Alside Replacement Windows

paemd01March 16, 2007

We had Alside Excalibur windows installed in our home in August of 2006. With this past winter, we found a great deal of cold air leakage coming from the joint between the top and bottom window panes and at the top sash. Has anybody experienced this and do you have any suggestions. We have also notified the manufacturer. Thank you.

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Windows on Washington Ltd

Some air leakage is normal and the idea that a new window is going to be airtight is optimistic to say the least.

That being said, if the meeting rails are not snug and the locks tight, they can leak on that seam.

Alside also has released what they call "Energy Tabs" which go on the edges of the sashes at the meeting rail that cut down significantly on air leakage at the corners. Call your installer about those first and see if that solves the problem.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 9:00PM
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could it be that the windows were not installed correctly? might not be seeming that it is the windows but who installed them

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:00PM
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Vinly replacement windows work best when they are locked. Some locks actually push the top sash up and the bottom one down to tighten them into the frame. Sometimes when locked, you are able to move both sashes up and down in the frame usually indicating that one of the sashes was made too short. When properly locked, the sashes shouldn't move up and down at all.
Additionally, you can check the bottom and top sash daylight opening by just opening the sash a little bit to see the light line/space. Is it level?

If the installed jamb is not plumb and level, your lines as described above will not be even all the way across. Thats a poor installation.

Things happen when windows are made and again when they are installed.

Check these little things before you pay your balance.

The PorchGuy

Here is a link that might be useful: My Album

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 6:01AM
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We had Alside replace all of our windows, including a large Bow window two years ago. Everything is tight when the wind blows, except the two four foot long windows in the bedroom facing the Northwest. I complained to Alside over a year ago, & last Spring they sent out a Tech who asked me to remove the window wood mouldings & stuff in insulation all around the windows. Did so, & it did not stop the cold air. I had to place fingertip rope caulk all around the sashes & also use tape on the upper tracks to stop all of the cold air. Called Alside's main office in Ohio, & their District manager came out & told me my "Expectations" were too high, since all windows leak in cold air. Can you imagine that being said by a district manager? I asked him, why doesn't any of the other Alside windows leak, & he said he didn't know. He said last December the local Alside dealer would call me to replace just the two upper sashes & that should help the two windows. Still waiting, two and a half months now....We are calling the main office back this week, & if they continue to delay, I am going to hire an Attorney, Can one imagine Alside being in the roofing business, & after they finish & your roof leaks, they say, my "Excpectations" are too high, since it is normal for all roofs to leak? Barry in Harrisburg, PA.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 2:15PM
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We had 12 windows replaced with Alside Sheffields. All of them leak air. I have plastic over several, and the wind bulges it out when blowing on it and sucks it in on the other exit side of the house. I would have plastic over all of them, but they are working on taking care of it. Of course, I'm the only one who has a problem and they are blaming it on our house walls. My "expectations" were to be better than what I had. I replaced 5 Crestline windows I did myself several years ago. I thought those were bad and figured I got what I paid for. The Alside are worse than the Crestlines. Plus I didn't take out the weights in the weight pockets. And they were STILL better than now. I have a friend who has a similar type house....older two story farm house....who installed Anderson replacement's upstairs and Marvin replacements downstairs. His windows are tight. I supposedly have an Alside engineer coming to look at it as the installer and distributor sales rep couldn't fix things. Notice in the warranty that it does not pay for labor for repair work. Wish I would have stayed where I was at. Our furnace seems to run more now and there seems to be a different air flow in the house. Have found a few install mistakes and know that not much insulation was put in weight boxes or around the window. To me the whole perimeter should be well insulated. Also the outside stop of the old windows was removed that all recommendations for installation say to caulk and use. Caveat emptor

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 7:28AM
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A lot of your problem does sound installation related. I forget sometimes that there are still companies out there who think stuffing fiberglass insulation into the wall cavity will result in reduced air flow. The problem is once you compress fiberglass, it loses most of it's insulation value. The best way to achieve an airtight installation is to hire a contractor who is experienced with using low expanding foam.

