Chapter 63: Rooms with a View

September 20, 2011 • Written by Christina Berry

For quite some time now my view of the outside world has looked like this. Lame.

The first step to remedy this situation was, as usual, to collect expensive stuff and stack it in random places around the house. First, the back wall windows, which were custom made to fit our walls.

These windows are huge. On the left is the back door (8 feet tall!), on the far right is the giant window that will be right beside the back door, and in the middle is the window that will go above the dream tub.

Now it was time to install the windows, but these windows were gigantic. Pretty much waaaaaay too big for the two of us to install without disaster ensuing, so we hired some hands.

Back wall of breakfast room before:

Back wall of breakfast room during:

Proof that Errek is physically incapable of not working.

Still more during:

Somehow, Errek got the guys to help him with installing the wallboard.

And now the after photo. Love this view so much. Sure, it’s just two piles of rubble, but it’s our rubble.

And sometimes there are kitties out there…

And squirrels…

And roosters…

But wait, that’s just one window, we have a whole house of windows.

The windows waited and waited though. We had all this other crap to do first. It wasn’t until Labor Day weekend that we had the chance to start popping those babies in, and fortunately we had some friends to help. A huge thank you to our great friend Jay and his girlfriend Amy, for lending all their hands to help. And boy did we ever need their help, cuz it was one of those whatever-can-go-wrong-will-go-wrong weekends — you know a typical weekend at the ranch.

And when I say “whatever can go wrong will go wrong” I mean really wrong. As in gross, creepy crawly wrong. Ants, they’re all kinds of wrong!

Remember how we had a window unit keeping our kitchen igloo livable? Well, that very same air conditioner is a big fat jerk which somehow sprayed the wall board around it for a couple of weeks. And apparently wet wall board is like catnip to ants…antnip! Those little buggers built a freakin’ colony in our tiny 3/4 inch wall board.

Well, when we went to remove the window unit in order to put in the actual window, those jerks just came pouring out of the wall. And here we were with no ant spray. Turns out, flying insect spray works pretty well, too…on all of us… *cough cough*

Dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead aaaaaaaaannnnnnntttt…

Now if all we’d had to do was kill a bunch of squatters, meh, no biggie. The problem was that the water had ruined a section of our wallboard. Boo. See all that weird white muck near the opening and all that bumpiness on the silvery part beneath it? That all had to be replaced. Four pieces of radiant barrier had to be removed and replaced. Terr-freaking-rific!

Finally, after all that, we could actually get to the fun part of the weekend — putting in a window. First up, dream tub window.

Poof! Window-be-there!

But that’s way too easy. There were actually all these steps that went into it. Stuff like, put Tyvek on.

Check!

Then we had to cut some wood and miter the corners to build out Errek’s skin vent. Oh, and make time for the obligatory injury.

I’ll have you know, I wore that red badge of courage with pride at a roller girl wedding just a few hours later. Totally matched my dress.

Okay, injury peroxided and Neosporened. We’re burning daylight here. Back to work. Now it was time for the sticky stuff — gotta put some rubber waterproofing stuff up, then…drum roll…window time.

Windows on the south side…

Windows on the north side…

Windows to the east and west. Twenty new windows and doors total (though the front door is still waiting to make an appearance). Guess what I am — completely blissed out! COMPLETELY. BLISSED. OUT.

Just one more thing to do now. As the rain was starting to approach, we needed to weatherproof the house. With all the windows in, Errek took to the gables with his roll of Tyvek to get it all papered and taped.

So here we are now, sittin’ pretty with windows, a weather-tight exterior, climate control, working electricity, and even a working stove. Life is good

Next up we’ll be moving back up to the front of the house so that the plumber can get busy on the kitchen and bath, and Errek can finish up some final details with the electrical. We’ll also be working with home audio and security folks to get everything wired and ready, because once everything passes inspection we’ll spraying insulation into all the walls. And then, no matter the weather, we’ll be able to live in the entire house, not just our little igloos. Say what?

Just out of curiosity, whatever happened with Sisyphus and his rock? Cuz, I think we just pushed our rock over the hill. What’s ahead for us — a nice green valley or yet another hill? Time will tell. But for now, I’m just going to sit here and look out my windows.