Monday, September 27, 2010

Getting ready for Old Man Winter

Living in a shouse has a certain number of challenges, one of the biggest of these is winter.  Our shouse was never meant to be lived in.  Our original plan was to live in the shop for a year and then build a house.  Well, ten years later, here we are.  Because our shouse wasn't intended to be a house, it is a little drafty.  The finish work was that of a shop, not a house.

Every year we make little improvements to make our winters a bit more comfy and cozy.  One year, Maid Elizabeth and I stalked the shouse looking (and feeling) for any little chink in our metal sided armour.  Armed with a can of blow-in expanding insulation, we chased any little draft and rendered it harmless with our trusty miracle in a can.  What a HUGE difference that made!

This year, we got creative.  Our door has always been drafty to say the least.  We have put weather stripping in it, only to have the weather stripping disintegrate within a couple of weeks.  One year, I even nailed a heavy wool blanket over the door, however this made opening the door nearly impossible.

Most of our weather comes from the southwest and our door is positioned directly southwest.  After much consideration, I think I have come up with a workable solution to our draft problem.  I got a couple of curtain rods (from my mom) that were designed to be hung over French doors.  They are secured at a single point (on the outside of the door openings) and swing open on a hinge.  The idea is that you can hang curtains over your French doors and still open the doors to let the outdoors in.

Hanging the first curtain over the window proved painless and I was excited to try my idea of hanging the second curtain (heavy, blackout affairs) over the door.  This took a little more engineering, but thankfully, Sir Knight was up to the task.

As I said, the curtains are really heavy.  Having only one point that the curtain rod was affixed to the wall made us consider another option for supporting the rod.  We finally decided on a large eye bolt well above the curtain rod, with a length of para-cord going from the bolt through a hole that Sir Knight drilled through the end of the rod.  It worked beautifully!  The curtain rod is well supported and swings very freely, so opening the door is no problem.

The single hinge
The end with the para-cord run through (and the hook)
The curtain closed over the door
And swung open

After engineering the curtain rod, we put a hook in the wall so that we could attach the end of the para-cord to the hook and it would hold the curtain closed.  When the wind blows, we will be comfortably insulated from the icy draft!  Yeah!!!

After fixing up the curtains, I gussied up the "entryway" a little.  I hung a mirror (on the side of our kitchen pantry) and put a couple of coat hooks below it.  I also dug up some upholstery fabric and with a pair of scissors and some spray adhesive, created a cozy and inviting ante room.  It's the little things that make such a big difference.

Attaching fabric to the wall

Smoothing the fabric

Our new entryway

Winter - here we come!


  1. I love it! It really is the small things that make the biggest difference.

  2. Another very creative solution! Kudos to you! Would a storm door work in your climate? I think they are great.

    NoCal Gal