Single hung aluminum window glass repairWritten by John Rocco
Let's talk about repairing broken glass in an aluminum frame single hung window. If it's lower sash pane that is broken, it must be removed from inside. You are going to have one of three different mechanisms that hold lower sash up when you slide it open. If you can't see any mechanisms on sides, then you have a block and tackle system consisting of a string and spring assembly. Find thin metal clips in side jambs just above sash. Pull bottom of clip out using a screwdriver or your fingernail. Do that on both sides. Then remove any rubber stops at very top of window. Raise window as high as it will go. The block and tackle assemblies will get snagged in metal clips, allowing you to remove window sash. You would replace glass using same method described in our article about sliding window repairs. Once you have new glass installed, install window panel in reverse order that you removed it. Close window and push metal clips back. Install rubber stops at top.
If you have a mechanism across top of window with a string coming down each side and screwed into top corners of window sash, you need to remove screws holding strings in place. But before you remove screws, you need to remove one of black plastic pieces that cover side jamb. Raise window all way up, then put a flat screwdriver at very bottom of plastic piece and pull outward until you can grab it with your fingers. Slide plastic out. Now remove screws holding strings. Be sure to hold string in one hand while removing screw, because string is under tension. After removing screw, let string slowly go back up. Pull panel to side that you removed black plastic piece, and remove panel. Remember, two of your corner screws will be removed at this point, and proper way to remove frame from glass is to remove opposite corner screws. So, you should put one of string screws back in and remove corner screw opposite removed string screw. Then, when you install new glass, remove string screw and install strings. Raise window up and install black plastic piece by sliding it up between frame and side jamb.
LOG HOME BASICSWritten by Mercedes Hayes
As we start to research log homes, it quickly becomes apparent that there is much more variety than one would ever think. Not only do log homes come in all shapes and sizes, but logs themselves come in as many variations as you can imagine. Once you decide on look you want, you can start eliminating manufacturers that don't provide your system.
There are two categories of log homes: handcrafted and milled log homes. Initially, you may not realize what you are looking at, but there are some basic guidelines that will clarify differences. A handcrafted log home is just that; logs are peeled by hand, notched by hand, and in many cases, each log is scribed to fit exactly on top of another log. In many handcrafted homes, logs are stacked alternately, so large end of a log is stacked on top of tapered end of log beneath. A milled log home will feature logs that are uniform in shape, and logs will be cut to fit together, such as with a tongue-and-groove or Swedish cope, so that they stack easily and evenly. There is a big price difference between a handcrafted and a milled log home. This is mostly because of intense labor required to construct a handcrafted home, and because of larger diameter logs that are normally used. The vast majority of homes built today are milled log homes.
If you see a log home with round logs and chinking, that is a first indication that this is could be a handcrafted log home. Chinking was historically a mortar-like material that filled gaps between logs. Modern science has created an acrylic compound that expands and contracts with wood; it is applied as a wide white stripe. If a handcrafted log is not scribed, then chinking is a must because logs leave gaps along their length. Some people do use chinking as a design feature even when it's not necessary, though for most part milled log homes are not chinked. The characteristic corner of your log home will speak volumes to person who knows how to read it. The profile and joinery system of log will usually be reflected on ends. For instance, on a handcrafted log home you'll see different diameters of stacked logs. To stack them, these corners will be notched so that each log sits directly on log below it (like a Lincoln Logs™ toy). A milled log that is saddle-notched will stack same way (of course, every log will look exactly same). Because saddle-notched logs are staggered, course to course, log ends will be visible on interior corners of house as well as exterior. This gives a very rustic look. A butt-and-pass corner gives you an end where there is a space between every other log. This is because one log butts up against intersecting log, which runs past it. These logs are all laid on same course, so that with interior corners of your home, logs will come to a squared edge.
On milled logs, there are many joinery systems to choose from. Today, most popular joinery is called a "Swedish cope". This is where each log is scooped out to fit snugly on curve of log beneath. It gives a very smooth and natural look. Another joinery system is tongue-and-groove, or double tongue-and-groove depending on manufacturer. The tongues are cut into top of log and corresponding grooves at bottom. These create a tight fit and stack easily. A more traditional, early American notch is called dove-tail, which is a mortise and tenon notch usually cut into squared timbers. There are many other corner systems available, but these are most commonly used.
The shape, or profile of your log is another feature which will help you decide what kind of package to purchase. Many people prefer a "D" log, which is round on outside and flat on inside. This gives you a horizontal wood-paneling look, and is easy to hang pictures on. Others prefer a round log, which is a little more rustic and presents many challenges - such as how to join logs to sheetrock. Squared timbers, which give a more Appalachian look to home, tend to be tall and fairly narrow, and are often grooved for application of chinking. The average milled log home will use pine logs in 6" and 8" diameters. You can also find them in 10" and 12" diameters. Anything larger than 15" will probably roll you over to a handcrafted home. Cedar logs are an upgrade, and can be found in 6", 8" and occasionally 10" diameters. Some manufacturers more rarely use oak, cypress, fir, hemlock, larch, poplar, spruce, and walnut. These rarer woods will be a price upgrade. Because of superior log care products on market today that protect all logs effectively, wood species largely becomes a matter of personal taste. The best rule of thumb when choosing log species is to stay with a wood that is native to your area. The logs will adapt to environment more comfortably.
Newcomers are continually amazed to discover that logs are their own insulation. To compare a stick-frame wall to a log wall by using "R-value" is not comparing "apples to apples". Logs have a lower "R-value" than insulated 2x4 walls. However, they work on principal of thermal mass. Because of cellular structure of logs, they tend to absorb heat and hold it longer than traditional walls. The logs will actually absorb heat from interior of house (or from sun, if facing south), and when temperature drops at night, walls will generate that heat back into house until temperatures equalize. They take longer to warm up, and stay warm much longer. Conversely, they stay cooler in summertime. Some producers feature a half-log system, where logs are attached outside-and-inside to 2x4 or 2x6 stick-frame walls. This adds extra R-value of an insulated wall, along with beauty of log, and also makes it easier to install electrical wiring. Ultimately, these systems are a bit more expensive than full-log, because of additional cost of lumber. But they do give added ability to vary interior of your house, so that some interior walls could be sheetrock, stone, or tongue-and-groove. In any case, many modern manufacturers use half-log system on their second floor, to compensate for huge windows, which may displace so many logs that wall's integrity could be compromised. Also, because large windows settle at a different rate than logs, stick-framed second floor equalizes overall settling. With best manufacturers, you won't be able to tell on outside where full logs end and half logs begin.