Beacon Hill: French Door

To me, one of the most distinctive features of the Beacon Hill is the French door in the middle of the tower. It’s elegant and I think one of the reasons many of us buy it.

It’s also one of the easiest parts to construct! Yay!!


The jumble of pieces that will be the French door.


The pieces cut out. There will be lots of stacking. On the left are the three sashes from the left and right windows and the door itself. On the right are the trim pieces how they’ll be stacked.


The parts painted in my color scheme. The sashes of the left and right windows will be mostly covered with trim. I do paint both sides, though, in case anything shows.


The first step is to sandwich the plastic windows between the sashes. There is a front and back sash for each window.


The trim will be stacked one on top of the other. The thinner one is on top.


The trim glued together.


More trim goes on top–this is called the side window trim (or something like that).


The first step to putting the window into the house is to glue the right and left window sashes into the opening. It should fit right in the opening, flush with front and interior walls.img_7565

The trim goes over the opening. The half-circle trim also was glued on in this step (you could glue the half-circle piece on before you glue everything to the opening).


Because the door is a separate piece, you have some options with it, a feature I like.


You could hinge it or glue it so it’s open (and looks hinged).


I went ahead and glued it shut, but I used only dots of glue so if I change my mind I can take it out without much problem.


There we have it! The house is looking better all the time.

Next, the front door.


Beacon Hill: Tower Window

The tower window is much like the dormer windows but put in in a little different sequence.


All the parts of the tower window are on sheet 21.


The parts punched out. Looks like a lot but many of them stack on top of each other.


I’m saving the circles that come out of the windows–these would make great table tops or backs for round mirrors. Pre-cut for us!

Anyway, this is how it will all go together.


The window sill and base (good side down).


Medium sill goes underneath the base.


Small sill goes over medium sill. This whole structure will be flipped over to insert through the window opening.


The two half-circles of the trim get glued one on top of the other, outside edges flush.


This is the outside trim–the piece with the decorative cutouts goes over the piece without.


The Ls will be glued smaller on larger, as in the dormer windows.


The window sash (piece with smallest hole) will go behind the outside trim. Here’s how it will all look when the window is put together, including the half-circle trim on top.


But first, to paint to my color scheme. The small rectangular pieces will become the arched roof of the window (like the dormers). The larger rectangles are the sides.


The base and sill inserted into the tower window opening. The stacked sill pieces go underneath.


The instructions have you glue the sides to the sash and then put in the arched roof before sliding it all into the window opening. I knew if I did that I’d be sanding like crazy to make it fit, so I built the window inside the opening like I did the dormers.


Here I’ve glued the sides to the sash (sorry forgot to snap a shot of that), then started building the arch with the small rectangles. As you can see, the last has to be massively trimmed and sanded.


All the pieces in place. The instructions also tell you to put the window plastic onto the sash (on the inside) before you glue this in, but I feared getting glue, spackel, and sanding dust on it, so I saved it for last.


The window arch pieces spackled.


The front trim glued on.


The Ls added, both facing inward, small on bottom. Here I’ve also added the half-circle trim, which rests on the Ls.


Another shot.


Added the window plastic from inside (a little tricky!). But it’s done!


It’s getting there!

The next items in the instructions are the shutters and cellar window, but I decided to leap over those and go on to the French door. Could not wait! The French door / window will be the subject of my next post.


Beacon Hill: Dormer Windows

The first tip I have for the dormer windows is to put them in before you shingle or otherwise finish the roof. They won’t fit otherwise.


The jumble of parts that will become the dormer window.


The front (left) and front trim (right). The trim has the thicker arch. Above those are the half-circle trims (which will be glued one on top of the other), and the window sash.


Trim glued on top.


This is the back. The window sash will fit exactly in the little groove.


Like so. (This is what it will look like from the front.) Don’t glue in the sash yet! This is just an example of what it will look like. The sash will be the very last piece glued into the window.


Sill / base. The two sill / base pieces are glued one on top of the other. The piece with the tabs on its sides is the bottom (I’d show you, but this sill was already glued in place, which I did beforehand so I could wire the lamp through it).

The sill goes all the way through the opening, with the narrower sill on the inside wall, the larger sill on the outside.


