Window Inserts for the Community
Window Dressers Community Build Program Offers Affordable Weatherization
by Tony Zeli
Window Dressers is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization. They are dedicated to helping Maine residents reduce heating costs, fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. According to the organization, over ninety percent of Maine’s 557,000 homes are in need of weatherization. And about thirty percent of home heat is lost through windows alone. So, what is their solution? Affordable, volunteer built window inserts.
Window Dressers custom build the inserts per order. And they construct the inserts of locally sourced pine frames and plastic. Ultimately, the inserts fit inside your current window frame without the need for permanent installation. So, even renters can use them.
To keep the cost of inserts low, the organization uses volunteer support. Customers and community volunteers gather for community builds. For example, members of the West End Neighborhood Association recently joined the Portland Climate Action Team for a community build at Allagash Brewing on the weekend of January 19th through 22nd. In fact, Allagash donated their space and even provided lunch. Furthermore, volunteers got to make the window inserts for their West End neighbors. So, many find that this adds an extra sense of pride and connection for all those who help out.
What’s it all cost?
Inserts cost between $15 to $34 depending on size and finish. The inserts can be installed in natural pine or finished with white paint for a little extra. In addition, each year Window Dressers say that they give twenty-two percent of their annual total insert production to low-income households. And all they request is a donation of $10 in total, and only if the household is able.
Window Dressers is based out of Rockland. They source many of their materials from Maine. And engineers design the inserts to be of high quality yet easy to fabricate even without any experience.