Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Windows in an Old Cottage

For those of you not familiar with my story, I live in one of oldest - if not the oldest - farmhouses in the small coastal town in which I live. There's some debate on whether or not it's the oldest residential house, but it's darn close. All accounts put it somewhere around 1907-1908 (which, in coastal California, is fairly old).

It's called The Collins House, after a doctor who owned it for 50 years, and it pretty much looks like a Norman Rockwell picture postcard.

I heart it. A lot.

It's been meticulously restored, so I haven't had to do a lot to it, but recently had some restoration work done to the three large windows in front. Basically, the bottom window frames had been ruined by a shoddy patching job prior to my buying the house, and needed to be replaced.

Somewhere along the line they'd been nailed and screwed shut, but they were designed to open, as we saw when we removed the wood from the front of the window.

Take a look at this:

Yes, that is an old rope and pulley system, and still functional. Here's a closer look at the iron weight inside, which had to have weighed close to 15 pounds, and probably had not been outside the house in a century:

I don't know why, but I just found that cool.

Once the windows were repaired, I was able to open the front three windows that look out onto the street for the first time in what must have been years. I can't express how much better it makes life. This was an old farmhouse, and as such, the windows were designed to maximize light and air circulation. Having the windows open causes a nice breeze to move through the entire house, keeping it nice and cool even on hot days.

Plus, it's essentially TV for the dog, who sits in the window seat for hours, haranguing passersby.

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