Build Your Own Low-Cost Storm Windows

Learn how to build your own low-cost storm windows and save money, includes tips on materials to use for the windows and how to build these winter windows for your homestead.

| November/December 1977

Build your own low-cost storm windows to create a warmer winter homestead.

Build your own low-cost storm windows to create a warmer winter homestead.

Photos By Gordon Solberg

Stay warmer during the winter by building your own low-cost storm windows using these helpful tips.

Storm windows, as you know, can keep your home significantly warmer during the winter . . . but they cost a bundle when you buy the blamed things ready-made. That single fact alone really left me "out in the cold" when last season's unseasonably frigid weather settled over the country. I simply didn't have enough money lying around to buy storm windows for my house.

So, necessity being the mother of invention and all that, I decided to build my own low-cost storm windows . . . from inexpensive wood and plastic rather than the currently more traditional aluminum and glass. And I'm happy to report that the did-'em-myself units did the job . . . for a fraction of the price of ready-mades!

I kicked off this thrilling saga by letting my fingers do the walking through the Solberg family's trusty Sears and Roebuck catalog . . . where I found four kinds of plastic film: mylar, polyethylene, fiberglass, and vinyl. Mylar was too expensive (60 degrees/square foot), polyethylene ages and turns brittle in a matter of months, and fiberglass isn't transparent enough (I wanted to see out as well as let the sunlight in).

Which left Sears' 4-mil "super clear vinyl" . . . and that sounded like a good bet: "no visual distortion, stays flexible to -26 degrees Fahrenheit, stays clear 2 to 3 years in direct sunlight".

The way I figured it, if that vinyl'll deliver as advertised, it should last dang near indefinitely in my northeast-facing picture window (which gets no winter sunlight to speak of) and it should hold out up to 10 years in my south windows (cause I only plan to leave the plastic up for four months of each year). So I went ahead and ordered a roll (4 by 25 feet) of the 4-mil vinyl for $12 . . . which works out to 120 per square foot.

gordon deisting
1/9/2013 11:27:17 PM

Hey that is a very easy smart move.that's okay down warmer parts,Not over here in northern cold country CANADA.I'd use double pane windows or even triple.

Crowd at Seven Springs MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR


Sept. 15-17, 2017
Seven Springs, PA.

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