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Archive for Monday, June 27, 2011

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Fix-It Chick: A window box can add a burst of fresh colors

June 27, 2011

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Window boxes can add charm and color to any structure on your property. Consider adding a window box to your home, garage or storage shed.

Step 1: Choose a window that faces the south, east or west and measure the width of the window. Window boxes should be 5 inches wider than the window itself.

Step 2: Decide on the best way to mount the window box. Options include window box brackets, shelf brackets, angle brackets or direct mounting with screws or hanger bolts.

Step 3: Determine the ideal position for the window box. Boxes can be mounted directly below the bottom sash of sliding or double hung windows. Outside-opening casement windows pose an interesting challenge, as the box will need to be hung low enough so when the window opens it does not hit the flowers and vegetation in the window box.

Step 4: Use a level to draw a plumb line beneath the window that corresponds with the desired height of the top or bottom of the window box.

Step 5: Choose the proper spacing of the window brackets or mounting screws. For wood frame houses, brackets should be mounted on either side of the window into the window framing studs. For stone or masonry structures, brackets should be space to avoid mortar lines.

Step 6: Use a hammer drill and properly sized bit to drill screw holes directly into the brick or stone. Use a regular drill for mounting brackets into wood framed structures. Pre-drill all screw holes to avoid damage to the siding or structure.

Step 7: Use the proper length screws to securely mount the brackets onto the structure wall. Use a level to assure the brackets are plumb.

Step 8: Ideally window boxes should be mounted an inch away from the actual structure wall. If the mounting brackets do not allow for this, or if boxes are being screwed directly to the structure, use spacers or washers to allow for water flow behind the box and to assure the boxes do not damage the structure wall.

Step 9: Once the brackets are installed or the direct mount screw holes have been drilled, mount the window box with appropriate-sized screws.

Fill the box with a lightweight soil medium and plant an array of flowers, vegetables or herbs. Water regularly and watch as a little bit of nature brightens the day for months to come.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at go@ljworld.com.

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