The Window from Hell

Since the goal of this blog is to be somewhat of a journal, and not just full of roses and unicorns and pretty pictures, we must write about a window that took 4 days of headaches and blood and tears.

Lets start with the before’s. A really nice floor to ceiling window (with an ugly view of the alley that houses ours and our neighbors AC units).

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With the new kitchen going in we needed to replace this window with a smaller one so that we could utilize the space underneath for cabinets and counter tops. So the plan was to remove the window, re-frame the window, install the new window and patch it up. Easy, Right?


To start, we went to Home Depot to purchase a new window. We found a replacement window that was the size we liked and took it home.

Problem #1 (of many): Even though we technically are replacing a window, we needed a new construction window, since we are re-framing. Apparently, replacement windows are for when you are replacing an old window with a new one of the exact same size. 

The real headaches started on Thursday. Collin was off, so I tasked him with removing the old window and re-framing for the new one.

Problem #2: You should not do this project when you are expecting 2+ Inches of rain the next day. 

So, Collin proceed with removing the old window and retro fitting a new frame for the new window. He did a bad-ass job and looked really promising! I got home from work to this perfection:

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We spent the next hour closing up the wall with cement board before installing the window.

Next up was to install the window. After screwing it in all I kept saying was “This doesn’t look like it does on YouTube.” It was 6 PM, and after googling for 30 minutes, I realized our Replacement Window mistake. At this point we have an entirely open wall of our house for robbers, animals and rain to just just waltz right in.

So I booked it to Home Depot to figure it out. While I was wandering the Home Depot NEW CONSTRUCTION windows, I found out that they don’t stock the size window we already framed for.

Problem #3: Make sure you have the right window before you frame!

I got a window that was a few inches smaller, called Collin at home with the new dimensions and had him start re-framing. He was really really excited about this, obviously.

By the time I got home, Collin had fixed the opening and we installed the window.

With the window being at least semi-secure, we covered it with a tarp and headed straight to the bar for dinner and drinks.

The next day it rained for about 12 Hours straight, so the window just sat, in its freezing cold room. Luckily, because of the tarp, no water was able to get in to the house.

On Saturday, Collin had work, so I was going to finish this project for good (such confidence early in the morning). I headed to Home Depot nice and early to pick up Stucco supplies.

When I got home, I spent time adding this waterproof barrier around the corners and the window. Then I applied the first coat of Stucco. I was done by 11 AM, and I was feeling like I could conquer the world.


I came back around 1 PM to see if it was drying OK, and it was not. Instead it was literally sliding off the wall. I believe the waterproofing I used was not meant for Stucco to be applied over it.

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I cried, for like a second, got back in the car and headed to Lowe’s to pick up Vinyl Siding.

After reading a few articles, I picked up the pieces I thought I needed. I got home, installed the 2 side J-Strip pieces around the window and down the sides of the area. Of course I was one strip short, but I could at least start the work. (FYI: I followed this tutorial)

By the end of day 3, I was left with this:


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Sunday morning, Collin was off. After a nice walk and some breakfast, I headed back to Lowe’s to get the last strip of vinyl I needed. When I got home, I kept on cutting and installing the vinyl around the window.

That was where the blood came in. I should have purchased the $30 vinyl cutting tool, but I was too cheap. So I cut it with a scissor. It worked, but my hands were literally bleeding it took so much effort. I will surely skip a manicure this week as I do not need my judgey manicurist telling me that my hands don’t look like a lady, for the 3rd week in a row.

The actual install process was surprisingly easy. I will definitely try vinyl siding again in the future, with the correct tool. While I was working on the window, Collin was cutting and installing drywall inside. Spoiler Alert: It looks great! But we’ll get back to that later this week

By the end of the day Sunday, here’s what we had:


Isn’t she a beaut!?!

I Clear Caulked all around the window and edges. This baby is waterproof and gorg. Too bad no one will ever see it, like ever.

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