Two Tasks for Today

Our foundation shrubs arrived via free delivery from the nursery.

We’re going to try to split our human resources today to accomplish two different projects.

We tried a few different layouts.

Charlie is going to start planting up the shrubs in the front yard.

In the end we went with the original plan.

His goal for today is half the planting totally finished.

From the driveway viewpoint the plants are being set well away from the foundation.

Unfortunately it’s not just digging; there are tree roots running through the front yard that have to be mattocked out.

The 2 new windows beyond the porch need shutters to be newly sized and mounted.

I plan to finish up the details on the house shutters.  No doubt Sug will help both of us.

Are you enjoying fall weather?


Resizing a Shutter

All the windows on the front and roadside facades of the house are the same size except the casement window over the kitchen sink.

The bottom window looks out from the kitchen and is smaller than the others.

I would like this window to be adorned with a shutter like the others.

We need ten pairs of 14 total.

Happily we have extra shutters from the original house that we can modify.

The shutters are painted but one pair needs to be cut down.

The question, of course, is how to best do this. I got some great information from Yvonne Pratt at Stone Gable.

The plan is:

  1. Measure the window — shutters cover the window not the window frame.

    Shutters were drawn in on the architect’s original sketch.
  2. Measure the shutters — determine how much needs to be removed.
  3. Cut shutters — carefully mark the top and bottom of the shutters and cut off an equal amount maintain the center rail.
  4. Replace the top and bottom rails — slide the rails in and secure with pocket screws.

    I’m planning to use the Kreg jig to drill the pocket screw holes that will hold the rails to the shutter stiles.
  5. Replace hinges — chisel 4 hinge mortises and attach hinges with screws.

    We have original hinges.
  6. Replace tie-back hardware — screw hardware into bottom rail.

    The tie-back hardware is clearly visible here.

Then we’ll have to figure out how to hang them.

Do you plan out your projects?

More Shutter Details

It’s not a surprise that we painted and mounted shutters again this weekend.

Sug climbed onto the roof of the porch and I handed up the shutters.

Sug cleaned and primed and I painted 4 sets of shutters.  We were only able to hang 2 more sets because the final two pairs need to be specially fit.

The shutter over the porch is quite weathered.

The first set goes over the side porch outside of the laundry room.  This is the most weathered set of all the shutters but we used them because the hinges match the ones on the window frame.  We didn’t feel like tasking ourselves with moving hinges because the shutters would have to be notched.

Shutters on the east face of the house.

Then we hung another set on the east side of the house. This was the window I talked about here.

Before in 2015
The shutters on the east side of the house are finished (2017). The conservatory window will not be so adorned.

We decided to hang not only one shutter on this window but to hang the pair even though the right hand panel will not open all the way.

The bottom shutter on the right sticks out about 45 degrees from the house.
A screw eye was located closer to the center of the window to accommodate a shutter that could not open all the way due to an adjacent wall.

The tie-back would not work on the right-hand side because the shutter would not open flat. Instead of cutting the tie-back shorter we simply added another screw eye at a spot that would secure the tie-back.


We’re just loving the look of the house with freshly painted shutters and especially happy we’re almost finished mounting shutters.  When we’re finished ten pairs will be hanging on the house.

Are you afraid of heights?

The Front of the House

We worked another Saturday on 3 more pairs of shutters.

Shutters need to be painted from myriad angles to cover all surfaces and joints.

Charlie caught me giving the shutters their final color coat of spray paint.  After the brushed on primer layer, there are about 5 very thin sprayed on layers of exterior paint.

The shutters are not too heavy so one person can mount them even on the second floor windows.

I cleaned the shutter pins with sandpaper and a coating of Liquid Wrench.  Then Charlie walked the shutters up the ladder and pinned them to the house.

The front of the house with shutters.

Now all the shutters are on the front of the house and I just can’t stop looking at it.


What a change!

Now that the shutters are on we’ll work on the foundation planting mocked up here.

Hoping the next few weeks will bring even greater improvement with landscaping.

Are your leaves turning yet?

To Shutter or Not?

The living room window on the east side of the house originally had a shutter on it.

The east side of the house looked like this before the renovation.

Then we built an addition, the conservatory and bathroom, that almost touches the window frame.

The conservatory fits up against the first floor window now.

The question now is should we put the shutter back on the window?

The space on the right side of the window is limited.

And what do we do with the right side of the window where there is no longer room for a shutter?

Correct placement for shutters in tight spaces.

The recommends this approach so we’ll definitely be hanging both sides of this shutter set.

How do you decide on debatable décor placement?

Four Beautiful Days

Even though Hurricane Irma is supposed to slide up the east coast our weather has four cool, clear, dry days forecast.

Hurricane Irma is causing havoc in the Caribbean but in Maryland we’re having great weather.

It sounds like perfect painting weather.

Charlie, Sug, and I all worked on scraping the shutters.

We’re going to make a concerted effort to finish scraping, priming, and painting the exterior shutters.

I scrubbed the dirt from each shutter, front and back, with enzyme cleaner.

By my count we need 6 more pairs of full-sized shutters (3 pairs are finished) and 1 pair that needs to be cut down to fit a casement window.

We need 3 more pairs of shutters on the front of the house which are now scraped and cleaned. Today — priming.

In total 7 pairs, 14 shutters, need prepping and painting.

The west side of the house gets 3 sets of shutters.

We’ve also decided not to use the shutters beside the front door.

Our old front door was decorated with non-functional shutters.
The shutters are leaning against the front door. There is not enough room for them.

They just don’t seem to make sense nor enhance the area.

What fall event do you look forward to?

Handy Tools

While we were replacing the shutters 2 hinges on the upper story of the house had the hinge pinned together because we couldn’t get the pin out.

One shutter needed new hinges because the original hinge was stuck on the house.

We replaced the side of the hinge that went on the shutter with an extra hinge.

Charlie pounding up on a stuck hinge pin.

The tricky part was removing the flapping sides from the window frame.  The pins were stuck.  We couldn’t knock the rusty pins out with a hammer and a screwdriver.

The vise grip pliers held tight to the head of the hinge pin.

Charlie was more successful with a pair vise grips squeezed around the top of the pin and a hammer pounding up on the pliers.

The conservatory bathroom roof was handy for working on the window.

Unfortunately the lower hinge wouldn’t budge.  In fact the screws holding the hinge into the window frame were failing which gave too much play to the hammering.  When one of the screws actually fell out we were afraid we’d have to remove the storm window in order to replace the hinge.

Offset Phillips screwdriver.

Instead, in our pile of tools was an offset screwdriver which allowed us to replace the screw even though we didn’t have a straight shot to the screw head.

Offset screwdriver

Once the hinge was secured in place the hinge pin could be hit hard enough to remove it.

The window frame still needs to be primed and painted.

Then we hung the freshly painted shutter.

Charlie installed screw eyes to hold the shutter tie-back hardware that keeps them from flapping in the wind.

We could have heated the hinge with a blow torch and it would have easily come apart.  Unfortunately we couldn’t find our blow torch. I’m sure it will show up in the near future.

Another shutter complete.

Are your tools and supplies organized and readily available?