The Cross House

The Window From HELL

Today, I worked on the window to the left. Luckily, the sill was NOT riddled with termites, so it was an easy paint job. I removed the sash, and in a few days it will return in glorious high-glass black with razor-sharp edges. Then I decided to start on another basement window, under the pantry.


And may I please introduce the Window From HELL. This window had a piece of plywood installed over the original sash, and a plethora of AC lines had been run through it. Oh, the horror. 


Last year, I had the three AC condensers relocated away from the house, and the AC lines removed from the window and buried in the ground. Ahhh, much better.

Then I tried to take off the plywood. And gave up. It was screwed and glued so over-the-top that it could have survived a nuclear blast. Argh!!!!!!!! Many months later I tried again. And gave up.

So today, like a year later, I tried again. I kept repeating: This window will NOT defeat me! This window will NOT defeat me! 

But…I wasn’t entirely sure this would prove true.

I tried to cut through the glue-like caulk at the edges of the plywood. I gave up. Then I hauled out the small electric magic saw thingy, and this successfully cut through all the glue-like caulk. I then assumed that the plywood could now just be pulled off.

But, no.

I went inside and with a large hammer banged and banged and banged against the plywood. It did not budge.


I then got the jigsaw and cut lines through the plywood, figuring I could, hopefully, get SOME bits of it off.

And this…


…proved successful!!!!!!!! And with this bit of ancient sash exposed, my confidence regarding victory soared.


And, of course, it prove that there was not just one layer of friggin’ plywood, but two. Of course. 


I kept cutting away, and pulling away, and more ancient sash was revealed. Until at last…


…Hell was banished. Ahhhhh, sweet victory. 


Inside the basement, a heretofore dark spooky corner suddenly had light. Glorious daylight. Fabulous daylight.


I am passionate about daylight. And I never never never cover over windows. Not even basement windows.

Daylight makes such a difference in a house. And while the basement of the Cross House will never be beautiful, it will be filled with light.




12 Responses to The Window From HELL

  1. And Ross said: Let there be light. But there was no light.

    And Ross said: Verily, there WILL be light. And so there commenced much sawing and hammering. And yet, there was no light.

    And Ross said again: Verily, THERE WILL BE LIGHT. And there was much banging and hammering and smiting and cursing, and sawing and smiting again.

    And lo, there was light. And it was very good.

  2. I mean…those boilers are pretty darned beautiful. So I declare the basement of the Cross House IS beautiful. Just differently than the upper floors.

  3. I too love natural light. Lots of studies on natural light in hospital settings report hugely significant better outcomes, lowered blood pressure, lowered stress, pain relief and improved morale!!! Even watching the window reveal is so satisfying!!!

  4. I am on a ladder, two stories up, taking a break before I put a second coat of paint on a window facing…and I have had a “damn Ross” day, LOL. The first time was when I got all the way up here and realized I had forgot my painters tape. I thought to myself “Hey, it’s not going to show from the ground if I am a little off…”, but then I thought “No, damn Ross, he will know. Even though he is hundreds of miles away and has never seen my house, HE WILL KNOW!” So, I climbed down, went to the basement, got my painters tape, climbed back up, and did it the right way. Oh well, once I get down and see how pretty and crisp it all looks, I will say “Bless Ross”…

    • Ah, yes, we all now say it, Damn Ross! But all in the most loving way. Thank you Ross, for making us all do it right the first time.

  5. Once again, it’s nice they left the original sash in place, despite cocooning it under layers of plywood, caulk, and spray foam!

    We have one basement window that’s suffered similar treatment to route a poorly-located dryer vent. I’m thankful they did not cut a big hole in the decorative face brick foundation, though, as that would be much more difficult to rectify!

  6. I assume your Sawzall must have been broken. as I am the laziest person on earth, a Sawzall is always the weapon of choice. all that tedious prying and hammering – I don’t think so. too much to do – be expeditious and use time well. as you so often and well say – focus!

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