It’s a quaint opening in the house, half hidden by the hard steps to the outside balcony, and pot plants.
6 years ago Lin and I made shutters to fit outside this window - using doors recovered from a kitchen cupboard. The job was complicated because the entry to the window at the house wall was inches larger than the square where the shutters were to fit flush to the window. The angles were also slightly different. We had to cut out a section from the frame for the shutters to get it to fit; then rejoin the cut ends. Then came the hinging of the shutters in a space that because of the proximity of the external balcony steps did not allow the full shutter to open. We worked our way round these difficulties but our neighbour, Lefteris, watching us, mused <Μικρό παράθυρο, πολλά δουλειά>
|The shutters were made to a frame that didn't fit|
For the last year Lin’s noticed that the inside of the old frame is rotting. She’s poked a finger deep into the foot of it. Out came insects. Procrastination no longer possible, we set to, chiseling out the wood below and beside the window. It came away in flaky chunks...
...some damp but less rotten than termite infested. The tiny insects came pouring out onto the interior sill to be killed with insecticide spray.
"I'm glad we started on this at last" I said aloud, thinking how we could easily have invested in a new opening double-glazed window. But as we invested work on repairing what existed, its value shifted.
"I think it's all out now. You've sprayed insecticide thoroughly. What next?"
"Lots of insectival wood preservative" said Lin...
I'd seen there was a length of the lower frame with half round stoppers for the shutters to rest against, serving as a long rectangular rainwater 'ditch' - probably the source of the rot. In the apothiki I dug out a length of hardwood that, by good luck, was exactly wide and high enough. Offered up, and cut to exact length, sanded, preserved, undercoated, painted twice in Corfu green, it was put out to dry - 24 hours each coat.
At the same time, after her plaster had dried, Lin applied undercoat and gloss white to her repairs inside
Sand, undercoat, two layers of Corfu green, after removed the shutters to give them the same treatment. The gloss takes at least 24 hours to dry "better left 48 hours".
The length of wood to fill the 'ditch' was inserted on a bed of silicone filler. All cracks were filled. On top I painted a generous thickness of Corfu green paint. When all had dried - thanks to a few days warm rainless weather - I re-attached the shutters having cleaned up the little brass handle used to open them from outside.