Patrick’s Barn: Installing Windows
You’ll likely recall from my last post how excited I was to start insulating our new barn, but when coworker and former carpenter Rob Wotzak offered his help this past weekend, I decided his talents (and strong back) could be better used helping me install the four windows I bought months ago.
I picked up the windows when a local lumberyard ran a full-page ad announcing a sale on misordered and damaged windows and doors. I was waiting at the front door when they opened the next morning. I immediately flagged down a salesman and asked if there were four squarish windows I could buy for a new barn I was building. Taking pity on me, he asked for a little time to call one of the small chain’s other locations.
He returned a few minutes later with a small piece of paper in his hand. “OK,” he said, “I’ve got four Andersen 4-ft. by 5-ft. gliders with screens. I immediately replied that those would indeed be perfect, but that I couldn’t afford such a costly set of windows. Having spent a number of years in the millwork business, I knew that gliders were the most expensive windows in Andersen’s lineup, with a list price of more than $1000 each. He said, I can let you have them for $600. “Each?” I assumed. “No, for the lot of them,” he replied. “I’ll pay for them now,” I said.
The windows were in the barn when Hurricane Irene blew into town. Protecting them was among our final preparations before the storm. Covered with plastic and OSB, they came through the hurricane without damage, but I’ve been getting tired of them taking up so much space. It was quite a relief to finally put them in the openings. With my wife’s help, Rob and I installed the second-story windows from inside the building by slipping them through the opening at an angle. I’ll admit to being a little scared we’d drop one, but everything worked great. We even had a little time left over to spend the remainder of the weekend with our son, who greatly enjoyed turning the big window boxes into a boat.
You can read more about my barn here.
Here Rob is preparing the manufactured sill pan that goes under the window. The pan will direct any infiltrated water to the outside of the building. The manufactured pans are quite cool; I've never used them before. Instead, I've made my own sill-pan flashings from #30 roofing felt that's cut and fit over a piece of bevel siding.
Rob is installing blocking between the girts so the window will have solid backing behind the nailing flange. I was going to install pieces of foam, but I think Rob's suggestion of using lumber is a better idea.
It looked like impossibly tight quarters to me, a reminder of the several submarine museums I've seen. After we brought the boat inside, our son said he wanted to sleep in there, but we all decided looking at books for a few minutes with a flashlight was a better idea.
One advantage of installing the windows now is we could reach outside the building to nail the flange. I didn't nail the bottom flange because I didn't want to damage the pan flashing. When I put up the siding, I'll slip the felt paper under the pan's exterior flange.
I'm not sure where our son got the idea for a cardboard boat, but we all had a good time working on it. The hull is made from the large boxes that held the windows. He covered all surfaces with red spirals. "That's our family logo!" he told me.