Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

November 12, 2007

Repurposing #3

Well here we are, number three. Have you been hanging on the edge of your seats waiting for what I'll re-use next? No? Well I can't see why not, this is exciting stuff! This is money in the bank, something for nothing, a free lunch... well alright I wouldn't reuse someones lunch, but you get the point.

Today's installment in the repurposing trilogy is something that I'll be using in the garden. Something that I've been wanting to get a hold of for a little while and have been diligently keeping an eye, or in this case an ear, out for. Old single plate wooden frame windows.

I've been wanting to find some of these windows for some time to use in the garden for building cold frames to help me harden off plants in the spring, and to extend the growing season for some of the cold weather crops that are able to be grown through into the late fall. One of the things that I hope to be able to do over the winter months in preparation for next springs sprouting is to go through at least a few of these windows and strip and refinish them to extend the life of them as well as to pass the "don't junk up the back yard" test that all of my projects must vet before being deployed. As you can see from the picture at the left, these have seen better days. The Gazing needs to be removed and the paint stripped. I'll probably mix up some of my own white wash for them, and give 'em a new coat before re-glazing, or more likely, caulking. If you've never done this before, it's not a hard process; I'll surely cover it to some degree when the time comes.

As I said, I was able to come across these by keeping my ears open. I was talking to one of the guys in my office on Thursday last week when he mentioned that his co-worker, a mutual friend of ours was changing out all of the windows in his older home. I jumped into action! After getting a hold of him and getting the all clear to take the old windows, I had my wife meet me with the truck and we headed over there to get them right away before the window man threw them away. Obviously, mission accomplished.

One that subject I thought I would leave this trilogy off with my Golden Rules for Effective Repurposing:

  1. Know what you want. You can't find the thing that will fill the need, or whose parts may fill the need, unless you know what the need is.

  2. Keep your eyes and ears open. Once you can picture the thing clearly in your mind, and how you will use it, you'll be surprised at how quickly it will randomly appear available if you are keeping a lookout on a regular basis.

  3. Timely Action. When it's available, get it. It may not be there later, or tomorrow. Sometimes this will get you a queer look from a friend or stranger when your putting a bunch of "Junk" in the back of your car but you'll have the last laugh. (All the way to the bank I might add.)

  4. Buy the best you can afford, whether new or second hand. When you decide to repurpose things you already own like the table in Repurposing #2, you will have much better luck when you already have quality that you're working with.

I hope you'll try your hand at repurposing around the house. I know a lot of you already do, I'd love to hear about your triumphs, and link if you have any. Share, motivate, and encourage!

Happy reusing all!



Eva said...

Dang-it!! We just had our old single pane windows swapped out yesterday. They looked just like what you have there in the picture. I can't wait to see what you do with them! Are you worried about lead paint chips entering the garden with these old windows? Just wondering, they always made me a little weary. Also, I love the table in your previous post. Very nice!!

P~ said...

Ooooo, too bad. Some good cold frames would probably serve you well in your neck of the woods. I would say that if you are in an area where there are older homes with windows such as yours were, start keeping your eyes out for window workers changing out others windows, or perhaps even call the company that came out to change yours, they may still have them, or could let you know where they will be changing out windows nearby that you could collect. As for the led paint, I'm not really too concerned, I will strip them and refinish them before putting them in the garden. Good luck if you decide to find some. I know you'll be checking in, (you're one of my best readers you know.) so I'll let you know when I do something with them.

Anonymous said...

Love your repurposing series!! We do a lot of both forms (reusing our own stuff and other peoples) around here. My husband takes a lot of flack at his workplace. They call him cheap and other not so nice names for his habits, but I am always ever so proud of him when he creates useful things from other peoples "nothings."