Windowsill With Jade



After (in progress):


More of the story

When we first saw the house, the sun porch with its solid bank of windows was a memorable feature and one of the things that commended the whole venture to us.


But you’ll notice: they aren’t really windows. They’re gaps. Open air. In a wall framed with 2×4’s and 4x4s, on top of spindly footings dug into the bare earth. So, like everything else, nothing was as it seemed. We had the simulacrum of a luxurious sun porch, but in reality — a hint. A suggestion. And we would have plenty of opportunity to think it all through for ourselves.

So back in July we found this pair of new casements on Uncle Henry’s:


They weren’t cheap, but they were less than half regular retail, undamaged, never-used, high-quality “low-e” Energy-Star-rated, new-construction (not replacement) windows. We had looked at many alternatives, including six 4’x4′ windows to fit the existing spaces. But once I recognized that the wall pretty much had to be rebuilt anyway, it opened the field to other window layouts — ones that would maximize our light and view, minimize heat loss, give back some wall- and floor-space, and — in our final layout — provide a spot for a wood stove, which now no longer had to be in the living room, given that the chimney no longer existed….


Once we got the support structure beneath corrected last week, we could finally tackle the wall.

All the siding down.

Temporary “wall” put up to help support the ceiling/roof while the outer wall is taken down. The start of the new 2×8 framing on the right.

Because each window weighs about 200 lb, and the wall is 10 feet from ground level, we came up with a plan to insert the windows into a pre-fabbed section of framing, which we could then maneuver into position from the inside.


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Worked like a charm… though the second one went better. It always does.

Yesterday I finished building out the rest of the wall, and took down the temporary support wall.

And this morning we got the second window into its slot.

Then we had to retrofit the boarding siding and sill flashing — though loosening the window in its frame to get access was a little hair-raising at times.

But at the end we get a better sense of what the new space and view will really be like.

And this long-suffering jade, a cutting from a plant Marsh had for many years, and which we’ve nursed through this move, found a new home.

We expect to do the same in a few weeks.