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Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Emptor

Posted by braintreemass (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 2, 07 at 10:21

We were rebuilding and adding to our home located in a suburb south of Boston beginning in May of 2005. In the process, we chose the Pella Designer series windows, in part because we were told the sashes were an all wood interior, with triple-pane highly efficient glass. We have pets and so one of the features that especially appealed to us was the ability to purchase blinds that are placed between the panes of glass. Our home is of considerable size and contains much glass coverage. We ordered from Pella 78 windows, some as large as seven feet tall by several feet wide, as well as 6 exterior French (glass) doors.

To say the experience has been disappointing would be an understatement. Pella has been to our home for service over 25 times! I have considerable knowledge regarding construction from various work, education and a two year apprenticeship as an Architect that I worked many years ago. I am cognizant as to what are acceptable standards and normal installations for doors and windows. It was my experience that the Pella Designer series requires substantial installation preparation far exceeding that of a comparable Anderson or Marvin or Harvey product where the Pella windows will not function properly without extraordinary precise shimming the windows.

The problem lies in what appears to be an inherent design flaw where if the windows are not shimmed tight on the verticals jambs adjacent to the plane where the windows lock, the windows will "pop" out and not lock. This in part appears to be caused by the actual locking mechanism that employs a straight slot type of engagement rather than a gradual sloping type of lock that could first grab the sash and then close it tight. Another contributor to this problem seems to be the weathers stripping utilized in the manufacturer of the product. The weather stripping is so stiff, it make closing the properly installed windows many times very difficult and sometimes impossible.

In the North East where the weather and relative humidity changes significantly over the course of the year, the shim requirements to make these windows properly operational swell and cause operational difficulties. Additionally, when attempting to tilt-in a pane for cleaning, because of the tightness required to make these windows lock, the wood rails on the sides of the sashes become torn and damaged.

As far as the product being an all-wood interior, that was another illusion. The hinged panel that facilitated the ability to place the blinds and grids between the glass is actually a formed metal component that contains a very thin, "paper thin" layer of wood over the metal. This is problematic because the lock mechanism if not fully disengaged can catch this thin wood and easily tear it off. Given the price point of these windows, I submit there are better alternatives especially given that when we experienced problems, these were considerably exacerbated when Pella Boston, the "dealer" we purchased the windows through, were unresponsive, and acted in our opinion in a less than honorable way in dealing with an enormity of problems with their products at our home. We have been attempting to rectify non-conforming products delivered in May-June of 2005 still to this date! I will say on a positive note that if it were not for the earnest efforts for a Pella technician named Eric who has been to our home for over 20 times, I would have torn out the windows and commenced litigation.

On a final note, Pellas position appears to be one to blame the installation. Last month, Pella sent out an engineer from the headquarters in Pella Iowa to our home to investigate our problems. We already had several structural engineers review these problems with out home and Pella was made aware of this. Pella stated that a pair of French glass doors were improperly installed where they were not plumb, level or square and that this was the cause of the doors not working. To demonstrate this was untrue, Pella was sent digital photographs depicting a digital level on each plane showing the plumb, and level and photos of a tape measure demonstrating the door was installed square. In an attempt to remove itself from the liability of correcting the nonconforming doors, Pella said the photos could have been deceptive and not true and sent the engineer to confirm what was already stated. It was learned this person testifies for Pella in court and so he was on a fact-finding mission. Unfortunately for him, everything was as we stated and he just wasted more of our time. Pella is planning on finally replacing these doors to correct the problems.

Our experience with Pella Windows has not been a positive one and I would never recommend the purchase of their product after our dealings with them. We have had problems with every aspect of dealing with Pella and to date have several issues unresolved.

Caveat emptorlet the buyer beware.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I'm truly sorry to hear your nightmare with Pella. We happen to install their windows almost every day of the week. Even I have difficulties with their field reps telling us we installed them wrong. I almost threw one of the field techs in a dumpster out of the second story patio door opening. He told me we installed the patio door out of square and level. So the delaminating door wasn't covered under warranty. I proved him wrong by showing him that their door wasn't plumb or perfect from the factory. One hinged doors hinge locations were 3/16" different on one side of the frame to the other. So I couldn't make them level or square if I wanted to. They replaced the patio doors needless to say. I know these field technicians, as their called, do anything and everything to prove it's not their fault. It's a sad thing to deal with. Unfortunately the new building code has made every manufacturers installation requirements code, no matter what. Meaning we must follow each manufacturers installation guidelines to the tee! So now we have to go by their posted information that's sent with each door & window.

Their vertical sliding windows are something we deal with all the time. I've always taught my installers that proper shimming has to be done on every window no matter what. The Pella units require that special touch because of how their built. Ounce we level and square the unit with shims in each corner, we screw all four corners down tightly. (We use cedar shims so humidity doesn't cause any movement) After the corners are done we then shim the center of the windows right at the meeting rails of each window. We adjust the reveal evenly from top to bottom. Ounce we get this done we lock the center of each frame with screws. This will hold the window in the same place forever. We do all the lock down screws from the inside right threw the jambs. We also nail it down on the outside with the nail flange. After this we use a low expansion foam to insulate around the entire unit. Ounce this sets up it's also an adhesive. So the window isn't going anywhere after we're done. We use this technique on everyones window and we have no problem. But we do this for a living also. The average home builder wouldn't know this unless someone told them.

Another trick I use is Pledge Furniture Polish (Lemon Scent smells good) on all the weatherstripping up and down each side. I spray it on a towel and wipe both sides of the frame and also down each side of the sashes. I do this with every wood window we hang. The wax coats the weatherstripping and lets them slide much better with out much friction. The window functions much better and it's much easier to lock and slide. The field tech will never know about this one. I also think the seals are a bit bigger than they have to be. I guess the theory is after some time they collapse a bit and work better. The jury is still out on this one.

One thing to remember with any window is they have to be made perfectly square and functional from the factory before we can install them the same way in the field. You'll find that they don't come that way from the factory that often! Hope you get things resolved soon and good luck!!!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

And the beat goes on.......


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am happy to have found this post as I too have had problems with my Pella Windows similar to those stated here. We built our home in '78 and installed Pella windows thinking they were the best. We have, over the years experienced rot in all of the windows, but rationalized with "age", etc, but were faithful with painting every 7 to 8 years. Two years ago we replaced two of our four bad casements with doublehung as the casements no longer would close. We bought Pella again ( so foolish). Neither of the replacements close tightly, and will not "flip" to wash. Of course Pella is stating it is an installation problem. I might note, that prices quoted by three different salesmen from the same office varied widely in price....that alone should have kept us from the sale, but I thought we'd do better with the same product from a fit and looks perspective. Husband wants to eliminate me with the windows.
salbwil


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I can't tell you how glad I am to have seen these Pella comments. I had 5 Pella Designer Series Double Hung Windows install in October 2006 and have had nothing but problems when I try to close the windows.

Pella has been out here at least 5 times at this point and each person that comes out tells me that the windows need time to get broken in. Well this is April and I am still having problems with the windows. I have to stand on a step stool in order to view that the locks are caughting and I have to put all my body weight into pushing on the window in order to get it to line up with the locks. I have even had to ask a second person to assist me at times in order to lock them.

I told them in the fall that if the windows were not operating properly in the Spring that I wanted them removed and refunded. I don't know if I'll have any luck with that, but I am tired of hearing that it will be fine in time.

Oh, the newest issue is that one of the windows was leaking the other day when it rained. Of course that was in the room that I just remoldel!

Has anyone ever tried to return the windows after installation due to problems? Is this possible?

Any assistance you can offer would be very much appreciated.

Just Tired of Pella!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

wow, so glad I found this thread as we are looking into installing all pella designer series windows . One of the reasons of course is the availability of the enclosed blinds. Just being able to interchange with the other products and not having to dust or clean your blinds in the future was a big selling point for me.

Now since I have read this, I am really really considering other alternatives. From what I am reading, each of you have had nothing but problems and headaches with pella designer series. We were planning on the casement windows , I noticed some of you are using the double hung.
Thanks for all this information .


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

My story is about the same as yours, only I put in 83 brand new leaky Pelly windows and doors.

I have found dealing with Pella to be a nightmare too. They have broken every cardinal rule in the book regarding customer care. With Pella not only do they not stand behind their products, they add insult to everyones loss by trying to blame everything wrong (even after documenting it for them) with their windows and doors on the installer. Our new doors and windows leak so bad one testing company said why bother testing them, we can see daylight right through the seams of the door frame.

Please check out my web-site http://www.pellawindowsleak.com/
and send me your email address for more info.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella Windows leak and rot


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

All I can say is wow...? Sorry to hear of all your issues with the windows and the company.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Now I must say that some of what I have seen is Pella's fault because some of you are missing a part if you are doing Bick and/or Stucco construction. Pella doesn't even mention the part "frame extension and a sill adapter in their directions. But you need both of these installs before you ruin your SILLS.

Lowe's doesn't ask the right questions when you are ordering and some of these shodding contractors don't want to go through all the steps of 'setting' a window. Therefore the consumer suffers.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I do also have a bay window with the blinds in the middle and have had nothing but problems!! This winter I could see to the outside!! When trying to contact them to get the problem fixed they basically told me I was not telling the truth after I had sent picture to them! They have been out six times to fix the issues and my window still doesn't close correctly with having children this is a HUGE safetly issue!! I have had nothing but problems and are still trying to get them to fix their product correctly! All I am asking from the company is to give me the same product you would want in your own home!!!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am an installer for Lowes.I install Pella,Dakota and realy any brand that customers buy.I dont like Pella from an installers point of view because I have more trouble making them work like they should,and notice what I call poor "Quality Control" as the factory.It costs Me time and money going back to houses to "fix" promblems to only discover that there is a defect in the window and not the installation.Good luck!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Me. I order some Pella 850 series "Architect Series" from Lowes in Jan 2007. Got windows that were mulled with Circle tops & tempered. Windows were delivered in 6 weeks not 17 days. Windows have NO GRIDS for circular mulled top on 6 windows. Even though I ordered them and windows cost $2k a piece. Now Brick mason tells me that windows don/t have the FRAME EXTENSION piece that goes into the accesory channel and provides a brick mold for the windows & that he can't brick up the windows without it.
Pella says this was an oversight and will take 3 more weeks to correct. Meanwhile I have costs for storage unit, toilet & labor for BrickMason that can't do what he was hired to do because of Pella. Lowes says they ordered the parts;it is right on the ORDER sheet. Pella just didn't ship with the order. I got some grids with the order they just don't fit ANY ot the eindows I have !! Whose grids are these? So far my windows haven't leaked but I did pay extra money for the complete Tyvek Flashing system including Flexwrap & Tyvek Tape & Tyvek flashing plus I had my installer read the directions & install them just like Pella sys with shims and the like. The Frame extension part is NOT on the directions of the windows they ship with Lowe's either. My Framer knew about them because he just put them in with Pella windows he installed last year some time. They are REQUIRED when you put in BRICK VENEER; thats what I heard from the Pella representative at their store. Well, if they are required, then why are they not mentioned in the directions they hand out? So that Pella can come back & say they weren't properly installed? Sounds like Catch -22 being played by Pella... They'd better NOT LEAK after all this trouble...


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Problem solved! Pella has a new design for their locking system. The lock is extended to reach the latch without having to push down on the window. I have the locks on order and that should complete it. As for the leak I will have to schedule another appointment for the installers to come back and fix it. Overall I think I am calming down and Pella might take forever to solve the problems, but I am confident in saying that they will get there eventually.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Many thanks to all of you for posting. Pella is now off the list of choices for my new home. Had similar problems with Peach Tree French doors 12 years ago. Not anxious to repeat the battle.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Our pella casement windows were installed in a new addition 9 years ago. Recently, we noticed mold in our window bench - an indication of a serious leak. Eventually, we had a mason remove some of the stucco from our house to see what was going on. The windows themselves weren't rotted, but the sills and everything below it were rotted. If we hadn't found this, eventually our entire bay would have fallen down eventually (maybe we should have let this happen as maybe homeowner's insurance would have paid for this!).

We had our builder, another builder, the mason and the Pella regional rep come out and look it. Everyone pointed the finger and each other. The pella rep said it was faulty installation, but the installer insists the window sills were leaking. Meanwhile, we are stuck paying a huge bill to rebuild our entire 2-story addition, take down the stucco and replace all of the framing reinstall the windows.

We're at our whits end. Any suggestions?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I think that just about all of these comments could interchange Pella with another manufacturer. I know all are frustrated, but I see in all of them that Pella is trying to satisfy the customer in the end. Come on what other company is going to refund a window that was installed by a third party a year ago!!?!?!?

Yes you may have problems with windows installed in 1978.

Lowe's could not find water in a lake let alone get a full complex job of windows together. You WILL NOT find quality, expedience and low cost all in the same place!!

