One sure fire way to save money on your energy and heating bill is through the addition for storm windows. Leaky windows let the cold air in during the winter months and let the hot air in during the summer. Either way you are just throwing your money out the window with your heating and cooling bill. That is why I decided to try a DIY storm window project to help save money on my heating bill.
A couple of notes on this project. I am not very handy at all. It really looks like a bigger project than it really is. Trust me. You just need a couple of tools like a miter saw, square, measuring tape and drill. Pretty basic stuff. Most instructions I found on-line involve using plexi glass, this method uses shrink wrap and is easy to build.
I estimate that each window probably cost around $30 at a maximum to make. To save money I bought a bulk package of the plastic shrink wrap as I was making a few windows and you can save by buying larger pieces of wood and cutting them yourself into the fitted pieces. The more expensive item was the weather stripping which you shouldn’t cheap on but I will talk about that in a bit.
Finally this is by no means my creation. I just basically followed a five part youtube series which was easy to follow and easy to reproduce. I will link the series after I go over my process a bit.
The process basically involves building a wooden frame, adding shrink wrap to each side of the frame, using the blow drier to tighten it, tape down the edges and add weather stripping.
Here’s the finished project fitting nice and snug in my basement window. This window is warm and dry. No leaks and no condensation on the window at all.
Here is a photo showing the open cell weather stripping. I used the foamy type that can squeeze in order to fit. I tried the closed cell type and there is no play on it meaning you have to be exact in your measurements.
Here is the link to the start of the series on Making Storm Windows. It is a five part series of instruction and you can find each link to the next video in the index. Follow along it’s really easy.
A couple of tips:
1. The double sized tape will pull and maybe pull off the wood frame a little. Just make sure you use a packing tape on tape down the frame where the double sized tape it. He goes over taping the corners down. I tape the entire frame down.
2. Leave yourself lots of overlap when cutting and applying the plastic wrap as it pull and shrinks. If you don’t it will pull and shrink right off of your frame.
3. When he says to drop an inch on each side so your window fits, do it. You will be filling any gaps with the weather stripping and you want to make sure it fits. I put my frame together and tested it to make sure it fits loosely before adding the wrap.
4. He uses a dowel to put the frame together. Too much for me. I used Gorilla glue and then a nail gun and let it sit for a couple of hours for the glue to dry. This was easier for me. I also pre-drilled holes used a small screw on one of my windows.
Have fun saving money on your heating bill. My basement has never been warmer and drier. Before putting these windows up I would get ice on my windows. Not any more.