Installing Insulated Windows in the Baby's Nursery

Project: Babyproofing the House, Episode 2, Part 1

Bob is back in Melrose, MA, to look at window options and installation. First he meets with Cordell Burton from Pella Windows to look at their Designer Series snap-in between-the-glass blinds. These blinds are contained between moveable panes that allow homeowners to change colors. They are easily drawn with a sliding button on the sash, have no dangerous cords, and reduce dust and allergens by 200 percent. Their Energy Star low-e, double-pane, Architecture Series two-over-ones replicate the period windows in this 1895 two-family home. Nick Beasley, the homeowner and general contractor, demonstrates how to install the windows and shares advice for sealing the opening against water intrusion or heat loss. In the newly framed master bath, Beasley installs custom poplar and MDF wood panels against the tub wall and shows Bob the Daltile subway tiles and glass edge tiles for the wall. The tub enclosure and shelf will be of impervious Corian solid surfacing. We also learn how to install an American Standard Champion low-flush toilet by leveling the floor, sealing the flange, and bolting it to the floor. This low-flush toilet has the largest siphon on the market, so the bowl clears with less water, just 1.6 gallons per flush.

Part 1: Installing Insulated Windows in the Baby's Nursery
Bob recaps the house tour at the Beasleys and the completed blown-in fiberglass insulation of the third-story ceiling. Bob is now joined in the nursery by Cordell Burton of Pella Windows, who shows him the blinds that are being installed. The interchangeable blinds snap in easily between the two panes of glass. They have no cords, can be raised and lowered with a sliding button on the sash, and are free from dust and allergens. These windows are highly insulated for cold and sound, as they have a fully insulated pane on the exterior and another pane on the interior. Burton shows Bob how any homeowner can install the windows, first by removing the old sash and stops, then sealing the window with Pella's self-sealing butyl tape. To prevent further heat loss, the sash-cord pocket is filled with expanding foam. We watch as the window is set in place, checked for level and plumb, shimmed, and nailed in for an easy do-it-yourself installation.
Part 2: Energy Efficient Windows
Part 3: Master Bathroom Tub, Tile, and Low-Flow Toilet Installation
In Melrose, MA, Bob Vila helps a young couple expecting their first child to prepare their home. The focus is on creating a safe place with a strong emphasis on indoor air quality and a healthy living environment. Bob reviews child safety products with industry specialists, as they outfit the home from top to bottom in preparation for the new baby.

Also from Babyproofing the House

  • Episode 1 - Learning About Healthy Home and Building Products


    <p>Bob is in Melrose, MA, to update a 100-year-old home in preparation for a new baby.&nbsp; Since home building and remodeling can introduce hazards into the home, Bob is looking at how to reduce unwanted toxins and select healthy alternatives.&nbsp; He visits the American Lung Association&rsquo;s designer showhouse in West Palm Beach, FL, where EcoDecor&rsquo;s Bernadette Upton reviews healthy choices like using no-VOC paints, choosing natural, washable throw rugs instead of synthetic wall-to-wall carpeting, buying natural bedding and mattresses, avoiding treated fabrics, purchasing formaldehyde-free furniture, using non-vinyl wall treatments, and airing wallpaper before applying non-toxic glues.&nbsp; Back in Melrose, Bob talks with homeowner Nick Beasley about the decision to purchase a two-family home and use the upper two floors for their primary residence.&nbsp; Maggie Beasley shows Bob the main living areas, the kitchen they hope to safety proof, the upstairs bedrooms that need insulation and renovating, and the original beadboard room that will become a child's bathroom.&nbsp; Nick shows Bob the demolition and new partition wall for the master bath.&nbsp; Joe Arrigo from Resource Development Partners explains the challenges of insulating an old house and how loose-fill fiberglass insulation is blown in to achieve an R-value of 4.25 per inch or R-30 overall.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Episode 3 - Preparing a Quiet and Healthy Home for Baby Through Sound Reduction and Non-Toxic Paints


