RM Blog Inside, Out12/07/2010

Hands On with Amy Devers: Winterize It!

Dear Amy,

Whats the best way to winter-ize our screened-in porch? Plastic? If so, what kind and how to secure it? We’d like to not have piles of snowdrift sitting inside the porch all winter, but we also don’t want to do damage to the porch itself by filling it with staples.


Yes, thank you! I dont want you to damage your porch by filling it with staples either. I dont understand why so many people do that. They must love pulling staples and looking at gouges and holes three seasons out of the year. Or maybe they have a spackle fetish. Who knows, but everybodys got their own thing, right?

I live in California where I dont have winter or a screened-in porch, but if I did heres what I would do: I would make myself some easy plastic sheet storm windows. And heres how I would do it: First, I would build some rectangular frames out of 1 x 2 lumber that fit either inside each of the window frames with about 1/2” of play, or overlap them by 1” – 2” on all sides. I would miter the corners, and use Gorilla Glue and nails or staples to fasten them together. Then I would paint, stain, or seal the frames, so they look nice, clean, and handsome with my porch. After that I would stretch 4 mil (or thicker) clear plastic sheeting taut around the frames like I was wrapping a present and staple the plastic in place either on the edges or the face that wont show. The dead air space between the two layers of plastic will give added insulation value, sweet! Then for even more insulation value (I like to be warm) I would apply foam weather-strip tape to block drafts and create a nice seal between your new storm window and the existing opening. And when thats done, I would snug them into place and secure them with screen clips or corner braces, or even a few nails, but I would leave the nail heads slightly proud to make them easy to remove when the weather warms up. Then I would store them and re-use them every winter for several years.

Thats what I would do, but hey, thats just me.

Have a home fixin’ problem you want solved by DIY Master Amy Devers? Email your question to info@readymademag.com.