They are where they are because of who they are


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Pella Hell

I implore that one does not purchase their entire window and door package from Pella! Perhaps a window or door or two for a remodel and then only at a reduced price! There's no doubt that every manufacturer encounters customer dissatisfaction with their products. However, Pellas price point should be the distinction! I've read all the comments and relate to a bit of each and every tale. We ordered over thirty casement and picture windows, six French doors, and several solid entry doors for our new home construction project. All from the Architectural Series and all the casements with blinds within the window. Not a cost cutting measure by any stretch! The first sign of trouble was upon arrival/inspection of our complete window package. The product sent was four inch, regular jamb construction instead of a six inch jamb extension for six inch frame/wall construction. The general contractor requested beforehand that we consider an alternative to Pella before we commenced construction. NOOOO, I simply had to have the "very best"! So, I worked with the Pella rep independent of the contractor. The rep visited the construction site during the rough framing and had copies of the architects' drawings. Still, the sales rep failed to note the wall depth/framing. We were $tuck with window$ that required cu$tom exten$ion jamb$ built by a carpenter at our expen$e! The French doors of course would not be fully operational if installed, so we had to phone relentlessly, our rep who was always "away from his desk." Finally, I involved the regional manager (whom was extremely condescending and sarcastic.) An agreement was made to replace only the doors (I'll take it!). The doors being eight feet in height required a lead time of several weeks. That's understandable. Ahhhhhh, perhaps some relief insight. NO SUCH LUCK! As the entry doors began to show up at the job, the general contractor had to send several back for reasons such as poor quality and workmanship, thresholds not correct for the application etc... I don't have to mention how construction was held up and how our general contractor was kind enough not to remind me of his sound advice at the outset. To add insult to injury.... During several reinstallations of the doors some bronze hardware got misplaced. Specifically, some setting screws and a set of door levers. Pella required that we pay additionally for a new set if we wanted them to match the existing hardware throughout the house! Additionally, a Pella installer sank the setting screws for the hinges, right into the sidelight of our front entry way. Oops! gotta wait for another eight foot door! I could go on and on but I won't..... You get the picture. I'm out of Pella Hell now,in recovery, thanks to the local chapter of a window salesman hate group.
Everyone has a horrible story myself included. The point I want to share is, Pella is the most expensive, residential window on the US market. They have a responsibility not to be perfect but to strive for perfection from their managers, manufacturers, salesman, installers and customer service reps. That's what I paid for and that's where they dropped the ball on several levels.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I'm curious of what window the GC recommended. $orry you had to go through thi$ fiaSco. Is everything to your satisfaction now?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Any responses from Pella for anyone? I got nowhere with them as well to see if they really did anything about this. No answer to any issue or even if any of this issue was misleading. Let me know... As of right now I am not going to buy Pella nor will any of my customers.......
Below are their emails to me about my questions on the fore mentioned issues..........

Thank you for your recent emails to Pella Corporation. We appreciate the time you have taken to voice your concerns.

As a company committed to quality, innovation and customer satisfaction throughout our 82-year history, we strive to produce the most superior products with superior customer service. Pella is very proud of the products we offer, and do stand behind the warranty on our products. We feel that our warranty is one of the most competitive warranties on the market.

At this time, I am unable to comment on the resolution of this customer's concerns. We do take concerns serious and work diligently to ensure an amicable resolution has been reached.

Thank you again for contacting Pella Corporation.

Best Regards,

Randy Sedlock
Correspondence Specialist
Pella Corporation
7/23/07
-----Original Message-----
From: John S
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 11:48 AM
To: Web Info
Subject: RE: Pella.com~

Thanks for the response. But you avoided any explanation of how your company handled the customer in question (I have been to your web site and since talked to other contractors which have seen some of the same issues).

Did you resolve this matter with the customer of yours that posted their complaint? I trust you would tell me if it was resolved or Pella investigated the issue and it was entirely bogus..... I bet this person would send me pictures and documentation if I asked.

It does not sound like you all even looked into it? How you handle their matter does make a difference of whether I decide to buy Pella.
Avoiding
the issue of this supposed complaint makes me wonder if there is fire where there is smoke and how you would deal with me if I had an issue??

As I said below, every company can have a problem or an irate customer that is clearly in the wrong. How you handle the situation is what is of interest to me. Also, I do care about Pella's side of the story, especially if it is untrue.

Thanks again for your initial response.

-----Original Message-----
From: Web Info [mailto:webinfo@Pella.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 12:11 PM
To: John S
Subject: RE: Pella.com~

Dear Mr. S:

Thank you for contacting Pella Corporation.

We can certainly understand your concerns relating to the website you recently visited. There is a lot of information on the web today and provided by e-mail. Some of it is from trusted, reliable sources. Much of it is not. It's not unusual to find criticisms about almost anything and anyone on the web. For people who are interested in accurate information, we recommend www.pella.com as a responsible and trustworthy source of information about Pella and our products. Other online sources are often suspect and promote their own agendas.

As always, if you have specific questions about Pella products or services, we invite you to visit www.Pella.com, or contact us for further information.

Thank you for your interest.

Sincerely,

Randy Sedlock
Correspondence Specialist
Pella Corporation
7/18/07

-----Original Message-----
From: John S
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2007 11:40 AM
To: Web Info
Subject: Other

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Consumer Information
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Name: John S
Company: Haven View Construction
Street Address: 4
Street Address 2:
City: Statesville
State/Province: NC
Zip/Postal Code:
Receive Pella Updates Via E-mail: Yes
Accept graphic enabled messages: No

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E-mail Subject
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Other

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Additional Comments
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I am building a new 5000 sq ft house on my property in NC. I had just
about decided to use all Pella windows when I came across this web site.
I know that any company can have customer issues but the way these poor
folks seem to be handled are obviously enough information to scare
anyone off from being a new customer even if you do not believe half of
what all those customers are saying. It still sounds to me that you
have some engineering problems and as of today it does not sound like
you have resolved either. I have been in manufacturing mgmt for 15
years and customer service mgmt for 10 years prior to that. I can
imagine how many millions of folks out there are reading this and
thinking the same thing. It may have cost some $$ to fix these folks
problem even if they were in the wrong but I would bet you have lost
millions over this one customer.

I have always been leary of blogs but there are too many folks agreeing
with them to not believe I could not depend on you all to resolve a real
problem. Most people are too busy to waste their time blogging for no
reason or to have to fight a manufacturer over a made up issue. Mess
with the average Joe's home and you will never live it down.

here is the web site.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/windows/msg0310211418991.html

Email me if you ever resolve this and want a customer to be the
proponent for a new design. I have six months before making final
decisions on what 80 windows to buy.

By the way I plan to build 16 more homes over the next 5 years. I am
sure that could get you back some more business if you could sell me on
your product!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I can see this thread turned into quite the spectacle since it's creation. I just wanted to update this thread since my original response on 3/2/07. Just as I stated above we install Pella windows on a daily basis. We are one of the installation contractors for Lowes here in MN. I do know & understand some of the issues most of you face on your product. Some of these issues have some very valid concerns. Since my first post Pella has given us a new field rep that I wish all of you could have to deal with. He's been a stand up individual that returns his calls and does what's needed to remedy any issues we may have in the field. Ounce he started trusting our diagnosis and remedies he's given us anything we need to cure the problems. I do understand these field reps get beat from every direction about Pella failures and issues. I can tell you first hand that most of these issues are installation related. I can't tell you how many times I've been to jobs that have had every service tech and field rep out to do unsuccessful repairs. It usually only takes a short time before I find where the problem is. If it can be fixed in the field I fix it, if it's product failure I get new product because Pella trusts me enough to make that decision.

What I'm seeing in many of these cases is field personnel trying to fix something they don't know how to fix or even pinpoint. They stick field personnel out there that think they know everything and won't listen. This rep will blow things off and blame the installer with out really knowing where the issue is. They report back to the office stating the problems solved when it really isn't. Then the complaints roll in and Pella has to jump to find the problem. They then find their rep was bad and get a new one causing the process to start over again. I know they try their best to patrol their own but sometimes it takes awhile to find the bad eggs. One thing our new rep did was ask us old-timers (33 years in the industry) our opinions. Ounce he trusted our decisions he used us as an encyclopedia of knowledge and help. He wasn't scared to ask us for help which gave me great respect for him. We find an issue and he sends us what we need, it works well for us and the customer.

On the other hand I see many complaints here that are based off improper ordering by a Lowes employee, contractor or Pella provider. I can tell you most of your problems aren't Pella's as much as it's the people ordering your product. They'll tell you they did it properly only to push the blame off themselves. When you really look into the problem you'll see what I mean. Every Pella order is done on a system that prints out the order in great detail. The customer usually gets a copy of this to sign off on. Every little detail is on that sheet. If you didn't get it make sure it was ordered on that sheet. If it was then Pella's at fault & they'll stand behind it. There are many things blamed on the factory that aren't their responsibility.

Take some time to look into the issue and make sure the paper trail points their way. If things are lost or misplaced it's not Pella's responsibility to replace them. If someone tells you they ordered it, get the paperwork showing they did. If all this pans out you have all the right in the world to be mad. Well I could right a bunch more but have to go. Feel free to email me with your concerns. I've installed, manufactured & serviced doors & windows for 33 years. I may be able to help you get some of the answers you need to lay these things to rest.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Guy-ext-man wrote a wonderful piece in explanning what can happen.

My 2 cents is not to add more flames to the oil. This is just to share a customer's perspective. I am a prod. engineering manager at a software company where service calls, depending on the scope of the problem, escalates through our sales rep, field support, tech support engineers and eventually product engineers/managers and finally the VP of engineering. And the CEO if the problem is big enough or the customer large enogh. We all have to visit a customer site when there are problems.

We train our people from the top down that once a perception is made by a customer, right or wrong and regardles of whether it is our fault, it will be near impossible to change. Most of such customers will just listen to our explannation of facts as "finger pointing" or "excuses" or as passing the bucks. So we make it "seriously" clear down the chain that we always visit in pairs and we never make snap judgements or promise anything on-site. We gather the facts, listen to the customer's gripes, complaints, yelling and read between the lines to find the issues. Letting the customer vent to us is as important as identifying the problems.

We then meet in-house to analyze the problems and decide if we need to escalate to the next level, visit the customer again or we can render a solution and meet the customer to explain that solution in person.

Of the few people who decided to break this protocol, 100% of them have been asked to leave within 2 weeks. This process has worked extremely well for our company.

The old days of just letting a field rep be a lone wolf in the field representing the name of a whole corporation should really be over. Even with intense training, the lone wolf can turn out to be a bust. Without any customer relationship managment training, lone wolves often become a liability.

In this new internet world, it takes only seconds for a dissatisfied customer to vent his/her feelings online instantly reaching thousands and sometimes millions of readers. It take millions to build a good name and it takes only seconds to soil that reputation, right or wrong.

I suggest that Pella and other manufacturers who are not tech savvy to really take note and understand this new way of doing business. May be then Pella and other companies will put extra effort into training, screening and executing good customer service programs. Don't let the internet community be a threat, use it to Pella's advantage.

It will help companies like Pella and it will help customers like we and it also means the field rep learn valuable skills to keep working. It will be a win, win, win for everyone.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Guy and calbay,

Great posts!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Update on my Pella problems at Lowes. I ended up buying PVC circular Brick Mold & PVC brick mold for all my windwos which was an extra expense of $400 rather then wait 6 weeks for them to be specially made for my Mulled windows from Pella.
My window Grids were shipped to store 3 times broken because Pella only ship s them between 2 pieces of cardboard & expects them to make it via UPS from Iowa to Virginia without being broken??? Are they nuts? After the third time broken & having contacted both the Millwork manager & the Lowes store manager for their involvement I decided to complain at Lowes.com website. and mention that I had gone through all these steps dealing with my window Purchase from January 2007 to then July 2007. Magically my window Grids appeared unbroken in 48 hours from the time I complained online at Lowe's.com I don't who did it but it seems that someone at Corporate at Lowe's must read & act when customers complain about big purchases. Thanks to whomever at Lowes solved my problem. Still Had I ever to do this again I would get JeldWen or Marvins..


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

woodinvirginia:
it still seems as though your problems are with lowes and not the Pella factory. If you had bought Jeldwen or Marvin through Lowes, would you then say that you should have bought Pella?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Hi All,

I really need the "blind within the window" windows & doors. My choices seem to be Pella and Eagle. I have a stucco/cement siding house. 1/2 of the windows/sliding doors will be replacements and 1/2 new construction. Since all of the existing windows are sliders, and neither Pella or Eagle offer blinds within windows in sliders, I've got to change the whole look of my house.

I want the blinds within the windows because between workers/kids/animals, I've replaced every shade/drape/miniblind/vertical multiple times on all windows & doors. (Yes, I live on a farm and have dozens of humans and critters through the house every day). The plans are at the architects right now, but I have to get my windows decided soon so my plans can get approved by the County. Sacramento County has very strict energy requirements. They needs to know all the window stuff before they'll issue any permits.

I went to the Pella store, and they wouldn't quote me any prices. I have to have a "sale rep" come to my house. That sounds worse than trying to deal with Lowes. Am I wrong to assume my contractor will pick good people to install the windows? Any advice is appreciated.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

consider that when you close their casement window at night,the bugs are trapped between the screen and glass duh ......... now what


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have Pella casements with their retracting screens. No problems with bugs getting trapped after 4 years. I think the bugs see the glass closing and get out of the way! How do other mfgs with casements do their screens? It seems as though the screens have to be on the inside, since casements move outward.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I also would not recommend Pella. We had a Designer Series French Door installed by Pella in June 2007 to replace ~20 year old doors. The doors arrived with incorrect hardware and some parts missing. The installation was awful - even the Pella rep who came by to address the issue was surprised at how poor the quality of installation was. He thought that he could correct everything in one trip of 1 - 2 hours. He had to come back at least three more times (for several hours each time) to address the issues. I will say he was the bright spot - he did his best (and did a good job in correcting the installation mess). Pella (and the local representative company in Houston, Texas) offered no comments or any significant response. I think the only reason I received the one call that I received was because I protested the charges to the credit card company.

With respect to quality control - Pella shipped the wrong door handles - one was antique brass, the other was bright brass. When the initial replacement set arrived, the local rep didn't check them before scheduling installation. You guessed it - the replacement pair had the same issue as the initial set.

In summary, while Pella may allegedly make a top-of-the line product (and charge accordingly), the results and lack of quality control do not meet what one would expect. Consider some other manufacturer (like Andersen).


