It may sound counterintuitive, but there are a number of reasons why homeowners might choose to wall over windows. If a window provides a direct view into a neighbor’s house (and vice versa, someone might close up a window for more privacy or for more security on a ground-level window. They could also want better furniture placement or to create functional built-ins. Older windows may not be energy-efficient, leading to heat loss or drafts. Walling over the window can improve the insulation of the room, potentially reducing heating and cooling costs. Perhaps one of the most common reasons are structural concerns and compliance – changes in local building codes.
In some cases, homeowners may need to obtain the necessary permits and follow building codes to carry out this modification legally – especially in a historic home. An interior designer shared her journey of unwalling a window in an upstairs space in their home. After seeing windows on the outside that didn’t exist on the instead, she decided this must be what happened: the prior owners didn’t want to bother with permits and just made the interior changes they wanted. It’ll be hard to understand why they did it originally after seeing the beautifully restored version!