Beacon Hill Left Side: Bay Windows

Next in the instructions are the regular windows (narrow and double), but since I’ve talked about those on the right side of the house, I jumped to the bay windows. These use a similar method to the regular windows, but it’s trickier to put them in.

I made the front bay window only, but the method for the left bay is exactly the same.

The sill pieces: three large and three small each for outer bottom, outer top, inner bottom, and inner top of the window openings. The outer sills have the two small tabs that go inside the narrow windows; the inner sills have the long tab in the middle.


I had the extra challenge of gluing a few pieces back together. The wood on this sometimes separates.

The small, medium, and large pieces for the outside sill. They’re very close in size–the small sills in my kit have the grain running crosswise instead of lengthwise.

The interior sills painted and glued together. It’s easier to see which is small, medium, and large once they’re stacked together.

Outside sills glued in. The largest piece goes on top of both bottom and top sills.

Inner and outer sill. In theory, these two pieces should meet in the middle. In practice, the pieces didn’t fit into the windows at all, and I had to sand the openings and trim down the tabs. This was the best I could do.

Inner sill before I glued it in place. Had to sand and trim to fit.

Next, the window sash and trim pieces. The exterior trim is in two parts, which get stacked on top of each other. The interior only has one thickness. For the front bay, there are two narrow windows and one wide.

Exterior trims glued, thinner pieces over thicker.

Trim added to outside.

Window sashes painted with the plastic panes sandwiched between them.

As it turned out, my windows were too large for the openings. I had to sand the openings and the sashes quite a lot before they fit.

Also, I learned that putting the trim on first was a mistake–windows were impossible for me to get in all the way from the interior. I took off the outer trim, glued the windows into the openings and then glued the exterior trim back on.

Window sashes in place behind the exterior trim.

Also I see that my horizontal trim is off, so I’ll have to take it off and fix it.

Tip: To remove glued-on trim, paint it with rubbing alcohol, wait about a minute, then slide a knife behind it and pry it off. The alcohol is a solvent for the glue and softens it.

This kit can be a big challenge. In some cases, you almost have to tear it apart to make it go together.

When I’m frustrated, I take a look at one of my assistants and enjoy the cuteness.

Next are the rest of the windows (narrow, double, and dormer). I might have to take a short break from this project for a few days. The windows are fairly straightforward, but there are so many pieces to paint! I’m not sure I have the stamina, plus it’s time to decorate for Christmas!

I’ll post again when I have more.


Beacon Hill Left Side: Roof Trim and Chimney

Learning my lesson from the other side of the house, I’m gluing on the roof trim before I do the shingles.

Horizontal trim pieces across the top of the mansard roof pieces, plus the curved trim. I had a time finding all the pieces for this trim, as I mentioned. I lucked out finding the short roof trim piece, which I think is H-3. There is a black hole in my hobby room, I swear. I punch out a piece, put it somewhere safe … and never see it again.

I also discovered I should have put in this chimney piece before the roof goes on. The roof piece goes over it. I did not, because I wanted to put bricks on the chimney, but knew if I did that before roofing, I’d probably ruin the brick veneer. Sigh. Fortunately, I was able to slip the piece down the gap between chimney and roof, after I bricked.

The pieces for the chimney. It’s a good idea to make a small mark on which are the chimney trim pieces,which are the flue trim, and which are the “middle” pieces that make up the flue.

Constructing the flue. This piece goes good side down, and the “middle” pieces are glued to it, following the edges. Like so:

Then, spread glue on the edges of the middle pieces (as I’ve done above), and glue the second side of the flue to the top. Like so:

I discovered I should have painted the pieces first, because you’ll be able to see inside the hollow tubes once the chimney is finished. But, I wanted to make sure they fit together square without warping. It was easy enough to paint the inside.

Now for the flue trim.

This is fairly straightforward–long sides on the long side, ends on the ends.

Once the flue was painted and drying, I did the brick chimney and glued on the trim.

The other side of the trim in place over the bricks.

The large pieces of the chimney top trim glued together. Instructions say to build this box first and then slide it over the chimney. Check it first. I had to sand down the insides to make it fit.

