Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Windows Loaded

Not a computer operating system, actual windows!

The install was easy. The windows are straight-forward vinyl flanged, and since they are pretty small they weren't heavy. We used adhesive flashing membrane which was very easy to work with, no special tools required. Everything went so smoothly. Honestly, I am wondering what we forgot to do or did wrong. To quiet the self doubt, I keep repeating our mantra: "It's better than it was. It's better than it was. It's better than it was."

There are lots of tutorials online, but we ended up following a step-by-step guide in a book. At the library I happened upon Taunton's Carpentry Complete: Expert Advice from Start to Finish. It's easy to follow, has lots of tips and doesn't have too much information to wade through. It has both pictures and a narrative, which is perfect for my learning style.

We were able to install all three windows over the weekend, because of some perfectly timed visitors. Some helped out with the install (thanks TF and DD!) and some helped out with baby sitting (thanks Gramma and CD!).

Next up on this learning adventure, the door.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Garden Zucchini Muffins

I don't bake very often, because I am a baked goods hound. But, these muffins are somewhat healthy, and since I made them as mini-muffins the guilt factor is even lower (as long as I don't eat twice as many). I have found that most zucchini bread recipes have way too much oil and sugar for my liking. I do like this recipe, though, so I thought I'd share. You'll notice that there are a lot of ingredients that can be rough measured or adjusted based on what you like, but I would keep the egg/flour/baking powder/baking soda amounts pretty exact to the recipe. 

Garden Zucchini Muffins
• 3 eggs
• a little less than a 1/2 cup of oil (I used only about 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil)
• a little more than 1/4 cup of yogurt (I had low fat vanilla in the house at the time)
• 1 cupish of sugar (I used a combination of brown and raw along with some agave, and I did not use a full cup)
• 1 tsp salt
• lots of shredded zucchini (I used three large handfuls and next time I would use a little more)
• 2 tsp vanilla (I never measure vanilla, I just pour)
• 3 cups flour (I mixed whole wheat with unbleached white)
• 3 tsp cinnamon (I used more than that and I added some ginger and nutmeg, too)
• 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda

Mix dry ingredients, except sugar.
In large bowl mix eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Add zucchini.
Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix.
Grease mini-muffin pan and cook at 325 for about 12 minutes.

Fresh zucchini picked 5 minutes ago.

The lazy way to grate zucchini.

I will use more zucchini next time.

Awww...they are so cute.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Not Build a Wall Into a Door

When the back hall was originally built, probably around 90 years ago, it was standard practice to build the floor larger than the roof so that the walls tilted in at the top. No, no, no. That's not true. But, it happens to be the way our back hall was built. 

We, of course, weren't aware of the problem until after demo. Our contractor poured the new concrete foundation wall to be both square and within the outline of the roof. As you can see in the first photo below, that means that the new construction at the east wall will have to be built into the kitchen door. The plywood is the subfloor and the darker siding to the left of the door is where the original wall was.

Here are the steps that we took in order to Not Build a Wall Into a Door:
1. Remove door.
2. Remove affected flooring.
3. Remove door jamb and adjacent trim.
4. Narrow the doorway by filling in some 2x4's (we were able to do this from just one side).
5. Reattach door jamb to the new studs (we took the easy way out and left the header as is).
6. Build wall.
7. Cut down the door (we took off 4").
8. Re-hang the door.

The kitchen door prior to building the 
east wall (which will be on the left).

The kitchen door and new east 
wall at the end of the day.

Removing the one tile involved.

After the doorway was narrowed by 4".

The trim, door jamb and one tile have been removed.

Two new studs serve to extend the 
wall and provide structure for the 
door jamb to be reattached.

The door still needs some encouragement to close properly, and we also have to put the hardware back on. It's possible that the hinges need to be replaced. We will cover the mess on the kitchen side with trim. It will look a little wacky, but not out of place for this house. We may also remove the remaining tiles beneath the door and replace the threshold with wood. All in good time.

This process took many hours, it wasn't super easy and there were many curse words involved. However, since we have a functioning door and a wall under the roof we'll go ahead and consider this one a success.