The pile of windows is no longer on the porch, They are all up. Tomorrow I have a few minor adjustments to make and hooks to add but I am very happy with the result. It might not seem like much but this is one of the bigger projects that we have taken on. I describe it like this because it was a long road from choosing a manufacturer to getting to this point.
I knew when we bought the Tiny Bungalow that we would be installing wood storms. I had a dream at one point that I'd make them. I thenreconsidered the idea WITHOUT drinking a six pack of beer and decided against it. I am sure there are folks out there that don't even know that you can still get wood storms and I am sure there are others that are sitting in shock because we're not putting in something like aluminum or replacing the windows all together with vinyl. That would look really sweet, wouldn't it?
We narrowed our manufacturer choice over a year ago to a local guy, a place in Iowa, and Spencerworks in Nebraska. We liked the Iowa windows but decided against them because the built-in storm/screen combination required complete removal of a pane of glass to use the screen. I knew it wouldn't be long before we lost or broke one of these panes. The local guy ended up coming in at twice the price as Spencerworks and Spencerworks included the paint job. I really wanted to support the local economy and not have to ship the product but I also never got a follow up from the local folks when I asked questions about pricing and scope. Spencerworks it was.
To place the order for the windows, we had to measure the openings ourselves (my friend Steve helped me with this feat a few weeks ago), deduct some spacing (all as directed by the manufacturer) and send them a final order. The Spencer windows have concealed storms - this means that from the outside you can't see the movable storm windows (very similar to the typical aluminum storms people are used to except these look much nicer). The order was supposed to take 4-6 weeks but the windows arrived in three. You order the hardware with the windows and everything came well-packed in a huge crate.
Installation was deceptively simple but I don't recommend anyone taking this on alone (do as I say, not as I do). I am glad that I am still alive after the experience of trying to negotiate a ladder with tools, shims, and a 60lb window in hand. Yeah, sometimes I'm not too bright but I am also friend-deficient so I don't have much of a choice.
To install, there is a two-piece hardware assembly. A "female" one that goes on the window and a "male" one that goes on the window head. The window then slips in and the hardware interlocks like a hinge. I made a real fancy guide to mark all the windows and I borrowed a cordless drill to drill and screw. This made me think: how the hell have I gotten this far in DIY projects without a cordless. I must ask Santa for one this Christmas. One tool that did come in handy and I recommend it to anyone, even if you aren't friend deficient, is the magnetic wrist band my mother in law got me last year. It is awesome and saved countless dropped screws and hardware components. Thanks mom!
Even though the house and most of the frames are out of plumb, all of the windows fit pretty well. I think there is only one that I need to really adjust because the sill drops about an inch from one side to the other. In addition to the hinge at the top, the windows are held in place at the bottom with an eye hook.
One thing we didn't plan on doing during this process was choosing paint colors for the house. The color of the storms is Chocolate Cherry. I chose a color called Olive Leaf for the trim and to complete the food theme, the body of the house will be Brioche. It will be some time before we see the rest of these colors on the house but hopefully I'll get the garage painted before fall so you can get a preview.Hopefully we'll find a difference in our heating bills come fall as well. The most noticeable difference right now is the noise. I've always complained that the house has paper walls because we can hear EVERYTHING outside. Traffic on our street is bad and even non-violent storms can be annoying. Now it is almost silent in the house - very strange.
Another nice bonus is that the storms conceal the double-hung windows and protect the from the elements. They are in sad shape and can use all the protection they can get. Hopefully the project of restoring them will begin in another year.