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By Jeff in Hartland, WI on 10/20/2009
We tried to heat during winter construction. But without insulation, it takes A LOT of heat to make things bearable. I bought a 180,000 BTU propane sausage heater. It kept things nice and toasty -- as long as you were standing directly in front of it. It did a good job of melting chocolate chips on cookies when we tried to thaw them. But it didn't raise the temperature inside by a single degree when the temperature was hovering in the single digits.
The subs are used to working in the cold. Framers don't have a chance. If it gets too cold or too windy, they understandably stop working. Period. The plumber, HVAC guys, and electricians have it a little easier -- they don't start until the house is closed in, so they don't have to worry about the wind. Those that don't like the cold will bring their own heaters. My plumber brought in an industrial strength diesel sausage heater. I'd guess
it was at least 300,000 BTU, and would burn a tank or two of diesel
each day. But when the temperature dropped below zero, everybody with
any sense stopped working. I don't include myself in that category. I kept at it until 11 below zero, when insulation on the structured wiring I was running started to
crack. Come to think of it, that might be why one of my speakers isn't working.
And by the way, be sure to get the windows installed as soon as you can after the roof is on. Don't bother putting plastic on the rough openings unless you use battens to hold the plastic down. I spent hours stapling plastic over rough openings just prior to an early snowstorm last year. I thought I had everything tightly covered and went home. I returned in the morning with all the plastic either torn or blown off, and a house full of snow.