Options for Closing Up Old Window Frames

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Drywall may be used to cover the interior of an old window frame.
Drywall may be used to cover the interior of an old window frame. (Image: drywall worker image by Sherri Camp from Fotolia.com)

Because old windows offer less insulation and air tightness than their modern counterparts, many homeowners choose to remove them, close up the gap and reap the benefits of a more energy-efficient home. The void created by removing an old window may be filled with a variety of exterior and interior wall finishes. Become familiar with the options for closing up old window frames and choose a finish that matches your home or makes a bold, contrasting statement.

Siding

The term “siding” refers to the long, interlocking planks that cover the exterior of a home’s structure. Planks of siding fall into two general categories: lap siding and tongue and groove siding. As suggested by its name, lap siding planks overlap one another to create a tight seal over the structure's frame. These boards run horizontally across the structure’s wall and every next board up the wall overlaps the one beneath. Tongue and groove siding planks interlock by channels and lips milled into their edges. Each board has an edge with a lip, called a tongue, and an edge with a channel, called a groove. Tongues fit snugly into grooves, creating a weather-tight seal. Tongue and groove siding may be installed either horizontally or vertically.

Stucco

Stucco, a popular wall covering material, may be installed over removed window frames. Stucco is a concrete-based siding material that consists of cement and fine aggregate that is mixed with water and spread like mortar across a wall’s surface. Installation requires a wire netting, or mesh, to be installed over wall framing and sheathing. Additives may be incorporated into the stucco base mix to produce a range of colors that match existing wall colorings. Alternatively, stucco may be painted and primed.

Brick

Brick and mortar construction may be used to close up old window frames and match existing brick exteriors. Traditional brick laying requires clay blocks, called bricks, to be set in a bed of fine cement, called mortar. While traditional brick laying requires considerable practice and skill, applying thin, faux-brick veneers is quick and relatively simple. Brick veneers adhere to a bed of mortar spread upon a flat substrate, such as cement backer board.

Drywall

Drywall is the most common interior wall covering and easily closes gaps left by old window frames. Drywall appears in 4-by-8-foot sheets. The product consists of dried, baked and compressed mineral gypsum. A utility knife easily cuts drywall and specialized screws, called drywall screws, attach the sheet to a conventional, stick frame. Following installation, drywall may be painted to match adjacent wall coverings.

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