Fitting the trim–it rests on the lip on top of the chimney formed by the front and back trim already there (the instructions call them the left and right trims; they mean the trims that cover the sides–and my bricks).

You’ll be able to see inside this box once the chimney is done, so it should be painted as well. If you’re using a lighter color for the chimney, I suggest black for the inside.

Chimney trim around the top, plus my bricks, plus the roof trim around the chimney.

Next goes the narrow chimney trim around the wider pieces. I found it easier to glue the short ends on first, as they are flush, and then the longer pieces fit over the ends of the short pieces.

Below is what that looks like when finished.

Next, cut scrap pieces of wood that are 1/2 inch wide. These are spaces that go down inside the chimney box for the flue base to rest on. You won’t see these (they’re covered by the flue base), so you don’t need to paint.

The instructions say to set the flue base on top of the spacers and then thread the flue through the holes in the flue base. However–I found the holes weren’t quite large enough, so I had to trim them. It was such a tight fit in the end that I decided to thread the flue through the holes, measuring off 1/2 inch, and then putting it into the chimney. I knew I’d be struggling and cursing to fit the flue into the base if I didn’t do it first!

The finished flue and base set inside the chimney box.

That’s it! It’s done!

The next step in the instructions is the regular windows (plus the double window). Since I’ve already demonstrated those on the other side of the house, I moved forward to the bay windows, and their challenges.

Next post, I’ll put together the front bay window.

Beacon Hill Left Side: Roof and Trim

Sconces done and installed on the third floor!

Now for the roof.

The mansard roof base goes on first, then the roof supports fit into slots. I also have the flat roof top painted and installed. It’s best to finish the ceiling side of the roof top as well, because it will be tough to get in there to paint once the roof is done.

I couldn’t figure out what this piece was for, because it had come separated from the others months ago. I finally realized it went on the short roof side, the one that would be up against the tower if I’d kept the house together. (I also finally found it in the instructions.)

The instructions say to put this piece in first, then the roof, then the piece I have it resting against (3A) last. I found it easier to put the 3A piece on first. 3A looks like this from the other side:

I will trim that corner when I’m ready to do interior trim. You can see how I’ve finished the ceiling.

Next step is to paint and put on the roof top trim and the mansard base trim (which runs along the mansard base).

Both these photos show the mansard base trim running around the edge. It overhangs 1/4 inch.

Now for the roof panels!

First, the chimney side. I had to sand the roof piece a little to get it to fit around the chimney. These clamps are wonderful for holding the curved roof in place while the glue dries.

The instructions say to do the short (right side) roof first, and then the front roof, but I found it easier to do the front first, especially as I don’t have the rest of the house on the right side.

For those not cutting the house in half, the lower corner of this wall will fit against the tower. I’ll have to cover it or think of something fun to do with it.

While the roof was drying I went ahead and put together the front bay window roof.

When figuring out how the bay roof pieces go, it helps to note that the grain of the wood kind of flows in the same direction. Make sure the good side is down when you add the masking tape hinge.

The roof, good side up, on top of the bay window. (This is set into place to test–the pieces went together more smoothly when I glued them.)

The horizontal and some of the vertical trim being painted. I somehow lost the horizontal trim for the front side of the house and had to cut another. I am finding I’m missing small pieces of trim, which fell out of the punch-out sheets when I built the right side of the house. I swore I collected them all into boxes, but I’m still missing bits. Fortunately they’re fairly standard sized wood strips (1/2-inch; 1/4 inch).

Pictured from top to bottom are front bay bottom horizontal trim, vertical trim pieces, front bay horizontal trim (the short, wide pieces), and front and left side horizontal trim. I cut a new piece of horizontal trim for the front from scraps from the house sheets.

The trim glued in place with the corner trim pieces (at top of house) also in place. I’ll continue the same kind of trim on the garage floor later. Also I’m not putting in the left bay, because I’m going to use it as the front door.

Next I will trim the roof and chimney. I learned my lesson on the other side, and I’ll wait to shingle until everything is trimmed. I think we finish up the chimney after that.

It’s getting there!