Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Windows XP Removed

(XP stands for Extra-Professionally)

Our house didn't use to have a garage, but a carport. Sometime along the way the carport was converted to a garage, but the windows to the dining area and the bathroom remained. This is not up to code, according to our inspector, so we have to remove the windows and brick them up. We decided to do it now, because we are also getting new windows, and they will cost $450 less if we remove the old windows ourselves. The window that needs to be bricked, is therefore, the practice window -we can see how it goes, and decide whether we would like to pay someone else $450 for the pleasure or not. Turns out it's not so difficult! Sunday Mark removed the window in about 1 hour, and that included finding hidden nails, and dealing with the fact that the window didn't open all the way, because of the garage door tracks that run across it. Now that we know there are nails on both sides of the window, and as all other windows open all the way, it should take less time per window, we hope. The window person, who came to measure the windows, was very impressed!

Mark bangs on the sides of the window to loosen it up.

All the nails are out, and the window can finally be pulled out.

Next, we had to brick it up. But first we had to find bricks. We wanted to use burnt adobe bricks, to match the rest of the house. You'd think it would be easy to find in Tucson, but no. The new adobe bricks are made differently - they're more stable - and the one place that sells them, although they said they have bricks with a color that matches - was too busy to help us. We finally found a place that sells burnt adobe way out west - Walter's Wholesale Mesquite. They mostly sell firewood, but they also have adobe bricks of various sizes. We wanted 4" wide bricks, so that we can have a little niche for built-in shelves -- the house bricks are 8" wide. We got 50 of them and started laying them. Six hours later:

Mark reinforced the bricks with reinforcement bars drilled into the bordering walls. It was already 11 pm and we ran out of sand, so we had to close the rest of the window with some cardboard and continue the next day.

Monday, 8:30 pm, after acquiring more sand and cement, we started again. Five and half hours later (yes, it was 2 am when we were finally done!):

From the inside: the bricks will be painted, and shelves will be hung to show our smaller ceramic creations.

From the garage side: as you can see, the garage door tracks didn't make it any easier laying the bricks in the last couple of rows. Also, not that the new brick sizes are different - they are shorter both in length and height than the original bricks.

And on a different note: On Sunday our garden veggies turned 2 months old:

The snap peas are blooming!

Copious amounts of mustard, arugula and salad greens result in a lot of greenery ending up in our meals.


  1. You guys continue to impress me with your gumption. Wow.

  2. And you continue to amaze me with your vocabulary :)