Which Window?

Window delivery! Bob is replacing every window in the house, and Allen Lumber arrived Wednesday morning with a truck full of new ones. Mark, D.D., and I immediately set down whatever we were doing and helped unload them to the barn.

All the windows. Bob reviews the order form to determine where each one goes.

All the windows. Bob reviews the order form to determine where each one goes.

Once we determined which window was which, we switched out the witch window. HUH?! Let me explain, before this entire post reads like an Abbott & Costello routine.

A witch window was originally installed vertically, but now it’s on an angle. Here’s what happens: the basic house has a window in a gable end. Then an addition gets built out from that end, and the only way to salvage the window is to rotate it so it fits between the old and new rooflines. They’re called witch windows because, apparently, witches can’t fly their brooms through a slanted window. (So if you want to witch-proof your house, better make ALL your windows askew!)

They’re also known as Vermont windows, because the overwhelming majority appear in 19th-century farmhouses here in the Green Mountain state. Why didn’t they catch on anywhere else? No clue. Vermonters are pretty clever, I guess.

Anyway, Hans and Mark popped out the old witch window and installed the new one. The shimming was a hassle, as was the outside trim. For much of the afternoon one of them worked from outside, standing on the (fleetingly) snowless roof of the front porch, and hanging onto the old stovepipe for balance. Our new window fits nicely, and now that it’s installed we can finish that wall and proceed to the bathroom ceiling.

Drywall progress: the new guest bedroom.

Drywall progress: the new guest bedroom.

Good thing, because we were running out of walls to rock. The guest bedroom is pretty much enclosed now. We still have materials to move, so we better make sure not to box ourselves out. Drywall won’t fit through a window, not even a witch window.

Hans and D.D. maneuver a 4-by-8 sheet of drywall up the stairs.

Hans and D.D. maneuver a 4-by-8 sheet of drywall up the stairs.

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