Attaching homemade wooden storm windows ideas

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Forum topic by opalko posted 09-02-2010 08:18 PM 12741 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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148 posts in 3430 days

09-02-2010 08:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: porch windows hardware question

Ok, they aren’t really storm windows as such, but for the purposes of this discussion, they are. What I have is a screened porch that I am going to build “storm windows” for in order to use it as a sunroom in the colder months (here that’s Nov – March). I used to fasten the plastic sheeting up each year, but it’s a hassle in many ways, and I’d like something a little more solid.

So what I’m looking at doing is very similar construction-wise to what this fellow did:

I envision using the same type hangers (these clip hangers) at the top that he did for the windows, hooking them on at the top, but I am at a loss as to how I will fasten the windows at the bottom. Below are a couple of pictures of my porch. What I am going to do is put the windows on the outside of the screen and lattice strip that covers the screen seams. On the bottom however, you’ll see a 2” ledge that the bottom of the window will rest on, but I cannot figure out how to attach it there. I realize the easiest thing would be to just nail a narrow strip of wood across the ledge in front of the window, but that means I’ll have to use a prybar to get the thing off next spring. I really need something that can be used on each window individually, that allows the window to go on and off easily and yet solidly holds it in place! Is there such a thing? The windows will be roughly 2’ x 5’, including the frame.

Porch - side view

and a closeup of the ledge:

Ledge closeup

Thanks for any ideas!
Robert Opalko

17 replies so far

View lew's profile


12775 posts in 4149 days

#1 posted 09-02-2010 09:52 PM

I guess duct tape is out- just kidding!

How about “L” shaped turning brackets at the top and sides?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View opalko's profile


148 posts in 3430 days

#2 posted 09-02-2010 10:06 PM

Thanks I thought about those but the windows will butt up against each other (or pretty close) so I don’t know how much, if any, room will be left on the sides for brackets. This is why I was concentrating on the bottom ledge if at all possible!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3509 days

#3 posted 09-02-2010 10:46 PM

why donĀ“t you use those hinge types you use for doors were you slide the door
down 1icnh and it sits there , use them sideways at the top or som hook hinges at the top
and then just use L-shaped fasteners on the bottom when you make the fasteners
make them with a little angle so they thighten more and more the further you
turn them from level to plum

hope my point come thrugh despite my poor english


View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3378 days

#4 posted 09-02-2010 10:52 PM

You say you plan to build them, so that means you have an idea of what you want going by the link you posted.
Many years ago when I lived in Wisconsin a friend of mine had the same problem. What he ended up doing was mount them from the inside between the 2×4’s. He made each panel to fit each opening. He then nailed a 1x strip against the screen all the way around the opening. He then placed the panels in the openings against the 1x frame and put adhesive backed foam strips along the edge of some more 1x strips that he screwed into to keep the panel in place. Much like a sandwich effect and the foam kept the drafts from the edges sealed out.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 4181 days

#5 posted 09-03-2010 02:54 AM

The house I grew up in had “storm windows” just like you are planning. In ours we just used a regular hook and eye latch pulled tight on the inside (raised the window, pulled the hook on the storm window in until we could get it through the eye on the window frame). As yours need to be fastened from the outside, I would suggest using a slide bolt on the bottom. may need two for each window, 1 by each corner.


-- Go

View swirt's profile


3935 posts in 3366 days

#6 posted 09-03-2010 05:52 AM

I don’t know if you can still find them….maybe in a refurb store…. they had metal wings that a screw went in the middle of. When you turn the wing horizontal you could pull the window out and off, but when you turned the wing vertical the wing would trap the storm window against the house.

-- Galootish log blog,

View opalko's profile


148 posts in 3430 days

#7 posted 09-03-2010 01:31 PM

Gregn, I like that idea – thanks. I like all the ideas actually – I’ll spend the long weekend mulling them over. Cheers

View skone's profile


147 posts in 3200 days

#8 posted 10-25-2010 02:09 AM

hey opalko. just came across this thread – how’d it go? i built storm screens for my front porch 2 seasons ago. used the clip-like hooks up top as you described. used the metal ‘wings’ as show above also. then, from the inside along the bottom edge, simple hook and eye latches, hooks on the window and eyes right into the sill. i found the hooks held everything nice and tight – but also, it makes it much more difficult for someone to remove the window or screen from the outside. (ie: theft or burglary.) i’m wondering how you made the windows. i am about to replace a rotten fixed window in my garage. i figure it’s the same basic construction for the both of us. what joinery did you use? i don’t have any fancy joinery tools and so am looking for ideas on how to put together a simple solid window.