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

After reading all the problems people are having with Pella I will make sure to stay awayf from that Brand. What is a good brand of windows? Angie


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have had nothing but problems with my windows also. Pella has been out here to "fix" my problem over 8 times in the last 2 years and the problem continues to happen. MAKE SURE YOU WANT NO CUSTOMER SERVICE AND FAULTY PRODUCTS BEFORE YOU BUY.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am surprised Pella still making ill-designed & made windows up to these days. Somebody got to stop them!!! We are the 2nd owner of the 15 years old house we are living in. 3 stories high with nice looking Pella windows, but the beauty stops right there. What happens is they all leak, and they leaked even when they were brand new. We found this out because there were caulking on some of the windows but we didn't notice at the time. When my parents sprayed the house from the outside, the water sneaked right through the sill. But it was until recently that has come to my attention, and most of the wooden frames on the inside start to seperate and rot. Close exam revealed many gaps between the aluminium clads and wood frames were not properly sealed from the factory and I could see some of the bare woods from the outside. No wonder water sneaks in.

We cannot afford to have them replaced and need a solution quick. Eventually I find a way to seal 2 critical areas of each fixed windows on the outside and it seems to stop the wood soaking again. I basically cleaned all metal/glass edges and the recessed metal areas (then with lacquer thinner - important for the best bond) then caulked them all with GE Windows & Door Sealant II. But the recessed areas which are too deep, I installed a 7mm wide close cell foam around the whole frame first. Our local Vancouver Pella dealer was of course not hopeful, and even told us their windows should be replaced every few years. WHAT!!!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

We have a bay window from Pella and for the about 4 months we could see to the outside and they refused to come and fix the problem. All winter long we have ice and snow coming into our house!! It took them those 4 months to finally come and and "fix" the problem after getting ahold of some other areas to help us. Now six months after it was "fixed" we have exactly the same problem again. How many times do they need their problem?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have been a Glazier for nearly 18 years now, and I have NEVER experienced such bad customer service as I have with Pella windows. I work for a school district which has several Pella windows installed in them. I would estimate to say out of 50 schools, almost one third of them have Pella windows installed. I have had nothing but problems when it comes to ordering any type of materials from them. I have noticed that Pella runs their company the exact opposite of every other window manufacturer in the country. When I wanted to order a certain replacement window, they didn't want the size of the window that I needed, they wanted the size of the exterior pane in the same unit. In my 18 years of experience, I have ALWAYS ordered the size that was needed. That is just one example of the way they do many things wrong. I believe that any type of an attempt to resolve this problem should start at the top. I have spoken with a regional manager, and he offered to resolve the problem for me, but to this date, nothing has been done. I await anxiously as the school district I work for will be replacing many of these terrible windows. Not only is their customer service beyond terrible, but it is nearly impossible for an experienced glazier such as myself to even attempt to perform any type of repairs to their windows. Like I said earlier, Pella does EVERYTHING backwards from the way the rest of the industry does things. In my opinion, it would be in Pella's best interest to close their doors and stop selling inadequate materials to the public. I tell everyone I know NOT to buy Pella windows, for the lone reason that their customer service is well below satisfactory. Not to mention that their product has a bad track record with the general public.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Let me thank you all for the messages, especially since I am still in the design and planning stage for 17 replacement windows plus a l2-foot picture window and 6-foot patio door. I recommend you read the Energy Edition of the current, October 2007, Consumer Reports magazine for helpful information on Windows but I suggest you supplement it as I am trying via internet. Since the concensus here does not favor Pella, at least not for a few years until and unless they improve their track record on customer complaints as I have read here, then I am asking all of you to share your experiences and those of others you know as to other brands and lines and also construction type, such as clad-wood, vinyl, or fiberglass. Using only the price figures in Consumer Reports of $180 to $600 for a 3x5-foot window, excluding cost of installation, I am shopping in the price range of $180-$235 with $500-$1500 for the patio door, either slider or french/swingout. I'm so hopeful there must be some happy customers out there who would be willing to share their thoughts. If not Pella, who? I live in Minnesota so can't get by with anything too shoddy. Thanks a lot.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Im very glad I stopped in to read this blog. I was googleing pella window dealers to purchase upwards of 25K for my clients remodel. We had spec'd another type of windows but she had seen some with blinds then decided she had to have the pella. I priced them out at a pella showroom & was taken aback by the price but I figured they must be GREAT windows. I was looking online for one more quote and wound up here. Thank God!!!

I feel your pain as I have been in business for a number of years & when a problem arises I don't sleep well until it's resolved & many times I have taken a heavy loss to aviod further torture from my client. I've been in the same situation where the manufacturer or the big box store simply had no response except to make excuses. Where ultimately the burden fell on me & my reputation. So guess who wound up taking it in the rear?!!

THANK YOU...THANK YOU...THANK YOU!!! For saving me that grief from Pella. I will have my client deal directly with Pella on the order, install, & waranty. IF....if They still want pella!!!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

What a great website!

Anyone familiar with the company West Coast Vinyl? They are family owned, since 1971, and they manufacture, install and service their own vinyl windows. Their manufacturing plant is in Tacoma and they have offices in Seattle and Portland.

The salesman came out and measured and wrote us up a quote today.

Anyone have any experience with this company or their product?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Kimerly,
Are you working with Bob? We had West Coast Vinyl replace single-paned aluminum windows in our first home in Seattle. At the time, the windows were the best quality for the price. We really wanted to go with a company that did both manufacturing and installation---to insure someone taking responsibility if there were problems down the road. We lived in the house for about five years after having the windows installed, and we didn't have any problems. The windows had a small plastic bar that could be pulled out, if you wanted to leave the window opened slightly, and the bar was supposed to be a safety measure in case someone tried to break in. Those plastic bars all eventually broke off, but that's about it. We are now good friends with the woman who purchased that home from us, and she has had no problems with the windows either, and it's now been about 8 years since those windows were installed. The installers were very professional and polite, We even recommended WCV to my sister-in-law and her husband, and I believe we got some sort of discount from WCV, once their windows were installed. So, only positive feedback on WCV!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I had problems closing my architect series 2 year old double hungs-until today.

It used to take 3 people to close these things

-the place I bought them from was telling me that they would eventually break in, and I used to believe them and then last month I found this message board after doing a search and realized I had the same problem as at least one other person. One person would have to push up, and the other person down-on one side and the third would have to swing the catch. I called the place I bought them from (my salesperson had quit by then) and they said it sounded like a contractor issue-the guy was not giving me anything until he realized we went to grade school together-and then I got some help. He hooked me up with a Pella rep who immediately called me back and had me contact another local Pella dealer-I called them and they said I'd have to pay $90 for a visit since the windows were 3 months out of the 2 year warranty-after explaining that I had been continually told they would "loosen up" they agreed to waive the fee. I told them my issue and the guy arrived today.

He brought new weatherstripping to replace the original stripping on the top sash that had a hard plastic line going through it. He explained that in theory the old stuff would have broken in, but they were finding in the field this just wasn't happening. 15 minutes later the weatherstripping was replaced and he also waxed the plastic on the inside of the windows..I can now open the windows much more easily and more importantly I can close and lock them myself!
I've got nothing but good to say about this company -Crawford Doors and Windows-the field tech says he has seen this issue before and knew exactly how to fix it-at no cost to me.

Thanks to all the postings.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I purchased new Pella Windows approximately nine years ago. I have one arched window that is now on its second replacement because of seal failure. It's an arched window with a 7 foot length. Pella will warranty the seal failure for 20 years but don't buy Pella windows because you will be replacing the window every three or four years. Pella, after two years, sells the maintenance contract to independent Pella dealers. They in turn charge labor to replace the window after it fails. I'm paying $250 a time to replace this window. Pella customer service is programmed to always answer the same. "We stuck by our warranty, we will replace your window and you have to pay for the labor." It will do you no good to appeal to them to extend warranties or pick up labor charges past two years. You would think they would realize there is a design issue and they would want to find out and fix the problem, this isn't how it works. My advice, don't buy Pella windows. Their slogan is viewed to be the best. In my book they are viewed to be the worst.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Pella has one of the worst warranties on the market. Make sure you read the fine print!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

wood/clad?
examples please. big statement considering pellas warranty is good and really no different than the other big manufactures. even better in some areas.
if you are relying on the warranty to provide you good windows, go buy some cheap window with a lifetime warranty. THEN read the fine print.
i really don't want to be rude, but that was a rather ignorant statement.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Pella does have one of the worst along with probably 100 more window companies. I just hate seeing people buy Pella because of its name. Look at the Pella Thermastar window sold at Lowes. There one of the worst windows on the market today but people buy them because Pella stick a sticker on them. I have seen people pay double or triple the price of another window for new construction thinking that there getting the best which energy wise they are not. Did you read any of the post in this??? Do a search of Pella complaints or check out your local BBB. People have to do there research before purchasing any windows.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Here's one of my favorites from Pella:

"Argon. For Pella Impervia products labeled as having argon-filled insulating glass, Pella injects argon at the time of manufacture. No warranty is made as to the amount or percentage of argon present in the insulating glass. It is known that argon within insulating glass dissipates over time. The manner of use and conditions of installation of the product will affect the rate of dissipation of argon out of the insulating glass. Pella makes no warranty regarding the rate of dissipation of argon or the amount of argon remaining in the window at any time after manufacture. "


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Dissipating Argon gas? That isn't a strong case claiming Pella has a bad warranty.
But you are right about the Thermastar. Crap. That is why it is called Thermastar by Pella, not Pella. They know it's crap.
For Decades they've manufactured great wood/clad products and built a great reputation of quality with their wood/clad products. The Thermastar product is doing nothing to help that image.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am tired of all the specific bashing of Pella on this site overall. I have been installing windows for over 30 years and have seen companies come and go. Even the other top name companies like Andersen and Marvin have had their problems. Pella has always been a stand up company and worked int he best interest of their customers. I could tell you horror stories about other window manufacturers that would curl your toes and your hair. Yes there are a few posts on here slamming Pella but as a percentage of the window packages thay sell every year it is miniscule. I am not saying every Pella window I have installed is perfect, just like every Ford truck I have driven has not been perfect but what I rate my perception on is how they take care of their problems. They haven't stayed in business as long as they have by constantly putting out faulty product and lousy customer service. I have has my share of lousy salesmen who have just been out their for the quick buck but they don't last, especially in an economic downturn like we are having in the building industry right now. The rep I have now even with other salesmen complaining about the business has had a record year selling windows and doors. I for one am very excited about where Pella is going and how they take care of the problems they have had. I recently got called to a job I installed about 12 years ago, and when I talked to Pella about the problem not only did they take care care of the problem for me they replaced a window that was clearly not a problem of theirs at no charge also. I have never had another window company stand behind their product like Pella has. Granted the distributors are seperate entities for the most part than the Corporate Pella and a lot of the service issues depends on the distributor rather than the corporation. I have been to the Marvin Andersen and Pella Factories and am a total believer of the Pella story. They were concerned about the environment before it was considered a problem (back in the 50's) The dedication to innovation has always been top notch. Their desire to make a quality product is very obvious at all levels in the factory. Talk to your local rep and let him tell you what he can do for you. DO not be afraid for him to come out to the project site rather than getting quotes at the store, a lot of times he can pick up on something you may have missed, which has happened with me several times. I do not know about the replacement reps selling install jobs but the guys who deal with remodel contractors and new construction are not high pressure sell people they do what they can give a quote and will work with me to stay within my budget on a job. The Designer series with the blinds between the glass will knock you on your butt when yo see the price but it is what it is and if you take into consideration having to buy quality blinds or shades to go over the window after the window is in you find the price is not to bad. Pro-Line being the contractor grade is as good a quality as the Designer and Architect it just doesn't have all the bells and whistles what you see is what you get. the same goes for dealing with Lowes you may be dealing with a person that is in windows this week and next week is the electrical guru and the week after that the lighting guru. When you deal with the Pella store and salesman you are dealing with the person that is the window guru week after week year after year. Are the windows I buy from Pella perfect...not always but neither are the windows I buy from other manufacturers what I have found is that my distributor stands behind the product and helps me in anyway he can. I hear people compaining in these posts that the NFRC ratings aren't where I say they are on the NFRC website. I don't know about that I go by the NFRC stickers ont he windows when they come in and those have to abide by the NFRC ratings as set up. Just my humble opinion. Pella got a J D Powers award for customer service...and in my ever so humble opinion they deserve it. The got high ratings in Consumer Review again deservedly so. They were also named Energy Star Partner of the year for 2007 so that should tell you something


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

* bselt (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 15, 07 at 21:24

woodinvirginia:
it still seems as though your problems are with Lowes and not the Pella factory. If you had bought Jeldwen or Marvin through Lowes, would you then say that you should have bought Pella?
----------------
Feb 2008, Actually my problems were with Pella. Even though I did receive a set of grids sent from that contact from the Lowes.com website sent seperately though a DHL carrier express and special handling. They still goofed in that the GRid they sent for my speciality windows didn't MATCH the grids they sent 3 months earlier. When my Gutters were being hung the guitter man noticed one had one more rib in the center than the other grid.So another re-order still had to be done from the Pell Representative of that territory.
St least they learned from their past mistake of sending grids in cardboard sleeves. I understand now, that ALL of their grids from single pieces to multiple pieces now go out in a crushproof narrow box via DHL instead of UPS. It took Pella Management 7 separate shipping orders of grids to get it right. (Lowes didn't make the product nor ship them from Pella's manufacturing division.)

