How to Make Your Own Magnetic Storm Windows

A set of large windows looking out at a winter afternoon.
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Tape measure
1/8-inch acrylic sheets
Pressure-sensitive adhesive
Storm window kit
Soapy water
Lint-free cloth

Magnetic storm windows are a cost-effective alternative to complete window replacement for an energy-efficient home. These simply mount to the inside of existing windows and are held in place with a magnet, and the seal created prevents hot or cold air from seeping in from outdoors. These windows can easily be changed in or out seasonally as well and all components are adapted for sun exposure.

Step 1 - Purchase Your Materials

All of the materials you need should be available at your local department store and/or home improvement store. The storm window kits you will find should be able to make seven average-sized windows measuring three feet by four feet. Included in the kit is 100 feet of steel strip, two 50-foot rolls of magnets (similar to those found on refrigerator doors), 200 feet of trim tape (comes in white or dark brown) and two 100-foot rolls of adhesive.
The assembly of magnetic storm windows is a simple process. It should take about 30 minutes total.

Step 2 - Measure Your Windows

Using a tape measure, get the dimensions of your window, not including the frame. Measure across the top, across the bottom, down the left side and the right side, and from opposite corner to opposite corner. Write down these numbers to take with you to get the plexiglass.

Step 3 - Measure the Plexiglass

It is important to measure the plexiglass correctly to ensure a good seal and fit to the inside of the window. It should be cut 1 1/8-inch greater than the distance between the opposite inner edges of the 5/8-inch steel mounting strips.

If your weather stripping is going to replace the lower cleat, you will need to have measured your window down to the sill and added half an inch.

Step 4 - Mount Magnetic Strips to Plexiglass

Using the pressure-sensitive adhesive, mount the rubber magnetic strips around the plexiglass along the edges. The adhesives are acrylic-based to give them strength and durability.

Step 5 - Attach Trim Tape

On the other side of the glass, measure lengths for your trim tape so you can use it to cover up the magnets. Cut the pieces you need and attach them to the plexiglass.

Step 6 - Secure the Steel Mounting Strips

Next, using the trim tape and adhesive, mount four steel mounting strips around the window perimeter.

Step 7 - Install the Magnetic Storm Window

The final step, installation, is the easiest. Simply hold the plexiglass window with the magnets facing the steel and the magnets will pull the window into place.

Magnetic storm windows are easy to uninstall as well. Pull up on the corners, pull the window towards you, and the magnets should peel away from the steel.

Plexiglass Cleaning Tips

Plexiglass is not glass and cannot be cleaned in the same manner. Use soapy water, created by dishwashing liquid and water to clean, and wipe gently. Rinse with a wet cloth, and then dry using a lint-free cloth.