-- "Take extra care not to lose what you feel" (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3378 days

#9 posted 10-25-2010 03:23 AM

Skone, half lap joints would be the simplest joint to make. Through mortise and tenon is also a good joint to use. Should be able to make these joints with the tools you have.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View opalko's profile


148 posts in 3430 days

#10 posted 10-25-2010 02:10 PM

Thanks for the follow-up. I’ve been busy with another project here for the last several weeks and it just so happened I have been able to get back to this project last week.

I took the advice of Gregn and will sandwich the windows between 2 sets of 1x material so there will be no rattling during storms. I am building the frames using pocket screws. I understand about the strength of pocket screws in regards to torsion and do not want to get into a debate about best frame construction techniques here. It is fast and efficient, and since the frames will be sandwiched in between other pieces I am not overly concerned about the pocket screws. I have 5 frames ready to take to the glass company today to have glass cut & glazed in.

Believe it or not, the joy of this project so far has been getting to use my old block plane to trim the windows to fit. Piles of wispy curls!

If this balmy (80’s here) continues, I may not need them this year! Cheers

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3378 days

#11 posted 10-26-2010 02:25 PM

Sometimes its the simple methods that give us so much joy. Glad to hear the weather is favorable for you. While you may not need them this year it will be nice when they are needed. Thanks for the follow up on the project.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View opalko's profile


148 posts in 3430 days

#12 posted 10-27-2010 02:54 AM

Gregn, since I’m doing it the way you suggested with the windows on the inside of the screens, between the studs, and against a 1x strip, I have another question! Instead of nailing a second 1x strip behind the window (on the inside) I’m wondering if I can mount the windows flush with the inside edges of the studs, and then use some kind of turn latch or button like mentioned above to secure them? I know the buttons/latches are normally used on the outside of the storm window, so would they be strong enough (assuming I used enough) to keep the window from blowing in?

View opalko's profile


148 posts in 3430 days

#13 posted 10-27-2010 03:04 AM

But would they be strong enough to secure a window from blowing in if they are mounted on the interior side of the window?

Thanks for the tractor comment! It was a lot of work, and it doesn’t look as fresh as that picture now, since I’ve used it a few times, but it still looks good and starts right up. I hope I look and run that well when I’m 61!

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3378 days

#14 posted 10-27-2010 03:27 PM

I don’t see why you couldn’t. That was just the way my friend did it with a strip on both sides. Always improvements to be with prototypes. As long as your creating the seal is what is important.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View opalko's profile


148 posts in 3430 days

#15 posted 10-29-2010 09:05 PM

Ok, I’m moving along on this project but have run into two (2) stumbling blocks.

1) As described above, the windows will fit between the studs, top plate, and bottom rail. Once the frames are inserted into that opening, there is only a tiny gap, and most of the time, no gap and a good bit of friction, along the outside edges of the window – it’s a tight fit! While I can get the windows IN now, I have not quite figured out how I will get the windows OUT come spring! There is not really an edge to grab ahold of. I will add that I’d like to be able to not have anything jut out from the window like a regular sash handle.

I was thinking of something like this:

but it doesn’t really have an edge on the recessed portion to pull on, and it would get expensive quickly for 36 frames! What’s a good way to get these windows back out without marring them (with a crowbar), or breaking the bank!?

2) As the porch construction is older and the studs were not of the highest quality, over time they have bowed some or were put in that way, no way to know.

Where the frames will fit flush with the rear of the studs (on the interior of the porch), and I can use half-turn buttons like these to secure them:

For the studs that are bowed inwards, there is no flush surface to mount these buttons to match up to the window. Should I chisel out the stud – or build up that part of the window with something, or do something else to secure them!?


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