    <p>Bob&rsquo;s third visit to the 1895 Melrose, MA, home focuses on insulating for sound reduction and painting the guestroom across from the nursery.&nbsp; He opens the show by discussing the effects of sound in the home with Arline Bronzaft, an environmental psychologist whose doctorate in child psychology helps her relate issues of home environment to healthy child development.&nbsp; She explains that healthful sleep for infants from birth to seven months is critical to their growth and development and requires quiet.&nbsp; To ensure a quiet nursery, Harry Alter from Owens Corning shows Bob how QuietZone acoustic batt insulation is installed in the stud cavities, nailed in place, fitted around wiring cut for outlet boxes, and caulked with QuietZone siliconized acrylic caulk to block sound entry.&nbsp; Edward Waller of CertaPro Paints shows Bob how they apply the Sherwin-Williams Harmony<sup></sup> no VOC paint in the guest room and explains why this latex paint is safe and superior to other latex paints.&nbsp; He also shows Bob how to apply paint properly and with the right tools for a quality, finished job.&nbsp; Bob wraps this episode with Ken Lanoie of Owens Corning as the QuietZone Solserene three-part fabric system is installed for an absorptive acoustic ceiling.&nbsp; Bob previews upcoming tasks to complete this project, including finishing touches in the bathroom, natural products for the nursery, and baby safety products such as gates and outlet covers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Episode 4 - Finishing Touches: Baby Safety Products and a Corian Tub Deck


    <p>In Melrose, MA, finishing touches are in progress in the master bath, and childproofing is in full swing throughout the home. Jay Martel of the International Association for Child Safety shows Bob an adjustable child safety gate for wide spaces that is removable and configures to varying angles, as well as the critical safety gate for the top of the stairs. Other child safety measures include latching kitchen appliances and cabinet doors and covering stove dials and electrical outlets. Ginny Turner, from Ecobaby Organics and Pure Rest, shows Bob healthy alternatives such as organic baby bedding products and clothing. In the master bath, Grant Garcia and Chris Dada of Sterling Surfaces install the Corian tub surround that was fabricated off site using digital-photo templating. The custom installation accommodates the tub wall, a tile cove, and a water dam to prevent water intrusion behind the solid surface. Upstairs, a completed nursery awaits the newborn.</p>
  • Episode 5 - Touring the Completed Nursery and Bathrooms

Hi, I'm Bob Vila, welcome to the show and our remodeling project here, where were making a couple of rooms ready for a brand new baby in a two-family house outside of Boston.

Today we're going to be showing you some nice new windows from Pella that include some very safe types of window shades. Also, we're installing a toilet, and in the master bathroom we're going to be putting in some paneling, as well as some new type of tile.

Stick around. It's good to have you with us.

Today, we're back at our nursery project here in Melrose, Massachusetts. Our 1895 two-family house and last week we insulated the roof of the third floor, and Nick and Maggie, the homeowners, gave us a tour of their apartment, second and third floor, where they're pretty busy making some changes and remodeling , getting ready for their first baby, who's arrival is quite imminent.

And today we're going to look at an important feature of the nursery which has to do with windows and window shades, we've got Cordel Burton here from Pella, hey Cordel.

Hi Bob.

So, the big news here Cordel is that the window shape is sandwiched in between panes of glass, right?

That's right. It's right inside the two panes of glass.

And they're all interchangeable so if you want to change from one color to another it's easy to do?

That's right yes.

And of course the good news is that you don't have to worry about cords which can be a real danger to a youngster, getting caught in the crib or even with toddlers and stuff.

It actually goes from out here, you adjust it from the outside.

Okay, and the top sash?

And the top sash, we have the shades already in side. We've been putting in some room-darkening shades.

So that's a darkening on, and of course you could always flip it out and change that one as well, what kind of color selection have you got? actually, if they have a little baby girl we do have pink so.

Pinks and blues and all sorts of options there. That's nice. That's a nice blue. So they've chosen a nice color that goes with the

Nice neutral color.

You know what I like as well, you're not gonna have any dust catchers here.

That's right, there's actually 200 times less allergens on these shades than there are on a normal shade or blind.

'Cause they're trapped behind the glass. What about the actual efficiency of the window in terms of the weather.

Yeah, you've actually got a full-insulated panel on the outside, plus another paint so they are far more efficient than the normal typical window.

