep drafts at bay, replacement may be a cost-effective solution. Modern windows feature materials and finishes that don't require much attention to keep them weather-tight and looking beautiful.

Brendan is the content editor for CalFinder, a free service designed to make window replacement projects as easy as possible, by connecting homeowners with licensed and insured local contractors. CalFinder contractors install major window brands, including Andersen Windows and many others.
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We Really Need Window Shades

I have a problem sleeping when it's light out. Now that summer is coming the sun is rising earlier and as a result I'm waking up now at around 5:30AM. Some of you may have noticed in looking at the pictures that there are no shades, blinds, or shutters anywhere to be seen. It's not that we don't want any but we need to get a specialist in here that works with Arts & Crafts style shades and figure out how to incorporate them into the house without covering up all of the great woodwork.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with all of you that I just purchased some eyeshades which are extremely comfortable, soft, and they block out 100% of light.
Click here for more information.

Exterior

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First Window Installed

Today I helped install the first windows. They look even better than I hoped they would.

First Installed Loewen Window

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Windows and Doors Delivered

The Loewen windows and doors were delivered today. There is a scratch on the 8' french doors. Somebody will need to come out and fix that. I'm told it will be after all exterior work is complete.


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Time to Redesign the Bathroom

Today's GOTCHA. I was at the house looking around at the framing on the second floor and noticed that the master bath window seemed much larger than what I had remembered so I pulled the drawings and measured it. It says the window should be 4 feet wide with a 4 foot wide shower. Then I looked at the window schedule and saw that 2, 2'-6" windows were to be ordered for the spot. Now my shower would be quite narrow. I decided to swap the shower with the counter at the opposite corner of the room. This will not only give me a larger shower but will move all of that plumbing to the outer wall of the house between the tub and toilet. A win-win in my opinion.
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Windows and Doors Ordered

Loewen windows and doors were ordered today. They will be push-out, french casements in a cranberry color.

On a completely unrelated note, I was told that the concrete for the foundation under the house will be poured on Friday, 1/21/05.
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Next Page

Be sure to browse the 2,000 picture Photo Gallery for more step-by-step construction details.