Interior storm windows/panels

pamela928September 30, 2005

(Hope I didn't miss a thread on this--did a search and found little.)

I really need to do something about my 1790 house's windows this fall. Exterior storms are not desirable to us, or permitted in our hist. district. So--I'd like to do what I've seen at some museum houses, and that is to use interior storms.

Does anyone have them, and could describe them to me? I'm thinking plexi, no frames, with maybe wingnut type holders? I've seen velcro (too obvious) and screwed-in (too damaging to our original windows).



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Have you considered the heat and shrink plastic film that attaches with double sided tape to the interior of the window frame. I used it extensively throughout my 1880 Victorian last year and I was quite happy with the results.

I have some basement windows I did last fall that are still intact and will probably make it through this winter. Clean, smooth, glossy frames are important as I've noticed several windows that were not smooth have resulted in tape that has let go.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 10:20AM
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Yes, thanks, we did that last year, and I'm sure it helped on our bills. At last the wood blinds and curtains didn't blow at the windows as much so we knew it was an improvement!

But many of them didn't stick (we haven't repainted much of our wood trim yet) and on the ones that did, when I tried to carefully remove them to clean the windows this spring, the paint pulled off with the tape.

Nothing seems a perfect choice, I think. But I'm determined to solve this on the inside, as invisibly as possible.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 12:43PM
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I have interior storms (plexi for the large windows, glass for the others). They have a small aluminum frame w/ fuzzy stuff on one side to help seal. I drilled holes in the window frame for the fasteners, so I don't know HOW you could secure the windows without either drilling holes or serious tape (that would cause its own problems). Ask the local glass shop about 'bailey' panels and see what they can offer.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 1:50PM
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Last winter I had some serious window repair issues and one of my windows had to be out for a couple of months. I used a WindoTherm panel installed in the opening, which kept things buttoned up nicely, even though it was well below freezing most of the time. They are intended to act as interior storms however, so they might do the trick for you. They are normally installed with clips that are screwed into the wood. However, since this was temp. situation we put firing strips around the opening (held in place with long screw rods) and then clipped the WindoTherm panel to the firring strips avoiding any marks in the jambs.

I think you could find WindoTherm by googling. I know they have a website.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 12:04AM
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Thanks very much. The WindoTherm inserts look very interesting--two heavy sheets of PVC, heat-shrunk, that can withstand a baseball thrown at it. The energy savings claims on the site are amazing. I'll call Monday to get a quote. The deal breaker will be if they insist on putting a support piece of aluminum along the center of the window. I just can't do that.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 2:45PM
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I think I'll be calling Windotherm on monday as well. One might work nicely for me. I've got an 82" x 35" opening between my kitchen and a sunroom(or breakfast area), which is unheated, so in the winter it gets really cold, in the summer it gets really hot. I have that Frost King clear plastic there now, but the WindoTherm sounds like it would be much nicer looking, plus work better.
No idea what the price might be though. Molly, how much did they cost you, if you don't mind me asking?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 9:49PM
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I think they were/are about $100/ window. Or were when we puchased some a few years ago. The price depends on the size of your windows figured in "united inch dimensions". Quite complicated to figure out, but they can help.

Our installation (the mark-free one) is not the usual way of mounting. Basically we take pieces of 1X stock and fit it inside the jamb (with weatherstripping). Then to keep those pieces in place we have long threaded rods going across the width at top and bottom to hold them tightly to the jamb, with horizontal pieces friction fit between the vetricls at top and bottom. Then the WindoTherm is attached to the 1X stock with their special little turn-bolts, which would ordinarily have to be mounted to the window. Our installations which are only temporary when we are working on windows (for instance when we took the sashes out in Jan/ Feb for maintenance; we only had the W/T as a "primary window" during this period) so we didn't want to screw anything into the window frame. If one was doing this as seasonally permanent (and you can reuse the W/T for several years before they need reskinning) installation I'd be doing a conventional installation with them attached directly to the window frame.

In answer to the question of whether there is a middle bar: yes, there is and can be more depending on the size of the window. Most do require something across the middle (though I believe it could be above or below the actual middle if that was where your sashes met). I think it is also possible to run one down the middle, top to bottom, if you had casement windows that met that way.

