Sunday, June 25, 2006


I know why people get vinyl windows...

One of the greatest travesties, in my neighborhood at least, is the replacement of the original Cliff May-designed wood windows and doors. Due to our weather out here in Southern California, 50 year-old doors and windows are usually still in pretty good condition.

Prior to now I had always thought of a number of practical reasons why someone would trade the windows in for vinyl replacement windows: cost, ignorance, misguided or non-existent sense of style, alleged energy efficiency, noise redution, etc. But, with my current project rehabbing the courtyard doors and windows I've come to the conclusion that it's really an issue of physical exhaustion. Here's about where I am right now:

At the very least it's a four-step process to do it correctly:
  1. Sanding (this is actually two-steps: 60 grit to "dig out" spots where the paint peeled and 150 grit to clean it all up)
  2. Primer
  3. 1st Color Coat
  4. 2nd Color Coat

That's my workflow for "pretty nice." Rushing I can do it in about 5 hours per door or window including masking, dry times, and cleanup. After the courtyard I've got 3 more doors, 2 more full-height windows, and 4 half-windows. Yay! Here's a lcoser look at the sanding. As you can see, it's the bottoms that get the most wear and need the most prep.

Something that little window on the bottom. Since moving in I've tried to get it to open without luck. Finally, I got a razor blade and cut the paint on the outside. I found something pretty interesting:

I think the last time it was opened was over 20 years ago.

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