Progress with the House – Windows

Stará Oleška 44 in April 2017 © Ricky Yates

It has become quite clear to me since moving into my new home in Stará Oleška, that the previous elderly owners, had alterations and improvements done to the house, as and when they could afford it. This is reflected in the variety of windows that there are.

The photograph at the beginning of this post, shows the house as it was in April 2017, a few weeks before moving in on 15th May 2017. Please use it as a point of reference for what follows in the rest of this post.

The two windows in the upper floor of the house, directly under the apex of the roof, are quite old. They are double-glazed but have wooden frames. Once I had moved in, I noticed that the exterior paintwork of these window frames was in a very poor state. Bearing in mind that they are located in the most exposed area of the house, back in August 2017, I made getting them painted, one of my first priorities.

Newly painted windows © Ricky Yates

Fortunately, it was, and still is, possible to completely remove the windows which made painting them far easier than in situ. Here they are, laid out on a table, under cover at the back of the house, having received their second coat of gloss paint.

Surrounding window frames having been painted © Ricky Yates

Likewise, with the windows removed, painting the surrounding frames was also a much simpler task. I am pleased to report that, following my labours of August 2017, the paintwork still looks in good order, having now survived two Czech winters.

One of the last things the previous owners did, was to have the verandah on the front of the house enclosed. In order to do this, they had two pairs of high-quality double-glazed uPVC windows fitted across the front of the verandah. But they did nothing about the windows on the side of the verandah – the ones nearest the front door in the photo and their twins on the other side. These were single-glazed with wooden frames, on which condensation soon started appearing in the Autumn of 2017.

Having ascertained that Rudolf Cebiš from the village, (Ruda to his friends 😉 ), had procured and fitted the uPVC windows, I approached him about having matching ones made and fitted on both sides of the verandah and also replacing three other small windows on the far side of the house. He came and measured up and in due course, gave me a written quotation for the work.

I accepted his quotation, paid him a deposit and the manufacture of the new windows was set in train. Some weeks later, on the morning of 9th November 2017, Ruda and one of the guys who works for him, arrived with the new uPVC double-glazed windows.

New uPVC windows ready for fitting © Ricky Yates

Here they are, laid out on the front lawn.

Old windows out © Ricky Yates

In next to no time, the old ones were removed…..

New uPVC windows fitted on the side of the verandah © Ricky Yates

…and the new ones fitted.

New shower room window © Ricky Yates

The section of the house stretching back from the front door with roofs at a fairly gentle angle, is clearly a later addition. What was the front door before this section was added, is now the door between my bedroom and the enclosed verandah. The two pairs of windows on the side of this newer addition, which you can see in the first photograph, are double-glazed and quite modern, but still have wooden, rather than uPVC frames. There is also a similar pair of windows at the rear of the house.

I was determined to get all of these painted this summer, not least because the existing exterior paintwork was beginning to go in a few places, especially on the pair at the rear of the house. However, I knew that I would need several successive days of dry weather to accomplish the task. Fortunately, such period occurred towards the end of July.

As is usual with any painting job, the most important part and also the most time consuming, was the preparation needed before I could start to paint. First of all, I cleaned the all the glass, inside and out, discovering how much more light this let in 😉 Then I rubbed back the areas where the existing paintwork was beginning to go and covered those areas with an initial coat of paint. Once that was dry, I then washed down all of the window-frames.

Windows with masking tape in place, ready for painting © Ricky Yates

I knew from past experience of painting window-frames, that the only way to ensure paint didn’t end up on the glass, was to use masking tape. Accurately masking each windowpane, inside and out, was a tedious task. Only when this was complete, could I finally start painting. Above is a photograph of one of the pairs of windows, finally ready to be painted. My apologies for the reflection of the photographer on the glass 🙂

Not only did the weather remain dry for several days, it was also very hot and sunny. Fortunately, the two pairs of windows are on the west-facing side of the house meaning that the sun didn’t shine on them directly, until the early afternoon. So I was able to work fairly comfortably each day, until it was time to stop and have a late lunch. And because it was so warm, there was no problem with leaving the windows wide open for several nights, allowing the paint to dry hard.

Freshly painted windows in the evening sunlight © Ricky Yates

Here are the freshly painted windows on the west-facing side of the house, drying in the evening sunlight.

