So here begins a brief “how-to” on winterizing old drafty windows using plastic sheeting, cardboard, and a staple gun.
Step One: Measure out the size of your windows and cut your plastic to the proper size. Do not cut it to the exact size, make sure each side is about six inches bigger than it needs to be because you will be rolling the excess plastic around the cardboard.
Step Two: Grab the cardboard that you are using and cut it to the size of your windows. To do this, cut the cardboard in the location that you are going to be stapling it in, and fold/rip to size. Make it only slightly smaller on the ends to allow room for the other pieces of cardboard that will be framing in your window.
Step Three: We decided to staple the plastic inside the window frame because of the awkward shape and molding of the windows, but you can just as easily staple around the outside of the window if you prefer. So take your first piece of cardboard (we started with the bottom) and roll it a few times in the plastic. Then take this and staple it into position. *Note: Staple size does matter! We made the mistake of using staples that are not long enough and have already seen the cardboard being ripped out with the wind and will need to replace them. Try a 1/2 to 3/4 inch staple with this.* You will have some excess plastic on the edges. You can trim these before rolling in the sides.
Step Four: Do the same again with the side opposite that you just did- for us it was the top. Make sure that you do not roll the plastic too tightly on the cardboard, or you will find that you might tug up too hard, ripping out the bottom. Allow a little room to breath in the plastic- a little loose will be fine. Again, trim the edges.
Step Five: Next, do your third side just like the other two. All this rolling will have you ready to make wraps or burritos for lunch!
Step Six: Roll your last side, staple it in and you’re done. One window done, many more to go I’m sure.
For such an inexpensive and easy project (although time consuming and tedious) it helps quite a lot when it comes to preventing the loss of heat in your home. The staples for the staple gun are a couple bucks for a pack, cardboard was free, and the big roll of plastic was under $20. All this did ten windows, and we still have some plastic left over for next year. The plastic we bought is a little more heavy duty than you might want, and does a good job of preventing us from seeing too much of what’s going on outside. But you can get your plastic at different thicknesses, depending on your situation. They go all the way from thin see-through kits that use double-sided tape and a hairdryer, to the heavy duty do it yourself stuff that we bought. Although we would like to be able to see outside a little better, we’d much rather have this heavier plastic for our situation.