October 29, 2014

Measuring For Replacement WIndows – Part 2

This was a bit long to put all in one article, so we broke it into two. If you missed the first part, you can go here to catch up.

measuring a windowWhat I do is I measure the existing window, I’ll measure the width, I’ll hook the tape right over on the outside of the edge of the window frame. Come right over to this side, right to the outside. This window right now measures sixty-four inches right on. Usually, what I do is subtract one eighth of an inch, just to give you that little extra room. Your saw blade, when you make you cut tight, is going to free up basically an eighth of an inch all the way around anyways, but I always take an eighth inch off just to be sure that it’s going to fit the opening without too much extra cutting.

So we’ve got sixty-four inches on the width so what I am going to request is sixty-three and seven eights. You could get away with exactly what this one measures, because of the fact that you are cutting around the perimeter, but it’s nice to have just a little bit of room extra. To get the height, I’m going to hook, same thing, right on the top of the window measure right down to the bottom, to the outside and this one measures thirty-two inches. Again, I am going to take an eight of an inch off that, so I’ve got three one seven eights. I am going to draw myself a nice little picture here; homeowner would like to go back to the same style of window, which right here we’ve got a fixed window and an awning.

So I am just going to draw a crude little picture again, viewed from the outside and I even made a note of that so I don’t forget or the other person doesn’t realize. So this is viewed from the outside, I don’t know if you can really see it, I’ve drawn it looking like kind of two windows and because this one is an awning, I’m going to draw a little dotted line, almost like an arrow head up, facing the top – that’s just indicating that’s where it’s hinged, so they know that it flips on the bottom, hinge on the top. That just helps you remember too, once you measured all the windows, you might forget which ones are which.

We’ve got one window and this particular one here is a den, so we’re going to mark it off as den, quantity of one, I’ve got the measurement and I got my little picture, and I will just continue on doing that all the way around the house. We also determined already that the thickness of this wall structure is five and a half plus half inch plywood on the outside, plus half inch drywall on the inside so we’ve got a total of six and a half inches and that’s our jam depth. That would be important too, they’ll want to know that. Okay. I don’t think there is too much more to really explain, we’ll hopefully be shooting a video soon, showing you exactly how we pull these windows out and install a new one. Then you’ll know completely how to do the job from start to finish.

If your supplier will come and measure for you-always a good thing, because then if they screw up, they’ve got to stand behind that window or they should be standing behind the window, making sure that is corrected. That is one liability, if you supply them with the measurements and something is wrong, you might be stuck with a window or two that doesn’t fit what you need and you will have to reorder. So if they will come out and measure, get them to do that, even if they charge you fifty bucks or whatever, it will be worth it. If you are going through somebody or you might be in a remote area where they are not willing to come and do that, at least now you know how to order this window.

measure windows 1Now the other thing worth mentioning is, to replace this window, I can’t use a nailing flange now, because we’re not planing on disturbing the exterior finish, so I’ve got to go to a window that has a brick mold, which is a wider frame, usually I like to go to what around here is called the two inch renovation brick mold and that will just reassure that everything fits the hole, we don’t have to mess around re-cutting the siding again or the stucco. You could pull the old window out, put the new one in; sometimes, depending exactly how the window opening is framed, the actual stud work is framed, you might have to decrease the size you rough open a little bit. But these are all things that is going to save you a lot of time messing around on the long run.

You’re going to want a renovation brick mold, usually a two inch, to replace this type of installation. If we are removing the siding anyways, what I would do is pull the inside, trim off the window, measure the actual rough opening, that’s the framing opening of the house and take that to the window supplier and they can determine all the measurements from that. But, in this case, we are not removing the exterior finish, so this is the best way to do it. I hope this was as clear as mud and it’s going to make sense.

October 28, 2014

Replacement Windows – Measure Right!

window measurementToday we’re going to discuss how to measure your existing windows in your home, so that if you want to replace them or get a quote on new windows, you could take those numbers to a supplier and quote them up.

Generally you’ve got two thicknesses of walls to start with. You usually have either a 2×4 framed wall or a 2×6 framed wall. So, if you have a 2×6 framed wall like we have in this home, you’ve got your 2×6 framing, which is actually five and a half inches wide, you are going to have in this age of home, you are going to have half inch plywood on the outside and you are going to have half inch drywall on the inside, for a total of six and a half inches in depth, so that actually be your wall thickness. That’s an important part that your windows supplier is going to want to know. So you are going to need that measurement.

