My Dad built me a great set of pet stairs so my small dog Gracie could get up on the bed by herself which means I am not always there to watch her. The bedroom is on the second floor and I started to worry about the window. The bed sits directly under the window and acts a bit like a headboard. When the weather is warm that window is usually wide open to catch every little breeze… we don’t have AC.
Gracie had taken to standing up on the bed and looking out of that window. She liked to watch for birds and squirrels and went crazy when she saw one. I got it in my head that she could somehow climb up on to the windowsill and fall out. That was probably unlikely but I couldn’t shake the fear, I even had a nightmare that it happened. I needed a way to keep the window open without me worrying every time she went upstairs.
I thought about buying a window guard but I found that the affordable ones were not only unattractive but not what I needed because the openings were too big. The pretty ones were all too expensive. The window slides side to side rather than up and down and this type of window also had fewer options. So I started thinking of a DIY alternative and this is what I came up with.
I didn’t included any measurements because this was all done based on what I could find. I made the window guard to go across the whole width of the window because it was easier and prettier. After carefully measuring the window opening I went down to a hardware store and bought some 1×2 pine which was very inexpensive. It was construction grade, not the indoor trim stuff, so I did have to spend a few minutes finding some good pieces. I then went to the garden center of Canadian Tire and purchased some inexpensive plastic garden edging. I did see some beautiful metal edging that I would have loved to use but I don’t have the tools to cut metal. Anyway I cut 2 pieces of the pine to fit inside the window opening,then I figured out how far apart the two lengths needed to be and used some of the leftover pine to cut three cross pieces. I glued and screwed the pieces together, one at each end and one in the middle, to create a simple frame.
Then I started on the garden edging. I cut off the unneeded ground stake part of the edging as well as the little latches that were used to hook the edging together. I used some sandpaper to smooth any rough edges that were left after cutting. I took some time to arrange the edging on the frame and make adjustments so that it lined up properly, then attached the edging to the frame using short screws. After it was all assembled I filled any gaps with wood filler and gave the whole thing a couple of coats of white spray paint. I cut two more pieces from the leftover pine to the same height as my window guard to create some stops. These were screwed to the inside of the window opening, one on each side. These are positioned so that my DIY window guard can be slipped behind them. This traps the window guard between the window and the wood stops. Doing it this way allows me to lift the window guard out when I want to clean the windows. The guard is only 10 inches high because Gracie can’t jump very well but she can climb when she wants to. Since my window guard effectively limits how much windowsill she has to work with there just isn’t enough room for her to scramble up on the windowsill now.
Update: My DIY window guard has been in place for over a month now and Gracie hasn’t bothered to look out of the window since I put the guard up. Apparently the visual barrier is enough to keep her away from the window. Yeah!
While this window guard is fairly sturdy this design is probably not high enough and these materials may not be strong enough (especially the edging) to stop a large dog or a dog with a lot of strength. So please keep your dogs strength and abilities in mind when constructing anything like this.