Leaking windows, who is responsible? Long

tanemJuly 8, 2011

This is my first post to this forum, but have been on the other forums for years. We moved into our about a year ago. I live in Tucson and this is our first significant monsoon season in the new home. We purchase all of our windows and doors through Stan Greer, which is an installation company that represents a few window manufacturers. The windows and doors are from IWC which closed its door recently after 60 years in business. Our house is modern so we went with IWC for their commercial aluminum framed windows. I have all the leaks on video. Basically the most significant leaks are on windows that go to the floor and sliding glass doors. One of the doors leaked last year and has been" fixed" after about 5 different attempts by Stan Greer. they finally added a full flashing that can make the water drain better so water is not coming in under the door and under the floor, the pan is still filling and pouring over the top (this has taken a year to get it to this level and replacing the wood flooring in this area). We believe the other doors and windows were not installed with the correct flashing. Not only is water poring in over the top of the floor, but coming in underneath which is causing the most damage. After the first major storm this year they ruined several thousand worth of wood flooring. The builder/architect and the head of Stan Greer were both here yesterday. Stan Greer is telling us the are installed to specs and perhaps we need to buy all new doors and windows that are more of a hurricane level (not his word, but I can't remember the terminology). He also suggested rolling shutters for storms and that we should contact home owners insurance about the wood floors. Basically sounds like he is not going to take any responsiblity. Is the builder/architect responsible for not specing it correctly? We have a few major monsoonstorms per year, so we have to do something. FYI-they also leak yesterday after heavy rain but no wind and the worst ones are on a coved porch. I can get more info on the windows if needed. This is just one of many problems, so any help would be appreciated. thanks

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From the info you are supplying here it sounds like it may be installation and may not be installation. As far as the windows needing to be more resistant to "monsoons" well, if they are in business selling windows in Arizona then they should be able to withstand Arizona's "monsoon season" if they are installed to spec. If I were you I would investigate hiring an independent Fenestration Consultant to come in and do an inspection of both the product and the installation and use his report to take appropriate action.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:29PM
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Ultimately it is your builders responsibility no matter who did the install. The above advise is excellent, the appropriate action would be directed to your builder.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:55PM
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I would say initially it is your builder's responsibility to determine the cause whether by his own investigation or that of the suppliers and installers. Then it should be easy to determine who is at fault.

Unfortunately, a builder will not usually admit that the workmanship of his employees or subs was the cause if it is not obvious so hiring an independent expert may be the only way to resolve the issue.

If the architect works for you he/she would normally be charged with overseeing this task but I assume that is not the case and that leaves you in the lurch.

It is difficult to understand your descriptions because you jump between windows and doors. Pick a specific problem and post photos of it. A detail of the installation, the installation instructions or photos of the installation in progress would also help. Is the cladding siding or brick?

If these are commercial aluminum windows they might be designed to be installed in a different wall type or they might require a sub-frame. The manufacturers of commercial windows usually do not offer much advice about installation so it is easy for a contractor to make a mistake.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 2:40PM
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