For cold and for sound.

And for sound. That's right.

Now, Cordell, is this an easy installation for the average do-it-yourselfer.

Yes, actually it's quite simple. Most of the typical homeowners could do this by themselves.

So how do you go about it with an old window that you've got to get out of there and stuff?

With an old double hung window, the first thing you got to think about is just removing the old stops and as you remove the stops the sash will actually come out as well.

Right, so you've got the inside stop and the parting bead or...

Parting stop.


Yeah, and then so if you remove those the sash come out.


That leaves a nice open pocket for the new window to go inside of.

The sill of the window quite often can be damaged. So we come up with a new smart flash tape, it's a butyl based tape that you can actually use to protect areas at the bottom of the window opening.

What about, you know, old double hung sash, there's pockets for the weights in there and that's usually a big source of energy loss

That's right. It's a big old pocket in the side. What we used here today is actually a foam that we just blow in the side of that pocket and it'll expand and fill most of that up. So, it's an easy do-it-yourself job?


Thanks Cordel. And downstairs, our homeowner, Nick has dealt with a different kind of installation.

We've finished our roofs, which then allowed us move on to our framing. We re-framed the floor, leveling it, and taking care of some of the structural damage that the previous plumbers had done.

We were able to then do the rest of our framing in the bathroom to define the new master bath, which is off the bedroom and on the other side of this wall is the powder room. On this wall, we were able to install our cementitious board to accept tile.

We got our tub in. And our new tub deck, and we got our cement board down on the floor too for the tile. and then when we took the plaster down on the exterior wall we realized that we didn't have... it was under framed for what it should have been.

There were no headers or anything and the windows, which were mismatched because they were originally in two different bathrooms.

Thought this was a good time to just, re-do the whole thing. Make it structurally sound and also put in some matching windows that would be more centered on the space.

So, to re-frame the wall for the new windows we wanted the space between the windows to match and so, although this looks like a big structural support, it's actually really just acting as a big spacer.

Up above we had to put in a new header, which we made out of two, two by eights and in between the two by eights we put a piece of half-inch plywood, which is just, again, actually this space there's not really structural, but that way our dimension of the two two by eighths and the half inch is three and a half inches which is the same dimension as a two by four.

So, now we're ready to install the windows. So, to make sure the installation is water tight we followed the recommendations of the window manufacturer which we're using Pella windows in this case.

So, we start with a cut down the middle, stopping close to the bottom. A couple angle cuts down to the corners, then we cut straight across the top. and this allows us to fold everything back.

It creates a nice water proofing. And we just staple it back keep it out of our way. And then we trim the excess off, so it's nice and clean. Makes it easier to work with.

Next, the manufacturer recommends that we basically make a water pan out of a water proof tape. It's self adhesive, so we cut it .

They recommend going about 6 inches up on each side.

Maybe you installed it. This kind of tape it's always really important that you get the corners nice and tight, because you can end up with a fair amount of build up, which can create problems later on when you try to fit your window.

So we double it up so we make sure that we get the complete window sill covered, and let it overhang about an inch, so we can cover the, get all the way beyond the opening, that way if there is any water that does manage to get in or we get any condensation build-up around the window, it will get, it'll flow to the outside and not affect our framing.

So it's important whenever your doing waterproof projects like this that you work from the bottom up, because if you think like a drop of water, The water's going to run down the sides and then into the bottom. And so you want to make sure that if it runs down, it overlaps the bottom piece instead of running behind the bottom piece.

Before we hand the window out the opening, I'd like to get it all set by bending back the nailing flange.

Got it? Get the bottom out, there we go. You're okay?

With the window roughed in place we make sure it's nice and level and plumb, and then we As per the manufacturer's recommendation, we shim it in three spots on the bottom, in the middle and the top, and we do that before we nail off flange. To make sure that it's, it won't move once we start nailing.

One more. Now we check one more time. Still looks good. Alright, John, nail it.
In order to make an air tight seal, Pella provided us with some spray foam insulation. We'll just run around and fill all the voids around the window. So this is low expansion window and door foam.

