To Pella (Again) or Not to Pella?
Almost 3 years ago we had 5 all-wood windows replaced with Pellas (Architect series, aluminum clad). The original wood window sills had rotted to the point that we just had to replace them. We went with Pellas on the recommendation of an architect friend and the perception that they were top of the line. I didn't know about this forum at the time. Since reading through some of the posts here, I am now a little freaked out by all the problems people have had with their expensive Pella windows. I do have to say that thus far we have been very pleased with them. You can really tell the difference between the remaining old windows and the new ones in terms of energy efficiency. My daughter's room has one old and one new window - the surface of the old window gets MUCH colder than the new one does. I'll also say that we paid top dollar for an extremely reputable contractor to install our windows, since we knew that proper installation is a huge part of the life expectancy of a window. It took two guys about 3 days to install the five windows, if I remember correctly.
Is there any more we can do to keep tabs on these windows? They are hard to inspect for water damage of course due to the clad exterior. What kind of maintenance should we be doing to avoid trouble down the road? How do you know when the window starts to fail?
The reason I am back to researching windows is that we are planning to replace another window and the patio door. We are replacing the window over our sink as part of a kitchen remodel, and replacing our patio door with a slider. I had the Pella guy come out and price these for me, and now it appears this Pella office offers installation services so he gave me an installed cost. One thing about the patio door - it leads out to the covered portion of our deck so is protected from most weather and direct sun. I had wondered if we could get away with a lower end manufacturer since it won't be in a very harsh environment, but we do want it to be energy efficient and easy to operate.
Based on others' experiences, though, I'm not sure we want to put any more eggs in the Pella basket.
Can anyone share their insights? Thanks!