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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Three More Projects Around Our Old House

I left off yesterday's blog post with a feature of upcoming attractions.... more of Our Old House Projects!

After we got home Sunday, and unloaded the motorhome from our fun weekend of Halloween Camping, we decided to hop to it and work on the faucet situation.  In our house we were adding a small corner sink to the half bath on the main floor.  We were robbing the faucet from the bathtub upstairs to put in the sink.  In it's place, the tub got a NEW faucet that I had wanted for a long time.... so it became my birthday present!   If you have priced faucets lately, it was a pretty generous present for my tub.  Thanks Hubby!

The new faucet was unpacked from the box, and dangnabbit, Price Pfister gave us a duplicate set of one type of fittings, but omitted another set that we really needed.  So it was traipse over 23 miles one way to Menards to get the right fittings for the faucet and back home again before we could even get started.

Soon Steve had the new faucet in place on the tub, and I didn't need to help much other than to hold the flashlight.  It's so cute, it's like a little water pump type with a lever on top.  Seeing as the bath is "my domain" it became a present for me to have it.  LOL

Here is the rest of our cute upstairs bathroom... the is the only room that we completely gutted and redid last year when we bought the house.  Previously it had an aqua colored tub/shower, and an acoustical tile dropped ceiling.  We gutted it out, put in new sheet rock, flooring, and lighting.  I liked the existing tiles, sink and toilet so we kept those.  Steve's "domain" is the shower, so he picked that out.

Once he got the other faucet off the tub, then he headed down to install it in the little corner sink in the half bath on the main floor.  I held the tools while he installed the drain pipe and the faucet to the corner sink.  Soon it was ready to drop back onto the wall brackets in place.  While Steve drilled up from the basement, I helped guide the drain pipe upwards into the proper location in the wall.  Once it was in place, we swapped positions so he could glue the fittings on the drain pipe.  I held it up from below so it wouldn't slip back down into the wall!   

Once that was done, we called it a night.  He will work on the hookups to the basement piping later this week.  At least the main part is done, and we got the water hot and cold lines just dangling down for now.  Later they will be pulled through the wall up higher out of sight.

Another thing we ordered for the house came in yesterday...  This was a "compromise" between Steve and I.  If he had HIS way, we would rip out all of the 100 year old windows and put in new ones.  MY preference is to retain the quality and charm of the old wooden casement windows, complete with window weights and turn locks on top and iron finger lift pulls on each one.  Some of them are featuring fancy panels of beveled leaded glass in designs, with workmanship and quality you don't see anymore.

For energy efficiency, there are newer storm windows on the outside of the house, but we do get some drafts, I do admit.  Those very cold blasting winter winds on subzero days are hard on any windows, new or old.

So to compromise, we have these plexi-glass storm windows that go on the inside of the windows and snap into place for the winter months. The previous owners had installed them and they are quite handy. The panels come off for the summer, and each fall they just snap into a grid type runner trim around the frame that stays on the window all year round.

It adds a third barrier of protection... and our most expensive heat bill last winter was $150 for heat (natural gas) and to be fair, almost $50 of that charge is meter fee, access fee, some fed fee, sales tax, and then a 3% charge for low income assistance fee for people who DON'T pay their bills... arggghhhh  So we pay about $50 a month for fees... even if we don't use any gas. So my argument is really the actual cost of the natural gas used was only $100. for the coldest month last winter.  Not too shabby compared to our last home!

So we put up the plexiglass windows on most of the windows in the house.  I say "most" because one was cracked and no longer usable... and there were never any for the bathroom window nor the walk-in closet in our master bedroom.   We tried to order more from the company that these plexiglass ones came from, but they were out of business.

We were in Menards a few weeks ago and saw that Larson company made custom storm windows for the inside called "Insiders"  ... very creative name, eh?  Here is a link to their company:  Insider Storm Windows by Larson   and a Utube on how they work:

 They're perfect for older and historic homes
 because they don't change the look of your home. 
Since they're attached from the inside, they will not weather, 
and can be easily removed for the summer months or for cleaning.

We carefully measured our window frames in three places across and three places up and down to be sure to have an accurate fit.  We placed our order and paid for them. They were on sale besides! The big one was $55 and the two smaller ones were $44.50 each.  And these are real glass, not just plexi like our other ones! 

They were shipped free of charge to the local Menards store. We got them home, took them out of the packages, read the instructions (well, I did--- Steve hates instructions)  and we had them all three installed in no time flat. 

 All we had to do was screw the three pieces of metal channel to the
wooden window frame, measuring for accuracy and even placement.

They fit snug right to the sill, and once I hung my lace curtain up,
you can't even tell it's there.

 Here are the bathroom and walk-in closet windows...
I am sure this is going to help with heat loss even more.

After we were done, I put curtains back on both of these windows too.
They don't look so bad, and it's a great compromise to 
keeping the good looking old wooden windows in our home.

Well, that's about it for projects around Our Old House.  I think I am going up to take a bath and admire my birthday present from a tub-side view.  


  1. You guys are busy beavers for sure. It takes me awhile to get motivated, you know, like a couple of weeks thinking about what needs done and if it is really important. Guess I am just getting old.

  2. You remind me of all the things I need to do to update my bathroom. Your winter heating bills are incredible for the winters you have. Congratulations on being energy saving.

  3. All your home improvements are great and some that will eventually pay for themselves in energy saving costs.
    I do have a concern for your safety. The picture showing a table lamp next to your tub that could accidentally fall in the while you soak. Having been nearly Electricuted at work and survived is one thing but if that lamp joined you in the water it would be Fatal. You might consider a wall mounted lamp or mounting the lamp permanently to your table top.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. Good eye! Actually, it's not plugged in. and the cord is curled up and haqnging on a hook behind the little table. It's a beautiful old antique lamp that I used to have in the livingroom. But then I got different matching lamps in there, so moved this one up to the bathroom because it looks so cute up there. Thanks for being concerned!!!!

  5. bathtub with a corner faucet! Never heard of that before! Happy birthday


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