REPAIRING PUTTY WINDOW GLASSWritten by John Rocco
REPAIRING PUTTY WINDOW GLASSHave you ever thought about fixing a broken window in your house, but didn't think you could do it because nobody ever taught you how to cut glass? Well, you really don't have to know how to cut glass in order to repair your window. If you knew how to remove frame, you could order a replacement piece of glass from your local glass shop already cut to proper size. Then, it's just a matter of installing new glass into frame. But, there are so many different kinds of window out there, there is no way i could explain them all in one article. So, this is going to be first in a series of articles describing repair procedure for each type of window.
There are really two categories of windows out there. They are single pane windows and dual pane windows. Then, within those two categories, there are several types of windows in each category. Let's start with single pane window category. This would be older windows that were around before building industry became more energy conscious. It just means that there is a single piece of glass in frame that surrounds it. A lot of homeowners mistakenly think a horizontal sliding window must be a double pane window, since there is a pane of glass in sliding panel and another pane in stationary panel. The terminology refers to number of panes in sliding or fixed panel alone. In other words, a single pane horizontal sliding window has a single pane of glass in sliding panel, and a single pane in fixed panel. A double pane slider would actually have two pieces of glass in both sliding panel and fixed panel. The pieces in each panel are separated by approximately 3/8" of air, and have a metal spacer around edge of glass.
So, let's get back to single pane repairs. One of more common types of single pane windows are type that uses putty to hold glass in frame. All old wood windows are done this way. Old metal casement windows are usually done this way as well. The casement window is kind with handle on inside bottom corner that you crank, and window opens outward on a top and bottom pivot. Let's focus this article on putty style replacements.
Before you begin, pick a local glass shop in your area where you will go to pick up new glass. Make sure they are going to be open day you do work, and confirm with them that if you call in an order for a pane of glass in morning, you can pick it up in an hour or two. You dont want to remove glass from window frame, then find out glass shop won't have your glass cut until next week. If they can't guarantee a two hour turnaround, keep looking.
The fastest and easiest way to remove old glass is to break it out. Put an old sheet or a tarp on ground below window. Then, put on some gloves. Use gloves with a material that will prevent a piece of glass from cutting your hands. A pair of gardening gloves should work fine. Get yourself a pair of safety glasses as well. Trust me, you don't want to get hit in eye with a piece of flying glass. As my Father always used to tell me, "Better safe than sorry". Now, go inside with a hammer in hand and knock glass out of center part of window. It's best to leave some glass sticking out around edge. You can grab protruding glass and use it as leverage to pop old putty loose. The more old putty that you can get to come out along with glass, less scraping you will have to do. I have done some wood window replacements where putty was dried and cracked, and it practically fell out on it's own. On flip side, i have done some where putty had almost become a part of wood. The only way to separate putty from frame in those instances is to use a putty knife to scrape it down to wood. While removing putty, you will find little pieces of metal that are used to hold glass in place while applying putty. The wood windows use push points, and you can get a package of new ones at hardware store. If you're working with metal casement window, metal clips are called sash clips. You might have a harder time finding these. Frankly, i don't see any problem reusing them.
DESIGNING YOUR LOG HOME: Tips to keep you out of trouble Written by Mercedes Hayes
Nearly every log home is a custom design, whether you are altering a stock plan or starting from scratch. By their very nature, custom floor plans open up a large number of untested challenges - especially if you are trying to design house yourself. With almost all log home manufacturers, an in-house architect will take your design and turn it into a set of drawings that conform to their building system. Your home will be structurally sound. However, don't necessary expect them to point out every inconvenience or snafu in your design. This is a hands-on business, and in end, your house design is on you... and you'll have to live with it. Here are a few pointers I can suggest to make your design more efficient.
MECHANICALS: Open floor plans are essence of modern log home. They make a home feel larger, and keep cook from feeling isolated. However, if you're planning a second floor you need to consider how you are going to get plumbing, electric and ductwork (both supply and return) to upstairs rooms. You won't be using exterior walls for that, so you need to create enough interior walls on main floor to fit all mechanicals. Even if you use radiant-floor heating, you'll need ductwork for air conditioning. There are some systems that use high-pressure ductwork much smaller in diameter than conventional ducts, so there are other possibilities if you are pressed for space. But best solution is to think ahead. Each object in all likelihood will take its own space between 2x4s. If you're tempted to use an interior full-log wall (or none at all), you may be sacrificing an opportunity to get more ductwork upstairs.
PLUMBING: The wisest floor plans are ones that try to keep bathrooms together (either back-to-back or one directly above other) and shortest runs on plumbing. This can't always be done, but when placing upstairs bathroom, try to line it up with an interior downstairs wall. This way plumbing doesn't have to snake all over place.
CLOSETS: I would venture to guess that log homes are usually notoriously short on closet space. I know my home is. First of all, it would be a terrible waste to put a closet against an exterior log wall. Why hide your beautiful logs? And because we try to keep square footage down to a minimum, it almost seems a crime to waste precious space on closets. However, there's more than one reason to include them. Not only do we seem to collect more stuff as we get older, but by law in several states closet determines whether a room is a bedroom or an office. This could affect resale (or refinancing) of your house. Here is a suggestion: put two closets side-by-side on wall separating two rooms; closets may not be huge, but it doesn't change shape of rooms. Try to include a coat closet near your front door.
WINDOWS: As I'm sure you've already read many times, you can't have too many windows in a log home. The wood sucks up light like a sponge. If you have a large empty wall, insertion of a window near peak not only lets in more light, it adds character. Some people add windows along either side of a shed dormer. Placement can be critical; in my case, I had to move roof line to increase size of my bedroom window, because by code it needed to be 6' square for egress (In any upstairs bedroom you'll need your windows to be large enough to climb out in case of fire.). Also remember that too many direct-set windows will decrease amount of air flow to your upstairs. In my house I added an awning (a small hinged window) to bottom of stationery windows in my dormers. This helped let air in, but even so rooms can be stuffy. A ceiling fan helps, but ultimately I may need to add a skylight to create a draft.
KITCHEN VENT: One of more difficult decisions we made concerned how to vent range hood. If you don't want your stove to be on an exterior wall, you are going to have an interesting puzzle. Will you run exhaust duct between floor joists to exterior? Will run be so long you'll have to add another fan? I gave in and moved my stove to exterior wall, but then we had to cut a hole in logs for vent. Horrors! How do you hide that? My builder built a little cedar box around hole and we were lucky enough to have a porch roof underneath, so you can't see it from every direction. Still, this ugly vent is on front of house, and had I thought of it, I may have moved kitchen to back of house.
CRAWL SPACE vs. BASEMENT: There are many reasons to opt for a crawl space rather than a basement - none of them particularly comfortable. Aside from obvious disadvantages of a crawl space, there are a few things we didn't think of. I, in my blissful ignorance, didn't give any thought to ugly electrical panel. Of course, I knew we'd have meters and a panel, but I didn't think of where they were going. What I didn't know was that by code, we couldn't put panel in crawl space. Since we don't have a garage, electrical panel was installed in one of our rooms on log wall. Isn't that lovely? Another disadvantage of crawl space: you'll need a short water heater if that's where it is going, and you may need to purchase a horizontal-mount furnace. Because our water quality was poor, we had to install a purification system. This 54" unit must be mounted upright, and our crawl space is 48" tall. We had to punch a hole through concrete floor to make room for unit.