One thing I learned..dont buy the separate grids get the ones that are embedded in between the window glass. Its a whole lot less headache.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

My Pellas have been replaced twice due to nics, scratches and residue that will not wash off and we are headed for a third set. Out of 33 blinds all have been replaced at least once ( in the first year) and many as many as 4 times. Service is horrible! Glass is worse! Don't buy them!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

We just built a house a used only pella windows, after the first freeze, two of the windows got hairline cracks in them. We called pella and they delivered two new windows the next week. I have been very pleased with the customer service I have received. The sales rep. came out during installation and has was available for all of my builders questions.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Thank Goodness for this site!! It's probably saved me thousands of $$. I'm a big Consumer Reports fan and they recommended the Pella Impervias. I'm so disappointed. I'm going to email them and suggest they take a look at this site. (Has galefarm read all the posts here or does he work for Pella?)

After spending an hour at this site, I can see I have loads more research to do before I even think about replacing my windows. If I could, I think I would just have new storms made but unfortunately, 80 percent of my 1950's era windows don't open anymore. I live in Virginia and the weather is decent most of the time, it would be nice to open the windows. So I guess I'll be spending a lot of time here and at my local BBB looking at manufacturers and installers.

Thanks again to all who posted here. Your misery has helped me and probably thousands of others! I hope to post again with a good experience. Cheers!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

"HELL"-O YELLOW!!!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Thanks to everyone both positive and negative regarding this manufacturer. I can admit I also was one person blinded by the Pella name and being from Nebraska my thoughts were that Pella had an impecable reputation for CS and product superiority. They seemed like a stand up company and many builders use them here. I'm extrememly disappointed in reading that Pella overall at least on this site sucks. To think a company from Iowa would be so poor at CS is sad and it's more a product of the Nation as a whole in my opinion and the level of quality workmanship in every facet of a business. From the sales rep, the customer service group, the corp office, and the installer. Maybe it's just me but overall construction anymore seems to be let's build the cheapest house we can with the worst products and charge an exorbitant amount of money to some stupid schmuck who's ill prepared to understand the quality of craftsmanship until it's snowing inside their home! Sorry to hear of everyone's problems but you've all saved me from purchasing these windows. I'll be building a home in the next couple weeks as the contractor and will research other windows thanks to this site. They may be very good windows but one fact I know is that they are extremely expensive compared to other windows and if I'm going to pay for average windows anyways, I'm certainly not going to pay top dollar for them.


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Pella-follow up point

Just to point out one last thing, it has to speak volumes that this site is 6th when you type in Pella windows on Google's search engine.

That CAN'T be seen as a positive to Pella's business. Call me crazy but Google's only the most used search engine in the world. To have a site such as this pop up 6th on a search for Pella windows has to be addressed by Pella and maybe in the future they'll consider how they do business because as one poster stated this can truly hurt a business that's been good for years. The internet is a wonderful place for research but can cost a company in the matter of a few minutes. Again my thanks! I don't have time to deal with bad customer service and to fight about it while building a home would be only twice as painful.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have read the posts here and I do spend a fair amount of time on this site. My experiences has been that Pella has been by far the best customer service company I have worked with. Their response to service issues has been top notch compared to other companies I have worked with. I have two projects in the works, one with Pella and another with another major manufacturer, one who gets very good ratings by others on this site for window quality. I called 6 weeks ago for service. Pella has come and gone the issue was taken care of in two weeks. The other company has called me and rescheduled twice and now I am looking at another two weeks for a door on a multi million home we can not get locked. Now who would you say has the better customer service. The Pella service rep even took a look at the other job for me as they were side by side but figured I needed another part that he couldn't provide me.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Hello galefarm,

We need to replace the original aluminum single-pane windows in our 30 year old home, and love the look of Pella's designer series. We looked up the Pela Windows and Doors company here on the Better Business Bureau website, and they have not had any consumer complaints (another window company we were considering has had 12 complaints in the last 3 years....). Anyway, we live in
Southwest Florida where it is hot and humid, especially in the summer. Can you or anyone else tell us how well they think the aluminum clad wood frames are likely
to hold up over time in our environment? Likewise, if we get casement windows, will the interior wood trim of the window itself (which we would have Pella
paint white and maintain appropriately) become damaged by being exposed to the outside air/humidity/sun if the window is cranked open on a regular basis?The
casement windows would be on the North side of the house. Any advice and insights before we spend the $$$ is greatly appreciated.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em


Hello all!

Just found this web site and have spent time reading all the postings. I have not had any particular problems with Pella products, with one exception which I will outline in just a minute. My experience with Pella as a homeowner goes back to 1971, when 8 double hung windows and a large bay window were installed in my dental office. This was in the day before vinyl cladding was so popular, so all were outside painted surfaces. After 25 years of complete satisfaction, in 1996 I enlarged my home to include a second living room with 10 large Pella casement windows, two six foot sliders and two custom trapezoidal shaped fixed windows, all purchased from my local Pella store in the Pro Line series. Again, satisfaction until 2 years ago when I noticed that the bottom piece of wood across the fixed pane of glass in both sliders was delaminating and discolored. The reson was because of water infiltration. I consider myself reasonably handy, took my caulking gun and sealed the aluminum cladding between the seam at bottom piece of glass on both doors. Both fixed panels have had no more water infiltrating since, but where one is still just discolored at the bottom with solid wood, the other has continued to deteriorate significantly. Yesterday I determined to find out just how extensive the damage was. As you might imagine, once I removed the delaminated outer layer of veneer, the underlying wood was like saw dust. At least 2/3rds of the wood was decayed badly- no insects, water damage only. I removed most with my bare hands. I'm pretty sure I can repair it myself, since as I stated, it involves only the style at the very bottom, along the glass, not on either side at all. To my mind, I think it was due to a faulty seal or whatever between the cladding and the wood, but at 12 years, the factory will not honor any kind of warranty, nor would I expect it to. My question is if anyone else has ever heard of this problem ,and other than replacing the wood with a properly and carefully cut piece of well sealed 2X4 myself, there are any ideas? A call to Pella in Iowa and my local store and its service department were not helpful. I was hoping I could obtain a proper wood piece from the factory, but that isn't available. They were willing to replace the entire panel at my expense, but that's like shooting a mouse with an elephant gun! I still like Pella, and would use them again. I would however, try to use my old carpenter, who did both the 1971 and 1996 installs- he's a Michaelangelo of carpenters!

Thanks, drtoom


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Since I've also had problems with my Pella Windows similar to those reported here; I'm (unfortunately) relieved to have found this series of posts. I have a high end home built in 1988. We are only the 2nd owners, It was purchased in 1992, from the original Builder & home-owner. When our Architect designed home was built in late 1988, the best & most beautiful Pella casement windows & sliding French Doors were installed thru out.
The only exterior window/door, that I'm not certain is from Pella; is our Leaded Glass Front Entry Door & sidelights.
Over the years we've experienced rot in several of the windows, At times we also rationalized to ourselves the "with age", etc...
However I don't really believe that should apply to a well maintained, high quality, properly designed, built & installed window of 5, 10 or 20 yrs. I've seen many 50 + yr old windows, that aren't rotted & work very well.
We have always been extremely mindful about having the trim re-painted every 5 to 6 years & the general maintenance such as gutter cleaning etc.... Almost eight years ago we replaced/repaired two of the four large (badly dry rotted) casement units that are part of a large (almost) floor to ceiling Bow Window Unit. This repair /replacement cost us 3500 in Nov 2000! It now needs to be re-done again in the exact same location ?????
We completely turned off the sprinkler heads in that area, for the entire duration, between the 2 occurrences. We did this even though we hadn't & couldn't observe any sprinkler "problems." Thinking that still somehow possibly the damage could have been d/t an errant sprinkler head. Now another large( 8'x 4'6) front triple window (casement, fixed-picture, casement) has also developed a similar problem, & it too needs replacement/or major repairs!
I might note, that our home has a full hip roof. So all windows are protected by substantial overhangs, enclosed soffits & continuous gutters all around too.
This not what I expected from Pella in terms of quality or longevity @ all!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

After reading the post here I have determined that most of you are ignorant to the importance of installation. I have dealt with many window companies and have yet to find a flawless company, however if there is one that is close it would be Pella. Im willing to wager most of you with problems did not have a certified installer installing your windows. A person could buy a million dollar window and if it is installed poorly its not worth the glass its made of.

Pella, like many companies has done and continues to do a great deal of testing on their product. Because companies do this testing they have found the best way to install their windows and train installers to do it this way. Anybody with a tool belt can put a window in a hole, but only a trained installer should. A good framer or builder isnt necessarily a qualified window installer. Pella just like 90% of the other window manufacturers will only guarantee the window IF it is installed by a trained professional. My guess is many of you were a little on the cheap side and had somebody aside from a Pella installer put your windows in.. You get what you pay for.

For those of you ripping on the Vinyl products. What did you expect?... Vinyl is nothing but a shiny plastic. Every Vinyl product on the market sucks. Vinyl is an entry level product for tract homes or a quick flip. You can quote me on this; "I will NEVER install vinyl in a home I build". For those of you shopping, I promise no matter what brand you look for you will find a blog like this. Rather than being a sheep, read material from a legitimate source, i.e. Consumer Reports.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Did you just come in and call a bunch of people "ignorant" and then turn around and say that every vinyl product on the market "sucks".

You followed up this gem of wisdom by saying that people should read Consumer Reports as a legitimate source of information.

I am falling out of my chair laughing right now. Thank you for that. To top it all off, you have the audacity to call someone "sheep" just after you spouted off this nonsense.

Thank you again for the laugh at your expense.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have had a Pella designer series sliding glass door for 10 years and it has been wonderful. I live in Kansas and it has been through heavy rains, hot Summers and below zero Winters. The back faces southwest and the outside gets hot but the inside stays cool. The screen has a dvice that keeps it open and held that way if you push it and engage the catch device. That device malfunctioned last year and they sent a new one right away. Also, a small piece of weather strip came off this Summer and I have had to lubricate the track and the roller parts to keep it moving smoothly but those have not been big problems. But this is a sliding patio door so maybe that is the main difference. I priced a new one just today for a new house I am building but after reading the comments here maybe they have changed since 1998. I was thinking about using their windows as well instead of the vinyl ones the builder puts in. Anyone have anything good to say about Peachtree or other brands? My current house came with Peachtree casement windows and when we had problems with moisture inside the panes about 10 years ago they replaced about 20 of them free because the warranty was a lifetime one! My house was built in 1984, too. Maybe I will check them out.

I believe what all the consumers have said here and I see a trend. That goes a long way to convince me there is a problem.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Does anyone have information about leaks in Pella Impervia windows with composite fiberglass ("Duracast")window frames?

Many thanks in advance.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am currently a sales rep for a Pella distributor and can appreciate most of your concerns and criticisms. However, many of these issues seem to circle around lack of individual accountability. I realize that the best value for your buck is always of great priority but I must also point out that I have found that many folks just want to pass the blame and dont value customer service. Some of these issues may have reached Pella directly but most seem to have just bogged down at the distributor level. Not to mention, if you have purchased something from Lowes you are basically taking the Walmart approach. You cant possibly expect an hourly employee with no actual training to understand the complex offerings of one company, let alone that of the many brands that they carry. Dont get me wrong. I purchase my fair share of items from Lowes and Menards but you cant expect white glove service for fast food prices. In my years with Pella you get what you order. Many times if something does not add up it is human error, meaning someone screwed up but wants to again pass blame on someone who cant be accountable because they are not in front of you. As someone else also mentioned, for every one person that has complaints I can at least match those with 4 or 5 times that who have had a great experience. No company should claim to be perfect because there is no such company out there. It is true that issues will arise but I have found if properly approached and with fair and reasonable follow through and expectations you may not be thrilled with your experience but I can make it satisfactory. Again, I stress that customer service is key to any business transaction. Further, when looking at many Pella locations very few are actually run by Pella corporate. Therefore, Pella mandates how each location is set up but ultimately it is each branches responsibility to manage their customer relations. I apologize that each of you have had salty experiences with your Pella reps and ultimately that has contributed to your overall view of the company but I myself try every day to provide my customer base with all the support needed to make them happy. I do think that unbiased reviews of products are important, such as Consumer Reports. For those of you who are researching Pella products online please try to keep an open mind when researching. Again, many companies face challenges and I am sure there are many other blog sites with similar complaints about other companies. Make sure to get many estimates and ask the right questions. There is no such thing as a "tonight only price". No company should sell with high pressure tactics. I wish all of those who are currently going through issues the best of luck and to those who are researching products to make sure to do diligent research before making your decision. I firmly believe based on my knowledge of the window industry that Pella makes quality innovative products that make life easier while still maintaining energy conservation and durability.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

-"Not to mention, if you have purchased something from Lowes you are basically taking the Walmart approach. You cant possibly expect an hourly employee with no actual training to understand the complex offerings of one company, let alone that of the many brands that they carry".

I totally agree with you on this point. OTOH Pella pushes their low end products thru these type of outlets. So don't be surprised when that marketing approach has some blowback on Pella.

-"I do think that unbiased reviews of products are important, such as Consumer Reports".

I disagree with you here. CR is a terrible place for consumers to get unbiased information. To begin with, they only test products that can be purchased at a retail level, which you just warned people about. The other reason is they test such a small % of the window market, their ratings mean nothing. What criteria seperates a highly rated window by CR from a poorly rated window? There are also many better windows out there that CR never tests. Consumers should use the resources of NFRC, AAMA, Efficient Windows Collabrative for information on all windows instead of the narrow field presented by CR.

CR is a good source for the person who just likes to be told what's good and is too lazy to do their own research and look at different windows.


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Information please.

I am about to commence on a remodel job for my dining area and kitchen. I was looking at Pella; I really like the shade-within-the-window feature. However, reading all these negatives I am wary.
Does anyone have anything to say about Marvin windows? Or, suggest something else?
I live in Southern California. Lowes and Home Depot are out.

