Roof window part one

Tags: house

Painting, wallpaper-ing, some basic electrics: that’s not too hard. But there are three tasks that are harder or more elaborate:

  • The kitchen. We’ll do that ourselves with ikea parts. Doing all the ikea screw-together stuff isn’t hard, but it are a lot of parts so that’s a massive undertaking. What’s even more massive: the metric buttload of packages I need to get from the ikea to my house. It are all ready-for-taking items, we don’t have to order anything. Which is a good thing as I want to get the kitchen in this week or next week. Which probably means I’m going to rent a van and do some heavy hauling.

  • The floors. Laminate floors in two rooms (including the kitchen). And vinyl in the corridors. Nothing really difficult, but you have to be very careful and precise.

  • The roof window. We need to replace it as it is old and broken down. I wanted to save money by doing it myself. But that means doing things to the roof and taking down roof tiles and so. Scary!

Today was the day. Beautiful weather with the promise of a rain-less evening so that it wouldn’t be too bad if I didn’t finish it today.

I started by tearing out the sideboards:

tearing out the sideboards

Then a lot of tries to find the two magic screws that held together the window inside its casing. With Annie’s help I got it out.

Then I could remove the casing. I first had to remove two lines of roof tiles. Handy: I got help from my daughter that took all the tiles that I handed down from the roof and stacked them. Saved lots of time. Then I figured out that the casing was actually only resting on the other roof tiles without any additional wooden bracing or so below it. A couple of zinc strips held it in place:

zinc strips holding the window in place

I removed the strips and took out the window casing. Then it I had the room to do some real measurements instead of the raw ones that I had been using: yes, the new window didn’t fit exactly. It was higher! It might sound a bit silly, but there are only a few basic roof window sizes and virtually every manufacturer (at least here in the Netherlands) seems to use exactly the same sizes. So I picked the one that matched the width, but that was a bit higher than what I’d figured from measuring the inside. I guessed that there was some extra room on the outside (as all those windows are measured on the outside).

Well, apparently I was wrong. So I had to accommodate the extra height. It was tight as there wasn’t as much space between the main girders as I wished. In the end I got the hole big enough and put in two girders to hang the new window casing from.

New girder for the window casing

With help from Arjan I hung in the casing for the first time and noticed it didn’t have enough room at the top, so I’d need to take off a couple of extra centimetes from several small cross-girders. Arjan loaned me his small circular saw as that seemed much handier than the one I was using, especially in that location. But it was 21:00, which is my worst-case personal limit on making lots of building noise, so I called it a day. I’ll do the final modifications tomorrow.

So I left the house with an open roof. But it sure felt good that I got that far in just an afternoon and an evening of work!

House with a hole in the roof logo

About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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