Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Returning the Storm Windows to the Keepers House

Keepers house as it looked in the spring of 2008 with boarded windows and peeling paint.
We were very pleased to have 21 custom-built wooden storm windows constructed and installed in the keepers house this September. We had salvaged a few storms that had not been discarded in the past but were still short most of the storms.

One of the original storm windows for the keepers house that was stored in the boathouse.
On the upper storey, the storm windows had been replaced with aluminum storms in the 1970s but these storm windows had been removed after the light station was destaffed and the house was operated as a Bed and Breakfast. This caused all sorts of water damage in the house over the years because of the extreme weather on the Swallow Tail peninsula which is unforgiving, and without storm windows, the original wooden windows could not be kept waterproof. Re-glazing these windows certainly helped but the storm windows were really necessary. Taking down the plywood for the last time, knowing that this would not compromise the interior of the house was a real pleasure.

New wooden storm windows being painted.
Wooden windows are not easy to purchase anymore with most people preferring vinyl. However, vinyl window inserts are not part of the history of the buildings and in keeping with the age of the structure, we had the storm windows constructed by Schell Lumber in Ontario. They still have all the equipment to make wooden windows and do a great job. The fellow who makes the windows is 83 and can turn them out very quickly.  Tom Murison, who is a restoration architect in Ontario, delivered the windows and craftfully installed them.
Tom Murison fitting new wooden storm windows with Michael Anderson looking on.
Each window had to be painted before installation. Although all the windows are of similar dimensions, slight variations occur and each window had to be fitted. Hinges were attached at the top so they could be pushed open to allow air flow in the summer but still protect the inner windows. We sealed them for the winter just to be on the safe side. 

Tom Murison installing hinges on new wooden storm windows.
The last windows that need to be addressed are the two sliding patio doors installed when the house operated as a Bed and Breakfast and gave access to the deck. We hope to install French doors that look like the original windows but still allow that access.

Keepers house as it looked in 1986, just after the lightstation was destaffed.

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