Friday, October 17, 2008

Winterization of the Holy Rosary Rectory

By Father Scott Joseph Garrett

With heating fuel going through the roof, literally, (about $7 per gallon plus tax) we at Holy Rosary decided to replace the windows in the rectory. We filled out some paper work and sent it off to Catholic Extension Society. They graciously donated money for ten new windows, some storm doors, blinds, and all the material and labor necessary to winterize the rectory.

Here is a picture of a window that is ready to by pulled out. The 60 year old window basically was ready to fall out after we removed the inside trim.



Construction work is expensive in Dillingham, Alaska. Most of the good contractors are so busy that they can never be contracted. The parishioners decided to do most of the labor saving, and this is not an exaggeration, thousands of dollars.

There are ten windows in the rectory. They were probably installed in the 1940’s. I decided to measure and order the windows and have the parishioners help me to install them.

To make a long story short, I ordered the wrong size windows. My philosophy was one size fits all. After consulting one of those hard to find Dillingham contractors I realized that I should have measured the inside of the 2X4 frame. After spending about $1,000 for shipping and a couple thousand for the windows, I had to sell them.

I put an add on the TV and announced the windows on the radio. They sold much faster than I expected. I almost broke even. Within a week after putting them up for sale I tore off all of the outside trim and hunted for the 2X4 frame and measured each window again, this time the right way. I then called up Spenard Business Supply in Anchorage and gave them five different measurements for the ten windows.

During the first snowstorm the second set of windows arrived. We unpackaged them and set them in the old church. For the two large windows (one was about seven feet by four feet) I hired King Construction. I was able to get Scott King to spend four hours helping me before he went goose hunting. We had to install the windows two stories up in the upper room above the garage. It was quite a learning experience for us. Scott King only charged me $150. I was expecting about $600. Thank you so much Scott!

After the two large windows were sealed up with silicone, screws, and foam insulation, I contacted Bernie and Pat, the Holy Rosary volunteer maintenance crew. Bernie actually took a day off work from Nushagak to help out. It was a comfortable 15 degrees outside when we started at 9:30 in the morning October 16th, 2008. It was just starting to get light outside.

Here are a few pictures of the work. Click on them to make them larger. After pulling out the old window, Bernie sizes up the situation.


Next, the old tar paper is pulled of, the nails taken out, and the frame is primed for the new window.


Bernie takes a well deserved break before attacking the fifth window of the day in 15 degree weather.


Pat Durbin inspects the installation and is well pleased with the progress.


The next morning (October 17th, 2008) I got out of bed and looked at the thermometer. I silently said a prayer thanking God for the donation of money, time, and talent to our mission out here in Dillingham. The temperature was seven degrees. Although there is still lots of trim work to do both inside and outside and a couple of storm doors to install, I was grinning from ear to ear. This year I will be ready for -30 degrees.

Please leave a comment below! Thanx, Fr. Scott

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