Depending on the age of your home, this can vary a little bit because if you have a home that’s built before the 50s or even some of the 60s have three quarter inch shiplap on the outside, instead of half inch plywood. So you need to determine a little bit exactly how your home is constructed before you can make that decision. A little bit of investigation work, look at the year of your home, some of the products you used, there could be, if it’s an older home, lath and plaster on the inside, instead of half inch drywall. That could vary anywhere from half an inch to an inch, just depending how or who put it on. There is some variables you need to consider for the width.

Once you determine that, another way of doing would be, if you opened up your window, I got a window here, we’re going to pop the screen out. So, if you can determine a distance from the outside of your window frame to where your sheeting or your plywood should start and put a little mark here, then you should be able to measure from that mark into here where the back side of your trim is and that will also give you that same measurement. A little trick to do, but if you are a little bit uncertain, it might be the best way to go, just to double confirm what you think is going on there.

That pretty much is all you need to do from the inside. I am going to show you how to do it, measure everything from the outside. In this case, we are trying to fit in to an existing exterior finish, which here is a next ninety type wood-siding. The homeowner isn’t wanting to disturb that siding anymore than necessary, so we want to fit into that hole that we cut when we removed the window and that being said, that’s going to mean, we’ll probably have a little more space in here, where the insulation is behind the trim than there is right now, but we’d rather have that than have it not fit in the hole or have to cut excess siding or if you had stuck a wall, you don’t want to cut anymore than you have to of that.

Again, what we’re doing is we’re going to go outside, show you where to measure from and I’ll explaiwindow partsn a little bit the reasoning for that, once we are out there it might be easier to show you. Okay. One of the things to also have with you is a piece of paper to write down everything that you’re recording for measurements. It’s handy to have a little bit of information, maybe pre-written on their, what room you are measuring, how many of that particular size you need, and a spot where you can put the width and the height as well.

Something that can be helpful is drawing a little picture viewed from the outside, so that you know, who you are talking to, you know which side is going to open or how is going to open and it will help them visualize exactly what you are wanting. What we’ve got here is aluminum clad window from early nineties to middle nineties and this style window is installed with a nailing flange. That nailing flange is also aluminum and is actually behind the siding or stucco, whichever you’ve got on your home. So you can actually see it or get out of it to pull the nails or screws out.

What you would have to do to remove this window is set your saw blade depth on your circular saw and run it around the exterior of the window, so that you are cutting through the cocking, the siding or the stucco or whatever is there and through that aluminum flange.

You don’t want to cut too far in and cut the plywood wide open, but you got to kind of figure that out and run the saw around there, staying close to the window so you are not cutting the opening too large. Once you’ve done that, it’s a matter of removing the inside trim, blinds, all that stuff and the window should slide out relatively easy.

OK, we’re going to chop this process into a couple of articles, so stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.  But don’t rush us!  ;0)

October 28, 2014

How To Remove Old Popcorn Ceiling Stuff

ridding old ceiling of popcorn stuffToday we’re going to talk about removing stipple, the popcorn old style ceiling. Pretty simple job, little messy, needs some basic tools to do it, we’ll go through the tools in few minutes. We basically have a 10×10 room here, so we’re going to talk about the tools that we need to do it and the process we are going through.

As I mentioned, the tools we need to do this job is very, very simple, you probably got them right in your garage most of them, or could barrow them from a neighbor. One of the first things you want to do is protect the floor in the room you are working in. Sometimes all I do is I will take a drywall tray and this is the drywall knife you are going to use to scrape the ceiling. I’ll just go along and scrape and catch ninety percent of it in this tray and I’ll have a garbage can handy somewhere to dump it.

But in the case of what we are doing today, what we’ve actually done is just bought some inexpensive utility type of plastic sheeting and we’ve covered the whole carpeted area with this sheeting. So we are just going to simply scrape the ceiling right to the floor and then we’ll just fold up the plastic and throw it away. So we’ve talked about the sheeting, the drywall tray, the knife I touched base on, but basically all I do is a six inch drywall knife and we just simply run it along the ceiling to scrape off the popcorn stipple.

The stipple itself is it hasn’t ever been painted before then you are not going to have any trouble at all, if it’s been painted you might want to second guess whether you want to take this job on, because the paint basically seals it up and it’s really hard to scrape off. One of the tricks we do use is we’ll use some type of water sprayer, in this case we’ve got like a pump held sprayer that you could use, we just keep it separate just for water spraying applications. You simply add water, you pump the handle here which pressurizes the canister, it comes with a hose and a wand and you’ll just simply go along and spray the ceiling.

