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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Question A wall with a hidden window and a firewood box - suggestions/thoughts welcome!

    After moving into our house, I began to tear down all of the wood paneling that lined our family room. The family room is a long narrow room with a fireplace on one side, with what appeared to be a seating shelf to the right of it.

    When I pulled up the top of the shelf, I found that it actually goes through to an outside box. On the outside of the house is a box that flips open - we believe it was used in the past to load up firewood, which you could then access from the interior. There are some formidable elements closing it off, but they don't appear to be part of the wall, rather, the previous owner must have closed it off from both inside the house and within the box once they finished using it.

    We had planned to have someone come in and demo the box and then fill the gap with drywall, but as I pulled off the wood panels above it I made a startling discovery - there is an old slat style window in the wall. If you look at the home from the outside, it appears that the previous owner boarded up the window, painted over it, and then put siding trim over it to make it less visible.

    I'm not sure I'm posting this in the correct area - but we're not sure what sort of contractor to touch base with to get this corrected. Our overall goal is to get the outside boarding removed, the window replaced, and the firewood box removed and covered with drywall.

    I'm open to trying some of this on my own, but because I have no experience in this I'd like to manage my own expectations and better understand what's challenging, impossible, easy - or just better suited to have a professional handle!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: A wall with a hidden window and a firewood box - suggestions/thoughts welcome!

    First, any general contractor worth his salt can do what you're asking. It is generally no big deal to replace a window or close up a hole in a wall. Having said that, might I suggest rethinking your plan, at least the part involving the removal of the wood box. Here's the thing, if you still use the fireplace, then having the box will significantly reduce the amount of debris that gets tracked into the house with the wood supply. More over, you can refill the box without introducing the outside cold into the house - particularly handy in colder climates. IMHO, the wood box is a good thing IF the fireplace is still being used. The only caveat to this is if the previous owner installed the wood box, it would be a good idea to inspect the way it was done to insure that the structural integrity of the wall has not been compromised.

    I've never been one to talk folks out of their ideas, though I do believe in pointing out the merits of alternatives when appropriate. You can still open up the window space which will give you more light and aesthetics.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Fayette County, Ohio

    Default Re: A wall with a hidden window and a firewood box - suggestions/thoughts welcome!

    I agree with Spruce, in fact any competent DIYer should be able to handle the work you described plus the building or installing a prefab fireplace surround.

    I like wood boxes with outside loading if they are properly constructed and don't allow outside air infiltration.

    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: A wall with a hidden window and a firewood box - suggestions/thoughts welcome!

    Thank you both!

    The good thing is temperature isn't an issue, and although the fireplace is gas, it might be nice to retain the fireplace box feature.

    I don't think I'm quite confident enough to take this on now, but as I become more familiar with DIY projects, and learn more as I perform more work on the house, I'll revisit this wall in the future.

    Thanks again.

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