Thanx in advance!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

You get some very outspoken idiots who have an axe to grind, and they keep spouting off. I have been installing Pella for more years than I care to admit, and while Pella has had some problems in the past, so has every window company that ever came along. In my experience they have been a very accommodating company and stood behind their problems. Install issues are another different ball park, and I have been called in to correct many an install problem because the initial installer just plain did a half assed job of installing the window.
Pella's quality is one of the best in the industry in my ever so humble opinion. You will hear that Pella uses rollform instead of extruded metal on the sash...however they use rolform over a solid wood sash which is what is actually the stop that holds the glass in. Some of the competition Marvin included has to use an extruded aluminum because the glass is not set into wood, the aluminum is actually the stop that holds the glass in place.

The designer series you mentioned withe the blinds are an amazing product. Expensive es, but the technology is fantastic...no strings to run the shades or blinds, and an amazing energy efficiency

In short do not give up on Pella, but also make sure they are installed according to the instructions, and make sure the unit is square in the opening before nailing it in.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

This is NOT to start a debate. This is to ADD to Galefarm's. I am also NOT a windows expert, just a homeowner who did some homework. I am sharing my notes here for readers to decide.

If you do not care to read our research notes, then Galefarm's comments are correct. I won't use the rolled-form against Pella automatically, nor would I use the "aluminum stop" against Marvin. Both seem to have logical reasons for their approaches; at least to my amateurish eyes. Select base on your own requirements first (thermal characteristics, applications, etc) before worrying about the cladding. Now if you want to know more, do read on :-). Window experts to please correct the following too and add more info.

We did a lot of research before buying our windows and doors and still have Marvin's spec. It is correct that Marvin's aluminum clad product, at least when we did our research five years ago, sets the outer glass pane so that it is "stopped", or held in, by the aluminum cladding. The inner pane is "stopped" on the inside by wood. This cross-section drawing can be found on the Marvin website somewhere. Between the glass panes is of course, the spacer. Both panes "sit" or "stand on" wood.

For stability and strength, using my own engineering experience (not confirmed by Marvin dealers), Marvin has to use extruded aluminum to make this work because extruded aluminum can be precisely formed so as to properly grab and hold the glass in place. Extrusion is the only way to force extremely tight tolerance and to ensure structural integrity. As Galefarm stated, and I have no info on this, if Pella uses solid wood to set and hold the glass, then rolled-form aluminum seems reasonable. The aluminum is not meant for structural support, only as a protective skin, so extremely tight tolerance and high structural strength may not be necessary.

We looked at this design at the time out of concern for thermal efficiency. To keep it short here, we found that aluminum is 250 times more effective at conducting heat than glass. Glass is nearly 8+ times more effective at conducting heat than wood. In terms of keeping heat to the outside in the summer and warmth to the inside in winter, we gave this "house-boundary interface" a good look at the time.

From the inside out, Marvin (as do Pella and Andersen and many others) use wood, solid or otherwise, so heat loss through the frames, assuming proper construction, is not a concern. The wood itself is a fantastic insulator, not much interior heat can be transmitted through a thick sash of wood to the outside.

From the outside in, it becomes interesting. The aluminum gets hot easily and then it is right next to the outer pane of glass. We had two concerns. First, what happens if heat from the aluminum travels to the glass? Will it get into the house easily via the metal spacer and the inner pane? Second, what of heat stress around the edges where aluminum meets the glass? Both these concerns were addressed by the thermal characteristics of the glass and the wood base supporting both panes. While aluminum gets hot, the glass hardly "notices" due to its relatively very high inertness (1 vs. 250 for aluminum). With summer temperature reaching to only ~200+ F in direct sun, the aluminum would hardly add any stress to the glass. With the glass formed at significantly higher temperature, this low temperature range is not even of interest. With the wood base, the heat from the aluminum has to travel through a small air space (insulated?) per Marvin drawing before reaching the wood. Wood itself is even more inert than the glass. So these combination of reasons allowed us to consider Marvin without further concerns of thermal problems.

One can argue, and we did, that the only concern left is structural. Will the aluminum cladding expand in the heat and begin to loosen itself against the glass over time? To the point of developing a leak in the future? We are unsure and can look to car bodies as an example. Aluminum, just like any material, has a fatigue stage when it can begin to deform. Fatigue can be caused by many factors, such as temperature, pressure, radiation, chemicals and so on. Extruded aluminum is thick and relatively strong. While it will expand in heat and contract to normal shape in the cold, normal temperature range in use on normal homes does not approach the fatigue range especially when there is no pressure stress. It is not the hull of a ship that will flex in heavy seas. About the only thing that can approach that range is intense heat from a nearby wild fire or a house fire. So our understanding of material strength and fatigue makes us comfortable that the extruded thicker aluminum cladding will not fatigue easily leading to a leak on normal use. We believe it will fade before it will leak.

Of course, there is always manufacturing defect, so we did not rule that out but that is beyond our control and what a good warranty and a good dealer are for :-).

With all that, we decided we could include Marvin in our selection five years ago. We ended up with Marvin not because of the cladding but because of the woodwork. At the time, we saw Pella and were not impressed. It could have been the dealer showroom was poorly set up, it could be the model of Pella we saw. After five years, with healthy competition, I am sure everyone has improved.

I will suggest seeing the windows for yourself, touch, ask, understand and research and then make a decision that meets your needs.

Hope this long winded post helps.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Not Surprised to find this forum -I purchased the high end "Architect series" custom size slider direct from Pella,.. with the roller hide away screen (great idea,but does not function) i have had Pella service out (5) five times since the shaby install and screen falling apart. Triple pain w/ blinds in between the glass,... great, but the area where the blinds live is always fogging.

So, the last visit from Pella to repair the screen (again) i witnessed the guys perform the worst service call i had ever seen. None of the parts were actually broken until this guy pulls out his leatherman tool and proceeds to pull and twist the bottom bracket until it does break,.. i am watching this in total disbelief as he says " well, were gonna have to order these parts because they are the old style" i laughed and said your joking ,.. right ? i said, "all you have to do is is put it back together, nothing was broke,it just fell apart" (and no i do not have kids in and out this door all day ) So he takes the parts i had saved on the counter ( a bracket and two screws) which were fine, and leaves the mangled piece in the bottom track and the bracket on the top track (that he tried prying with a screwdriver) and says it will be $100 dollars for us to come back and fix it --- i have a ten year warranty on parts.

I call my rep and the Pella service office and relate to them what just happened, no luck with the rep as of yet,but the service person wants proof,..
so she gets my word as a customer and digital pics via email ASAP. It has been two weeks after emails and follow up calls and not a word - ,.. and to Paul above - I am not passing the blame , i witnessed bafoonery first hand from Pella and i do value customer service. Without it, (I) would not be in business !


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Whaler,

Wow that was an interesting home improvemnt project. I am sorry to hear that. This is a perfect example of why good installers are so vital. The best way to purchase a window, have it installed correctly, and have no fingers pointed, is to purchase from a company that is as vertically direct as possible. What that means is that they build, sell, install and service directly to the end user. Unfortunately the largest window companies such as Jeld Wen, Andersen and Marvin sell through distributors and then sub contracted labor. To many cooks in the kitchen all pointing fingers.

I suggest a company like Marvins Infinity factory direct channel or better yet Renewal by Andersen which is a direct link to Andersen Corporation with no "middlemen".

Unfortunately its too late for you but as you can tell from the problems Pella is having as proven by this simple website, they know they need to scramble and make it right. I'm sure you will get serviced eventually.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Ohiowindoze,

"Renewal by Andersen which is a direct link to Andersen Corporation with no "middlemen".

Ha ha ha .............pretty funny. Sure you don't want to re-think this statement?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Umm doggy, yes if you are dealing with a company owned branch your are in fact dealing direct with the factory.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Since most Renewal by Andersen outlets aren't factory owned branches, but in fact franchises, you seem to be suggesting consumers not buy windows from them. This is quite an interesting position to have. Would your advice be valid for any other types of remodeling a consumer might have? Say a roofing or siding project?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Well it has been over 3 weeks and no luck w/ Pella,...not a word.(Pella - San Antonio) " Guy Exterior Man" Nailed it in his post ! I have three more windows to go on the main house and eight on the guest house. I also regret having sent the rep to friends.I have one word - "Loewen" Loewen windows are incredible(and very quiet) I was turned on to them through a friend of a friend who is a very high end builder in Austin. He says "if Ted Benson uses them so do i" With Loewen you DO get what you pay for ! "If there are any questions they are on site ASAP and make it right".Comunication with Loewen has been fantastic - they call back and follow up. I don't have time to post but when consumers are treated with disrespect from a company, the world should know about it.
Good luck to all in your window endeavors.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I would like to add my two cents amongst the list of dissatisified Pella customers.

I own a home built in 1975 using what have been described to me by Pella representatives as 'vintage' Pella casement windows. These are single pane windows with a removable storm window insert. Since Uncle Sam is offering a $1500 tax credit for performing energy efficient updates, I contacted Pella parts and service to replace the 'just the sashes' as the windows appear to be OK otherwise. Not only that, but replacing all 30 windows could be downright expensive. As it turns out, replacing the windows might be the better option given Pella's ridiculous price quote of ~$400.00 for a 25" x 41" window sash -- which doesn't include installation. Yikes! Talk about price gouging.

At this point, I haven't decided what to do, but Pella won't be on my list of possible choices.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have been reading these messages about Pella windows and the homeowners who have had them with interest.

Seems like install quality is even more important when doing a Pella install than some others. I don't understand putting down homeowners who bought their windows at Lowes or from Pella authorized resellers, Pella markets their windows through these places and should stand behind their product if it's sold by any authorized source. Same goes for installs. But regardless of where the issue was caused (manufacturer, reseller, installer) everyone should work together to make sure the customer is not left holding the bag. Seems like a lot of customers are having to prove and reprove the issues and probable cause which doesn't make anyone feel good.

I hope anyone in this thread who has issues with their windows can get those issues resolved in a fair manner.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Has anyone had problems with their double hung Pella Windows growing mold on the inside of them? We have it around the bottoms of each window are was told that this is a humidity problem in our home. However, not all of them have this issue. We also have gooey stuff coming out of the sides of the trim onto the glass. The dust and other household dirt gets stuck in this stuff and looks gross! We were told that it would cost us $85 for someone to come and look and spend 15 minutes telling us the problem. We spend a lot of money on these windows and really are not all they claim they are in my opinion.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Your mold problem is definetely from interior humidity. There are many causes that change from room to room. First if you have blinds or shades that are close to the windows ...open them...allow the air to circulate. Lower the humidifier on a hor air system if you have one. Check to see that return ducts are not being blocked by furniture. The goo you refer to is butyl caulk used at the factory to set the glass in the frame, it often is pushed out in the corners or along the length of the sash. I know......you would think the factory would clean it all off.......but they don't. It has always been considered the job of the final finisher ( painter) seems today.....no one does it. Use a single edger razor blade and carefully cut it away. It will not return and you will have clean glass edges.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Since 1979 my company has been installing Pella windows and doors as the brand of product we believe to be the best quality distributed in our area in the maintenance free wood clad offering. We have installed millions of dollars of that product in that time frame. I have been a Pella Referred Contractor, A Certified Pella Contractor, I have worked for the Pella Corporation In Iowa as a design consultant, I have worked for the local distributor as a construction investigator to determine the cause of distressed Pella product. I have testified in court as an expert witness both for and against Pella. I guess you could say I have a little experience in the Pella world for 30 years and you would think I maybe couldn't be objective but perhaps I can help some future consumers in thier decision.
First of all please understand that 85 percent of all problems are installation oriented. That doesn't mean I am letting Pella Corp. off the hook, I'll explain in a minute.
Some percent of the problems are do to sales people who don't understand remodeling issues and construction and who order product unsuited for the job at hand and a few percent actually are factory problems or design problems. Product comes off the assembly line most often in good working order and the installer just complicates everything out of ignorance. So who is to blame....we are. First of all understand that Pella is very complicated. There are corporate stores, 50 or so nationwide private distributors, Big box stores, some have installers some sell to contractors, there are many issues. Lets go back to Caveat Emptor.......it goes back to the Greeks....a basic in English Law and then on to America...it translates to "Let the buyer beware". Meaning your in charge of what you buy.......many Americans have no clue.We trust Corporate America to do the right thing. How stupid are we. Shakespere once wrote to kill all the Lawyers......today he would target the Marketing people.
I once sat in a meeting where a marketing director said"It's not quality that's important.....it's the appearance of quality that's important" Good thing I didn't carry my gun that day.These are the same schools that gave us the banking and investment brains. If your buying windows the most important part is to know who will be doing the installation. If Pella or anyone wants to sell you windows installed demand to know who will be at your house. Demand information on their background. Demand references and call those references.Find out how long they have been in business, where they are liscened, and demand a written warranty that includes the installation. The great part of the Certified Pella Program was that it should have eliminated those problems, unfortunately the programs have been cancelled and good contractors who were trained were lost.These things can be solved but only if consumers demand action from corporate leaders. If you have a problem write to Chris Simpson. He is the head guy at Pella.Then he can't say he doesn't know.Go to Pella.com and get the address in Iowa. Last time I was there it was 102 Main Street Pella Iowa 50219. Wonderful little mid west town.......if you ever get there......Shoot the loop


