How to Board Up Windows: A General Guide

Welcome to our guide on how to board up windows! Whether you live in an area where natural disasters are common or you’re simply looking to reinforce your home’s security, boarding up windows can be a great way to protect your property and keep your loved ones safe. In this article, we’ll walk you through twelve essential steps to boarding up windows, as well as provide some helpful tips and tricks.

Steps to Boarding Up Windows

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials

Before you begin, it’s important to gather all the tools and materials you’ll need. This includes plywood boards, a measuring tape, a circular saw or jigsaw, a drill, screws, and an impact driver. Make sure you choose the right thickness and size of plywood to fit your window.

Step 2: Measure Your Window

Using a measuring tape, measure the height and width of your window. Then, subtract 1/2 inch from each measurement to ensure a snug fit.

Step 3: Cut the Plywood

Using a circular saw or jigsaw, cut the plywood to the exact size you need. Remember to wear eye protection and be careful when using power tools.

Step 4: Attach the Plywood to the Window Frame

Using a drill and screws, attach the plywood to the window frame. Make sure to screw the plywood directly into the frame and not just into the molding.

Step 5: Mark Your Drill Holes

Before drilling, mark the locations where the screws will go. This will make it easier to quickly attach the plywood to the window frame.

Step 6: Drill Pilot Holes

Using a drill, create pilot holes for the screws. This will make it easier to screw the plywood into place and prevent the wood from splitting.

Step 7: Attach the Plywood to the Window Frame with Screws

Using an impact driver, screw the plywood into the frame. Make sure to use enough screws to ensure a secure fit.

Step 8: Sand the Plywood

Using sandpaper, sand the edges of the plywood to remove any rough spots or splinters.

Step 9: Prime and Paint the Plywood

To help protect the wood and make it look more attractive, apply a coat of primer and then a coat of paint.

Step 10: Install Hurricane Shutters

For added protection against severe weather, consider installing hurricane shutters over your boarded-up windows. These shutters are designed to withstand strong winds and flying debris.

Step 11: Remove the Boards as Needed

Be sure to remove the boards as soon as possible once the threat has passed. Leaving them up for too long can lead to moisture buildup and other issues.

Step 12: Consider Upgrading Your Windows

If you live in an area prone to severe weather or break-ins, it might be worth investing in hurricane-resistant or impact-resistant windows. These windows are designed to withstand extreme conditions and provide extra security.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use Marine-Grade Plywood for Added Durability

If you live near the coast or in an area with high humidity, consider using marine-grade plywood for added protection against moisture.

Tip 2: Practice Safety First

Always wear eye and ear protection when using power tools, and make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions.

Tip 3: Create a Boarding Up Plan Ahead of Time

Whether you’re preparing for a hurricane or simply trying to beef up your home’s security, it’s a good idea to create a boarding up plan ahead of time so you’re not caught off guard.

Tip 4: Don’t Forget About Ventilation

If you’re boarding up windows for an extended period of time, remember to leave some ventilation so that air can circulate and prevent mold and mildew buildup.

Tip 5: Consider Installing Impact-Resistant Film

In addition to boarding up your windows, you can also install impact-resistant film to help protect against flying debris.

Tip 6: Store Your Boards Properly

Once you’re done using your plywood boards, make sure to store them in a dry place and cover them to protect against moisture and pests.

Tip 7: Consider Using Brackets for Easy Removal

To make it easier to remove your boards when the time comes, consider using brackets instead of screws to attach them to the window frame.

Tip 8: Don’t Forget About Your Doors

In addition to boarding up your windows, don’t forget to reinforce your doors with additional locks or even hurricane-rated doors.

Tip 9: Practice Your Boarding Up Skills

If you’re new to boarding up windows, it’s a good idea to practice ahead of time so you’re familiar with the process and can act quickly when needed.

Tip 10: Seek Professional Help if Needed

If you’re not comfortable boarding up your windows yourself or if you have questions about the process, don’t hesitate to seek out professional help. A trained contractor or home security expert can provide guidance and assistance as needed.

We hope this guide has been helpful in teaching you how to board up windows. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to take the time to prepare and practice your skills. Stay safe, and be prepared!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Boarding Up Windows


1. Provides Security: Boarding up windows provides a heightened sense of security as it prevents unauthorized entry from burglars, vandals, and other intruders.

2. Cost-effective: Boarding up windows is a cost-effective solution to protect your property as it is cheaper than replacing broken windows.

3. Quick Solution: Boarding up windows is a quick and easy solution in case of emergencies like hurricanes or extreme weather conditions where you need to secure your property against potential damage.

4. Safe from Accidents: Boarded up windows create a barrier that prevents accidental breakage and injury from broken glass.

5. Deters Unwanted Attention: Boarding up windows for temporary periods of time on vacant properties can deter unwanted attention from squatters, trespassers, and other illegal activities.

6. Customizable: Boarding up windows can be customized to fit any window size which means you can easily fit them to your windows without any hassle.

