Building on two successful years of producing hundreds of high-quality, low-cost interior storm window inserts for Belfast homes, Window Dressers has expanded its Waldo County efforts to Searsport with an all-volunteer "build" that runs through Nov. 4.

The Rockland nonprofit's Searsport build is a cooperative project involving local churches, local government and community organizations, including the Congregational Church of Searsport, St. Francis of Assisi Church of Belfast, Knights of Columbus in Belfast, North Searsport United Methodist Church, Searsport United Methodist Church, Sandy Point Community Church, Stockton Springs Community Church and Stockton Springs Community Library.

A grant from St. Brendan the Navigator Parish will pay for the material needed to build more than 1,000 average-size interior storm windows, enough for about 135 families who otherwise would not have resources to purchase inserts.

The parish, which includes three churches (St. Francis of Assisi, Our Lady of Good Hope in Camden and St. Bernard in Rockland), voted to raise money to support the Window Dressers build in Searsport for three years. The funding will enable people to order windows for their homes who otherwise would not be able to afford even the modest, cost-of-materials-only pricing offered by Window Dressers.

Since its founding four years ago as an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, Window Dressers has helped almost a dozen Maine communities provide energy-saving, low-cost storm window inserts for more than 1,000 homes. For those innovative efforts, the organization was awarded the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in 2013.

This year’s Searsport build — a first-stage project — will produce about 450 windows.  After customers are recruited and local volunteers have measured their windows with lasers, custom-made wooden frames are cut and assembled in the main shops of the Window Dressers in Rockland.

The frames are then trucked to Searsport where build volunteers complete the inserts by wrapping and taping tough, clear poly-olefin plastic to both sides of the wooden frames to create an important insulating inner air space.

The last step in the process is the application of foam tape to the edges of the frames, which snugly seals the storm windows against drafts. The plastic windows should remain clear and last for up to 10 years.

An average low-cost home in Maine is more than 20 years old and has between 10 and 15 windows. Since most of these windows leak heat, homeowners are burning expensive fuel to heat the outside. In an average winter, interior storm window inserts for an average-size house can save about $325 in fuel costs during the heating season.

For more information on the Searsport build or to volunteer to help with the build, call 548-2141.