Getting Ready for Winter 101: Covering Windows

Covering all the windows of your home this fall will help you to save money on heating costs this winter. Use sturdy plastic rather than the cheap stuff so you do not have to replace all the plastic every single year. Do so only when necessary.


measuring tape

utility knife or scissors

window plastic


wood slats


Before you begin, the height and width of each window to determine how much plastic you will need. This will help you to determine how much plastic you need. For added protection from the cold, you can fold the plastic in half for a double layer. Allow for this in your measurements. Remember that you will need a few extra inches of plastic all around each window as well, for attaching the slats.

You will need enough slats to go around each window once.

Use 4 or 5 nails per full slat, less for shorter ones.

The slats will be nailed in so that they are on the outside of the window frames, and so that there is extra plastic all around. Take a sheet of plastic out and do any cutting necessary. Line the plastic up the way you want over the outside of each window, securing it at the top with with slats and nails. Continue all the way around the window.

Continue in this way until done with all the windows.

Covering the windows from the inside will also help you to save money on heating costs:

  • Use heavy drapes in during the autumn and winter months.

  • Consider using thick quilts over windows.

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 the plastic down to fit on smaller windows if you have any. (Keep these smaller pieces even of you already have plastic sheets for smaller windows. Eventually you will need them.


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