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Old Pella Guy what part of the country are you in? PA?
I agree with the previous post.
I do think Pella Corp is more concerned with selling windows than being the best, hence their favorite slogan"veiwed to be the best", they are over branded.
Where is the substance. How about a thirty year frame warranty?
I know it is hard to believe put I think the product has the chance to become the best.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Just read any Pella warranty...even if they install
them they only cover labor on glass, parts and install within two years, and they can charge trip fees aside from that. Why is this? Do they know something will go wrong?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Hi fenmaster,
Yes I am in Eastern Pa. The Philadelphia area. Pella's problems are seated in the same area as the rest of our corporate culture. Too interetsed in making large sums of money for it's management branch and less interested in making quality product. In home building we see it in every line of product there is not just windows and doors.I worked in Pella Iowa at the plant when the real men who developed the product cared, the marketing teams there now care about the perception of quality more than quality itself and that is a shame.Don't get me wrong. I am still a loyal Pella product user. I just long for the days when I could count on my relationship with a corporation.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Hey Bobbyc.....at least get it right. Pella has a 20-10-2- warranty. 20 years on the glass. 10 years on any part. and 2 years on the labor. That is the warranty from Pella Corp in Iowa. The problem is that warranty work is done by the local distributor. I have also seen times when I believed warranty work was being charged for by the local distributor. Those complaints should be directed right to the Corporate offices in Iowa...I think there would be less of them if people knew how to complain directly to Pella Corp. Your point is well taken though. I must say that on the projects we installed which would include perhaps 100,000 units over the years and millions of dollars in product our warranty complaints to the local distributor probably wouldn't break 50. Thats a pretty good record.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

can anyone give me a suggestion about how to get blinds to go between the glass of my 1984 Pella windows and doors. I have had the grids but now need the privacy of blinds and the company doesn't make them anymore. does anyone know of a brand of blinds that I can make work? Thanks.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - I'm not d

I just wanted to let people reading this thread know that I am a happy and satisfied Pela customer. Last year we had 2 designer series casement windows with blinds between the glass and retractable screens installed in our living room. The windows were purchased at a local Pela store and installed by their installer. The retractable screens did not work properly and a service technician came to examine the screens 2 weeks later. He said the screens themselves were defective, new ones were ordered, and he installed them a month later. I didn't pay the balance due on the windows until the repair was complete and I was satisfied that all was in working order. I was very happy with the customer service. The Pela installer had the county inspector come by and approve the installation windows before he put on the finishing touches. The service department handled fixing the screens very efficiently and promptly. These windows are awesome-- beautiful, easy to use, and admired by all who visit our home.

This year we are planning on remodeling our lanai (enclosed porch) and will be replacing the single pane windows in it with more Pela designer series blinds between the glass. The general contractors we've hired have excellent references, and have lots of experience installing windoes, but they have never installed a Pela window before. A Pela salesman that I spoke to on the phone (not our original salesman) told me that the installer didn't have to be Pela certified-- that anyone could install the windows by following the instructions. Nevertheless, I am wondering if I should have these windoes installed by the same Pela installer who did our first 2, and have the contractors do everything else (framing, etc. How should I go about this? Is it okay to tell the contractor that I want to purchase the windows myself and have them installed by someone else? I've never dealt with a contractor before, so I don't know the proper way to address this.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I'd contact the Pella store who did the previous work and see they can measure and order and install them for you. That way they would be responsible for the correct size and would pick them up and deliver them as part of the install. When you find an installer who does good work, you want to stay with him. I would not recommend having an inexperienced Pella installer do the work when you can use one who you know will do a good job. Plus I'm sure they would love to have your business again.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

lsasso22, I added the blinds about 10 yrs. after I bought my doors but was lucky enough to get the old blinds from Pella. You may want to try and find someone replacing their old Pella windows/doors and buy used.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am confussed and also have a project that included Pella Windows & doors. Disappointed with what I am seeing online. Sorry, about the problems, but I have been in Commercial Construction as a Site Superintendent for over 40 years, problems occurr in construction. However, it is how the company handles that problem is what makes it go away and resolves the ruffled feathers. You can't get any crazier than dealing with architects, subs, weather and different product manufacturers, but it all gets down to someone resolving the problem before it gets out of hand. What I am hearing is poor installation, poor warrantees or buying from Lowe's is the problem. Wake up Pella you have a problem. Now I will research my area better to find a supplier and a procduct that is resposible enough to take and handle the 45K I am about to give him/her. I like the blinds in the windows also for privacy, but I have lived a number of years without them. By the way Pella lost the door contract because not up to par and too pricey. I just haven't found my window man/girl.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am a builder,designer,remodeler & repair specialist of any thing that malfunctions. Re:Pella windows--I had the opportunity to be the contractor of choice in a a small development of homes where all Designer series Pella windows late 80's vintage casements were installed. After 8 years all windows exposed to the weather had significant rot problems which I repaired using Abitron epoxy repair and all windows typically had closure problems which I repaired by shimming the bottom slide bracket w/1/16" formica shim. This was my intro to Pella top-of-the-line!
Forward to mid -90's vintage designer clad casements--same problems except now there was more rot problems because of the cladding design on the sashes: you see the bottom sash rail clad miters overlap the right and left side rail cladding of the sash. This acts as a water catch lip. Hence over time thru expansion and contraction heat and cold and wet,moisture permeates this miniscule gap & gets trapped behind the cladding and rot sets in to eat the wood sash as well as the sill and bottom corners of the jambs. Forget warranty and their techs, we are on our own to deal w/ inherit flaws in design. I have only ever recommended Pella for the between the glass blinds option. But today I discovered in my own home major sash and sill rot problems on all 8 of the 72 "tall FIXED casements and I will never recommend or use Pella ever again.
I have been to Pella seminars, been a Pella Certified contractor and discussed these problems w/ their techies and they STILL create their clad miters on the bottom sash rail to catch rather than shed water.
Bottom line: DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER PELLA WINDOWS FOR YOUR HOME...too many problems later on and you may never even know that these rot problems exist unless you poke around or examine the telltale signs of slight paint peeling or discoloration where the sash meets the sills
(caveat, old Anderson wood windows also had some design problems)


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

This thread...don't know what to believe. Have several friends who love their pella windows. Contractor who comes highly recommended installed pella 90% of the time and won't consider anything else. I just have to wonder if it is popular to complain, or if I'd started a "I hate my Anderson windows" thread if it would be this long.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

What you can believe is that the people who have posted their experiences with Pella Windows are real people with real issues. Whether your experiences will mirror theirs is unknown. To belittle them as just a bunch of whiners is a bit insulting. It is a good ideal to hear both sides before deciding, don't you think?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I'm not belitting or insulting anyone or calling anyone a "whiner." That was your word. I don't doubt for one moment that these people have had problems with their Pella windows. I'm simply wondering if this is a popular place to post ones problems with Pella or if Pella is truly the leading crappy window maker in the whole wide world. I mean, is there a hate thread for Anderson or Marvin on some other site?

As for hearing both sides, not on this site. Obviously my side is not the popular one in this thread!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Dierks.
Pella absolutely does NOT create their clad meiter at the bottom sash rail acting as a catch rather than shed water.

The only way you would see that is if you were installing your Pella windows upside down. ?????????

At one point, yes that design was moronic & flawed. It has been rectified for a long time.

If you choose not to use Pella anylonger because they didn't stand by your side to help you fix the problems or their techies were of no use, so be it. However,it seems that your ax to grind with Pella is from the 80's and 90's. No reason to speak untruths about the design anylonger.


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Pella problems

I'm going to keep to the facts and make this simple.

The windows turned 10 years this past January 2009. Of the 100 installed in the home, over 75 have failed.

Here's why: The adhesive used on the mitre in the sash at the bottom of the window has failed. Once the water gets in at this area, the wood behind the sash cover (in this case aluminum) expands. As it expands, it continues to break the seal at the bottom. In this case, the sash simply fell off and exposed rotten wood. I have photos and would love to share.

The home was built between 1999 and 2000. As a rental home and vacation home for the owner, the issue was never caught. Until a sash fell off.

We were at the home building a new deck when we discovered the problem and immediately told the owner (April 2009). They asked us to check into it. After hours spent finding the date codes on the windows, documenting the failure and taking many photos, we made contact with Pella.

To make a long story short: Pella would only give a 30% discount on replacing some of the windows. When I mentioned several windows had broken seals (arogon gas), they simply reverted to their pricing.

As a contractor we can get 40% off new windows and doors, so I didn't see the advantage in going back with Pella. I talked with the owner's insurance company to see if they could provide any assistance and was told the problem was not covered. The insurance company basically said if the windows are failing at 10 years and Pella is doing nothing, you can assume they would fail again and why would the owner want to address this again in ten years.

As we informed the owner of the dilema, we also researched windows and doors. We found European Windows and doors has a "lifetime warranty". They are made of steel and vinyl. As an option, we had new windows priced out, along with an Anderson quote. Anderson came in at half the price but the same warranty as Pella. The owner went with Anderson because of pricing. As a builder, we are planning on using European Windows and Doors in the future; you can't beat their warranty.

When we went to replace the Pella windows during the past three weeks, we discovered termites and secondary colonies on the third floor. We also discovered that the transoms (non-opening windows) were also failing around the window sash. Moisture had accumilated in cracks and crevices and we also found live termites in the area.

I strongly believe that the adhesive sealant used 10 years ago was not an adequate product. The gasket around the window also seems faulty. If Pella is still using the same adhesive sealant, then my guess is there will be many other windows failing in the future. The mitre also does not seem appropriate for the application and seems to be a design flaw. Perhaps Pella might want to find a solution and start mailing out tubes of a better sealant?

As a builder on the coast we understand how the environment impacts windows, doors, siding and adhesives. So if these windows fail every ten years, do the math on how much it cost every time to replace. We won't recommend Pella because of how they handled this situation.

I have very well documented this and have many photos I can share, so please feel free to email me (I think you can do it through this site or post your information and I will send you an email).

There is a legitimate problem with Pella Windows. If anyone is having problems now, just make sure to check your warranty - there's a date code at the bottom of your window - call Pella with it to find out how much warranty you have left. That's another thing with the warranty - they don't cover labor. If you need something replaced, your best bet is to get someone qualified to perform the install. In our client's case, we told them they were better off with another manufacturer.

As a tip for you homeowners. The mitre at the bottom of your window panel is a 45 degree joint. If this joint appears to be leaking or you notice discoloration, have a professional look at it. Don't wait until you are out of warranty.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

bselt - you obviously have no clue about Pella. You either work for them or stand to gain somehow. Why don't "YOU" do a search on the internet, I think others should do the same. I have found some court cases of interest, others seeking class action suits. And many other unsatisfied homeowners.

Your comment about the mitre being at the bottom of the window in the "80's and 90's" only??? Unless they stopped making them in 1999, you are wrong. We are dealing with a very unfortunate homeower who's house was built in 2000. What are you basing your facts on? I have seen your comments throughout this blog and to be honest, you seem like you have some hidden agenda here.

There's more than 75 failing windows in the home we are working on. It is quite apparent they didn't just simply fail as soon as the warranty ran out (January 2009). Transoms were installed very high up in places the owner simply could not see. When the sashes literally fell off a window, They tried to get someone from Pella out for three months. When we came to the jobsite, I had an answer within 24 hours. Once I emailed photos and asked for a follow up by corporate, I got no-where. I had to call many times just to try and get an answer from their rep in NC. the only offer they ever made was 30% off and I have an email to prove it. I can get 40% off other brands. Really what is the point?

Pella knew and knows there is a problem with the design and adhesive they used. Regardless of what they are doing now, they are still liable to many for what they did then.

I understand Pella might have been a good product (I don't know when), but once they started mass marketing and mass producing, their product, just like most other mass producted, dropped in quality.

Our company survives because we choose to provide quality over quantity.

Our goal is to always keep our clients best interest at heart.

We have found manufacturers that can now offer a lifetime warranty on windows with no wood and better design features to handle water infiltration. While much more expensive than an Anderson, they are worth their weight for a worry free system for life.

Please stop with your negative comments, you need to look at what you have written to really understand yourself. People on this forum have legitimate complaints. I found this site by also searching for the homeowner and plan on encouraging legal action.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Whaler1, it's been about 9 months now since your first post. How are your Pella patio doors working? I'm trying to decide between Pella, Marvin and Weather Shield sliding glass doors.

I like the features of Pella, but I'm concerned about the negative comments on the sliding door being on the outside. Is this a problem? Does it stick or freeze up in the winter? Do you get bugs in the house because you have to open the screen door, which is on the inside, to close the outside door? Also, is your roll screen finally working properly? Do bugs stick to it? Do you have to flick them off before you close it?

Pella claims their sliding door on the outside is an advantage because it has a tighter seal when the wind blows against it. Others say it's a bad design because of the bug problem and difficulty opening it in the winter. What do you say?

Anyone else with experience or knowledge on sliding glass doors please feel free to comment. Most of the comments seem to be about windows, but I'm only interested in patio doors and roll screens.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Stay away from Pella/Larsen products unless you want headaches, frustration and future out of pock expenses. I have a Pella storm door less that four years old the is peeling, cracking, discolored handle, rusted and loose screws on the exterior; peeling and cracking on the interior. Pella will not assume any out of pocket expense you incur when their defective products are installed in your home. To remove the defective door and install another of what will probably be defective, I have an out of pocket expense of about $125. Don't let the name Customer Service Department fool you. It should be more aptly called Customer Frustration Department


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Mary, thanks for the input. Do you have any issues with the slider on the outside? Do you have any opinions on Weather Shield?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

The exterior is peeling and cracking as is now the interior of the door. If you do decide to go with a Pella product, you should be aware of their terrible customer service. Also keep in mind that if a defective product needs to be replaced, the cost will be incurred by you. I had hoped when I purchased the Pella storm door, I would have not had to think about another door for a few years. Also note that I had to measure for the replacement door since Pella refused to send anyone to take an accurate measure. As we know, if a door is ill fitting it has costly effects on home heating and air condition. That Pella also is not concerned about. The title of this forum is quite appropriate caveat emptor.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I would recommend going with a Provia Storm Door. Top-notch quality and customer service.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Just as a bump, and to agree, we spent $60,000 on Pella windows and french doors for our house (8' doors, 82" tall windows, for example). Windows don't close properly, some dont lock, some you have to crank them closed as fast as you can to get them to slam, and then pull the lock at exactly the same moment to get it to close. We had a tech come out, and his solution was to BEND the opening for the locking hook out so that it has better odds of catching. He DAMAGED the windows, so that they'd lock anyway. We pretty much live locked-in, now, out of fear that we won't be able to get hte windows closed.

