Pennsylvania Limestone Farmhouse Renovations to an 1863 farmhouse built of limestone

June 1, 2011

New Puppy – New Windows

Filed under: Exterior — Duane Diefenbach @ 3:15 pm

Memorial Day weekend we picked up a new English setter puppy. Her name is Roxy (named for the Vermont town of Roxbury). She is 8 weeks old and doing a good job of peeing in the house and basically revising household schedules. She is comfortable playing with Hazen but still has to keep her distance from Windsor.

For the house I have been working on a number of items, including making sure the sump pumps keep working as efficiently as possible because of the extremely high water table due to the 3rd wettest spring on record. However, the major house accomplishments involve installing windows in the old part of the house. I have 4 of the 5 windows installed (see this post for, except for some painting. It makes the house look less like a burned-out shell and more like an 1863 stone house.

Of the 6 windows installed (2 were done a couple of years ago before we started the addition project) I still have some exterior coats of paint to apply. I have to install the window that used to be the access to the basement and I need to restore the trim around the front door.

Restoring a window first involves removing everything down to the wooden frame that is built into the stone structure. I first have to make some half-inch thick trim that serves to support the top sash and is what the storm window will seal against when installed. Because these are single hung windows the top sash will be fixed. It’s hard to see details with everything painted white, but hopefully this photo gives you an idea of the exterior trim that holds the top sash in place.

However, installing this trim is not that simple because in order to do it correctly I have to have all the parts in place (trim, both sashes, including parting strip and bronze weatherstripping) so that I can make the necessary adjustments to make sure everything fits correctly and is installed (with cut nails) in the correct location. However, assuming we can treat this as a step-by-step process I next have to fit the sashes to the window.

Fitting the windows involves trimming them to be just slightly oversized so that I can do a final fitting with a hand plane. Also, I cut dadoes in the sides and bottom rail for the bronze weatherstripping to fit. The two following photos show the side weather stripping and the parting strip that separates the two sashes (photo left) and where the weather stripping meets to form a seal between the sides and bottom of the window (photo right). When I’m done the windows aren’t nearly as airtight as a modern window but they are pretty good, especially with storm windows installed. They’re much better than the windows that existed when we bought the house!

Another task is that I have to do something with the front door. It fits in the door frame improperly because the house settled where too much stone was removed for utilities to pass from the stone house to the 1950s addition (now gone). I’m not sure if I can use the existing door unless I make the stop around the outside larger because the door frame is out of square. It’s something that has to be addressed before winter (to prevent major cold drafts) so I have some time to figure out how to solve this problem. You can see the sunlight coming through the gap between the door and frame – this winter that will be cold air – unless I fix it!


  1. I’m very interested in old homes. We’ve a spring in cellar and bake oven upstairs fireplace of year 1817 home and asking if setterrunfarm has them. wondering just what can be done with these springs under the kitchen . Love to see your farm vs. ours as were not far apart in miles. Jackie

    Comment by Jacky — March 25, 2018 @ 12:59 am

  2. Our home is newer and was heated with coal or wood stoves. No fireplaces. The basement was oftentimes wet but the local quarry has dropped water levels so we don’t have a “spring” in the basement. I’m not sure that the house ever had a “spring” in the basement because there used to be a cistern/well that was about 12′ deep and probably almost always had water. The cistern was later used as a septic tank, but we have since upgraded the septic system.

    Comment by Duane Diefenbach — August 18, 2018 @ 7:27 am

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