bricking up a window

houseadvice123May 28, 2014

Hello all,
About a year ago I bought a house which is about 90 years old in western PA. One thing that has been bothering me is that the previous owner drywall/plastered over a window from the inside but they left the window on the outside. The window itself is OLD. It's single pane, the frame is cracking and broken and not very good. While I'm not exactly sure whats in there, I took a picture with my iphone from the outside (, and see some sort of plywood/drywall. I'm thinking about bricking it up (because it really just opens to the side of my neighbors house).

Can I just brick it up and be done with it? Or is there some important step I'm missing or forgetting?

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1) Go back and edit your post to show your link as clickable with your post.

2) The link shows nothing but a reflected flash


    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 9:56PM
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1) sorry, I wasnt familiar with the formatting here

2) Thats really all there is too see. Its dark on the other side of the pane with what looks to be some sort of drywall/plywood.

thanks anyway saltidawg. Anyone else? I guess a big concern of mine is if I can just brick it up or need extra steps to prevent moisture? Or is that not an issue?

This post was edited by houseadvice123 on Wed, May 28, 14 at 23:26

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 11:25PM
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Ignore that person, even though you've ruined his life with such an egregious faux-pas. Your link (with FireFox and Chrome) can just be highlighted and right clicked to open it in a new tab or window directly.

One very common reason to NOT remove an external feature like a window is someone has decided that the blocked-off-behind-glass look is preferable to the removed-and-patched look. It also eases backtracking in the future in one regrets the remodel.

I shut my garage door, nailed the panels to the jambs, removed the springs and track, insulated the thing, and built a bedroom wall on the inside. One reason was that I was completely unable to remove that door and patch things so it would look like a decent job. Another reason was that I wouldn't always have a gazillion kids living here and that i just might want to park my car inside once more some day. That hasn't happened, BTW. Thirdly, we were having unkind words with the building permits people, and then ultimately there would have been words with the tax people, but let's not go there. But! We still have all our options!

I think you have to decide which way you want to go: abandon or abide. Once you do, the remedy will be obvious to you. Repairing the now dummy window might be a prudent long term action and would be a fantastically excellent reason to buy a new table saw or router table. Just sayin...

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:00AM
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"cold weather", besides snarky attempted sarcasm, offered no answer.

Again, without a decent photo I'm not sure how to answer your question either.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 8:33AM
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If the room in which the window is located is a bedroom, there may be a code requirement for an amount of window space.

If that room is a bathroom, there is a code requirement to have a window---or venting system if no window.

Cold weather simply told his story of why he did what he did with the garage---skirting the entire codes/tax issue.

I looked at the picture---which shows a piece of brown painted plywood. So have no idea what the actual window area looks like.

If bricking up the opening is doable(codes issues not preventing), there are some considerations.

First, getting brick materials to match the rest of the wall will be darn near impossible.

Second, the inside section probably would need to be removed to make sure the bricking job includes the necessary steps to deal with moisture transfer and then sheathing installed to match the rest of the structure(insulation/interior moisture control purposes).

It seems to me the better (and less expensive) solution is to remove the inside cover and have a new window installed.

Then put drapes up if the neighbor s house is a distraction.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 11:27AM
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You may having trouble with inspection because sleeping in a garage that has a furnace can be deadly:

G2406.2 of the 2009 IRC states Prohibited areas.
Appliances shall not be located in sleeping room, bathrooms, toilet rooms, storage closets or surgical rooms, or in a space that opens only into such rooms or spaces, unless it is a direct-vent appliance installed in accordance with the conditions of the listing and manufacturer's instructions.

Vented room heaters, wall furnaces, vented appliances that meet G2407.5.

The appliance is installed in a room or space that opens only into a bedroom or bathroom, and such room or space is used for no other purpose and is provided with a solid weather-stripped door equipped with an approved self-closing device. All combustion air shall be taken directly from the outdoors in accordance with Section G2407.6

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 11:37AM
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"I shut my garage door, nailed the panels to the jambs, removed the springs and track, insulated the thing, and built a bedroom wall on the inside. "

That's really half-a$$ed - even in the sticks!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:02PM
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If it doesn't look bad from the outside, I would probably just leave it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 11:47PM
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Coming to this party late, but here is the photo from the OP:

I'm assuming the house is brick? The bricks over the window will never match the house. If it were my house, I would spend the time and money to make the window functional again, even if it means replacing the window. It may not provide a view, but it will let light into the house, which is generally a good thing.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 10:16AM
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