One down, 10ish to go!

I shrink wrapped my first window this afternoon before realizing I needed to use the fleeting daylight to clean out the last of my planters.

I tackled the living room window, since a stiff breeze has been weasling its way into my living room. I planned not to spend too much time striving for the wrinkle-free perfection, since it’s only a temporary solution until early January, but it’s hard to do a half-assed job on something like this.

I’ve learned over the years that it’s not worth the effort to lay everything out on the floor and measure perfectly. (Plus, Collette tended to attack my perfectly-measured sheets, occasionally puncturing them with her over-zealous claws.) Rather, I put the double-sided tape all around, peel back the sticky side on the top border, and gently place it until I get it about right. Then, I make the major cut, separating the designated piece from the giant sheet. I leave plenty to work with, though. It’s not worth the headache to try to line it up just right with no wiggle room, especially since so many of my windows are taller than I am and thus my perspective gets thrown off.

Next, I press gently all the way around – saving the bottom for last – until it’s pretty well distributed and even. Before I start shrink wrapping, I punch my holes for the blinds (which I spent AN HOUR scrubbing this afternoon. They were gross!), so we can adjust the height and open/close them.

Then, the shrinky-dink part begins. I wield my hair dryer with the same gusto I would a drill, starting in an upper corner and, on high heat, constantly moving from side to side, targeting the visible wrinkles. I never rest too long – rumor has it that doing so can actually melt or burn the plastic, not that I would know that from experience.

Finally, with things pretty well wrapped – I could bounce a quarter off my window film! – and no visible wrinkles, I try to carefully trim off the excess. This part can be the downfall of the entire endeavor, as today. The scissors I was using weren’t nearly sharp enough, so they struggled to cleanly cut the plastic. In one place, I accidentally tore my newly-perfected plastic, leaving a gouge that needed immediate repair. It’s such a delicate balance – how much do I try to trim without risking ruining my work?

The real test was when Don got home and couldn’t tell the window had been wrapped, except for the blind adjuster thing (wand? stick?) that sticks out at a slightly cock-eyed angle.

Victory!

Now lather, rinse and repeat several more times. If I do one a weekend, I’ll be done by Valentine’s Day, so I’d better step it up.

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One response to “One down, 10ish to go!

  1. Just happened on your blog; great stuff. I’m thinking I should start one, too. We just bought our first house – an old 1920’s craftsman – in Jan 2008, but haven’t had the money to do any upgrades or repairs. Keeping track of everything in a blog would be great. One thing we knew, since I grew up in an older home, is that it has poorly insulated windows and floors (crawlspace). We live in Alabama, but this winter has been colder than average, so we decided to put up plastic. It’s been a chore. Of course, this is a temp solution until we can upgrade/enhance our windows, doors and other permanent weatherizing upgrades. I like your method as explained above, though I never considered punching a hole for the blind adjuster rod (genius!). I’m just wondering how that effects the airtight seal? I decided not to trim the film, because it barely fit as it was; I underestimated our windows length, plus the sill sticks out horizontally (about 1/2 inch) at the top and bottom. During the shrinking it started to pull off the sill and I had to apply more tape.Any other tips you have would be great. Good luck with you home!

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