milgard windows - mismatched interior! help!

mimi89July 2, 2011

We are building a house on a limited budget, having splurged on land with a wonderful view. Our builder just installed Milgard vinyl windows (the style is Tuscany, I think) & we are shocked to see that throughout our many windowed house, the opening windows (awning & casement) & the fixed pane windows have very different profiles & frames. The openers are simple & flat (like a Shaker cabinet molding) & the fixed paned are "stepped" like fancy molding. We are horrified but Milgard says this is standard. Thus in our great room, the dominant feature is the 6 huge view windows - too bad they don't match each other! We did not ask the builder if all the windows would have the same style of frames/appearance, as we thought that was a given, since that was never an issue in our previous homes & apartments. The builder just says he's provided what's stated in the contract & technically he has, I guess. He says the siding would have to be removed if we take out any of the windows & we can't afford extra large costs. We don't know what to do & are so disappointed to have our beautiful rooms lowered by a mismatched hodgepodge of windows! Any advice as to how we can make at least the interior of these windows look more uniform? Or how to proceed?

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I understand your problem, I just have no idea what you are asking in your quest for a solution.

No piling on you here but this is an example of why I advise people to have a window company get involved in the process of selecting windows. It's likely the picture windows and awnings could have been made in the same frame. What it sounds like happened here is the builder ordered all the windows as seperate units. When they are ordered this way, the frame on the awnings will often have a thicker appearance than the picure and casement windows.

There's really nothing I'm aware of you can do short of replacing the windows and re-ordering them the way I have described. If you decide to go this way and you want vinyl windows, look at Sunrise Windows next time. They have the narrowest profile of any vinyl casement window currently available.

I'm sorry this happened to you.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 9:41AM
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Thanks for reply, skydawggy. I was hoping some window guru could advise me of some simple, inexpensive fix so my windows would look more uniform, especially in my great room. I don't know how my builder ordered the windows, only that they look different from each other depending on whether they open or not. Oh well, have to live with it now, I guess - won't ever recommend Milgard windows, however, & would caution anyone planning to use vinyl windows to check into the actual LOOK of each type of window (casement, awning, fixed) to see if they match each other. Unfreakingbelievable!!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 3:35AM
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That is not uncommon for different operator types to have different exterior projections and interior aesthetics. This is not an issue with Milgard and certainly not specific to Milgard.

If the units are mulled together (i.e. casement, picture, casement), the picture window will be in the style and extrusion of the casement for a proper match.

If the room in question is outfitted with casements and pictures, they could have been ordered to match. If it was double hungs and casements, that is a more difficult match with most manufacturers.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 8:47AM
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In this case, the window combinations were awnings, casements and picture windows. It's a shame the OP didn't have a builder who understands that these windows can be ordered as combination units that match, from many manufacturers without even being factory mulled. Sounds as if he just ordered single units with no thought at all given to the aesthetics.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:50AM
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Unfortunately I agree with skydawggy - if the builder had discussed the window frame variation w/us before their installation, we would have at least considered other options, even if all that could be done (given our budget limits) was to arrange the windows so that there was at least a pattern to the disparity, so it doesn't just look like carelessness/bad taste! Currently, the front elevation of our house has a row of 3 equally spaced & sized windows right above the main entry - the first 2 windows on the left are fixed glass & have fancy frames, but the 3rd opens & has a plain frame. VERY annoying, inside & out! Our builder is on a short vacation - we'll ask him how costly to change out a few windows in the most obvious spots. As I am fenestrally ignorant, I was hoping maybe someone knew of a miracle product, maybe a snap-on frame piece, that could disguise the difference on the interior, at least - another figment of my imagination, obviuosly! Thanks to all who took time to reply.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 4:13PM
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"Fenestrally ignorant" is hilarious.

I am going to have to use that one myself but I will give you all the credit.

In reference to your question about some sort of snap on accessory piece for the exterior, none exists.

Capping only changes the look of the window opening from the edge of the frame to the trim. Nothing out there that will change the reveal and look of the frame, sash, or other vinyl components.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 8:40PM
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Milgard makes a fixed awning picture window designed to match to the operating awning window. It is basically an awning window with a screwed in place sash. While the builder may not have known about this certainly the supplier to the builder should have and let the builder know about this matching option. Either the supplier did not provide the correct support or the builder choose to ignore the advice.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:11AM
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Or the supplier did his job and placed the order the way the builder submitted it. Why is it up to the supplier to advise the builder? If a builder is going to sell a product, then he needs to know what he's selling, plain and simple. If this was me, I'd tell the builder the windows are totally unacceptable and demand he reorder them correctly. If he claims he didn't know, then I'd tell him to look at this as an expensive learning experience. Many manufacturers will share the cost of re-doing the windows with the builder.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:47AM
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Thanks to both 7/11 posters - will look into the Milgard fixed glass awning window that matches the opening awnings. We did try the "that's totally unacceptable" route immediately w/builder(as it was a complete shock to see mismatched winders - just never anticipated this type of variance & found it unbelievable) but builder pointed to contract & said we got Milgard vinyl windows as called for - nothing was specified beyond that & on the plans, it shows which windows will open but gives no clue that there is a difference in their frames. We are currently waiting for an estimate to replace a few of the prominently placed offenders, but will have to live with most of the mistakes. We simply can't afford to completely destroy the relationship w/builder over this & he(angrily!) feels he is in the right; & our house is only about 1/2 finished, & we don't have another builder to depend on. This is our retirement home, 4 yrs in the permit process, we lost $ like most did in the 2008 market plunge, etc., so we just wanna get on w/it. Thanks again for all your answers.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:11PM
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