Springtime for Buffalo

The long winter finally seems to be over in Buffalo, which means that anyone with a broken house now has outside work to do, the inside be darned.  That is especially true with the Green Monster, which requires an exterior makeover on every surface.  The clapboard needs to be repaired (cracked and decayed pieces removed and replaced), scraped, primed and painted.  The porch needs a new roof, new floor and paint touched up on the ironwork.  Just about every window needs repair and paint, and a few need to be replaced (particularly the vinyl replacement windows, which are not easy to repair to begin with and are not exactly what we want on our house anyway).  And then there is the whole matter of the roof, which is a big job requiring a bit of planning beforehand. 

Right now, we are concentrating on the wood windows.  Fixing them will go along way toward sealing out the weather, and will make a big difference in the overall appearance of the house, which right now is the pits.  Fortunately, the old wood windows are user serviceable; reglazing, painting and sash repair can all be done at home.  To that end, we have set up sawhorses with 2x4s laid between as temporary work tables, and are stripping paint off the windows with a heat gun.  Once that is done, we will prime the windows, put in the new glass, hold it in with glazier’s points (little flat push pins, essentially), and seal the glass with glazing putty.  After that, the sash gets painted and reinstalled in the window frame, which will also have been stripped and repainted.  It is a process that most folks can learn to do themselves, but it is labor intensive.  So we have our work cut out for ourselves there. 

Once the windows are done, we will move onto the porch, then to the roof, then to the clapboard and paint.  All of it is the time-consuming work that does not allow for many shortcuts.  So our summer is booked already.  Hopefully we can find some time to do interior framing, so that electrical, plumbing and heating can proceed at the same time as all this outside work.