So original on the title, I know. So the bee situation seems to be under control. This is not what fixed it:
But it does show you the horrid state of our windows. It also shows you Tuesday's new My First Baby Legs. We picked those up at Target yesterday, love them! Okay so really it just shows you that they are dirty, which should be no surprise since they are still doing tons of work outside. Here is what they really look like:
I've done a pretty good job of keeping them nice on the inside (oh I still get a little sad seeing those trees my neighbor cut down), but once they removed the aluminum storm windows, you could really see the bad shape the frames, glass and glazing were in. So while pregnant Bj talked me into replacing them all to match the ones on the new second story. I was a bit hormonal and reacted with the classic, "well you just don't care how hard I work on things do you?" crying fit. Once I came to my senses and Bj explained that the the frames would not have to be messed with and I got to see what kind of vinyl windows are made now. We found some that I really like because the grid is not only in the middle, but also on the inside and outside. I thought I would share how we (meaning Bj and our friend Brian) retrofitted our old double hung frames for new windows.

Step one:
Using a cat's paw and hammer remove only the one piece of trim holding in the window.

After clipping the sash (if they are not already broken like at least 60% of ours), you should be able to pull the window up and out (bottom) and the top one down and out. You can do everything from the inside, so if you have a second story don't be scared to try it!
Next smash these pulleys flat with a hammer (both of them).
baby interruption! Had to finish up explanation with the next window, the  big picture window in the front of the house:
First put a bead of caulking on the bottom of the 3/4" stock then nail it to the sill, this will hold in the window.
From the inside put the bottom of the window in first.
You'll need to replace the trim piece you took out in the beginning.
Looks the same! I am especially impressed with the picture window.
The sills will still have to be touched up (filled with wood filler and sanded a bit) and painted when the whole house is, but I am loving it so far. The difference in noise and heat that comes through this compared to the old one is incredible.

Last weekend we had dinner across the street and we were talking with our neighbor's about how everything on our houses has been repaired/replaced in some way. It's true older houses (we think ours was built in 1941) need more work to meet modern standards, but I just love the look of them. I can't wait until all this work is done and we can tackle the yard! Bj was talking yesterday, "what if we lived here for forty years? Our house would be a over a hundred years old!" Now that is crazy!

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  1. Love your new windows! Our old house was built in 1911 and just replaced our windows last spring. Was laughing when I saw the old pulleys. . .Those things drove me crazy (and thought we were the only people in the world who still had them) In a house of 24 windows, I think we had about 9 that were “openable”. . . and maybe only 3 of those didn’t have to be propped open with a stick. You’re right: renovations are painful, but you can’t be the charm of an old home.

  2. Our home is 111 years old and we are the THIRD owner – can you believe that ? The craftsman style woodwork inside our house is incredible – so beautiful. I’d swear BOTH of the owners before me had to spit shine ever inch of woodwork every single week to keep it in the miraculous shape it’s in to this day. Amazing, really. And you’re right…. you just don’t see craftsmanship in new construction like you can find in an older home – leaded glass windows – coffered ceilings – SERIOUS millwork in the mouldings and doorframes…. we just love it ! Yours is coming out soooo nice – kudos on keeping the “old style” integrity in tact while you update.

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