Make Sure to Really Soak the Ceiling

Once you get enough water on there, it doesn’t take much, once you get enough, you can hear it dripping hitting the floor, a little bit you’re good. Go up, give it a scrape, once it’smaybe had a couple of minutes to soak in, if it doesn’t come off really well you can give it another quick shot with the sprayer, but you don’t want to completely saturate it either. You’re just going to have a mess and you could cause other damage, but once we actually get into showing you how to do this, you’ll see exactly the steps involved. I’m just trying to show you what we need.

remove popcorn ceilingsSo we’ve got the sprayer, we have the plastic and everything. When you are done, you’re going to want to be able to sand it, depending on what you are doing, maybe you just want to paint it and leave it flat, so you are going to want to sand any little nicks and gouges out, you might be re-texturing it so, even then, you probably don’t want to sand it a little bit. You can use a hand sander, pole sander, typically drywall tools is really what you need for that. And of course, you generally are going to need some type of stool or ladder to stand on.

Safety First! – Beware of Asbestos

A good idea, a lot of these older stipples can have asbestos in them, so it’s a good idea to be wearing a mask as well and even safety goggles if you really are going to make it little messy. But throw the mask on for sure, you’re definitely going to be messy. Shut off your furnace, your air-conditioner so that it’s not sucking that dust through your all house and make a mess.

We’ve taken down the light shade in this room, just trying to get as many things out of the way as we can, we’ve taped the floor off and I’m just going to reset here and go through the actual process. So we are going to start out by simply spraying about a four foot by four foot area, just to get it started, so I am just applying it, I don’t know if you could hear it on the camera or not, but we’re getting few drips hitting the floor, we’re giving it a soak, be careful around your electrical lighting so you don’t electrocute yourself.

We got that soaked down pretty good and I am going to just grab my ladder and go up there and see how it feels like. It’s had a couple minutes just to soak in and you just want to have your knife on a little bit of an angle, you don’t want it too stiff or you’re going to be gouging into the drywall and making a mess, but you don’t want it too flat or you are not going to get everything off. I don;t know what that is, thirty degree angle, something like that, just kind of get yourself worked in there underneath.

As you can see it doesn’t take a lot of effort, there’s not a lot of dust because we had sprayed it down, I do have the mask on my hat, but I’m not wearing it right now, but it’s just hard to talk through it. So I am going to do a little bit of an area here, just so you can see what you are going to find underneath. As you can see, that’s pretty quick. It really doesn’t take a lot of time, it’s actually doing quite a nice job. Once you have an area like that done, when the room is done-I should say, what you do is, once this had a chance to dry and you’ve done the room, it just needs a little bit of a sand, just to get the excess dust off there, smooth it out again.

I don’t know if you could see all these spots in the lens but they are all spots that were screwed before and they’ve been mud over. We don’t have a joint right here, but at some point I’ll get to one and we’ll show you what it all looks like. That’s all you need to do. When you get up to the edge of the room, obviously, just buffer into the wall. If you find that’s a little tougher, once you get into the spots where there is drywall mud on the joint, you might want to give it another quick little spray and that it will give a little extra moisture to soften it up.

You can see how we went along this wall, got the majority off, try to come off along the wall as well and once you give it a little bit of sanding there, you’re going to be good. It’s really not a whole lot more to that now. I can show you what I would usually do if I am holding the tray, I’ll grab it. So if I was doing this with my tray, I’m just simply moving the tray along with it and catch a lot of it in the tray and then I will have a garbage so I don’t have to go up and down the ladder, I would have it within reach so that I am not having to jump up and down all the time.

I am getting out of my sprayed area here and you can see getting a lot harder to scrape off and back here where it’s soft, it’s just like butter, the water definitely does help and it also settles that dust, you don’t get as much dust floating around, which is better for your lungs but you should have the mask on. Okay. So that’s really basic stuff, especially when it’s not painted. Like I said before, if your stipple happens to be painted over it’s a heck of a job, so you might want to rethink weather you really want to do that. This was simple.

I have seen, there’s the odd gizmo out there for doing this, there’s a frame and bag system that comes with a scraper and basically what it is, the scraper with the frame hanging off that you could put a shopping bag on to catch all your stuff, pop your bag off, throw it away, I don;t know if that’s really necessary when if you own one of this, you can basically do it without spending any extra money for that.

Same thing, we had the big pump sprayer, garden type sprayer to do this. You could just use a little hand spray bottle, your wife does her hair with or something, steal it off the dresser and use it, you don’t have to go out and spend a bunch of money on a big sprayer like that. Really, like I said, the tools you need for this, you probably already own so it’s a matter of just a little bit of mess and clean up when you are done.