7. Versatile: Boarding up windows can be used for both residential and commercial properties.

8. Provides Privacy: Boarding up windows provides an added layer of privacy, especially for properties that are close to other buildings or public spots.

9. Reduces Energy Consumption: Boarding up windows can help save energy by preventing heat loss during the colder months, which can help reduce energy bills.

10. No Maintenance Required: Boarding up windows require little to no maintenance, making them a hassle-free solution to protect your property.


1. Reduces natural light: Boarded up windows obstruct natural light, which can create a gloomy and dark environment inside your property.

2. Can create a negative impression: Boarded up windows can create a negative impression for your property and can lead to a devaluation of property value.

3. Limited visibility: Boarding up windows reduces your ability to see outside, which can be a disadvantage in case of security concerns.

4. Can be an eyesore: Boarded up windows can be an eyesore for neighbors and visitors, and can make your property appear neglected and abandoned.

5. Difficult to remove: Boarding up windows can be difficult to remove once they are installed, which can be a disadvantage if you want to restore the original look of your property.

6. Not a permanent solution: Boarding up windows is not a permanent solution, and you will have to replace them with new windows sooner or later.

7. Not aesthetically pleasing: Boarded up windows may not be aesthetically pleasing, and it may affect the overall look of your property.

8. Reduced ventilation: Boarding up windows reduces ventilation, which can be a problem in areas with high humidity or during the summer months.

9. May require permits: Boarding up windows may require permits from local authorities, which can delay the installation process.

10. Increases fire hazard: Boarded up windows can increase fire hazards, as it can prevent escape routes during a fire.


1. Why would you need to board up windows?

You may need to board up windows as a precautionary measure during a hurricane or storm, to protect your home from burglary or vandalism, or during a renovation project.

2. What materials do you need to board up windows?

You will need plywood or OSB boards, screws, drill, measuring tape, saw, and a power screwdriver or wrench.

3. How do you measure windows for boarding up?

Measure the width and height of the window and add 2 inches on each side. This will give you the correct board size.

4. Do you need to remove the window before boarding it up?

No. You can board up the window without removing it.

5. Can you reuse the boards for future boarding up?

Yes, as long as they are in good condition and have not been damaged.

6. How do you attach the boards to the windows?

Use screws and a power screwdriver or wrench to attach the boards to the window frame.

7. How long does it take to board up a window?

It depends on the size of the window and your expertise, but on average, it can take between 30 minutes to an hour.

8. Do you need any special skills to board up windows?

No, anyone can board up windows as long as they have the necessary materials, tools and instructions.

9. Can you board up windows from the inside?

Yes, you can board up windows from the inside if you have access to the window frame.

10. Can you still open the window after boarding it up?

No, the window will be sealed shut once boarded up.

11. How long can you leave boarded up windows?

You can leave boarded up windows for as long as necessary, but it is recommended to remove them once the danger or need for boarding up has passed.

12. How do you remove boarded up windows?

Use a power screwdriver or wrench to unscrew the boards from the window frame. Be careful not to damage the window or frame while removing the boards.

13. Can you hire professionals to board up windows?

Yes, you can hire professionals who specialize in boarding up windows for storms, hurricanes or other emergencies.

Boarding up windows may seem like a daunting task, but it can actually be done quite easily with the right tools and preparation. Whether you are preparing for a hurricane, protecting your home from looters, or simply boarding up a vacant property, this guide will show you step-by-step how to board up your windows.

How to Board Up Your Windows

The first step in boarding up windows is to measure the size of the window that needs to be covered. This will help you determine how much plywood you will need. It’s important to use plywood that is at least ⅝ inch thick to ensure that it is strong enough to protect the window from flying debris or vandalism.

Once you have measured the window, cut the plywood to size using a circular saw or hand saw. Be sure to wear safety glasses and gloves during this process to protect yourself from splinters and flying debris. It’s also a good idea to have a friend or family member hold the plywood steady while you cut it.

After the plywood has been cut, hold it up to the window to make sure that it fits properly. You may need to make additional cuts or adjustments to ensure a proper fit. Once you are satisfied with the fit, mark the position of the studs on the plywood so that you can secure it properly.

Next, drill holes through the plywood at the marked stud positions. The holes should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the screws you will be using to secure the plywood. This will help ensure a tight fit and prevent the screws from stripping out of the wood.

Now it’s time to attach the plywood to the window frame. Start by positioning the plywood over the window and screwing it into place using the pre-drilled holes. Make sure that the screws are flush with the plywood and are not sticking out, as this could cause injury or damage to the window frame.

Finally, add additional support to the plywood using braces or hurricane clips. This will help reinforce the plywood and prevent it from coming loose during strong winds or heavy rains.

Conclusion and Closing

Boarding up your windows may not be a fun task, but it is an important step in protecting your home or property from damage. By following these simple steps, you can safely and securely board up your windows in no time. Remember to use caution when handling sharp tools and heavy materials, and always wear safety glasses and gloves.

Thank you for reading this guide on how to board up your windows. We hope that you found it helpful and informative. Stay safe and prepared!