we wanted to keep every single window and door but it turned out to be unrealistic. three windows on the back of the house, (one bedroom, one closet, and one bathroom window) were all super tiny. we had a window company come out who informed us that new window frames are so much larger than they were when ours were installed that the frame would take up almost the entire opening, so to keep these original window holes they would all need to be made much larger. of these, one will be in what is most likely going to be a closet so we nixed it immediately. more difficult was the window that was in the bedroom, this (in some configuration) will still be the bedroom but most likely from our preliminary sketches we will only have one wall that doesn’t have doors on it and we’d really like some artwork above the bed versus a big window. in the end we opted for closing it up and making the two windows that will be in the bath area larger. one huge perk is it will be nice and dark for sleeping and after being in the airstream all year this will be welcome, it’s like a giant lightbulb in there in the mornings!
the bedroom was so tiny that we knew we would need to move the wall up at least a little bit to allow us to fit in a king sized bed. this meant the side door had to be moved because it was pretty much right on top of the bedroom wall. this door opening as well as the window next to it were bricked so that we could again have a little bit of wall space in the living/dining/kitchen area, and by making one of the two remaining windows a door, we still have tons of light. (are you following all this?!) (;
it’s amazing the amount of supplies needed for masonry jobs. we found a 4th generation mason on craigslist, and to save money we picked up around 50% of the supplies ourselves, with the exception of the truck bed full of sand and the mixer. otherwise we made runs to get quikrete and other supplies as needed. we also saved by using cinder block in the areas where the brick would not be exposed. this saved the masonry time and was cheaper than brick so it made for two way savings. as one of the very few things we are hiring out, we tried to save money anywhere we could. the brick on the house is obviously 100 + years old so the brick that was placed in the windows and doors had to match. you can buy vintage brick, but this is where using blocks saves if it’s not going to be visible.
the photo below is the small window that would be in a closet so we bricked it in, and next to it, one of two bathroom windows that will be made larger to make for a bright master bath and allow more light to filter into our windowless bedroom.
a big job as you can see from these photos, we are so glad we didn’t tackle this on our own. the expertise and precision that comes with using a multi-generation mason is well worth your money!