Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dormer Windows Made By Hand

Last week, the dormer windows were finally finished and installed.  They are hand built and quite attractive.  Each window measures 17"x33". I decided try making them when got a quote of $400 per window.  Four of them would have cost $1600. I built them to look like the ones I did buy -- natural wood on the inside and white on the outside. After getting double pane glass made, and buying the wood, hinges, paint, and polyurethane...the cost of each window has cost me about $110 in materials...saving 70-75% of the cost!  Now that I know how easy it is to build windows, I will probably build all the windows by hand for my next Tiny House. If you do build your own, buy a Dremel for sanding. It has become one of my favorite tools.  The next time I build windows, I'll probably try this process:
Caulking the exterior of the handmade window

The rough openings had to be re-framed once my windows were built and I knew the exact size.  It was not difficult, just a bit annoying.  I suggest that you have your doors and windows in your hand or at least ordered before you begin building your walls!

Jack showing the first assembled window
The hardest part is deciding what hardware to use to open/close/lock the window.  I have not decided on the dormer window hardware.  I ordered casement adjusters, but realized after they arrived they are made for windows with side hinges, not for windows with hinges were on the top. Since then, I found telescoping push bars made in Denmark and sold in the USA by H Window. They will hold the open the window and lock it when closed. The only drawback is they are cost $77.50 each. They would work perfectly in my handmade awning windows, but I'm not sure if $310 is worth the money when something simpler would work. Stay tuned....

Handmade dormer windows are installed! (Picture by Jack)
Today, the siding around the dormers windows was also installed and painted.  It took all day. Although I the siding on the sides of the dormers still need to be installed as well as the soffit, and the corner trim, I hope to have the entire Tiny House weighed on October 4th. I need know how much it weights before I begin the the inside.

Someone asked how much time I have spent on the project so far. Since I began actual construction, I probably have only spent 1 day/week, but had on average, had 2-3 people working with me.  That is roughly 100 person days or three person months.

Not bad for such a quality piece of art!

Painting the Exterior

It has been a long time since my last post. For the most part, the siding was primed and painted yellow. I'm glad I spray painted the siding with primer before installing the boards. Five gallons is about right since you want to prime both sides.  I love the color...whether you call it Afternoon Tea or Tuscany Gold. Valspar Reserve is Lowe's best exterior pain; it sells at roughly $200 for 5 gallons.  The paint contains primer and a mildew preventative and is water-based for easy clean up.  I sprayed the first coat of paint with my sprayer and then used a brush on the second coat for a quality, brushed look. Since I only painted the outside, I have only used about 2.5 gallons.  I also learned the value of using the high quality brushes (a Purdy brush costs ~$17-20/brush.) They are worth the money. The result looks better, the bristles do not fall out while your painting, and they are easier to clean.

Tuscany Gold Exterior Paint.  I love how the white trim pops.
Although I started building the dormer windows in July, painting the outside became more important since mildew began to grow on the door frame and just a little on the siding.  I knew getting the final coat on the outside -- as far as I could get -- was a smart idea. And if this happens to you, there are two things you should know:  (1) spray diluted bleach (50/50), let stand overnight, then wipe the mildew off (2) oil based paint is virtually unattainable so I chose Lowe's Valspar Duramax. Duramax contains both paint and primer. Since painting the door frame, there has been no more mildew.  I used the same paint on the exterior of the dormer windows, tool. 

Can you envision the red bougainvillaea growing over the box window?  I can.