Improperly Installed Vinyl Windows

Robynd44March 23, 2013

As a homeowner myself, I wonder if there is any relief from remodeling nightmares?
I had 8 windows old Aluminum windows replaced on my stucco exterior with 8 Vinyl energy efficient windows.
I hired a local contractor to do the work.
Work commenced at the beginning of this year.
Turns out, the contractor definitely did not install 3 out of the 8 windows correctly, and actually removed the old Aluminum Window frames, altered the window openings, by cutting the flange and breaking the water seal. The contractor installed a stucco fin retrofit window in the three rough window openings. The contractor did not remove any of the old stucco, paper, or wire around the window opening and did not rebuild the wall by blending new stucco, paper, and wire with the existing stucco to reinstate the water seal. Only a simple silicone was utilized as a sealant, which did not seal anything. After a simple garden hose water test, there is water intrusion getting into the inside of my residence and in my wall cavities. In addition, the contractor replaced the other 5 windows with Retrofit Stucco Fin Windows, where they did leave the old aluminum window frames in, but there is water leakage on those windows also to varying degrees, so I am not sure where the contractor went wrong on the other 5 window installs. The contractor was ordered back by the permit inspector to remove 2 out of the 3 windows improperly installed and to install flashing and re-install. The contractor came back out 2 months later and installed an aluminum trim coil which was supposed to function as a water channel to divert the water to the outside, rather than the inside of the home. The Aluminum Trim Coil was the contractors solution to reinstate the water seal, but their correction did not stop the water intrusion. I did not pay the contractor any amount toward the total invoiced amount, because the windows leak on the inside of my home. The permit remains open in Sac County due to the leaking windows. The contractor has ceased all communications and called me a liar when I advised them that the windows leaked, with photographs of the leakage attached. The contractor has threatened to file a mechanics lien against me for payment and send my account to their outside collection agency. It turns out that there is No provision in the contract that would allow me to get the contractor pay for my attorney fees for filing a construction/remodeling defect against them. Is there no relief for the consumer in this type of a situation? I really do not want to pay for leaking new windows that are about 3 months old now. Ultimately my ideal resolution to this issue which would make me happy is to get the original contractor I hired to not pursue me in any way legally and to be allowed to move on with my life and hire someone else to come out and correct the water intrusion. Its obvious the company I initially hired either can not fix it correctly or does not want to and my confidence in them is less than nothing. I don't want my life and my property to be stuck in a type of limbo forever while more water damage continues to build and my health continues to progressively get worse due to the high likelihood of exposure to mold, etc. I have seen that other homeowners fights against the contractors have left them broke, loosing their homes, having to live somewhere else, etc. It seems in many cases, where the homeowner has fought, even if they win, they do not come out ahead. So what is the solution? Does anyone have any ideas? The invoiced amount from the contractor is more than $5000 but less than $10,000 so no attorney really finds it worth their time to even speak to me, but I do need representation to protect my interests from the contractor coming after me for substandard work. I filed a complaint with the contractors license board but not too many homeowners have anything good to say about their help. The permit inspector wont even help except by leaving the permit open. Please Help.

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You said you're in CA? If so, I don't think you have to worry about this clown.

Did they file a preliminary lien notice before starting work, or within 20 days thereafter? Is the window supplier getting paid from that lien, or a separate one? If no preliminary lien notice was filed, it's too late for them to do anything.

If there are legit prelim lien(s) already pending, still don't worry. The building department is on your side. The inspector is your friend. This is what they are for, consumer protection from bad builders. As long as the permit remains incomplete, the contractor can not do anything with the lien.

Advise the contractor that you know the law, and at this point he just needs to cut his losses and go away.

Advise him that he would find a better use of his time, learning the correct way to install replacement windows. It will be the only option that has the slightest chance of paying off in the future.

Here is a link that might be useful: you need to read this

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:34AM
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