And it's important that you use low expansion foam when you're doing windows and doors because, if the foam expands too much it can push your jams out of plum, or out of level.

And then your door and window won't operate correctly. Alright, well, Nick's done a great job of installing these windows. Tell us about the features.

Yeah, this is actually the Architect series window. It's made more like the traditional window that's in the rest of the home.

The appearance is of an 1890s two-over-one window.

Two-over-one pattern, with the wider lower rail, the thin check rail and as you can see here the nice spoon hardware, just like in the rest of the windows.

Okay, and it 's wood on the inside.

Wood on the inside and aluminum clad on the outside to give it that low maintenance.

Exactly, and then what about the glass itself? What kind of glass is it?

This glass is a double pane insulated glass so it's actually got two panes of glass with low E, two low E coats and argon filled to give it that good energy performance.

So it's as, as energy efficient, it is Energy-Star, that's great.

That's correct.

Well, it's a beautiful window.

Thank you.

Thanks a lot. Now, if Nick, our homeowner gets here, we've got a few other things to do here in the master bath. Hey Nick.

Hey Bob.

Perfect timing. So you've been making paneling for the master bath, here.

That's right.

And this is essentially, what are you making it out of?

It's poplar, styles and rails, and an MDF panel.

Medium Density Fiberboard, and that's a real stable product. And this goes in here?

That's right.

Part of the tub surround.

Right in.

And you've already made the sidewalls. This is a very good design feature for this bathroom and for this period house. Because very often you had this kind of paneling, all over the place.

So we'll just tack this one into place.

Tack is the right approach. I mean, you've already scribed it I bet.

Yep, scribed it in this corner so we have a nice tight fit. Just get a couple in here


Make sure this one fits, nice and tight. Get this one lined up.

You've already got, you've got these nice four-share tubs from American Standard, and it's an awfully elegant affair. Cast iron.


And then what happens here?

On top we're going to do a corian tub deck.

OK. So that sits right on top of the thing?

Sits right on top of everything, nice and watertight. And we'll have another matching piece that goes on top of the half wall here.

Okay, so you really have fit the paneling, and that's why we're just tacking it. Because until you get the corian to go over the tub, you don't want to really finish nailing it off.


And then where you are in this bathroom, we'll have a toilet. And I know that toilets are being installed in the kid's bathroom as we speak.

That's right.
You just make sure the floor is level.

Once the toilet flange is installed in the floor, John , our plumber, checks to be sure the floor is level, then adds a ring of Beeswax to be sure the seal between the toilet and the drain is air-tight.

This is American Standard's Champion two piece toilet A white washer, metal washer, and brass nuts secure the bolt on each side.

Next, John adds some thread sealant on the supply tube to connect the tank to the water line.

And put in the supply that goes to the tank.

Tightens the connection and turn on the valve to check for any leaks. The great thing about this toilet is the Champion flushing system, it's got the industry's largest siphon outlet, 40% larger than most. That increased water flow, cleans the bowl efficiently and best of all, virtually eliminates clogs.

And we all know how handy that can be when you think of all the things that toddler might put in there.

All right, now we'll cut these down so we can put on a finish.

Give it a little snug.

Now that that's off, we can put on the cap.

The toilet still only uses 1.6 gallons per flush and comes with a 10 year warranty, just in case.


So Nick, I think you've made some pretty appropriate choices in terms of tile. I mean this hex on the floor is very much in keeping with early twentieth century plumbing, and then tell us what else you're choosing for the tub surround.

The tub surround we're going to do a subway tile, in a broken bond pattern.

And that again, is something that not only do you really see. See it in like New York City subways but it also became a very popular type of tile in Italy bathrooms.

That's right, and then we're also gonna do a little contemporary feel. A glass tile as ancient, that will run around the outside edge of the tub.

And these are all from Daltile?


They're fabulous. Okay, so you'll have that on the edges.

That's right.

Very good. Well, I know that we're running out of time, but so are you. When's the baby due?

Have about a week.

Good luck.

Next week, we're installing a saucering ceiling, putting in Owens Corning's quiet zone sound attenuation, and the CertaPro painters will give us a bunch of tips.

Till next time, I'm Bob Vila. Thanks for watching.



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