My Tiny House Started with a Window and a couple weeks ago I dropped the sashes off at Wooddale Windows so that a frame could be made for them. I knew that Wooddale, who has been making wood windows for the past several decades, was precisely the person I wanted to build the arched frame for the window that started this whole project. I believe it will be the piece de resistance in my wee home and I was pleased that Wooddale was fascinated by my project. I grinned when I read his emails:
"Ya know, we have built many arched windows in the past. There is a lot of labor that goes into building arched top frames and sash. Along with that costs are much higher. We are interested in your project. We have never built windows for a Gypsy Wagon, which will be a nice change... Send a 50% deposit that gets you in and I'll buy lumber and get it in here, when I trip on it a couple of times, it's time to build your windows. Thank you so much, looking to enjoy this job." - Wooddale
Besides the arched window, my vardo design called for two more windows, one for either side of my galley kitchen. So I had been haunting the ReBuilding Center for the past few months, looking for my kitchen windows.
I knew just what I wanted: They had to be a matching set. They had to be double paned. They had to be wooden, at least on the interior. They had to be about 3 feet tall and between 4 and 6 feet wide. They had to be in good working order. They had to be beautiful. Not that I was picky about it...
Needless to say, I hadn't found them. So I was just about to commission Wooddale to build me the kitchen windows of my dreams. I thought I'd wanted a little curve in the top trim the way old streetcar windows are, but I also wanted some sort of divided lites and when I tried sketching it out I realized it just didn't look right. So I came up with a new design, one that had both the curve and the divided lites. After I sent Wooddale the sketch of what I wanted I started seeing similar windows around town. And every time I did my heart skipped a beat. So I knew they would be gorgeous. And probably worth every penny of the price tag that accompanies meticulous craftsmanship.
But yesterday, just before I was going to send a deposit check for my windows, I decided to make one more trip to the ReBuilding Center to scout for my kitchen windows. And this time, when I walked among the rows of windows on a Tiny House Treasure Hunt, there they were.
My kitchen windows.
Two matching Pella windows. Double paned. Wood interiors. Three feet tall and 4 feet wide. In good working order. And beautiful.
Yes, one of them needed a new crank. Yes, their flanges had been cut off, as they so often are on reclaimed windows. Yes, they needed a good wipe down. Yes, a new coat of sealer probably wouldn't hurt either. But otherwise, they were just right. They were also a fraction of what I would have paid for brand new custom windows.
As I admired them I realized that my only hesitation was that if I purchased these windows Wooddale wouldn't be making me the windows of my dreams. I love supporting craftspeople like Wooddale, especially those carrying on traditions like building wood windows the old-fashioned way. So I'm delighted that Wooddale will be building the frame for my arched window. I know he has customers lined up, eager to have him create beautiful windows that match their historic homes. So I certainly know who I'll turn to if I ever decide to have the windows of my dreams built for me.
For now, I'm thrilled that I found my kitchen windows. It means I'm this much closer to being able to order my Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs)!