The support piece is inside the window, between the sheets of plastic. The brace keeps the whole thing tight and square.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 1:13AM
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Try taking a look at this site for interior storms. A friend of mine put these in her 1880 cape and is very happy with them. There is no problems with condensation or anything else. They are held in place with a small strip at the top of the window and at bottom. When they are in place, you really don't even notice them. Good luck. There are probably other companies like this out there, but these guys did one of the TOH houses and they were pretty good. BTY, I asked her if I could snap a pic. of one of them and she said she didn't mind, so if you'd like to see what they look like in place, let me know.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 8:56AM
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I can't find a web site or phone number for Window-therm - has anyone else managed to contact them?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 3:01PM
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I saw some at a historical house somewhere. They were attached with magnets that were the same color as the window frame.
I thought it was a marvolus idea. Easy to put up easy to take down, no damage to the sill.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 7:36PM
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bmmalone--link below.

I really like those windows, Elana--definitely the best of the bunch--but I think they're more than twice the price of the WindoTherm ones. Probably an average of $250 each for my big windows. And we've got 33 of them! I have to decide if I take the more affordable route now, or do some this winter and some the next.

Here is a link that might be useful: WindoTherm storms

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 4:24PM
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thanks for the link. I will explore this further.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 2:14PM
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pamela 1, I'm not sure of the price, but my friend had a pretty standard size window. If your's are larger, like some beautiful old houses have... ouch, I can see a cost jump. They do look great in place though and to her is was a great savings because she kept her old wooden windows. To replace them with new wood windows that were the same style was cost prohibitive. It's such a tough decision. The old windows always look so much better in an older home. Good luck on your quest.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 7:55AM
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mngal also provides insulated interior storm windows. I'm considering whether to get these for my 1895 farmhouse.

This product won't mar the interior trim the way tape can. It's a good option if you want to keep the original windows either for budget reasons, historical preservation reasons, or both.

I met with reps from the company and they're nice folks, particularly knowledgeable about historical preseration issues.

Here is a link that might be useful: EnergySavr window inserts

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 10:35PM
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Last year we seriously considered replacing our 110+ year old windows. They have aluminum storms on the exterior, however with the rising cost of heating the 2 story home, it seemed like we should do more. (The upstairs windows had been replaced with new(er) double pane windows, some of which have lost their efficiency & will need replacing no matter what we do with the downstairs windows.) I balked. The choices that we had looked at, looked cheap, and like they would take away from the grace of the old home. And, most importantly to me, I would have lost the antique glass of the original 2 x 2 panes. (I am a glass worker and the beauty of the shimmer of the old glass is something that cannot be ignored.)
Now to shorten up this story, I have also considered retro fitting from the inside,using the Jim Dulley method using plexiglass & magnets. My problem is this The windows are too large to use a single sheet of plexi glass. Do you think the retrofit method would work if you did that from the outside of the window (fitting each window, top & bottom) between the storm windows? I would have to remove the storms to get to the other side of the window. (We do not open the windows for ventilation, only to clean them upon occasion, so they are a pain in the neck anyways. And, that presumes that I can actually open one of the windows, which had been covered over with a built in closet for 30
years, and, if I also might add, I hope you might have a suggestion for how to get it open. To this point I have made sure there is no paint stuck, it appears to be free, just won't raise.)
On another portion of this website they were talking about changing the glass on the storms. I am presuming that they were referring to the old wooden storms, or is there a way to change the quality of glass on the aluminum type storms?
(I have looked to see if there are double pane glass storms instead of replacing my original interior windows, but have found nothing available.)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 9:42AM
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In previous years we have had plexiglass cut to the exact size of the window frame and attached it in various ways: Tape (not good, rips off paint, looks bad), tiny nails tapped in at an angle (ok, but not perfect) and lastly, those little plastic L shaped things that you put a small screw through.

This year, on smaller windows we are simply fitting the plexi in snugly and then running a thin bead of removable weather caulk (like WindJammer) around the plexi to hold it in place. On large windows we will use the plastic brackets on corners and then the weather caulk all around.

I looked at the link to the Windo Therm and the EnergySaver panels above and our plexiglass is far less noticable (but probably not as effective as the Windo Therm).

The plexiglass is $75 per sheet (48x96x 3/16) and can be cut for most of our windows (we have a few that are too tall for a single sheet).

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 5:42PM
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Thanks for all this good advice. After a lot of research and trial and error, we are making these storms ourselves. We had no place to mount weatherstripping, cleats, etc., and our windows were too large for the magnetic strips to hold well.

The new interior storms have small wood frames we're painting the same colors as the various window trims. By necessity, we had to divide them horizontally along the sash lines. We have wood blinds on all our windows, so they will be less visible.