Hopefully they wil be able to get your window install straightened out. It's possible that the original installer over tightened the stiles and bowed the frame of the window. Do the windows seem to operate smoothly when you raise and lower them? Another reason to avaiod the Sheffield is it uses a "snap-in" type sill. This is an undesirable design because it relies on the internal part of the window as the major path to drain water away from the window. If water can drain through a window then air can seep in through the same path and it usually does to some degree.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 8:55AM
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Alside vinyl siding and windows is going out of business. Stay away from the company.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 12:50PM
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this seems to be a common problem with Alside ( air leakage).
one reason is that Alside along with some of the other lower end window manufacturers , sell to anyone with a pulse. this means alot of contractors who are more concerned with coming in cheap than doing a proper install with a quality window will be using these windows; hence a poor installation.
second, its always better to invest a bit more and obtain a higher quality window. higher quality vinyl windows are made with tighter manufacturing tolerances and much better designs. some higher quality brands are Sunrise, HiMark, Okna, Soft Lite, and Gorell.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:05PM
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lumper20, where did you see or hear this?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:12PM
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i hope your statements are based on fact and not some unfounded rumor.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:57PM
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I am far from Alside's biggest fan, but they are not going anywhere anytime soon. They just opened their 100th supply center a couple months ago and have a pretty healthy company on all accts.
Maybe lumper just has a local Alside dealer going out of business or something along those lines.

A big +1 to mmarse's product recommendations. :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 5:06PM
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We have heard some rumblings here in Ohio about the fact that Window World Corp owes AMI ( Alside's parent company) big dollars and it could potentially cripple the big manufacturer. These time are tough for everyone. Lets hope this is not true.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:07PM
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I heard some rumblings from a competing distributor several months ago. For now, I'm just writing it off as rumor, but you never know.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:35PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

I just spoke to the National Sales Manager.

This rumor is complete BS.

Alside deals with each Window World vendor on a 1:1 basis. I am sure there are a few vendors that are late on stuff but nothing on a national scale that would cause and issue on their balance sheet.

They are doing just fine, if not better than about 95%, from a company health standpoint.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:57AM
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I agree it's probably a rumor but to proclaim it as such based on a discussion with the National Sales Manager is very naive.

Wayne Gorell was saying everything was wonderful and great just a few months before he filed for bankruptcy.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 11:51AM
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True EcoStar! Im sure everyone at Alside especially the National Sales Manager is going to tow the company line and say everything is fine.

Btw, windowsonwashington, do you honestly believe each local Window World buys direct from AMI? C'mon, you are smarter than that.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 2:10PM
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I don't sell Alside and I actually have a rather low opinion of their products, but I'm not going propagate any crazy, isolated rumors. If anybody would like to present ANY evidence that Alside is anything but a healthy company, please feel free to do so. Perhaps I'm "naive" to the practices of large corporations, but I don't believe that it is commonplace to expand into new markets and open new locations when you are on the verge of going under. This whole conversation is utter nonsense.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:08PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


My relationship with the National sales manager extends beyond that of the relationship that reporters and other industry folks had with Wayne Gorell when quizzing him about the health of his company. Wayne Gorell was also reporting this to outside sources that would print this material in addition to the fact that there were multiple indications of poor company health (renegotiation on labor agreements, rumblings of chapter 11, slashed hours at the factory, etc, etc)


I am not sure you understand how the Window World/AMI relationship works. Window World dealers order their product direct from AMI/Alside via direct order forms and the product comes direct on Alside trucks.

The way that Window World makes its money from the dealers (via product) is by Alside issuing Window World a commission of sorts on every window that is ordered.

Pricing levels are based off of set volume marks, but Window World is getting their money from AMI.

I have ordered windows for Window World and this is how it was done in my presence.

Window World provides a good chunk of Alside's business but the fact that they are opening additional branches and the branches near me are always packed is not indicative of a company on the verge.

Like HomeSealed said, in the absence of any real facts, the information that I have been provided is more valuable and vetted than anything in this thread saying otherwise.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:22AM
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The only person in this thread who hasn't said it's a rumor is Lumper20.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:58AM
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I worked for Alside at their headquarters (and largest of their 5 windows plants) in Cuyahoga Falls, OH for 5.5 years. I left a year ago (summer of 2012) for a better opportunity in my specific field.

