Home Improvement. A blast from the past.

By
Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000

Everyone has a home improvement story. We were sitting around talking the other day and we recounted a story from about 30 years ago. It made me laugh, so I thought I would share it here. It is about do it yourself home improvement.

 

window

Have you ever tried to make something better? Of course, you have. Everyone has things that need improvement. In this case the thing I was trying to make better was my new house.

Shortly after my wife and I were married we bought our first house. It was a cute raised ranch with three bedrooms and an unfinished basement that I planned to finish. The house was a standard tract home, so except for the exterior color it looked identical to every other home in the development. I wanted my house to be both better and more distinctive. So, I decided to make some improvements.

One of the first things I did was to replace the front picture window with a really nice five pane bay window. The new window would add a distinctive look and add to the energy efficiency of the home.

I laid out the plan. It was a simple matter of building a temporary wall to hold up the ceiling, removing the old window, installing the new window, trimming, and repainting, and removing the temporary wall.

Five simple steps. Well, maybe a few more than five and some not so simple.

When I ordered the new window, I had my choice of a custom made unit that would fit neatly within the existing rough opening. Or for a lot less money I could get a standard size unit and adjust the rough opening. Money was tight, so I decided to go with a standard unit that was slightly larger than the window that it was replacing. Little did I know that it would present some additional challenges.

With the larger window, I had to recreate the header that supported the wall. I started with constructing a temporary wall that would hold the weight of the ceiling and roof once the old header was out.

Once in place, the old window could come out. Once the old window was out, I could begin work on reframing the wall. The new opening required moving two wall studs, which in turn required moving an electrical outlet, something I hadn’t counted on. It took a few hours to tear out the old and rebuild the wall to the new specifications. As the day wore on, it was becoming apparent that we would not be able to finish the project in one day.

We decided to call it a day and finish the project the next day. The weather was good so I didn’t think that we would have any problem leaving the wall open for about 12 hours. Just to be sure I grabbed a couple of plastic tarps and sealed up the hole. It would keep any birds and bugs etc. from coming inside.

I suppose I should have checked the weather report before finishing up for the day. Because that night a major storm blew in. The storm brought high winds and a torrential downpour. I remember standing in the living room watching as the tarps were battered to and fro. If they didn’t hold, the wind and rain would destroy the living room of our new house.

I was in near tears, doing whatever I could to button down the tarps. Trying desperately to keep them from being blown away. Even today, my wife reminds me how I exclaimed: “I am so stupid, why did I attempt this…”

But luckily the tarps held. The storm abated and the next day a group of friends and I were able to install the new window and weatherproof the exterior. When the job was completed, and the last splash of paint was applied the window looked great. It was a huge improvement in my new home. It made my house distinguished from all the other tract homes.

I wiped away my tears, put away my grief, and proudly displayed my new windows to the whole neighborhood.

 

 

Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com

Posted by

Joseph Domino

© 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Home Improvement
Location:
Arizona Maricopa County
Groups:
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
Arizona Real Estate
Diary of a Realtor
Bananatude
Old Farts Club

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
3,486,068
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Happy Monday Joseph and here is to a great week in Real Estate.  Great blog and a help to people.

 

Aug 17, 2020 09:17 AM #1
Rainmaker
2,783,557
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Well, at least you accomplished a happy ending to your story, Joseph!  It can be amazing how home improvement projects can take on a life of their own.  For example, my daughter has a large tiki bar and lounge on the backside of her swimming pool.  She went to replace a couple steps to it recently, and one dry rotted board led to another.  She and a contractor friend spent the better part of a week rebuilding the whole thing.  It cost her $15,000 grand for materials and a reasonable rate for the labor of her friend.

It's wonderful now though.  She is thinking of hanging a movie screen on the poolside of it, and then using a projector to show movies, while we all float in the pool!

Aug 17, 2020 09:20 AM #2
Rainmaker
2,783,557
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Joseph, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Aug 17, 2020 09:20 AM #3
Rainmaker
428,110
Gwen Banta
Sotheby's International Realty - Los Angeles, CA

Good for you, Joe! An expected rain storm occurred the night my roofers removed the old roof in preparation for the new one. The tarps DID blow off, and my furniture was soaked as water poured in through the ceiling. Thank God for insurance!

Aug 17, 2020 09:51 AM #4
Rainmaker
428,110
Gwen Banta
Sotheby's International Realty - Los Angeles, CA

Good for you, Joe! An expected rain storm occurred the night my roofers removed the old roof in preparation for the new one. The tarps DID blow off, and my furniture was soaked as water poured in through the ceiling. Thank God for insurance!

Aug 17, 2020 09:51 AM #5
Rainmaker
971,733
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

And I am sure you learned a ton about construction from doing that and your own abilities were improved as well as you learnt from doing something rather than just thinking about it.

Aug 18, 2020 03:35 AM #6
Ambassador
4,269,467
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Joe- I love DIY stories and this is a good one. I'm happy that the tarp held and that your furniture did not get soaked. 

In our first home, Larry bought a wooden hot tub. The store had marked it down so it was a deal we couldn't pass up. Larry did all of the plumbing for it, but he did have a professional electrician handle the really important part. 

Larry also built the deck and covering for it. We proudly filled it with 1100 gallons of water...and watched as 1100 gallons of water slowly seeped out of the tub. The wood had shrunk without any water in it!  Thankfully, after refilling it, the wood was able to contain the water. 

Aug 19, 2020 01:15 PM #7
Ambassador
3,713,529
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Joeseph, now that was a gutsy thing to do!  I gave up on the do-anything-myself a long time ago.

Sep 03, 2020 07:00 AM #8
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
281,970

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Real Estate Made Easy
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*

Additional Information