Drafty Loewen double hungs

cvapMarch 21, 2008

I built a new home using timber frame construction and stress skin panels to try to save money on fuel bills.I new that the windows would be the worst part of any insulation system, but these are terrible. Loewens are by far the prettiest windows made, inside and out, but my double hungs ,especially the larger ones, whistle when its windy.Granted, I live at a high elevation compared to the surrounding geography,where 50 knot winds at -10 degrees are common in winter,but my neighbor just built with Pella,and they are much much tighter, though very ugly.If they made storms to go where the screens go i would by them.Does anyone have any suggestions to fix this problem?I hate to put the plastic like my old house but i may have to

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How sure are you it's the windows and not a poor quality installation or improperly sized window? Have you been able to determine exactly where the air leaks or whisling is coming from? Have you contacted the window installer or G.C.and had him come out and take a look?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 9:21PM
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It's pretty hard to install these windows wrong since they are flanged and nailed directly to the sheathing. All four corners are square so it isn't racked.The air seems to be coming through the slides on each side. It is spring loaded and the metal glide gets so cold your finger will stick to it.If you shimmed it any tighter it wouldn't open.The carpenter is blaming it on the windows.Loewen has not got back to me yet.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 10:55AM
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Actually, it's very easy to install a window incorrectly. I would not assume the window or framing was completely square either. Was the framing caulked correctly before setting nailing fin? I can tell you that many times the reason for air infiltration has to do with an improperly set and insulated window. Not saying this is true in your case but I wouldn't be too quick to blame the manuf. Loewen windows in general, rate pretty decent U factors under test conditions.

Why isn't your installation company taking care of dealing with Loewen? Does the installer have factory certification?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 9:21PM
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Thank you sky, you are probably right since only four of the 22 windows are drafty. I bought the windows from loewen and had the local carpenter who did the rest of the house install them.(the windows showed up without warning in their 53' trailer and no one to help unload.Lucky I was on site when they came.)I have removed one side of trim on the inside of the draftiest window and they look insulated. I will wait for the wind and see.
Loewen never mentioned anything about certified installers when i bought them.I do believe 8 of 10 residential builders are animals and could care less about the work they do.If you can't find a job,buy a pick up and be a builder.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 7:09PM
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Marvin's double hung uses the exact same jamb liner system.

The problem is it's a double hung window. They just suck, plain and simple. Next time buy casements.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 7:34PM
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Once again there are no hard and fast rules that a double hung window sucks plain as it comes down to the fact that there is an ass for every seat. As long as you buy a GOOD QUALITY DOUBLE HUNG INSTALLED BY A GOOD QUALITY INSTALLER you will generally not have these issues. Double hungs have been around a hell of a long time time and if they were really that bad NOONE would manufacturer them any longer

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 2:01PM
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I reviewed many different window manufacturers and types of windows in my construction business. Some manufacturers rate better than others on the different product lines. The Loewen product does not have very good air infiltration ratings in their double hung products when compared to a few others that excel in this area of the double hung window type.

As pretty as a window might be, one should judge it by educated comparisons of performance between other windows. I've eliminated Loewen from my list of material sources for a few different reasons depending on the type of product (i.e. casement v. double hung, patio v. french)I've worked with the plastic compressible jamb liner double hung product from Pella, and the modern technology, rigid jamb liners (like Loewen uses) from Marvin, Eagle, SP and a couple others, and have never had any noticeable air infiltration problems in wind gusts exceeding 100 mph.

However, as high as the air infiltration ratings are with the Loewen double hung product compared to other manufacturers, I highly doubt that it would create a noticeable problem. Likely, your product was not installed well. You may have checked the frames for square, but you should also ensure that the frames were shimmed at the check-rails. This is easily done by measuring the inside opening between the frame at the top/bottom and then the middle (at the check-rail). If the distance is greater at the check-rail, then the side jambs were not shimmed properly, which would not allow the sashes to set properly against the weather-stripping and offer the proper compression to seal the window from air or water infiltration.

Another assessment would be to check the weatherstripping to ensure that it hadn't been compressed or damaged during shipment. Compare the weather-stripping to the windows that you mentioned were not "whistling".

I'm surprised that you did not purchase your product through an authorized Loewen dealer. Had you, you would have contacted them directly in your area and received a quicker response to your problem. Not knowing where you reside, receiving proper attention from any manufacturer might be more difficult, let alone one from a different country, such as Loewen in Canada.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 10:21PM
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I have installed Loewen windows in the past and think that they are some of the best windows on the market. The installer had never installed this brand and was impressed with the quality and strength of the product.

I installed Casement windows so I don't have experience with the double hung product.

I would not hesitate to use Loewen products in the future. My only issue is the price differential as compared with other offerings that are close in quality.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 10:48AM
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I had no idea this link existed until I ran across it by accident. We put double hung windows in our new home about 11 years ago. We paid apprx. $5,000 more than what Anderson or Pella would have cost. I felt the additional money was well worth it because the carpenter we hired to help me build our house had installed them before and thought they we excellant windows. We purchased them through a regional building supplier, 84 Lumber. Then the nightmare started. My carpenter did not use the regular flashing over the nail flange that was recommended. Instead he just used Tyvek tape as he said he did with all new window installation. I did not know any better so I didn't object. The windows leaked water at the top and bottom corners, alot of water as in ran down onto the floor. Factory reps looked but could see a problem except to say that they were not installed correctly due to the lack of flashing. By this time we were in the middle of winter making any kind of water testing impossible. We removed every single window in the house and re installed with Tyvek flexible flashing and caulking behind the nail flange as recommended and reinstalled the vinyl siding. You can imagine the disappointment and anger we felt when they still leaked, primarily at the bottom corners. Eventually my carpenter found the problem by using a squirt bottle of water on the outside of the side jamb and watched under the window as the water driped in through the joint between the side jamb and the sill. Finally Loewen sent a very knowledgeable techinician to our house. He removed the jamb inserts and caulked the joint between the sill and side jamb. His explanation was that the company said that the water was coming in through an area that was on the outside of the house and the leaking shouldn't matter. Obviously a bunch of BS but there was little I could do with him. My guess is that this joint should have been caulked or sealed at the factory but was not, but he denied this was the case. Why it happen to every one of our windows, is beyond me. Bottom line is, even though they were not installed according to mfgr's recommendations, that was not why they were leaking. The cailking seemed to stop the leaking for several years but about 5-6 years later it started again altough not nearly as much. I have not put the trim on any of my windows that face the west and south because of the fear that water will get in and cause rot that I will not know about until way too late. I realize that I should have hounded the company after they started leaking again but I was just too disgusted to make the effort. As you can imagine having no trim on the windows has been a major source of contention with my wife and I am at the point where I am going to contact them again so that I can finish the windows.

The other issue is air infiltration. I echo all of the comments I have read on this site. The windows are deplorable. They leak between the sash rails and the jamb inserts mainly at the top and bottom corners and in the middle where the top and bottom rails overlap. The windows were reinstalled correctly, caulking, flashing, level and plumb.

This is without a doubt one of the most frustrating things I have every dealt with. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks for listening. .....GS

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 1:29PM
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