I have friends who still work there, and I can tell you Alside is doing very well. They recovered from the national economic slowdown that affected the entire building materials industry (in 2007 or 2008).

Alside has always focused on quality. I have worked with people in their QA department as well as various departments in the windows plants. They really do a great job.

Additionally, less than a year before I left, a new CEO, formerly of GE, joined Alside. He has assembled a team that is really focused on lean methodology and continuous improvement (kaizen / six sigma and all of that...)

I replaced all of my windows at my old house with Alside windows four or five years ago, and plan to order replacement windows for my current house in the near future.

They sell a shitload of windows. If their windows were so leaky, you would see more than 2 people complaining about leaky windows.

It sounds to me like whoever installed the windows did a bad job.

Alside is a good American company that employs hundreds (to thousands indirectly) of hardworking Americans, and I'm proud to have worked there.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:43AM
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Really??? Then why do their windows have such high air leakage rates?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 8:36AM
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About all I have to say about Alside windows.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

MWM takes up the mantle.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 7:14PM
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i just met with a local window company that is very highly rated by angies list. i didnt realize they were selling alside windows(listed on the web as a pella dealer) the info they gave me on the sheffield says it has a lifetime warranty on the window, it's u rating with climatech elite glass is .29, the shgc is .19,it has foam filled frames for insulation, etc. on paper it seems to be a quality window but i've read lots of bad reviews here. is it possible that this window is a decent one or am i missing something?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 10:46AM
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ardcp, if you read through the previous posts, most of the complaints are air leakage. None of the ratings that you've mentioned would measure that issue. Every window is tested structurally as well as thermally, and those structural tests (including air leakage) are available... although you may have to hound your sales person to get them.

Here are my general thoughts on the product:

POSITIVE: Large profitable company, solid warranty, and to be fair, much of their reputation for quality (or lack thereof) probably comes from the fact that every "Chuck in a truck" contractor has access to the product whether they do a good job or not. Pricing is generally very aggressive.
NEGATIVE: Performance ratings are not at the elite level, and generally meet minimums for energy star etc. In my opinion, those ratings are pretty indicative of quality as well. They use a pocket sill that drains water through the frame on most of their products. This is an outdated and flawed design IMO, as I have seen failures lead to substantial damage. Lastly, in my experience selling and installing the product, I was not impressed with quality control, and experienced a higher ratio of service issues than that I experienced with other products.

Let me also say that unless you are in a hot climate, a u value of .29 and shgc of .19 is not optimal. Moderate to cool climates will benefit from a higher shgc, like .25+. That can vary depending on many factors and is a very general recommendation.

The Alside product is also sold under several aliases, including the Window World models (Sheffield/UltraMax is the 6000 I believe), Revere, Preservation, and Enviroview... I'm sure that there are a couple others that I'm missing as well.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

The Sheffield is a pretty solid window and built like a tank in terms of its extrusion.

It does have a bulky profile as compared to some other units so be aware of that loss of glass as well.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 12:43PM
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cold air leakage is one of the common problem we face with our replacement windows. These type of condensation problems can lead to serious health issues apart from your energy wastage. This can even cause damage to the places it touches. If the frame is made of wood, it will surely develop mould and wood decay. Even steel frames can start to corrode over time. Be careful with your curtains and sashes. keeping it closed all the time can add to this issue.

Here is a link that might be useful: Replacement Windows and Doors

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:27AM
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You cant keep spamming your company, its against the rules and your company comes across as a scam. This isnt the first time you have done this which makes me wonder.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:18AM
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The Alside Sheffield is very bulky but has a very high air infiltration rate, if i am not mistaken, its close to a 1.0 . That is a very big difference. Air leakage is one of the most important performance numbers and the lower the number, the better.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:31AM
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mmars1-thanks for the air leakage number, that is no where to be found on the alside info!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:34AM
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And I am sure it is by design that that the AI number is not there!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Here is a link that might be useful: Alside Techcenter

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 12:06PM
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