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.






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