Home Improvement – Murph-Style

We’ve all heard it said, some people “have more money than sense.”  And while most folks I know have nowhere near the kind of money that this adage conjures, many of us also lack the basic common sense to compete with even modest money.  Count us among both groups–those with more money than sense, and those where that’s not really saying much–since we don’t have much money either.  But we do have good taste nonetheless.

If you need a new window–a big one–and have little money to work with, what do you do? You ask a relative.  Right?  You offer them the beverage of their choice and go for it.

That’s it.  And it’s especially so if you are a Murphy. No self-respecting Murphy would pay someone else to tear-down and rebuild something when a family member would actually “enjoy” doing it for you.  Or enjoy leading a motley group effort.

Our living room’s west wall had included an 8-foot wide sliding glass door.  The base of which had gotten snowpack condensation-related rot for years.  Our vaulted living room ceiling is nice…but the roof right above it is steep.  Two inches of snow sloughs off into foot-deep piles on the deck just west of that wall/slider.  A couple of days of snow in a row, followed by a slight warm-up, then overnight freeze…and voila, it’s officially a mini-glacier and impossible to shovel.  We soon abandon the effort.  The result looks like this:

After a couple of seasons of deep, deep snow…and the recent announcement of another upcoming La Nina year (which usually portends deep-snow), we knew we must replace the old, rotted framed slider.   So, in comes Kevin Murphy–proud new owner of 21 magnificent acres of Flathead Valley foothill land west of Whitefish.  

He was going to be here anyway and he was up to the task of window replacement. If you owned this view (above), you’d happily spend time here too. Is that spectacular or what?

Before we began, I had to capture the “before” photos.

The project began with official “before” photos inside and out.   Inside above.  Outside below.

The first step was to move the hot tub wiring out of the way and then remove the siding.

It is both a testament to how quickly Kevin works…and to how lame your official photographer was…that I have no pics of the slider coming out.

In short order, the door was gone and the framing already underway.

The project was a total “team” effort.  In the same sense that the Indianapolis Colts are a team (both with and without Peyton Manning–but they are 0-7 right now).  In our case, Kevin played the healthy Peyton Manning role.   It couldn’t have been done without him, while the rest of us worked within our abilities.   Below, Lynette was staining the alder wood–to be used on the inside trim in a few days.

Kevin continued the framework.  “Measure twice, cut once” was the mantra.

Once the framework was done, there was nothing else to do but lift in the window.  So the elder Murph, with his soon to be repaired back, jumped into the fray–or the photo, I’m not sure which.

And since I couldn’t lift and take pics at the same time, there is no photo record of the lift. Maybe I should’ve outsourced the photography gig.

All of the sudden, the window was in.  It’s all downhill from there. Right? Or is it?

Well, first you’ve got to add the foam-board insulation layer.

The insulation helps keep the hot hot and the cold cold. Duh.  Yeah, go ahead and add another one to the “sense” (vs money) column.

Then you add the Hardie-Board Siding.  This guy Hardie was smart enough to know that concrete based siding was both “hearty” and fire-resistant.  It was fortuitous for him that his name was synonymous with strong.  Hardie Board is strong….but not as strong as Kevin’s work ethic.

And it looks good too–especially once the vertical trim pieces were added on top.

All it needed here was the paint.  Outside at least.  Still had to do the inside work–drywall, paint, alder-wood trim, etc.

Of course, the Peyton Manning effect notwithstanding, the Elder Murph continued to direct the action.   He was to have his back surgery the next day.

Kevin did the drywall.  A few days later, while Mike was convalescing, I did the painting.

Then Kevin did the trim…and voila.  Mission Complete!

Victory!  It’s all over…..except for the painting outside….which I would do later.

Above–the paint job underway.

And once the painting was done, it was time for the “After” photos.

Above–the inside view with room put back together.

The outside view–all it needs now is the light fixtures.  But that’s another project.

And finally, the overview from the balcony shows you the eagle’s nest perspective.  Makes you want to drop in and visit, doesn’t it?  Ski season is just around the corner, time to start the planning and coordination–or at least the discussion.

We think the new window looks great!  Our enduring thanks to Kevin and Lynette Murphy for volunteering their time and talents to our “low budget” home improvement project. We definitely owe you one! Or several!  And we look forward to spending more time with you over here in Montana! JDPF

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2 Responses to Home Improvement – Murph-Style

  1. Sharon/Paul Niemi says:

    Wow…you guys did a bang-up job on the window. I think Kevin’s in the wrong line of work! Lynette, too. Your command of the written word is amazing—you need to pick a subject and write a novel -fiction-like a military-murder-mystery-romance-comedy!! I’ll buy it! Miss you guys, it’s been 4 years….Love, us

  2. Scott Morris says:

    Hey looks great!

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