How To Make Better Use Of A Bricked In Garage Window

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    A friend is asking about a garage window on the side of their home that has been partly bricked in by the previous owner. It seems that previously it was fitted with a double hung window but now there is a pattern of brick that has been placed to offer ventilation and some light. Additionally it seems that on the interior the previous owner had ended up covering the window with plywood.

    The first consideration here is if that window was installed that way by the home builder to allow for ventilation of a gas water heater or gas home furnace that is located in the garage. If you have a gas appliance in the garage and even a gas clothes dryer would be the same .. then you need to provide air for burning the fuel and this air is not suppose to come from the living space.

    This is why you will see new gas furnaces and water heaters not only provide a vent pipe for expelling waste gasses but it will also be fitted with air to the appliance for the gas burners. They can be pipes made out of PVC or Sheet metal pipe for older appearances that are not as efficient and expel a lot of heat in their vent.

    If you have any gas appliances in your garage then you will need to talk with a HVAC technician about your other options for venting.

    What you could do is remove the brick and then install a retrofit window and you would be back to the original design of the home but having a window in your garage is nice it can be a security problem.

    If this is not the case and you only have a standard garage then you might want to rethink how that window was framed and then brick or concrete block in the opening and stucco over it with mortar.

    Another option is to use glass block which can be reasonably secure and also provide good light for the garage without the need for electric lighting. This can be important if your circuit breaker is located in the garage and you need to check a problem when the lights go out.

    To block in the window completely as if it was never placed there you should remove the existing brick and window frame including the brick used as a sill at the bottom of the window. This can be completed with a 3lb sledge hammer and a wide flat chisel without too much effort.

    To install new block you will want to measure the dimension of the window and then lay your block appropriately. If the top course of block would be too tall for a full block you can cut the concrete block with a circular saw and a ceramic blade.Use a bag mortar mix to install concrete block. You don’t necessarily need to use rebar in this area but you can use tie in straps that will anchor to the left and right sides of the opening and then lay on top of the block before you add your next layer of mortar.

    Final Note

    Blocking in an opening in your garage like this has to be done with some care. Although the actual laying of block is pretty simple and then you can finish it with a coating of mortar to simulate the surrounding stucco wall this is not the only thing to consider when doing this job.

    You might want to lay glass block and it is installed just like concrete block. You could also block up most of the opening and leave the top row for glass block.

    Additionally if you have gas appliances its a good idea to have an HVAC technician inspect them and the offer a solution for venting and supply gas before you start to do anything on your own.

    This job can easily be completed in one day or one weekend depending on your skill.

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