Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Windows and Doors

We installed the first floor windows and doors. I was surprised by how easy the windows were and how uneasy the doors were. I had never done windows before, but I had done doors before. I dislike installing doors, but they are in.

Before putting each unit in, we sealed it with a polyurethane caulk.
The windows came with an integral nailing fin used to attach it to the window buck. We used normal galvanized roofing nails.
We shimmed the windows and doors in the areas that the directions suggested. When doing the doors, we used the shimming to make sure the door jamb was square and plumb. That proved to be tedious, and thus my distaste for installing doors.
This is how it looks with them all installed. In the spring we'll paint the doors to match and we'll also put trim around everything.
You'll notice that the windows have a bluish tint to them. That's the Low-E coating that I inadvertently ordered. Normally people are happy with Low-E. It helps to keep the heat outside out and the heat inside in. That's all well and good, unless you were counting on the sun to help heat your house in the winter. It's called passive solar design and there is much more to it. I'm no expert but the basic principle is to let the low winter sun into southern facing windows warming up a thermal mass such as concrete. To keep the house cool from the high summer sun, passive solar design calls for shading the windows with the use of overhangs or deciduous trees.

Back to the windows. We didn't want Low-E. We wanted clear glass. So today I ordered the upstairs windows the same size as the main floor windows only this time with clear glass. When they come we'll trade the clear sashes for the coated ones. It's an extra step, but I think we'll be much happier with the result.


  1. what a great looking house....I love the look of the stones, and I admire your determination and drive to get it done.

    I started building my slipform stone home in 2006. I finished it completely and moved in in September of 2009. I noticed that you used the sand technique that Joe Koehler talks about in his book. I found his book to be one of the best on the subject.

    I know that the completion of your house might seem like forever from the point that your at now, but you will admire your stonework in amazement for years to come…I look forward to watching as it progresses….keep up the GREAT work!!!!

  2. Thanks for your kind words! It's good to hear from another slipformer. I enjoyed Joe's book, good info. Another great book is Tom Elpel's "Living Homes".

    I would love to see pictures of your house. I'm always fascinated to see other people's work and technique.