Oh, and 2 of the 5 sets of french doors don't lock. We're EXTREMELY dissatisfied with Pella, and their lack of service. I guess they dont survive on repeat customers...


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Re: Sliding Glass Door on the OUTSIDE!!! What were they thinking!?! Fine for Florida. Yes, I guess in the south they want their doors tight against the hurricanes. But we live in central New York State with lake effect snows. Whenever it snows, we have to regularly run outside to clear the sliding door track lest it get piled so high we can't use the door!!!

Our windows with the inside blinds fog from mositure and on the coldest of days they can actually freeze!

I would never reccomend a Pella product and can't wait to replace what we have, ESPECIALLY THE RIDICULOUS IDEA OF A SLIDING DOOR!!!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Pella has kind of gone the way of Chrysler. Once a great company, now below average and quickly becoming the laughing stock of the window industry.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

ernestinnys,

You have to be joking with that post and with just about everyone else's post on this website. Did you not look at the sliding glass door before you purchased to notice it was ON THE OUTSIDE? LIKE EVERY OTHER SLIDING GLASS DOOR. I'm in South Bend, IN, and probably get just as much snow as you do from Lake MI... NEVER have I had to clear the tract due to snow.

I spent quite a bit of money when I purchased my Pella products and I couldn't be more happy with how everything turned out. You silly people and your complaints, here's a thought don't spend $100 on a window and expect it to last 10 years or even 5. Also, don't spend $60,000 at Lowe's for Pella products. Pella reps doing the work warranty all their installs and I even had a couple of issues and b/c I paid a little more to go thru an actual Pella rep, I was able to get superb service and my concerns fixed fast and free.

BooM!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have been fighting wih Pella for 9 months. I spent thousands trying to find the source of the leaking. I never suspected the actual windows -- heck, they are Pella! Pella is offering me a discount on some, but not all of their failing windows, and of course, they offer nothing on installation, or replacement of siding which will have to be torn out. Months of them trying to blame it on everything under the sun when all the time it was their design flaw. I'd read enough to have figured that out but it took another 500 out of pocket to bring in an infra red camera specialist to confirm it and with report in hand, they finally admitted it, but too bad, so sad, they have been rotting for years, unbeknownst to you, and now you are just out of your warrenty! In the end it will cost me a guestimate of 20,000 before what I know is bad, is fixed. The good news is the Appellate Court in the Northern District of Illinois has just certified two classes for the class action suit that began in 2006 over these design defects. This is somewhat novel in consumer fraud cases and I am sure Pella thought it would win the appeal on the certification, but it didn't. It certainly hoped that individual suits would be more trouble for people than they were worth since each would have to bring in their own experts, etc. If you have Pro-line or architect series (I have both with problems, and attorneys are still working on trying to get certification for the architect series), you should google the law suit. Pella Fraud will bring up the case and the attorney's contact info. Good luck, because as far as I am concerned Pella is in the same class of corporation as BP when it comes to making good on the problem they created.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

We had Pella windows installed when we built our house in 83, and I have hated them since. We have had to have the bottom of the windows re-stained multiple times (should do it yearly). Many of the windows will not close tightly so that you can lock them, so we have to go outside and push them shut. We have had the Pella rep here to fix that problem, but it does not solve it. The last time Pella came to fix it, they charged us $100 to come to our house, + the cost of repair. My neighbor, who also hates her Pella windows, called to have the guy come to her house at the same time, thinking we could share the $100 cost to come out, but they charged us each $100. We are building a new home next year, and no way will we have crappy Pella windows again.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

People who post on this site, abailey and michiganman are obviously Pellas newbie sales competition or just Ex-Pella people!! The "words the sliding door panel on the outside & Ice and snow problems & bugs with closing the screens. Sash clad overlap on windows at lower corners, have not much bearing on sash rot. (although an untrained eye might point to that, as they have with Pella for the last 30+ years with this company. Slim shades between the glass were never designed for total privacy but rather light-sun control. But depending upon fabric shade of choice privacy could be achieved! All have been proven to only be used by incompetent sales people of other leading brands. PICK apart the other companies if they are different, and in some cases better product ideas.

Most products that are sold at a mass marketer as "Lowes, Home Depot, Menards and such, DO NOT Employ experts in any field. You may get a retired expert now and then, BUT remember these people are hired to stock the shelves and help you put items in your cart! Can you believe that? WOW! They employ bodies, and give them dangerously low training / pay, most have no interest in the sale or much product knowledge. Once the sale has occurred you are directed to the manufacturer.

Make decisions based on facts of reputable sale people no matter what you are purchasing. Get informed! Windows and doors are not created equal, each climate has a clear winner and looser! All of these products need to be considered in the overall design of a home taking in to consideration window coverings in the colder climates, as well as air flow and heat register locations.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

WOW!!! I cannot believe all of these issue with Pella Windows... :(

I purchased 6 custom designer Casement windows Crank with (not double-hung) and 10 foot wide double french patio door outswing. The 6 custom designer series windows replaced my existing BOW window (Fixed structure) in my living room while the double french pato doors were for my dining room.

Both sets of Pella Windows were contracted by the RETAIL Pella store here in Hicksville Long Island. Pella, rep stopped by multiple times to ensure that measurements were taken and detailed all of the product specifications and designs and the units arrived without issues/problems and were installed by a Pella approved installer... I paid extra to have the windows and doors stained and they are beautiful...

It's now september 2010 almost three years to the date that these units have been installed and this weekend I'm going to check and make sure I don't have rot... :(

Questions to you ALL:

1. Since this installation was done by Pella from SOUP to Nuts, do you think I will have any problems with warranty?

2. How does one check to see if the seals are still in place?

3. How does one check to see if there is ROT if the wood is CLAD/SEALED behind the Aluminum?

4. Saved the best for last... Maintenance?!? I was told by the installer/carpenter and Pella Sales rep that I would periodically have to clean the windows and make sure no dirt/water accumulates in the sills... Is this standard practice, did anyone here perform this maintenance and then STILL have problems???! better yet, is there a methodology on how to maintain these windows?

I was told that if I wanted to get mainenance free windows to simply buy VINYL windows and to forgo Anderson/Marvin/Pella windows as they are wood products these would not be maintenance free...??

I live in Syosset, NY and have been through two winter seasons already without issue and about to start a third... I want to insure my $$$$ investment with Pella to last and if maintenance is key to avoid rotting issue then so be it... but if I could only rewind the clock, I probably would not be on this forum talking about Wood Rot and Pella... :(

PS. I'm just surprised to see so many OUTSPOKEN people about pella ALL over the NET and I mean ALL over... complaints ONLY!!!

I just wish I could find one thread that discussed preventative measures... :(


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

We built a sunroom in 2006 and installed all Pella Casement windows, triple pane with the built in screens. the installation went fine and the windows looked beautiful. A year later we had some problems and screens needed to be replaced. The new screens did not fit the same way so more holes had to be drilled in the windows for the catches.....not a warranty item.

Now we have had the problems with the screen mechanism that slides the blinds up and down. Still supposed to be under warranty. They sent us three screens over 6 months. First two did not have fixture for the blinds. The last one did but it is smaller, designed differently and looks different. We finally got them to send someone out after sending pictures and numerous emails and calls. This service rep and the service manager told us that Pella changed their design and this is the screen that they make now. It appears they also changed the window part that holds the blinds or at least I feel they must have for the new screen to fit.

There opinion appears to be "hey, this is what we make now. If it does not work, its not our problem. Pretend it fits."

If you open the casement window, you can see a 1/4 gap on the side and top. If you latch the window in and push on it several times it will just pop out. Yeah, so much for customer support.

Beware....they appear to change designs and are not concerned about supporting you after the purchase.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Here's MY Pella horror story:

We hired Pella to build and install 2 windows and 2 patio doors for our home.

They removed one window before measuring to see if the new one fit. It didn't

We now have a boarded up hole where a window should be.

Now they tell us they can't manufacture the window we contracted them to build. They say they can't make a piece of tempered glass that big.

In addition, they left a big mess (I had to call the office of the CEO in Pella Iowa before they took the old windows away, as our contract stipulated) and left the vent holes to the crawlspace to the house uncovered allowing animals to crawl under the house. They said the job will take a week. We're now in week 3.

I have LOST MONEY because I had to give up billable hours (I'm a consultant) to deal with this. And the horror isn't over yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella Horror


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Robert - Just curious. Did you contract with the local Lowe's or did you go through a Pella store?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

We installed two sizes of Pella windows 15+ years ago, when we built the house. Now it's Spring, and I'm looking for someone to build new screens for the upstairs windows-- we have $700 windows with $5 screens that cannot be replaced from the inside of the house. Just another US company with more debts than honor.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

My contractor didn't use Pella, so I'm not sure about the quality. We've gone through ETO Doors for all our doors, and they've been awesome. Here's their site: http://www.etodoors.com

And their contact info for those in LA (like me) and NY

LOS ANGELES: 801 E. 7th St. Los Angeles, CA 90021

NEW YORK: 18 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde, NY 11040

Here is a link that might be useful: doors


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am a contractor and have nothing good to say about Pella windows. We recently installed 5 new casement windows to replace old double hungs. The home owner wanted fabric shades between the glass. They wanted ones that open from the top down so that is what I ordered. When I ordered them I told the rep that I wanted top down shades. There was no explantion that their way of describing how the shades work is the opposite of the rest of the industry. There is also nothing in their brochures to explain how their shads work. So when we got the windows the shades were the opposite of what the home owner wanted. I had to order new shades and remove the ones that were wrong and install the new ones myself. I also had pay for the new shades because the said it was my falt for ordering the wrong thing. They gave me 20% discount(as if that was so genrous)but it still cost over $2,000.00 just for the shades. I feel that their windows are very overpriced and their service is very poor. I did the installation for noting and it cost money.
Also the first shades that came with the windows did not even hang strait. I would not recemmend Pella windows or doors again.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

My turn: Purchased Pella for the construction of our house in 2003 (8 years ago). I have a casement window that the sash had rotted away so the closing hardware just pulled out. This is from the inside of the window.
I contacted the Pella store I purchased them from but was directed to 'Service'. There I explained my issue and they said they would ship a replacement sash. This is where I found the product is warrantied but not the labor. Now I'm getting clipped for $150 installation fee when I paid extra for 'quality windows'.
After scheduling the installation, I opened a different casement window and it pulled out from rot also!
Now I got into Customer Service hell.
Called the 800 number from their web site. No knowledge of my schedule installation appointment.
Transfered to Corporate. Nice man repeats my situation to me then...
Transfered to Service. Explain who I am to someone else then she...
Transfers me to installation. Finally, I was in touch with someone who knew my situation. Added the additional window to order. However, I don't know if they will try to charge me another $150 for installing the second one.

Beware: Two different styles of casement windows both fail within weeks of each other; this tells me there was a design flaw or quality issue. And if there is a design flaw or QA issue, I should not have to pay anything for making my house right. I am concerned that I will go through this again with my remaining Pella casement windows.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am a Builder and was thinking about useing Pella, that's not going to happen now. Thanks to everyone that took the time to post.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Hello Friends,
Here is the May 2011 installment of the Pella Problem (with this series going on for over 4 years now).
I am a builder/renovator with some 40 Pella Pro-line casement and fixed windows which have been in our house for 15 years. Problem #1) Originally we had moisture problems with our Pella windows. When the house was newly renovated and it was cold out (here in the north-east US) the Pella windows would sweat. I originally had no low-e glass, except in the Anderson French doors, which only came with low-e. I showed the Pella Rep a picture of completely sweated Pella windows along side completely clear Anderson doors. My rep voluntarily offered replacement sashes (thank you) which I was able to partially take advantage of - I still had to prime and paint the new ones (they didn't offer pre-painting back then) and install them. But the overall humidity went down after a winter or two, replacing windows is a pain (as you all well know), and only about 10 were ordered and replaced.
Problem #2) Skip ahead 15 years and now I am finding more moisture problems. Evidently some of the windows don't have good seals around the exterior aluminum cladding and water has been working its way in. Two sashes are completely rotted across the bottom so that the brace arms no longer hold. One has been replaced, at a cost (a slight break on cost from the rep's goodness), and one is waiting til I get a Pella service rep here to discuss the Pella Problem. Additionally, I have found several brace arm screws in the frames are no longer holding - the wood in the frames is rotting too! I initially contended that the rotted sash (when I thought there was only one with that problem) was that way because it had missed being pressure treated. Eventually I was told that they only started using pressure treated wood in the last 5 years and that none of them were pressure treated back then. When these windows are replaced, they won't be Pella.
I am amused that Anderson advertises at the bottom of this message board. Thank you braintreemass for starting it.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Well, I guess I'll just knock on wood as I write this...I LOVE my Pella Windows (and I did see this GW Posting prior to purchasing). I installed all Pella windows 3 years ago in a complete home renovation, some designer and some architect series, and one Anderson (I wanted the stained glass in my kitchen).

I LOVE the retractable screens so I can keep my views or keep the bugs out.

I LOVE the between the glass shades.

I LOVE the pre-painted exterior..it still looks great after 3 harsh winters.

