Sunday, October 19, 2014


I'm a city girl. I'm accustomed to falling asleep to the sound of cars driving by with stereos blasting, people talking, wind blowing, planes flying overhead (damn you MSP) and the occasional siren in the distance.

So, I found myself a bit surprised at just how much my new storm windows deaden the noise.

For the past couple of weeks now, I have laid awake in bed at night listening to the sound of my heart beat. And nothing else.

It has taken some getting used to. On the third night of new storms, I actually had to get up and turn on my air purifier just to get some noise to fall asleep to. I've also been having super vivid dreams.

I'm slowly getting used to it and have started to limit my use of the air purifier. It's crazy how one small change can have such an effect.

Let's hope those same qualities that are stopping the noise, will also have a huge impact on my heating bill. I suspect they will.

Friday, October 10, 2014


So, I had the upstairs old storm windows down. What to do next?

I have some wood storms and screen sets that are original to my house. I change those out seasonally.

I have three new wood storms and screen sets in my upstairs dormer that I change out seasonally.

I have two new wood storms in the front of my house that I leave in year round.

I have two vintage screens salvaged from a neighbor who was preparing to toss them that are currently in windows while I decide what I want to do there.

And I have looked at the Marvin combination storms.

I waffled on what to do for a while, but cold weather is coming so I knew I had to make a decision.  I knew I did not want to change out those second floor storms, so a traditional set of wood storms and screens was out.  I refused to put in a new metal storm window; it had to be wood. I was also hoping for the option to have full screen in the summer not that my restored double hung sashes open both on the top and bottom.

There is a shop locally that I knew made wood framed storms with a combination window inset. So, I decided to pay them a visit.

The storms they make are quite expensive, but pretty impressive. The owner even showed me how to remove the top glass panel and replace it with a screen insert leaving the storm with a full screen for summer use. I swooned a little.

I bit the bullet and bought two of them. They came primed, so all I had to do was paint them and install.

I love them.

Reminder of what I started with.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Why I Panic

Here is the reason why I panic anytime a smaller house goes up for sale near me.

Notice the scale of these houses compared to those surrounding it. What I wasn't able to capture in the photos is that these houses run solidly all the way back on the lot. There is virtually no yard. Any light their neighbors once had shining through windows or in their back yard is gone once one of these goes up.

I suppose I should be relived that these developers have finally figured out this neighborhood is 1920 (bungalows and tudors) and they have moved on from their fake Victorians to at least the right era of design.

Again, who buys this?

Fake craftsman. Towers over the rest of the block. I wish I could have taken this photo straight on.

There are two tear down replacement houses side by side here on the right. This photo doesn't really capture their footprint. This entire block is overshadowed by these houses. They run all the way back on the lot. It makes me laugh a little because they are mere feet from each other. I suspect their windows look directly in each other.

The two tear down houses you see dwarf two smaller vintage houses that have the misfortune of being located between them. You can't hardly see the smaller engulfed houses because these new houses are pulled closer to the curb to get more footage back.

Fake craftsman in all of it's vinyl glory.

A box. Totally devoid of any style. Pure square footage.

Catch the house to the left - the little green one there. It's about the same size as the house down the block from me that I was worried about. The one on the right is just a little larger. I also love these developers' idea of "craftsman".

A side view. They build them to cover ever inch of the lot solid back to the alley.

As this one was completed, the adorable, little, vintage house next door to it put up a "for sale" sign (just off the photo to the right). The house that was torn down to put up this plain jane was an cute two story with a double dormer.

My nomination for the ugliest tear down replacement house. And what is up with that pine? It is currently for sale. Any takers?

By far one of the worst example. This picture doesn't do justice to the disproportion. If you look down this block sideways all you can see if the roof of this house and trees. The garage is equally monstrous.
Or why not just add a second floor? Tudor? What tudor?

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