Don’t Fear Window Replacements In the Winter

by Tim Liegler

Many homeowners have the misconception that installing windows and doors in the winter is a bad thing, holding off because they are afraid too much cold air will get in the house or they will get a poor installation.

That’s not true. It doesn’t really matter when the window or door is installed.

In winter, the installation will take a little bit longer but that is because our installers are taking the time to put a plastic tent around the opening to seal out the cold air. In fact, the opening will only be exposed to the weather from 20 minutes to an hour. The same is true with doors.

The process goes fairly quickly because new products are all prepped for the installation. The old window is taken out, the opening cleaned and any alterations are made, such as replacing rotted wood or putting in a sill pan. Then the window is placed into the opening, leveled and secured.

If there are multiple windows involved, winter installation is done one at a time to reduce heat leakage. In the summer, of course, multiple windows can be taken down at once.

Sometimes painting is involved, such as cedar trim. Obviously, exterior paint can’t be applied in cold weather, but the cedar will stay intact through the winter. One option is a pre-primed cedar, but even natural raw cedar will be fine through a few winter months.

Indications of Window Replacement

When you can feel air flow coming in, it’s definitely time to replace the window. If you have a double pane and in the morning there is condensation between two panes of glass, you have a seal failure, which means that the windows are not working as efficiently as they should.

If there is condensation on the interior that is more of a moisture issue that needs to be addressed. The moisture level of the house itself should be between 30 and 32 percent humidity. Otherwise you risk hitting the dew point, resulting in condensation.

Tip: If you have blinds, don’t close them all the way. Leave them open about two inches from the bottom to allow warm air to wash over the glass, which will help condensation from occurring.

Choosing Windows

Usually when people want a window installation, they call us to set up a home visit to discuss options. But if someone prefers to shop the showroom first, one of the Callen associates can explain about the window options and installation process. A follow-up visit to the home is always required because we need to measure and to assess whether wood needs to be replaced or any other potential issues. After that is determined, we can price the job.

At Callen, there is no pressure on the homeowner. We present the facts and figures and let the homeowner decide how they want to proceed. I have heard stories of high-pressure sales tactics where the homeowner can barely get the sales person out of the house. We’re not about that.  We’re there to help homeowners with the different options available to make an informed decision. After the visit, if the homeowner is comfortable, we can set up an installation schedule. If not then they can take a few days to think about it. We can always come back and do paperwork another time.

When a customer goes on the schedule, we have one of our production managers go out to re-measure the windows so they will be an exact fit. The product is ordered and when we know it is going to hit our doorstep, we’ll call the homeowner for an installation date.

When choosing doors, it does take a considerable amount of time because there are so many choices with style, material, glass, hardware, paint or wood grain, interior moldings…but as with window installations, we can explain the options and what will work or not work.

At Callen, all the exterior specialists are ready to help you with the best fit for your home, and your budget. So don’t be afraid of the cold weather. Callen can help you any time of the year.


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