I LOVE the interior wood look and these windows look classy.

I LOVE our Pella guy, Jason...he has been incredible to work with. If I can't work something, he'll drive over an hour to show me how to work it.

I've actually been looking for the rot and the air spaces that everyone is talking about and so far so good. My home is in Lake Tahoe and we get some harsh weather here.

As someone stated earlier, no product is perfect and you can always find someone who has had a problem with and someone else who loves the same product, but I think when people are searching for a product and see a thread like this, there needs to be a reality check.

Not everyone has had a bad experience with Pella. I'll just keep knocking on wood...


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

When I bought patio doors recently, I chose Andersen over Pella, in large part because of the many dissatisfied customers on the web. I think if Pella were smart, they would get an "escalation specialist," which I've seen with appliances where when someone complains on a message board, the escalation specialist says, here's my contact information and I'll help you with your problem. The lack of response by Pella is not helping their image.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am a contractor since 97 and a builder since 83. I have installed many different brand windows and have not had any with a perfect record. I am aware that you get what you pay for in most areas. My biggest problem with windows have been vinyl replacments which I only do now to match an existing window type on a home. we do mainly new homes so its not much of an issue. They are made and sold cheaply so as I mentioned you get what you pay for. In a side by side comparison of anderson, pella and marvin these three offer a good wood frame window. The problem occurs when they offer high and low end lines of their windows.Pella proline windows I think are poorly constructed but their architectual line is better . The designer triple sash units is what I have installed in my own home and have had very limited issues in MICHIGAN. They operate harder than anderson or marvin but they are triple sash with blinds and grills inbetween so they are heavier by far as all installers will tell you. Marvin also sells a nice window with some limited problems such as patio doors weep holes on the bottom are 1/16" and would not let enough water back out if it wasnt plugged so this is a engineering problem. the sales guy told me to just drill more holes in the bottom sill. I told him someone from Marvin should do this, The other problem is they have the cheapest lock hardware on the market and we have snapped a bunch of these plastic hairclips installing them. they do send free ones though so they know about this problem. Now anderson used in 50% of our new homes has been basically trouble free and with the service issues now directed straight to the manufacturer I dont see what issues we are having but I am not getting complaints so I am assuming my customers are being taken care of. Some delamination problems have been occuring in some 12 year old stuff but this appear limited. Bottom line the pella triple sash glass is 10 degrees warmer than any other with interior blind options so that my pricy pick of the day. We are a nation of negitive people so look on the positive side of your windows and look out. If your not happy then fill in the window with wall and install a light.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I grew up in Iowa and in the tradition of Maytag and Amana, I was told that Pella windows were the best, with Iowa-Stubborn adherence to quality, old-fashioned Dutch craftsmansip and an iron-clad guarantee. So, when we replaced our 50 year-old windows after a fire in 2001, we insisted on Pella. BULLS**T! If you're buying something from Pella, IA, stick to tulips.

We had the windows installed according to spec by Pella "craftsman" from Ver Halen, their Milwaukee distributor.

The windows didn't slide right from the start, the flimsy screens bent and the clips fell out during installation. This has been going on for ten years. Today I was able to install 8 of the 20 screens in our house, and it took over an hour to do so. With our ancient wood storms and screens, I was able to do the job in about the same time, although a ladder had to be involved.

I'm now in the process of remodeling a house in Iowa with about 15 openings. I've told our builder to consider only Anderson and Marvin windows.

Is there out there someone who can sway my decision in another direction?

Richard Papke
623 N. 79th St.
Wauwatosa, WI53213
424.476.4765


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have been in window and door sales for 20 plus (although not anymore I am now in Architectural Aluminum and Glass for commercial applications). If it were for me personally I would pass on Andersen, and concentrate on Marvin and Kolbe. I like both products although I really like the Kolbe K-Kron which is a prefinished painted surface. It carries a 10 yr warranty and after that will need to be repainted but the product is generally a little less than Marvin across the board, especially shapes.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I forgot to mention you may wish to look at Lepage as well if there is a dealer nearby


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Does anyone know if Pella has changed the design of the Pro Line windows to address whatever was causing the problem? I'm sure they haven't publicly announced a change, but maybe there are some installers out there that have noticed the a design change??


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

From what i know of the situation they will not even acknowledge design flaws, so with that said I don't believe they will ever make the changes needed


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I just spent 15-20 minutes scrolling through these postings and have decided not to go with Pella windows for my 25 window project.
Shame on you Pella!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Wish I had read this before we got our Pella windows and patio doors. So far we like our windows but don't like our patio doors. The screens are on the inside and not on the outside. You have to open the screen door to cloe the patio door. This of course lets in the bugs that are on the screen door. We have them on our floor in the morning where they died overnight. In addition , once you close the patio door it traps any bugs left on the screen between the patio doors and screen door. That lets a lot of them die there also. The ones that survive get another chance to come into your home when you open up the screen door to open the patio door. I have never seen anyone with a Patio Sliding glass door with the screen on the inside. It had to take a idiiot to design something like that


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Oh my goodness! I just stumbled upon this post! What am I going to do?!?!
Supposed to be finalizing our window order this week! We have over 60 windows going in new build using Pella. We have 2 sliding french doors, Pro-line double hungs, casements, designer series on some of them. Our quote is at $30k. I am not liking what I am hearing from what I have quickly glanced over since posts beginning in 2007. Seems like problem after problem! Oh boy! Suggestions? I am running out of time! Ughhh!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Don't do it. You have been warned!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have a 15 year old house with LOTS of ROTTEN PELLA windows/sliding doors!! We have 7 sets of 8' designer/custom sized sliding doors and one stationary 8' panel that all have rotten, warped wood at their bases. I have called Pella on several occasions and have gotten the typical run around. I would NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER recommend Pella products. I have a friend who built her home the same year that we built and she is in the process of ripping every Pella out of her very large house. Happily she can afford this-I cannot. They are so POORLY designed and Pella does NOT stand by their products in any way. I am currently trying to find a company that can do a decent match to the exsisting windows/doors as I can only replace a few at this time.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

OMG! I cannot believe this....
This is great...I can only pray that we do not encounter the same issues, but the odds are not in my favor. Guess I will cross this bridge when it comes. Great info, but actually kind of sad and disappointing.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

It's nice to see that some people are actually making their decisons for their homes based on research! Please read, read, read. You will find that Pella does not stand behind their products. They will always claim "installation error". You will be an unhappy consumer as are thousands of us. If you have any questions: please watch this 2 minute vidoe. You will see the water that is flowing into our home through our brand new Pella Architect Series Windows. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu0JdDY8rnI

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella Windows Leak # 19


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Doesn't sound like you did much homework either if "You will see the water that is flowing into our home through our brand new Pella Architect Series WindowsYou will see the water that is flowing into our home through our brand new Pella Architect Series Windows"


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

That video is scary.

Sorry to hear of your issues with the window.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I have the Pella Brand wood windows in my home and my husband installed them himself over 5 years ago. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!!!!!!!!!! They are so easy for me to clean. I dont have a problem with water flowing into my house from the windows I am sure that other window companies have several unhappy customers too. There is ALWAYS going to be SOMEONE who is UNHAPPY with a product no matter what it is and unhappy with the company who makes that product no matter what that product is. I just wanted to tell everyone and the Pella Window company that I am happy with my installed Pella Brand windows. Thanks Pella!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella

As an architect, I have been using and specifying Pella windows for more than 30 years. I've never had problems with sliding glass doors, fixed panels or casement windows. Not sure why you are all having such problems.

I do know that in our area Pella now provides their own installations - and gives two year warranties. I've used internal blinds (3 different iterations - design changes over the years) and find them much preferable to external ones that need to be cleaned constantly.

Get a good installer - and you should be fine.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

sorry BobbyfromPittsburgh, I feel you find very few pro's who will agree with you.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

sorry BobbyfromPittsburgh, I feel you find very few pro's who will agree with you.

He just joined today. Are you saying that he's an amateur architect? :-)


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

probably works for Pella


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Both poster who posted positive reviews registered today....interesting.

I guess they were both so happy that they just had to post up about Pella windows.

Something stinks in here.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

It would appear that the main problem that most of the people with problems were using installers from Home Depot and Lowes. I have seen their installers screw up even simple projects so I know I would never use them for something as complicated as windows or doors. Many of their installers are inexperienced and unprofessional, but cheap!

We replaced most of the windows and doors in our house a number of years ago with Pella Designer casements and have never had any problems with them. However, we bought the windows from Pella and had their installers install them. We are now going to finish the windows and Pella will be installing them - with Pella installers.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

"It would appear that the main problem that most of the people with problems were using installers from Home Depot and Lowes"

Actually the problem is more related to the poor quality of the product, while the install may be part of the problem the product is poorly made and designed for the most part. Pella's customer service is also lacking from my experience. But then again your a first time poster who registered yesterday (and probably works for Pella) so why is it no surprise you would stick up for the product and bad mouth the install. Also HD or Lowes would not be installing nor selling the Designer series from what I know.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

quote laven:"I dont have a problem with water flowing into my house from the windows I am sure that other window companies have several unhappy customers too".end quote... :O
Really!? Holy cow, those are some pretty loose standards! ... To be fair, I have had halfway-decent luck with Pella's Architect/Designer series (although I do believe that there are superior choices out there), and their SGD is a very solid piece.
...OTOH, the products that they offer sans "bells and whistles" (ie: Proline, anything vinyl) are very suspect, and their service after install is atrocious.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Millwork- Lowes sells everything from Pella but their Impervia. Ironically their Impervia is the only window from them I would truely recommend. Infact I do use it in my fiberglass spec (the other in my standard spec for bid is Impervia vs Marvin's Integrity All Ultrex).

I think the biggest issue here is wood clad windows in general. But anyone who knows me know I will always use a fiberglass product due to the many advantages over wood clad.
I personally have All Pella proline doube hungs in my house I installed about 4 years ago without a single issue. Would I install them again? No, but I would install their Impervia. If I wanted a wood interior, then I would go with the Marvin Integrity Wood Ultrex.
One thing to note about Pella's sliding door design...the reason they place the sliding panel on the outside of the fixed panel (everyone else places it on the interior) is due to wind sealing. Sliding doors are naturally leakier then french doors (same with sliding windows...worse window to put in a home). However they place face mounted seals in addition to the typical weather seals on the panels. When the wind blows against the door from the outside, it presses the sliding door into the fixed frame creating a tighter wind seal. I guess they feel this pro weighs higher then the screen being on the exterior like most doors are.
One thing I do like about Pella are their glass options to tune your glass to specific elevations. However most people buying windows rarely know much about the glass or what the numbers on the energy tag even mean. They see the "Energy Star" label and instantly think its an efficient window. Sadly, this is rarely the case, especially southern exposure windows in heating climates.

So take it as it is. I do own Pella windows, no issues, but also only 4 years in. I do spec and use Pella on some of our projects, again, no issues. But I do not spec wood clad windows, only their fiberglass Impervia window. Contractors around here seem to not be loyal to any (Pella, Marvin, Andersen). they all have seen flaws in each and have had to fix them. Some hate Pella, some hate Andersen. Most find Marvin to be pretty solid, but also install the least of them due to price.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

I am having the same issue....Pella windows Suck!


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

Personally I think most of you have had poor installation. I have remodeled all my life, since I could carry a bucket and I recently popped in 8 pella's in my home. They work great and only took around 6 hours to install the lot. Maybe you should see if your level is accurate and beyond this maybe you should realize that perfectly plumb and square might not be acceptable in a not so perfect world. A good remodeler takes into account all aspects that can impact putting new equipment into an old hole and adjusts the product to a working order before finalizing the install. I threw away my level when installing doors and windows a long time ago when it comes to hanging doors and windows and never have any problems or complaints with my work. Beyond this, any good installer knows to allow for expansion and contraction in their install. Ughhhh... so many people making money who don't know what they're doing is where your frustration lies... Not with pella


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

That's interesting debos. Like I've said, I've had decent results from the Architect and Designer series, although anything from Marvin puts both of them to shame. I did have a Pro series job where we installed picture 4 lite casements (center units were fixed), and those center units leaked air so bad that they client had frost between the sash and frame! What was Pella's response? "The unit is operating as designed". Wow! I guess it was designed to be a total POS.... I see plenty of installer error in vinyl(particularly low-end), not so much in wood, as you are normally dealing with guys who are experienced and take great pride in their craftsmanship.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

We need new windows & went to look @ the Pella Store. When I got home I researched on the internet & found all these horror stories about Pella windows. We were wanting the double hung Architect series. So when the man called to set up an appt to come & measure our windows I politely said that after reading the reviews, etc. on the interent we had decided not to go with them. This fellow said there were only 2 families who had ever had trouble with their windows & they were both in Chicago & had enough $ for a class action suit. I politely told him I would mention that to my husband & if we decided we wanted him to come to our home we would return his call.

I do believe this fellow out & out lied to me.


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

and now in the other post you would consider a Pella front door?


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RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em

We had a Pella bay window with casement sides, Architect Series Classic, installed in 2000. About 4 years ago (9 years after installation) I noticed the paint was blistering on the window seat where it meets the window.
I called Pella and asked for a rep to come out and tell me what was causing it. They charged me $135 for a house call and of course, the rep told me that the window was fine. He said there was moisture getting into the wood support due to faulty installation.
Now there's visible black mold between the panes of glass in all of the windows. I had two contractors take a look at it and they both tell me that the black mold proves that the seals are faulty, there's moisture getting into all of the windows. They also said that there's wood rot in the window seat and there's no way to tell how extensive the damage is without opening the whole thing up.
I'm going to have to get the bow window replaced now and there's no way I'm getting another Pella.


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