The side slides down beside the sill, the notch at bottom hooking up to the tab on the bottom of the sill (which you can’t see, but it’s down there).


The side in place–it will be flush against the inside wall.


With both sides in place, I added the front. The feet of the window front fits (in theory) into the notches of the window sill. Notice I had to take off shingles to get everything to fit.


The L-shaped pieces. They’re glued together so the inside edge is flush.


I’ve added the L shaped pieces to the tops of the front. The short sides of the Ls face inward.


What the Ls look like from the top.


Now for the arch. There are eight pieces that will be glued in around the window’s arch. The first piece is in position here.


What the first piece of the arch looks like from inside. The end is flush with the inside wall. (The piece should be more on top of the side, but it slipped.)


Put the pieces in on alternating sides. Here you can see I’ve done the first pieces on both right and left sides, and the second piece on the left side. Note that the end of each piece rests on the window’s top. The edges will be covered by the half-round trim.


As you go, you’ll see that the pieces start to angle. That’s ok. The last piece will be trimmed to fit. Note that I’ve put the “good” side on the inside. That is because I knew I’d be sanding and repainting the outside once done, but it will be much too hard (and messy) to repaint the inside. So the other side of these boards are finished and varnished already.


The last piece, sanded to fit. These sand down easily with coarse sandpaper (say 100) on a sanding block.


Once I had all the pieces in place, I sanded then spackled the whole arch to smooth out the edges and make it rounder.



Next, I glued on the top trim (which I sandwiched together earlier–the feet should be flush and the smaller piece centered on the larger).


I glued the plastic window to the sash (I’m using Alene’s clear tacky–little dots around the window sash). Now the sash can be glued, from the inside, to the grove in the frame.


And there you have it. I’ll have to put in the shingles and add trim around the window a bit, but it’s done.


Both dormer windows now in place.

Next, the tower window! Good. I’m getting tired of windows! 🙂

Beacon Hill: Kitchen Bay Windows

Because the single windows were fairly easy, I hoped the kitchen bay would be more of the same. No!!

Mostly because the pieces for the kitchen bay window are on the sheet that disintegrated on me when I pulled it out of the box.


As you can see below, the pieces were warped or broken, making this step a challenge.

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I managed to pull everything out and sort it.


A tip–mark the pieces of the sill and top trim before you lose track, because unlike in the single window, the pieces for top and bottom are NOT the same size. In my photo below, the pieces for the sill are at the top of the picture–large, medium small.

Next comes the kitchen shelf (the straight piece with no notches).

Then the 3 top trim pieces for the window: large, medium, small.




Basically the sill pieces will look like this–large on bottom, medium and small on top.


The sill and trim pieces did not easily fit around the window openings in the house. I had to file the notches to make them bigger.


The largest sill piece more or less wrestled into place. The medium and small will be stacked on top of it.


All three set in place.


Because of the warpage, I had to clamp these when I glued them in. You can see that I had the warpage problem with the top pieces as well.


In fact, the top pieces were even worse.


Per the instructions, we are supposed to put the window sashes in after the sills (like the single windows), then the outside trim, then inside.

Because my inside trim was so warped and broken, and I knew I’d need to clamp it, I decided to put on the inside trim first.

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Inside trim clamped in place to dry. Note I have glued the broken piece on, on the right (you can see the glue line).


The sashes are a little warped as well, but I managed to put them together and weight them while they dried, so it wasn’t too bad.

But then–Argh! Two of the three sashes would not fit inside the window openings!


Therefore–sanding, sanding, sanding the openings in the house before the sashes would fit. (I did this before I glued on the interior trim. A good reason to do a dry run!)

Above I have the windows finally fitted in. You can see the upper trim is still very warped despite the clamping. I will have to fix that later.


Now I’ve glued on the exterior trim, clamped with tape. When I glued the trim together (thinner on top of thicker), and weighted it, the warpage was reduced enough that all I needed was tape to hold it in place.


Inside, the kitchen shelf fits across the sill and just under the ends of the interior trim. I didn’t glue it in place yet–will do that later when I start trimming the interior and figure out where my furniture is going.

I will have to do some fixing and touch up to this window, but it’s done for now, and I’m moving on!

Next time, the dormer windows, which present their own challenges.