Rear windows © Ricky Yates

And here is the pair of windows at the rear, north-facing side of the house, freshly painted, with the masking tape removed and the glass cleaned, once again.

With all this painting complete, with the exception of the front door, (another story), the exterior of the house is ready to face the next Czech winter. However, as a result of my labours, my neighbour Pavel, who lives in the house behind me, has given me a new name – Rembrandt 🙂

8 comments to Progress with the House – Windows

  • Titus Parade

    Unfortunately, modern PVC Windows are so tight, that no air can be exchanged through narrow spaces… and mostly, these type of windows lack of architectural details and design, which in no way should diminish the hard work of the NEW house owner and craftsman. Good work, Ricky !!

    • Ricky

      Thank you, Titus, for commenting here for the first time. Much appreciated!

      Modern uPVC windows do keep the draughts out and the heat in! I hear the architect in you speaking when you mention their lack of ‘details and design’ 😉 However, the wooden-framed double-glazed windows that I’ve just finished painting are also quite draught-proof, which is why I’ve retained them, rather than spending more money replacing them. And they are quite attractive.

  • Robert E. Doolittle

    Hi Ricky: Ah! the memories of home upkeep. I replaced the old aluminium windows in my home at least 10 years ago with PVC double glazed windows. The old windows were poor quality when they were installed. Elaine and I did the job with a little help from a friend and our son on the large windows. I removed the glass from the frames, and took the scrap to a re-cycling center and was happy to receive $120 for the scrap.The new windows came to about $2,000 for 10 windows.

    Your recent hiking blog post was spectacular. You were very wise to return home via public transport. Starting out on your return trip injured would have been very risky. Is there very much fall color in the trees where you live? You are very fortunate to live with such great walking nearby. Walking(rambling) in Florida is almost unknown. Canoeing in nearby springs and summertime swimming is popular, particularly in August, a month with perhaps the most disagreeable weather of all. Hot and humid with the increasing threat of tropical storms and hurricanes. The Atlantic area near the Cape Verde islands has been quiet thus far, but trouble can pop up there anytime up until late November.

    • Ricky

      Hi Bob! Pleased to help bring back memories. This is the first time in more than thirty years that I’ve had a home whose upkeep is my responsibility. Whilst I was in full-time ordained ministry, I was always housed as part of the job.

      Regarding your comment on my previous post, I’m glad you enjoyed it & thank you for endorsing my decision to return home by public transport. As I wrote, I decided that ‘discretion was the better part of valour’. To answer your specific question, we do get plenty of colour in the trees during Autumn/Fall and I’ll try to feature some of it in a future post. Even now, a few trees are already beginning to change colour.

      I do hope that you don’t suffer from any tropical storms or hurricanes over the coming months.

  • Ahh, I have heard much about all the tasks “available to you” as a homeowner. The windows look great, though! I love our beautiful old double-paned windows in our flat, but they are terrible energy inefficient.

    • Ricky

      Yes, there is always plenty to do when you own your own home! However, I’m very pleased with the way all the windows are now. And as I said in reply to Titus, they do keep the draughts out and the heat in! That is rather important when your home is situated nearly 300m above sea level 🙂

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    I’m not sure about ‘Rembrandt’, but the finish on those wooden windows does prove you are an ‘old master’ with sandpaper, masking tape and paint brush! 😉 Wooden window frames properly treated and cared for can last a very long time and stand up to serious hardship from wet and cold for relatively little cost.

    The house I grew up in had single glazed softwood (pine) sash window frames which at least were easy to disassemble for painting or maintenance but not great for heat retention. I have an abiding memory of lying awake on stormy nights listening to the wind whistling through the little crack left even when the window was closed ‘tight’. At least there was no danger of carbon monoxide poisoning with those windows!

    It’s great to see you posting again and highlighting your many skills, keep up the good work.

    God bless,


    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,
      I’m not sure about Rembrandt either! But it’s what Pavel, who lives with his wife Vlasta in the house behind mine – you can just see it in the first photo, chose to christen me. The access to their house is via the tarmac driveway in the foreground of the first photo & they walked past my open windows on their way to U Soni most evenings, whilst I was working on them.

      Thank you for the compliments about my work. And I agree with you that if you care for wooden window frames properly, they can last a long time. Thank you for visiting again & commenting.