Remember how I have this awesome, huge room sitting empty in my house?
And the reason it’s empty is that it’s too cold in winter?
Well, I’m taking this space back (see what I’ve got in mind here), and step #1 of our plan to warm it up was to do something about all those windows. Because despite their awesomeness I’m convinced they’re the biggest temperature culprit.
I seriously considered thermal curtains, but ruled them out for two reasons: 1) they can really add up when you need 8-10 panels, and 2) they would block a ton of sunlight (in fact most of the thermal curtains I found were also labeled blackout).
So, with thermal curtains scratched, I turned back to google. A few sites suggested lining the windows with bubble wrap. I kind of loved this idea for the simplicity and the fact that it would still allow plenty of sunlight to shine through (I’m like a reverse vampire. I’m obsessed with natural light). But while the curtains can hide a multitude of sins from the inside, the windows in this room look out onto the front porch, yard, and driveway, and I just couldn’t get behind the idea of seeing bubble wrap in my windows every time I come home. Back to the drawing board.
And then, I discovered this:
It’s basically plastic film that you stick to the window frames with double-sided tape. It seemed easy enough to apply, and at under twenty bucks it wouldn’t be a total fail if it didn’t work out. I ordered it from Amazon and a few days later we were in business.
I think this is kind of a two-person job, especially if you’re short like me. I probably could have done it alone, but it was much easier with Nick helping me.
First, we measured out our first window and cut some film to fit. I was really pleased that it wasn’t too stretchy or clingy like saran wrap. I had no problem cutting it neatly.
Meanwhile, Nick applied the included tape all around the outside of the window. We decided to start on the door since there was a flat surface surrounding the glass (making it less complicated than the trimmed-out windows).
Then we peeled off the paper backing. My long nails were invaluable here, despite the fact that I was unable to reach the top of the windows on my own.
Then we just stuck the plastic wrap to the tape, starting at the top and working our way down, trying to keep it taut and even as we went. We didn’t do such a good job. Even in pictures you can see there were tons of wrinkles.
The instructions said to use a blow dryer to shrink the film and remove the wrinkles. Worked like a charm.
Look how clear it is! The only way you would know it was there is the extra shininess.
The rest of the windows were a little trickier since there was no good way to apply the tape, but we just improvised and used the bottom sill.
Here’s Nick applying the film. See why this would have been hard for me to do alone? His height and long arms were super helpful.
Wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles. Looks like crap.
But we just ran my blowdryer back and forth over the whole thing until it was nice and tight.
Voila! If only I’d cleaned the windows first…
We repeated the process on all five windows and were done in under an hour, then promptly realized that it would take our cats about 2.5 seconds to destroy them. How had that not occurred to us? I knew we couldn’t shut them out, since that would defy the whole purpose of making the room more useable. I know from experience that as soon as I start trying to keep the cats out of a specific room it becomes their number one most favorite place to be. At that point it’s such a pain to keep them from dashing in when I open the door that I stop using the room altogether. So we left the door open and hoped for the best. And, of course, we heard a telltale popping noise in no time. The window facing the front of the house had been scratched.
I was standing in the middle of my (dead slash nonexistent) plants to even see this from the outside. Step back into the yard and you wouldn’t know a thing.
I have no idea if the film will be at all effective if air is able to pass through the kitty-induced laceration, but only time will tell. If we’re freezing our butts off come December or so I’ll try something else- like maybe this solution involving clear vinyl and magnetic paint. For now, I’m glad to have at least taken a step to making this room more comfortable! Next up: insulating the unused fireplace.