Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wood Window Wells

 Decisions, decisions, that is what remodeling is. We've been at it for years, slowly redoing one thing at a time. Trying to upgrade and create a thing of beauty on a budget.

In the present fore front is the drainage problem from the dirt sinking down directly around our house. We may be in a drought but the drought will someday end. If you happen to be talking to the Lord, please tell him soon would really be nice.

 Our house sits on the slope of a hillside. Not a steep one but enough to cause some water to slip down our way. Originally there was a dip in the yard that took care of the water, directing it around the house. Then the ground sunk against the house, the dip in the yard dissapeared as the ground shifted upwards. The constant shifting can be attested by our doors that are either too loose, too tight, and never just right. Aggrivating because you can't fix the problem permanently.  
 We couldn't just bring in lots of dirt filling up within a couple inches of the bottom of the house frame without changing window wells. The dirt would be over the top of them. With fall expenses of hay, a steer, soon a sow to butcher also and the usual stocking up for winter, money was a keen issue on this project. Kirk did some research and didn't seen any way we could afford to buy ready- made window well frames but I had an idea.

We live in a high plains desert area with on average 12 inches of precipitation a year, not much. If we add no watering with a hose close to the house, which is what we've been doing, you have very little moisture that will effect the window wells. Our daughter has some wooden window wells at her home she rents in Colorado and I thought ones somewhat similar would look great at our ranch style house.   
 We used pressure treated wood square posts 4inches by 12 feet long and the plan is to pile red shale on the dirt after it settles and then go over that with varigated color and sized river rock. The shale is less expensive and would do the fill work while adding more color and the river rock would add a nice contrast. The river rock I have in mind also has red rocks in it. The dirt is going to be sloped away from the house and what we will use to retain the rock is a mystery to be solved next summer after the dirt settles. I've also got drainage to figure for the downspouts and a rock path to figure out around the back of the garage.  

What we didn't realize when we decided to make this a do-it-yoruself project ended up a huge advantage. The window wells in the back both have to be shaped differently. The front window wells will be the same as each other but not the same as either one of the wells in the back. How would we purchase that?
When I first mentioned that we should go wood, Kirk looked at me and said. "Show me". That was hard. All I found was a building site on the Internet that explained how to build wood window wells, not ones completed. He went along though with a kind of, idea.  I checked with the Town Hall on building requirements for basement windows. The idea being we, excuse me, he would build them to updated specifications in case we ever decide to change basement windows. The rules for new or replaced windows being much larger than our existing ones. No plans to change the windows exits since we still have miles to go on the upstairs and outside of the house BUT who knows the future?
 
Interrupting this blog, I took my husband out to the front porch which has pulled away from the house and is sagging terribly to one side. I've got plans to build over the top with a small decked porch that will, in my mind at least, be the focal point for the front of the house. Yes, everything artisticly should have a focal point.
 
One of the smartest things I ever did was a self study program of photography. The rules of composition and texture have been the foundation for almost everything we do from Halloween costumes, to decorating our home, to Kirk's knives.
 
 I once visited with a acting judge and she also said one of the smartest and most helpful things to her career was studying under a photographer. After all a stage is a live painting, texture, placement of actors etc. is the basic visual framework for a play. 
 
When we are done I'll give you a gander.

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