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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Water Problems with a Silver Lining: Removing the Half Moon Window in the Primary Bedroom

Well, this was one project we didn't see coming! As much as I've hated the half moon window in our bedroom from the moment we moved in, I never imagined we'd be getting rid of it already! It definitely wasn't on our initial 2022 project list, but as much as I just didn't like it because of the dated style and constant need to block the light in the bedroom, it turned out to be a bigger problem we didn't know we had.

The Window Problem ... We Knew About

Back in October we had a couple days of some serious rain and woke up one morning to standing water on our window seat. Not sure what it is about fall rains that throw a wrench in things - it was October 2020 when we got water in the basement utility room that turned into our workout room. I figured this leak was because of the problem we inherited when we bought our house.

window seat with water on it

The right crank out window had a janky temporary seal and our sellers had hired someone to "fix it" but the part was on backorder when the sale went through so the contractor promised to get in touch when it came in. That was the start of a 9-month game of telephone with a contractor who initially lost my number so was hoping I'd call him (3 months later) and then was too busy, then would never get back to me. We decided to attack last summer and got the sellers to help us get the money back, which luckily we did. But unluckily, I couldn't find a contractor or window guy who would fix the window. They all said it just needed replaced. The whole entire 3-panel window. Which we also learned had been replaced once before - and not done well. Because of supply chain issues, we ordered the new window in October and just got the call that it came in. But they could quickly get me on their schedule! Or so I thought...

front window with ugly black temporary seal
Janky Black Temporary Seal

Another Leaking Window and Wood Rot

The day the window install crew arrived, I was prepping for their arrival by taking down the blinds and window treatments and started to realize we might have bigger problems. The wood beam between the half moon and the bottom window was something I could basically stick my finger through it was rotted so bad and I could see a lot of water or condensation between the window panes.

closeup of rotting wood below window

And right below it, as I unscrewed the blinds in the main center window, water began dripping out of the screw holes.

wet and rusty nail holes

The screws in that blind were totally rusted and dripping wet.

I was worried this may impact my install and my suspicions were confirmed when the lead contractor showed up. He took one look at our window situation from outside and knew he wouldn't be able to do the job. He was already calling back to the shop before I got outside to greet him. After getting a closer look inside, he confirmed he couldn't replace the lower window without replacing everything else or the job would crumble. The half moon was leaking, had lost it's seal and had been rotting out the frame.

After considering replacing the half moon for about 3 seconds I decided I'd rather just fill it in. Waiting another 4-5 months for another window no matter the shape wasn't in the cards, and any decorative window I'd put up there would continue to give me morning light problems in the bedroom, so I jumped at the idea of closing it off.

Removing and Closing Up the Window

Lucky for us, the guy on the job was a sub-contractor for the window company and said that he and his crew could do the framing, exterior siding and initial interior drywall work - but that we'd need to hire the finishing outside of the window company contract. They got the old windows out (and had a few choice words about how bad of an install job the window was), reinforced and reframed the upper wall, replaced the lower window, added siding and drywall inside.

Swipe to see all the progress shots!

Interior and Exterior Finish Work

The crew was able to come back to help finish the job off. So glad we got the crew we did and I didn't have to figure out how to do all this myself! They used old siding and trim scraps to get a color match on the house paint and painted the new exterior pieces. Because painting the whole exterior something new is also not on this year's list!

front of house with ladders up to second story window

For a quick fix, it think it works pretty good! And yes, we still need to get our Christmas lights off the house!

front of house showing new window

They also came back to do drywall mudding, taping and texturing. And putting the inside trim back together. Just in time for another massive rain as storms ripped through Iowa this weekend. Things were dry inside here!

new drywall above window

Just need to paint over the new wall. And figure out new window treatments (these are temporary light blocking curtains I bought until i can get some blinds!)

new drywall above window

I told you I was painting an accent wall in the bedroom, but I guess now I'm going to have to paint the rest of the room before I show you that! Oh well. #housedonemandead


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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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