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Old 12-01-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
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Installing windows in winter - 20 to 50 degree temps


As luck would have it, the funds to replace some rotting windows and rotting portico columns didn't come this year until December. We're now heading into winter, and I'm wondering if putting windows in is even prudent in 20- to 50-degree temps.

Since the frames are going to be partly rotted, we're going to need "new construction" windows like Anderson 400s and we may need to remove some asbestos siding, as well as have the window openings reframed.

The windows sites say you can do it, but they're selling something. I see construction guys working into winter. I know sealants like DAP 3.0 can be used in cold temps.

But I imagine it's not the best.

Thoughts? I've sealed the windows as best I can, but the idea of leaving some rotting sills until Spring isn't too desirable.

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Old 12-01-2009, 02:58 PM   #2
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Since it is so cold where you are, won't much of precipitation be snow? If so, unlikely to leak. It is never fun working in the cold and if you could wait until warmer Spring weather (now the snow is rain; leak issues?) you would likely do a better job. I think you have to weigh the leak potential with your comfort and how well you and the materials will perform in colder vs. warmer install temperatures.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:02 PM   #3
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I've installed a slider & a few windows in cold weather
Not much fun
The slider replaced a window, I ripped the wall open from the inside & framed it out
Then put a tarp up & took the wall out, slid the slider into place
The caulk was warm in the house
Took maybe 20 minutes tops from wall open to slider in place

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Old 12-01-2009, 04:20 PM   #4
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Extra work

You can do it with a little extra work.

Why not build a plastic tent to work under seal it to the house while doing each window maybe even put a portable heater in the enclosure.

Take your time stay warm and out of the wind snow and rain.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:42 PM   #5
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If you get everything ready ahead of time you really won't have it open long. You can break it down to steps that don't need to be the same day.
Step 1: Set up any scaffolding you'll need. Remove the interior casing and the exterior siding and size up the existing rough framing. Get any 2x4s you need to fix rotted rough framing, measure the ro and make sure your new window will fit that ro. Get together all the flashing, nails, foam, etc and tools you'll need.

Step 2: Rip out the old window, replace rotted ro framing, flash and install new window and insulation.

Step 3: reinstall the exterior siding

step 4 install the interior casing

If you can catch a sunny, calm afternoon of 35-50 that would actually be pretty comfortable. I find that what looks like a miserable day for outside work is often not too bad once I get going. Try to work on the side of the house that's in the sun. So East side in the late morning, South and West side in the afternoon, and hope for a warm afternoon for the North side.

You can always try just one window first and see how it goes. If it's miserable you can put the rest off till spring or just cherry pick nice days to do the work and spread it out over the winter.
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