More than a third of the houses here in southeastern Pennsylvania were built before 1950, and many of them have structural masonry walls. We've worked on lots of these homes in our 21 years as remodelers, so we've learned what to look for when a homeowner wants to make major changes.The big challenge when working with old masonry - whether brick or stone - is making sure the walls stay put, especially when the job requires making a large opening. Old stone or brick exteriors often depend on the surrounding earth, the interior framed walls, and the rafters to hold...

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