Like everything else, it's not a perfect solution. Fortunately, it's not invasive, obtrusive or too expensive. Just way too much time on our part. But we had to do something. It is getting cold here!!!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 6:25AM
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I learned an interesting fact recently. I was skimming through some 19th c. books online and I saw mention of putting up a kind of storm window for the winter.
They had storm porches, which were wooden porch covers of some kind that acted as a sort of vestibule in winter. I've seen a couple of pictures of them over the years, but I had never seen anything about storm windows before.
Unfortunately I've just been adding things to Favorites and assorted lists in the evenings, planning to go back and read or search through the books later when I have leisure time this winter.
I will try to go through and look through the house books tonight or as soon as I can if any of you are interested in checking them out for yourselves.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 9:51AM
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I remembered which book had the referral to the windows.I don't know if these are what we refer to as storm windows, but they sure sound like a possibility
The following are taken from HOMES AND HOW TO MAKE THEM, published in 1875, written by Eugene C. Gardner, a noted architect of the time who worked in Springfield, Mass.

"You may have learned that life is a succession of compromises. Building in New England certainly is. No sooner do we get nicely fortified with furnaces, storm-porches, double windows, and forty tons of anthracite, than June bursts upon us with ninety degrees in the shade."

"The doors and windowsÂthe living, breathing, seeing, working part of the houseÂdemand the twofold provision. You must have double windows in winter, to be taken off (laid away and more or less smashed up) in summer; outside blinds to ward off the summer sun, which may, in their turn, be removed when we are only too glad to welcome all the sunshine there is.
The vestibulesÂportable storm-porches are not to be toleratedÂmust also be skilful doorkeepers, proof against hostile storms, but freely admitting the wandering zephyrs."

You can read the book, if you like at There's a link below.
They have another of his publications,

The House that Jill Built after Jack's had proved a failure

Here is a link that might be useful: Homes And How To Make Them

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 11:05AM
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"Admitting the wandering zephyrs"...Love it! What a great image! My zephyrs have wandered in, taken up residence and are holding bingo games.

I'll post some photos of these storms as we make them.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 2:10PM
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I am commissioned to install interior storm window in a local church. They're big-8 by 4 and there's ten of them. Has anyone used WindowTherm or interior storms for this size window?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 7:41AM
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We have interior storms for casements we had made.ts 1 piece of glass .There are plastic thingy tabs you just slide over to hold in place simple great./Alot like the back of a picture frame

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 11:21AM
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I have just posted my notes and photos on making a simple interior storm window. See them at:

Good luck with your windows!

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought

Here is a link that might be useful: Interior Storm Window Notes

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 4:23PM
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I'm not sure that my solution will work for you. But a variation on it might work!

I converted my exterior single pane storms to double pane insulated glass. I'm in a 1750's Quaker built house (milk house actually).No covenants or restrictions. Not a historic house according to the county (tax based ruling).

I converted old storms to double paned(argon insulated) storms, you might be able to build interior storms, to fit the windows (use large single panes), it might be better than a thin layer of plastic, I've been there tried that, it helps, but not enough!!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 12:10AM
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We just finished making 33! (33!) interior storm windows. This year, we inserted shrink plastic in the custom frames we made with about 5/8" wood. Turns out this was a good idea, since many of our windows are out-of-square and these windows ended up being pushed in to fit. You cannot tell they're plastic, since they all are behind wood slat blinds. We'll look at our gas bills before we decide if we want to replace the plastic with plex.

I'll report back about any future energy savings, but I notice already that on a windy day, my wood blinds and window treatments don't blow and billow at the windows the way they used to!

Thanks, everyone, for all the helpful suggestions and vendors mentioned here. It helped us immensely.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 10:16PM
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Can anyone who has purchased and installed mid-priced interior storm windows give me an idea of cost?

The Manufacture's websites don't give pricing info and want too much information to provide a quote. When I have more time I can pursue a quote, but for now I'm just trying to get a ballpark idea of cost so I will know if interior storms are even an option for me.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 6:19PM
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I have made double insulated interior storm windows for our 220 year old house.

I made solid wooden frames and covered both sides with 100gauge cross-linked polyolefin shrink wrap, making double insulated insert panels. A compressable foam strip was added to seal the perimeter.

These seal the windows, stopping the draft, and triple the insulating quality of the existing sash.
My cost to make them (not counting labor)ran about $15 per window. They are easily installed and removed for winter storage, can be re-used for many seasons, and can be repaired or rebuilt easily.

This could be a great product for saving energy, Warming our houses, and saving the planet.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 7:19PM
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Nice sales pitch, but the whole idea is to make storms/screens which fit in with the old house, and these are nearly the same look as triple-tracks, and they are made of aluminum, so they would have no better energy savings than triples.

What I am planning with my wooden storms, is to hinge them so that they can be opened in summer to allow for screens, unless I figure a way to do removable panels in them.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 12:03AM
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Has anyone tried Innerglass storm windows?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:23PM
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