One of the odd things we have on this house is this window cover that the visiting goat discovered.
When I was a kid growing up here, this did not exist, but I think I understand why it’s here.
It is over the window we used to toss firewood through, when we had the wood burning furnace. The window is about 6 – 8 inches below grade. I clearly remember tossing wood through, bouncing logs off the ground in front of the window, into the basement. Sometimes, the log would hit the window frame. So the bottom of the window frame and the dirt in front of it got pretty bashed up. At some point, someone fixed the frame and added a dense, hard plastic to the ground in front of it, and made a sort of retaining wall out of bricks and paving stones on each side
Judging from the shape of this cover, it was meant to hang over the window, with the thinner portion fitting between the little retaining walls, to cover the basement window completely. It’s hinged, so it could be lift up as needed.
However, we have never seen it down, because a small fence post was put into the ground in front of it, holding it up above the window. My guess would be that this allowed access to the window, while the cover itself served as a roof to keep rain and snow out of the sunken area in front of the window. Otherwise, any moisture would leak into the basement.
We took advantage of this by putting the food containers for the outside cats under it, so rain wouldn’t turn it all into mush. It worked well, and it’s something we would continue to do, once the winter debris is cleaned up.
With that in mind, today I lifted the cover higher, so I could start cleaning stuff out from under it.
It fell off.
But only one one side!
It was an easy matter to rip it loose from the other side, too.
As you can see by the underside, it’s a fair bit of moisture damage.
The screws on the hinges pulled right out of the weathered wood.
Seeing this, I am amazed it didn’t come apart under the weight of that goat! 😀
This cover was made up of two wood panels attached to each other.
The narrower piece was attached to the wider piece with screws, that were sticking through underneath.
Three of them.
I have gone under this cover, letting it rest on my back while I tended to various things at the window, so many times.
I’m now wondering how I managed to do that and never stab myself in the back, or scrape the back of my head, with those screw ends!!!
The hinge screws are still in the hinges. One of the hinges – the one that broke first – is quite loose from the wall, too.
So… this is something we’re going to need to replace. As odd as it is, it serves a purpose.
We’re going to have to figure out how to replace it, and with what.
Now that the old cover has broken off, we can think about making an improved version. Since I doubt we’ll ever have the cover hang down to cover the window, we don’t need to have the narrower end. I would also want it to be all one piece. The little fence post can stay to hold it up at the lower end, but I would like to use a material that is lighter; a hard plastic of some kind, that can handle the sun without breaking down, perhaps. I also would want to set it up so that it can be swung upwards, with something to hold it against the wall, so we can access the space under it without having to be bent over, holding it up with our own backs.
Hmmm… An idea just occurred to me. If we’re building a new cover anyhow, it could be made with legs to support it at each corner, instead of the fence post that’s there now, in the middle. The legs could be on hinges, so when it’s lifted, the legs will fold downwards rather than sticking straight out. That way, no one would be bashing their heads into a leg when it’s up. 😀
There is a piece of dense plastic near the window that may have been used as a cover there before. I could see no evidence it was ever attached to hinges, so it may simply have been placed against the wall on its own, to cover the window for the winter. I don’t actually know. I’m just guessing, based on the shape. It’s even heavier than the wood version, though, so it’s not something we can use to replace the cover, as it’s set up now.
This does remind me of something else for the to-do list, though. For the summer, the basement window, plus the foam insulation cut to fit into the frame, gets removed, and a metal screen gets used, instead. This helps with air circulation in the old basement, helping to keep it dry. My older brother even had a fan set up on the inside (which disappeared before we moved in) to draw air in, along with the big blower fan that’s still down there, to help keep that basement’s floor dry.
The wood framing the metal screen was pretty old and starting to break when we first moved her, and this past winter, it finally broke apart. We will need to find some wood to make a new frame before we’ll be able to use that screen again.
Another couple of things for the to-do list! 🙂