How To Board Up A Window Without Drilling In 3 Steps

You need to board up your broken window before the contractor comes. Or perhaps, you're preparing to fortify your window because a storm is approaching. But you keep asking yourself, how do I do it? We investigated, and here we have the answer for you.

To board up your window without drilling, you'll need plywood and a set of tension clips. Then, follow these basic steps:

  1. Slide a tension clip on each edge of the board cover.
  2. Ensure the tension legs are facing towards you.
  3. Push the board cover against the window outside casing firmly.

That seems easy! Isn't it? Continue reading as we delve into the type of wood you should use, or if you need special tools to do it, more detailed steps, and more about the topic.

Plywood's used for boarding up windows, How To Board Up A Window Without Drilling In 3 Steps

Boarding A Window With Tension Clips

The window clips, also known as storm clips, can be used to secure a plywood sheet to board up your window. It is made of carbon or stainless steel, which makes it more durable. In an H-shaped design, there is no need to drill or nail it to easily attach to the window housing.

Green tension clips on a white background

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Scratch paper and a pencil
  • Electric saw or hand saw
  • Tension clips
  • Hammer
  • Hex wrench
  • Plywood

Have a look at this Plyplox window clip on Amazon.

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Measure the steel window case. Get the width and height with a tape measure.
  2. Take 1/4 inch off the height measurement and record it. Similarly, subtract 1/4 inch from the width measurement.
  3. Cut a 3/4 inch-thick plywood to size.
  4. Slide a window clip at the edge of the plywood. Each side should have one clip. Thus, four clips are sufficient for most windows.
  5. If the clip does not slide smoothly into the window casing, hit the end of the clip with a hammer.
  6. Turn the set screw using an appropriately sized hex wrench, until it protrudes 1/4 inch. Do this on one side only. On the other side, the set screw should be at the same level as the clip.
  7. Place the plywood on a metal window frame.
  8. Tighten the window clip flushed to the metal frame on both sides using a hex wrench to ensure that the frame holds along the window trim firmly in place.

For a visual demonstration of the above instructions, watch this video:

How To Board Up Broken Glass Windows

You can protect your broken window glass by boarding it up with bin bags and tape. It will prevent your window from further damage and keep your home protected from the weather elements. Also, it can temporarily prevent strangers from peeping in. By preparing the right materials, you can easily do this task in no time.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Tape measure
  • Bin bags
  • Parcel tape or duct tape
  • Scissors


  1. Wear your gloves.
  2. Measure the size of the open portion of the window using a tape measure.
  3. Apply layers of bin bags at the glass opening.
  4. Secure them in place with duct tape or parcel tape.
  5. Carefully cut the tape using a scissor.

A broken glass window of a brick constructed building

Is Steel Screen Good For Boarding Up My Windows?

One of the best solutions to secure and protect your property is the use of a steel screen. Similar to plywood, steel screens have a unique bracing technique that prevents damage to the window. And its most important element is that you could only access the bracing system inside the building and not from the outside. The braces hold the steel screen securely in place.

Can I Use Oriented Strand Board To Board Up My Windows?

A two story mansion with board up windows prepping for a hurricane

Yes, you can use the oriented strand board (OSB). It is an engineered wood panel produced from rectangular wood strands stacked in layers and waterproof adhesives. It makes use of the entire tree, including crooked, knotty, and malformed trees that are normally discarded.

OSB is combined with waterproof resin in the form of strands and interlaced in thick mats before being glued together by heat and pressure. It has the same strength and durability as plywood. It resists deflection, warping, and distortion.

Both the OSB and plywood meet the specifications of Wood Structural Panels as defined by the International Code Council (ICC) and can be utilized for the opening protection of windows.


Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH®) recommends plywood with 5/8 inch thickness. It's easy to install, and perfect for emergencies. Thus, wooden panels are the best picks to board your windows to secure your property also from light storms.

A pile plywood on a white background

Why Should You Board Up Your Windows For A Hurricane?

Unlike a tornado or an earthquake, weather forecasters can predict the route and severity of a hurricane months before it hits. This warning gives you enough time to prepare for the storm. Immediate measures to board up your windows and doors to protect them from wind damage and flying debris is ideal.

High strength tension clips on a white background

Indeed, boarding up your doors and windows could prevent costly damage to your property.

Can I Board Up Windows In Vinyl Siding?

Yes, you can board up your vinyl siding. You need to measure the area to be covered. Ensure the plywood panels overlap the glass by 4 inches to prevent your windows from being blown out. Drill holes in the studs of your house. Otherwise, the trim will not be stable enough to endure storms.

What Are The Long-Term Alternatives To Board Up A Window?

Boarding windows and doors with plywood panels are one of the traditional ways to protect your home or business from storms. This is because plywood panels are relatively affordable and offer a very high level of protection from storms and hurricanes.

Viewing from the outside, the plywood panel makes your home or business less attractive. This may not be a big deal for homeowners, but if you're a business owner and want to keep your window open until a storm comes, this may be difficult for your potential customers to tell that you're open.

Below are five alternatives to boarding up your windows:

Hurricane Fabric

Hurricane fabric is a flexible plastic clip that gives the system additional stretch, allowing the fabric to decelerate objects. It is made of slightly porous and lightweight polypropylene fabric, which allows natural light and visibility. It is capable of blocking severe winds and diverting rainwater.

You can quickly remove it from the protected window or door, rather than becoming a permanent fixture in your home. The fabric can be rolled up and kept for future use.

Security Window Film

A security window film cannot match the plywood's strength and cannot prevent the glass from shattering when struck by flying storm debris. However, it helps keep out water, wind, and storm debris that could cause greater damage to your window, as well as reduces the risk of injury from flying glass shards.

Storm Panel

Storm panels are corrugated metal or plastic sheets attached to the frame or siding around doors and windows to shield the glass from the storm elements. It serves the same purpose but this is a convenient choice because the panels are pre-cut for a bespoke fit.

Hurricane Shutters

This is the more expensive alternative to boarding up, but it's also one of the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing options. Hurricane shutters are permanently installed above or alongside your windows, regardless of style. When a storm approaches, all you have to do is use a hand crank or a button to lower them into place.

Steel Screen

Steel screens are likewise fireproof, however, unlike solid steel screens, they allow light and air to pass through. Screens can be installed inside the building to protect it from possible destructive elements. Steel screens are excellent for long- and short-term use.

In Closing

Plywood's used for boarding up windows

Boarding up your window without drilling can be easily done. The most important thing to consider is the safety and endurance it will provide during calamity and from intruders on your property.

Now that you have learned how to board up your window without drilling and have gained insight to properly fortify your window in times of natural disaster, we hope the information serves you well to your advantage.

Before you go, check out these related topics for further learning:

How To Install Vinyl Siding Around Windows In 11 Easy Steps

How To Insulate Single Pane Windows

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