Make my own storm windows or order them?

Old 04-20-18, 05:44 AM
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Make my own storm windows or order them?

I live in western NC, in the mountains. We just move to this house in Sept. It is a 1 story house with a fully finished walkout basement. Over the winter I found that a lot of cold air comes in through the double hung windows. Between the casing and the top and bottom rails. I have decided that over the summer I am going to get storm windows together in preparation for next winter. It would be more costly that I can do now to replace the windows completely. So this is my best alternative.

I have looked at options for making my own and find that I can make wooden frames for the glass or buy metal track for the glass. I have not priced buying ones already made but I am guessing that it would be more expensive.

So to get to my question. Any suggestions about this project? Thinks like the best way to go in your opinion, where to get premade parts, where to order already made storm windows? Any input related to this is appreciated.
Old 04-20-18, 05:49 AM
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First you need to price storm windows as they might not be as bad as you think. You'll need to measure your windows on the exterior to know what size you'll need.
Personally I wouldn't bother making my own as they will need maintenance [painting, reglazing] If I couldn't afford storm windows at the present I'd install plastic on the inside as a temporary measure. There are those that do that every winter.
Old 04-20-18, 05:55 AM
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I would only consider aluminum framed storms. Keeping wood in good condition when it's exposed to the weather is quite a job. I would hate to see you invest all the labor to make and install your storms only to have them last a few seasons. And home made storms will have to be installed and removed every season if you want to be able to open the windows during the summer. Then there is the issue of storing wood storms. Some types of aluminum storms can be permanently installed on the windows and be opened and closed from inside the house so there would be no ladder work.
Old 04-20-18, 07:26 AM
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I guess I left out an important piece of info. I am putting these on the inside of the house. The windows are vinyl on the outside and wood on the inside. Looking at the way they are made there is a good surface to put them against all the way around the window jam or casing. Not sure what the correct term is. So these will not be exposed to the elements.
Old 04-20-18, 07:36 AM
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If you are so inclined, you should probably remove the interior trim (carefully, so it can be reinstalled) and make sure the window perimeter is insulated and air sealed. (Cut away drywall if needed) That is the root of the problem and would likely fix the problem.

If air still comes through the windows, they could be spread in the middle... so you would check the window installation for plumb, square, sides parallel, etc first.

Aside from that, I'm sure a 3m window insulator kit could be installed. I've never seen a window that couldn't be covered somehow.
Old 04-20-18, 02:52 PM
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I tend to agree with all the others. Use the plastic film for the time being. Put away a few bucks every week or month and then get new windows installed down the road.
Old 04-21-18, 03:11 AM
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If it's really bad and cost is a major concern, you can try this redneck fix. Buy clear vinyl at one of the fabric stores(possibly even Wally World) to cover the offending windows on the inside. They have it on a large bolt, just like the fabrics. Cut it large enough to cover the entire window and frame. You can fasten it to the sides of the window trim with two sided tape and/or staples. Just be sure to pull it tight enough to avoid wrinkles. It's heavy enough to stop the drafts, acts as a bit of an insulator, and allow the daylight through. Works a whole lot better than the the thin film.

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