In my original post when I mentioned DIY projects we’ve completed thusfar, I didn’t only mean projects Anuj and I completed. There are some other folks who have already contributed a generous amount of sweat and inspiration to our 1975 not-so-blank canvas.
During one of our early walk-thrus before the house was even ours, I got the idea to add a window to the interior wall of the ‘office’ as a way to bring in more light. Currently occupying the wall was a massive, fugly linen cabinet-type-thing that looked like a closed murphy bed. Whether the window idea was a good one or not we didn’t know, but we did know we had to get rid of the cabinet.
Just before my Dad’s first visit to the house, we off-handedly asked if he could cut a hole in the wall and add a window. We even offered up Anuj as an apprentice to facilitate the job. He said no problem, not only would he do it that weekend, he just so happened to have an 80-year-old window sitting in his garage that he salvaged from a local church a while back. He didn’t know what he’d do with it, but he stored it anyway. Now here was the perfect opportunity to put it to use. This is my Dad.
So he and his wife Barbara arrived, devised a game plan, and promptly dispatched his new apprentice Anuj to tear down the fugly linen cabinet.
And then my Dad proceeded to drill a hole through the wall for the new (old) window.
You know how when you’re hanging pictures, you look for the stud ’cause it’s strong and basically holds your house together? Well, in order to get the hole where we wanted it, my Dad had to power saw through a couple of studs. This is very loud and very scary. Because when you’re downstairs scrubbing the refrigerator with your step-mother and the entire house starts shaking, you know this is not some simple DIY project. My Dad got the hole cut, and then had to re-frame the wall so the window had something to hold it in place. So he measured, cut and nailed in a couple of 2x4s we picked up at Home Depot (note: we hadn’t discovered the local lumberyard yet, which is now our first stop when we need wood. Home Depot is great, but my Dad assures us the wood is inferior. We find this advice fits well into our semi-speculative ‘corporations are evil’ position).
Positioning the window.
Dad displaying the window (from inside the office) before it’s framed.
The job took longer than we thought. There was all the sawing, and reframing, and we still had to add the trim. The next day, Anuj’s parents arrived to ‘bless’ our new home. They couldn’t believe how hard my Dad was working and were convinced we were terrible, slave-driving children. We did feel a little terrible, ’cause it was a much bigger undertaking than we first imagined. But here’s the thing about my Dad: he likes doing projects. He’d much rather spend his weekend installing an interior window than chatting over a cup of tea. I did not inherit those genes. I prefer to hold that cup of tea and point out ‘you missed a spot’. My Dad is much more tolerant of these comments than Anuj is. For one thing, my Dad rarely misses a spot, so I tend to stay away from him when he’s working. But his apprentice – he’s still learning, isn’t he? So as the homeowner, it’s my responsibility to monitor the work. So when I find myself hanging around Anuj’s corner of operations mentally composing some constructive ‘feedback’, he’ll shoot me a dirty look and tell me to go find another refrigerator to scrub.
Part II of the window project to come tomorrow.