Inexpensive Window Trim

The windows in our house aren’t much to talk about. Just 36″ square vinyl windows in a typical ranch. I’m not sure how old they are as I know they aren’t original to the house, but were here when I bought it fifteen years ago. My wife, Anita, wanted to jazz them up a bit and give them some character, so she asked me to make trim to go around them.

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The first thing we did, was to take out the marble sill, which was the hardest part. Sometimes they get stuck inside the frame, so I had brake them apart in order for them to come loose. If I was lucky, I could cut the sealant around the sill and jimmy it loose.

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I made a new sill out of 7/8″ thick maple. I tried to get rift sawn material so it wouldn’t warp too bad. I cut notches on both sides of the sill so it would stick out on the wall so the 1×4’s could lay on top of it.

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We wanted the header to have character so we took a 1×6 of pine and attached a 1×2 on the top. We then laid a cove molding on the 1×6.

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Using my small miter box, I was able to cut the tiny pieces of cove for the ends.

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I then took a piece of pine 1/2″ thick and used my block plane to shape the corners and ends to create a bullnose. I pinned everything together  with my 18 gauge pneumatic nailer to complete the header.

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Back at the window, I measured, cut, and nailed the rest of the pieces to the wall using a 15 gauge finish nailer. I trimmed the maple sill so that there would be a 3/4″ overhang to sides on both ends.

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Here’s the close up of the header nailed to the wall. The 1/2″ thick bullnose hangs over 1/2″ on both sides of the frame.

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After filling the nail holes with putty, Anita caulked, primed, and painted the window trim. We did both windows in our bedroom the same way. The next step is to frame around the closet, paint the room, get a new headboard, new blinds, ceiling fan, rug, etc… I don’t know, ask Anita, she’s the designer. haha

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Building a Shed Part XII

While browsing through the Weaver Barn catalogue, Anita saw this cool looking arbor over a couple of doors. We decided that an arbor like this would look really nice over our side window.

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To begin construction on the arbor, I grabbed some scrap cedar I had from building the shed and made about 24 slats. The slats were about 1  3/4″ wide by 13″ long with a little 1″ arch at one end.

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Designing simply from a picture can be tough, so I grabbed a scrap piece of 6″ wide cedar, cut out a 4″ diameter arch and placed it around my corbel to see how to design the overall arbor.

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The distance between the corbels is 6′ with the overall length of the arbor being 87″. I originally planned 25 slats about 3 1/2″ apart, but Anita thought it was a little too many slats.

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We ended up deciding to use 21 slats 4″ apart. I wanted the slats to fit in place so I cut some dadoes in the wood to house the slats. Using  my dovetail saw, router plane, and rasps, I easily cut the dadoes in no time.

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I cut a small dado on each of the slats as well and test fitted the arbor together.

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Since the slats had a dado, I decided the corbels should have dadoes as well to keep everything in line.

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I also wanted the arbor to fit inside the corbels so I cut notches in both the front and back where the corbels would go.

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I fit everything back together and drilled the slats to fit on the front and back. I used stainless steel screws so that they wouldn’t stain the arbor like galvanized screws would.

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Dry fitting everything together the arbor started to come together nicely, so it was time to stain it.

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I stained the arbor the same Benjamin Moore Cedar Bark stain we used on the shed.

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However, after living with the color of the stain on the shed for a few weeks, we weren’t too happy with the color. So, after the first coat of Cedar Bark from Sherwin Williams, Anita mixed in a pint of Leather Saddle Brown with a touch of Fresh Brew stain from Benjamin Moore. Since all three stains were water based, they mixed together well.

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After I applied the new coat, the cedar took on a much warmer color. We were very pleased.

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Anita helped me install the arbor so I don’t have any pictures of it being installed as I wasn’t in the mood to tell her to hold onto the arbor while I stop and take some pictures. I started out measuring the length of the window frame and calculated how much on each end the corbels would need to be in order for the arbor to be in the middle of the window. The window frame was 67″ while the distance between the corbels was 72″. That left me with 2 1/2″ on each side of the window. I marked the spot and then decided how far above the window I wanted the arbor to be. Once I got that measurement, which was 2 1/2″ as well, I nailed the left corbel in place with 2 1/2″ galvanized pneumatic nails. Then, I placed the arbor on top of the corbel, leveled it, and then shot nails in the arbor itself, attaching it through the siding into the studs of the shed. I then screwed my stainless steel screws through my pocket holes attaching the arbor to the corbel to tighten everything up. Next, I took the right corbel and stuck it up into the recess of the arbor, nailed and screwed it up just as I did to the left one. Finally, I screwed and nailed the back side of the arbor to the shed.

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As you can see, I think we made a good decision darkening the cedar stain. The cedar looks richer and blends better with the gray paint.

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Building a Shed Part VIII

Moving forward with the shed, I installed the large fifteen pane window on the right side of the shed. Being so big and heavy, I screwed some scrap siding boards to the corners so I could lay the window in the frame and shim around the window until it was plum and square.

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With the window secure, I used scrap siding for the inside of the window frame and nailed it to the 2 x 4 framing.

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I then started to build the window trim by taking away one piece of the scrap wood and replacing it with 4″ wide cedar. I nailed it to the siding with 15 gauge galvanized finish nails. The bottom and top of the trim over hang the sides by 1″ on each side, with the top angled at 10 degrees. I then nailed a piece of cedar to the top for a little added detail.

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Putting up the trim was one of the easiest parts of building the shed so far. The cuts were simple and straight forward. Home Depot even had 3 1/4″ wide cedar boards so that I didn’t have to rip  4″ boards down to wrap the corners properly.

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I nailed the trim around the two front windows very much the same way as the side window.

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The only difference is that I had to cut a notch on the side trim boards to fit around the window sill. I had a follower tell me on my last post that I need to add a drip edge to the bottom of the sill to prevent water from going inside the shed wall. I’ll do that soon by either cutting a shallow groove or a gluing bead of wood underneath the bottom.

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Here’s a quick shot of the side finished with the trim. It’s starting to really look like a shed now. I just have to install three  corbels around the roof line and a cedar trellis above the window. Stay tuned.

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I wanted to work on the door frame, so I took two of the 2 x 6’s that I used to make the scaffolding and ripped them on the table saw.

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I cut almost half way through the wood on the table saw and then finished up the cut on the band saw.

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After they were ripped, I planed them down to 3/8″ on the planer. I only need one of the shorter boards so the other one will provide heat to make S’mores.

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I attached the boards to the inside of the front door frame. The boards did two things. First, it cleaned up the edges with a full piece of wood, especially on the top. The second is it kept the top trim of the door level with the top trim of the windows because I used 3/8″ wood to make the window frames as well.

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The trim has been installed around the door frame with a similar top detail in the middle. Now it’s on to make the two front doors.

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