Getting Ready for Winter 101: Banking Your Home

The winter months are close at hand, and we are all looking for ways to save money while preparing for this cold time of year. Many homes will benefit from banking this winter. By performing this task, you will save money on your heating bill and prevent pipes from freezing.

Banking your home is easy, but expect to spend a good portion of a day on the task. Be sure to have all the materials necessary on hand before beginning, and have a coat and gloves handy in case you get cold.


measuring tape

utility knife

banking plastic


wood slats


rocks or other items to place around the bottom.

Before you begin, measure around the bottom of your home to determine how much plastic you will need. Also keep in mind that you will have to overlap each section of plastic, so add another foot of needed plastic for each section. Also remember that you will need extra plastic at the bottom for placement of rocks.

If the area at the base of your home is low enough, you will be able to cut the plastic in half length wise. For added protection from the cold, you can fold the plastic in half for a double layer.

It is okay to allow a space of a foot or two in between slats. You will need enough to go around the home once, and to nail straight up and down where the plastic sheets meet.

Use 3 nails per slat, one at each end and one in the middle.

Take a sheet of plastic out and do any cutting necessary, if going that route.

Line the plastic up the way you want, securing it at the top with with slats and nails.

Overlap each section of plastic by 6 inches, nailing an extra slat straight up and down where the two pieces of plastic meet.

Continue in this way until done.

Place rocks or bricks over the bottom of the plastic to keep the wind out as much as possible. Bagged leaves with a rock or brick in the bottom will add more insulation.

To save money on this project over the years:

  • Store slats in a large plastic trash receptacle when not in use.

  • Pull the nails each spring and place them in a canning jar or an old coffee can until next fall.

  • Reuse the plastic as many years as possible. When tears occur, cut off those sections and keep the rest, replacing the plastic a little each year rather than all at once.

  • Invest in sturdy plastic, rather than the cheap alternative.


One thought on “Getting Ready for Winter 101: Banking Your Home

  1. Fantastic tips here. We live in a pretty cold area and after a couple of particularly harsh winters, we’re gathering ideas for the coming cold months and banking seems to be relatively simple and cost effective.

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