New basement windows and swapping out a light fixture

I bet you think we’ve given up on home improvement, readers.  Well, we certainly have not, and we’ve actually done a wee bit in the last few months and just didn’t get around to posting about it.  We’ll play catch-up on the last of our 2014 projects, then let you know what’s up for this year.  Deal?

After Simon completed the basement fix-ups for the foundation (by digging around the perimeter of our house and patching the cracks from the outside), we were kind of pooped when it came to spending money on house stuff.  However, we had already ordered windows from one of Dan’s construction contacts (hurray for industry perks!), and we planned to let them sit in the basement until we had enough money to hire Simon to install them.

Earlier in the year, I went to Dan’s Discount Windows and Doors in Kitchener to get a quote for all five windows we needed to replace.  I didn’t have them include a quote for installation, but the man told me you can safely double the cost of the windows to get an estimate for the total work.  The quote came to around $1,100, which is kind of what I figured.  Dan asked around to his work contacts and one of his builders agreed to order the windows for us and charge us at cost, which worked out to $700 for all five.  I’ll take it!

New windowsHello, pretty new windows!

Dan picked up the windows in the early fall, and we let Simon know that we had them, but we weren’t quite ready to fork over the dollars to get them put into place.  Then we received a lovely surprise from Simon when he said he would install them as our wedding present!  We left it to him to decide on the timeline, and meanwhile, we tied the knot and zipped off to Disneyworld.  The windows got installed over the few weeks after we got back from our honeymoon, in and around the middle of October.

Let’s first appreciate the garbage that was our old windows:

Piece of crap windowThis one really shows you how terrible they were.  See the overlap of glass in the centre of the window?  That’s literally all these windows were; two piece of glass, overlapping in a wooden and/or metal frame.  They made my heart hurt.  This is the one in the workout room.

Here’s the future basement bathroom window, in its poorly lit before-picture:

Cruddy garbage windowThe mechanical room window, the oddest sized little window you ever did see:

Furnace room cruddy windowThe red tape is from the mega crack fixing that happened in that room in the winter last year.  Since it’s a storage room and mechanical room, we opted to not drywall it and just leave it at styrofoam-style insulation board with red tape.  Classy.  I won’t include this one on the tour when you come visit.

The laundry room window before:

So much garbageAnd finally, the small window in the rec room:

Such garbageDon’t let the window-like nature of these windows fool you, readers.  They were all the worst windows you could imagine.

Once Simon got down to business, he made swift work of one or two windows each time he came by.  He said a few of the windows seemed to be cemented into place, which is a terrible idea, rather than being slid into the opening and sealed in place.  I would love to know what the previous DIY owners were thinking when they did most of the minor renovations we’ve come across in our house.

I snuck some in-progress pictures when Simon was out on a coffee/supply run.  Here’s the soon to be basement bathroom window, looking a lot more like a hole in the wall than a window:

Hole in my wall where a window should beWindow install in progressThis was one of the cemented in place windows that Simon had to battle.

But a few short hours later, it looked like this:

Ooo, shiny!!
So nice to look at!To the curb with you, cruddy windows!

To the dump, cruddy windows!All five windows have been replaced, and since four of them went into unfinished spaces, there was no touching up to do.  For the one in the rec room, I still need to get in there and sand down the spackle, prime, and paint it to match the room again.  Simon put back the edging around the window, but some of the surrounding wall had to be sacrificed to get the old window out.

And more recently, right before Christmas we replaced the light fixture in the dining room, just in time for holiday festivities.

In case you have forgotten, this bedroom style light is what we’ve been looking at since we moved in.  To be fair, our dining room is technically the third bedroom.

The old light, dingey and yellowThis light was gross, even for a bedroom light.  It was dull and dingey, it only had one socket for one bulb, and the fixture is off centre.  For a dining room, it didn’t send enough light down to the table.

Old light

Buh bye old light!

Simon spent a bit of time up in the attic, moving the wiring over a smidge to be in the centre of the room.  Dan and I stood on chairs and stretched a tape measure across the room one morning to mark the centre for him.

Simon had it up within a day, and he’s still planning to come back to finish the obnoxious ring left on the ceiling from the old fixture.  He patched the hole and still needs to come back to even out the popcorn ceiling.

New fixture

The light we got is from Lowe’s.  Dan and I went out light shopping one day and hit up all the major home improvement stores.  We liked the selection at Lowe’s the best, and this light was only $200.  We saw similar style lights featuring Edison bulbs at a lighting store for upwards of $400.  A little too rich for our blood.

Please excuse the junk on the dining room table, that’s more to do with our next project.

Edison bulbs shining bright
Light aims down over tableNew dining room light fixture
It’s so much nicer in there now, and it looks so good from the living room.  We had it up for our Christmas party for our friends, and even with pushing the table back against the wall for a buffet station, the hanging light wasn’t a big deal.  We couldn’t push it back as far as we have done before without leaving the light free for head-bonkings, but it still works.

Up next, we just finished a whirlwind weekend of Ikea/Home Depot shopping for closet organization stuff.  No, sillies, not for our bedroom closet.  We’re tackling the lame-o closets in our two spare “bedrooms” that we don’t use as bedrooms.  Dining room organization and office storage, here we come!


About joeyandjanice

Two crazy kids trying to make sense of the jumble surrounding making the jump from renting to owning our first home. Join us here as we stumble towards the biggest purchase of our lives.
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One Response to New basement windows and swapping out a light fixture

  1. Emily says:

    Such a lovely home you are creating!

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