Eagle Windows -- Defective Design
I am a construction consultant and have been working for several years now dealing with problems with Eagle Windows and believe that there is an inherent design flaw in how they construct their windows. The problem manifests itself particularly with their "Auxiliary Units", that is, their fixed pane windows.
The problem is that they are designed with the presumption that none of the sealants, joints or other mechanical connections in the frame or interfaces between the glass, wood and metal will ever fail. But if they do fail, problems of moisture intrusion into the structures behind the windows and the wood members of the windows themselves can deteriorate for a long time, undetected. Once this intrusion is finally detected though drywall damage, mold, or other problems, usually significant internal deterioration has already taken place.
Most windows I've encountered over the 40+ years in the construction field are designed to have secondary or tertiary mechanisms to allow any water that gets past the first line of defense to escape. Channels and weep holes are typical of these devices. Many windows are stopped in from the outside and have a vertical barrier to wind driven moisture at the interior side of the glass in addition to the interior sealant.
Eagle Windows are designed in such a way that the permanent stop that the glass is sealed to is located outside the glass, i.e. the glass is set from the inside. The glass is set in a glazing bed about 1/32" thick and about 1/4" wide. The corners of the metal frame are simply mitered and screwed together. There is a tiny bead of sealant at these joints. An optional "sill nose brickmold" snaps up into the bottom of the frame with a small ~3/32" fin and into a field applied sealant. Brickmolds are not integral with the main frame. The glass is stopped in on the inside with a small wooden moulding. This moulding has a thin foam weather stripping between it and the glass.
The ultimate result of this design is that waterproofing of Eagle Windows is SOLELY reliant on sealants/caulking. As wind and temperature changes move or expand and contract the multiple different components of the windows, the sealants slowly or rapidly deteriorate and moisture penetrates. When the glazing setting bed of sealant fails, water migrates directly to the wood frame of the window. I've seen thousands of dollars of damage to high end millwork, hardwood floors and carpet as a result.
There is no good repair to this condition other that perhaps removing the glazing from the window frames and installing some type of weep system. We are currently exploring this option.
Which brings me to my last point. If you explore the history of Eagle Windows, they have recently changed hands/ownership every few years. A client won a $146,000 judgment against them only to find out that shortly before the judgment was rendered, Eagle was purchased by its creditors, and in doing so the purchaser wrote into their documents that they assumed none of the liabilities of the former company. Same name, same president, same address, just a different company. When we tried to execute on the judgment, their attorney threatened to sue using their liability waiver and the claim that they were no longer the same company as the basis of the threat.
They were then purchased a year or two later by Anderson Windows, but continue to operate under the same name, in the same location and continue to use the same defective designs.
If you are considering using Eagle Windows (or any other windows for that matter), carefully analyze the window's design details in light of my comments. I hope this will help at least one person from making the mistakes several others are dealing with.