Window Problems - Need Advice

msmity29January 24, 2009

I am hoping someone can lend some advice.....my family and I had a new home built 2 and a half years ago. At the time, the builder only offered vinyl-clad Crestline windows. I knew they were a lower quality product and had obvious concerns, but we decided to proceed anyway and hope for the best. Anyway, to make a long story short, the windows have been a nightmare. The amount of air they leak during winter is unbelievable. At some points on windy days the draft is so strong that a lighter flame can be extinguished. When condensation builds up on the glass and sills, ice forms too. We have contacted both the builder nad Crestline and neither wants to claim responsibility. The builder says that the windows are just not expensive windows, and Crestline hints that the framers did a poor job.

My questions are as follows:

1. Am I correct in assuming that such issues are not normal with higher quality windows?

2. Does the issue sound like a problem with the window itself, the framing/building, or a combination of the two?

3. What would be a qualityreplacement window?

4. How much ballpark should we expect to pay to have each window replaced?

Thanks in advance!

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ibwindows

I have always said I'd rather have low end windows installed correctly then top end installed poorly.

Sounds like you have low end windows installed incorrectly.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 9:26PM
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skydawggy

1. Yes you would be correct.
2.It's difficult to say without seeing the installation. It could be both.
3. There are many quality replacement windows. My best advice is to find out what's available in your area and get a few quotes.
4. Somewhere between $450 and $850 depending on size and options selected.

Get some references on the installer before buying. Just because a dealer has been in business for a while doesn't necessarily mean the individual who oerforms the installation has good skills.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 2:22AM
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macattac

It sounds like you're at the end of your rope with this thing. Clearly the air drafts are a big problem, and may or may not be part of the condensation/ice.

Usually if condensation is the only problem then we go down the road of humidity etc. Icing is a bit trickier - If you are truly getting frigid air blasting thru right where the ice is forming, then i guess we will have to assume that is the culprit, though it could just be enhancing a seperate issue of high RH.

1. Are there other big problems? (balance's or seal failures?)
2. How many of the windows are actually "horrible" regarding drafts, ice etc.

I ask theses questions because putting replacement windows in a 2 year old house - that already has insulated glass units might be an unecessary (huge) expense. Not to mention that you will most likely be shrinking your egress windows down below the minimum, the obvious appearance of replacements etc. Yes, you could do a sash kit - but you already suspect a bad installation on the frames.

At let's say, $600 a pop, and assuming you have 20 windows you're looking at $12,000. If you were to determine the "only" problem you are having is this terrible airflow, you could do a whole lot to fix this for a whole lot less than 12k! You could bring in someone who really knows their stuff for a few days to put in a heavier weatherstrip on the marginal windows and go a bit further on the really bad ones. This would include removing trim and getting the frame plumb, level & square.

Are the airgaps even between the sash and frame? This would indicate that possibly the sash were made to small.

Are the airgaps crooked? This would indicate something isn't square - could be either the sash, the frame OR the install.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 6:06PM
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skydawggy

Or you could contact Crestline and see what the warranty on the windows is. If they offer a lifetime warranty, explain your problem and then request they send a rep out. If they say it's an improper install, get that in writing and contact the builder.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 9:14PM
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hearmilo_comcast_net

I know I am reading an old post, wonder how your new windows are.I also have a fairly new home, 9 years old which is all Stone and custom built,o.k. WHY would my builder(Faucher Builders,Westbrook Ct.)put in the lowest,crapiest ,draftiest windows and doors when I requested Marvin? He lied alot but and never came back to fix immediate noticed problems,not closing and very drafty. I Now Have wATER LEAKING IN,ROTTEN CASINGS,HOUSING AND THE HARDWARE HAS FALLEN OUT OF MOST ALL,NOW i HAVE TERMITES IN MOST ALL NINE FRENCH DOORS AND 17 WINDOWS!tzHESE WINOWS CRANK INTO HOUSING THAT IS BARE UNFINISHED SOFT PLYWOOD,AREBUGS AND WATER LEAK INTO THE CHEAP CRANKS,WHICH AN INSPECTER TOLD ME HE ALSO DID NOT PLUM . sO UPSET!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 7:43AM
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abeg

Our company was been manufacturing vinyl windows for 25 years. I have been on service calls that long. If you really want wood windows, I'd suggest reading my article on wood window designs. It's from 25 years of experience that I have that opinion.

Here is a link that might be useful: Design considerations for wood windows so they will not rot

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 10:58AM
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millworkman

Beautifullhouse, you would probably get better informed info and advice from people other than shameless spammers grasping for straws if you formed somewhat legible sentences, used spell check and learned the proper use of capital letters.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 12:53PM
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abeg

I agree that Beautifullhouse could have worked on the grammar a bit, but I think the emotion is ok, assuming the facts are presented accurately. It looks to me like a combination of poor installation and a bad window system. That's a recipe for emotion if ever I have seen it. Poorly designed clad-aluimum systems are just bad products. I've seen it too many times. (For the casual peruser of this forum, I am an owner of a vinyl window manuacturer, so factor that into your opionions of my post and any other of my posts, I am also a "hands on" degreed mechanical engineer.) Good design should have a way for the water to escape without ever once getting the chance to touch the wood. Unfortunately, most clad wood designs are optimized for production costs and not long-term viability of the product.

Here is a link that might be useful: clad window design considerations

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 12:58PM
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skydawggy

Abeg, are we going to have to put up with you spamming every post? If so, I'll just stop reading when I see your name on a post. I'm a window dealer but I post here to try and help consumers, not to promote my company. You would have far greater credibility if you followed suit. As it is, it just looks like you are here to garner business without paying this site's owner. YMMV

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 1:53PM
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