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confused about aluminum-clad windows

Posted by floridadawglover (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 24, 08 at 10:30

My husband and I just bought a 30 year old home near Tampa, Florida and the original single-pane aluminum windows need to be replaced. Because we are both allergic to dust and dust mites, we love the idea of the Pela Designer triple pane windows that have the blinds between the glass. These windows are aluminum-clad (extruded, I think) and before my husband and I spend the $$$ on these windows, can anyone tell me how well they think they will stand up to the high temperatures and humidity we have in Florida. BTW, we are not near salt water. Are we likely to end up with rotted wood? Or are these windows made to last in weather conditions such as ours? Also, I know that these windows must be installed by a Pela-certified installer for warranty purposes, so how do I verify that a installer is indeed certified by Pela? Thank you all for any advice and suggestions.
PS. I am a dawg lover in gatorland because we moved here from Georgia...smile.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

The aluminum clad will stand up well in your area. Contrary to popular belief the windows do not have to be installed by a certified Pella Installer to maintain the warranty, they just have to be installed by the installation instruction included with every window.

Pella does have some pretty exacting installation techniques but once you study them they make sense, and by following them to the letter I have never had a problem with a Pella window.

I have been installing them for years, and if you want to make sure your installer is a certified installer you can call your local Pella Distribution Center and ask them for a list of Certified installers in your area


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

Thanks very much galefarm. I've read a lot on this site and others the pros and cons of the Pela Designer Series and people either seem to love them or hate them, and I read some posts about the wood rotting. I got the impression that this problem could be caused by improper installation-- ie. not following the instructions carefully as you mentioned. In some of the posts I read poor installation was reported to have been done by Pela distributor-recommended installers-- thus my question about the certification. I am concerned about this especially because My husband and I are both visually-impaired-- so do you have any suggestions for us about what we can do to ensure the installer does the job properly?


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

If the installer uses less screws than required, less caulk then required, and no flashing tape or taped incorrectly, the warranty is void if the windows fail due to installation technique.

Michael


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

So how do we make sure the installer uses enough screws, the right amount of caulking, and the correct flashing and tape? Just because someone says he installs Pella, doesn't mean he does it right, does it? And like I said, my husband and I are blind so how do we protect ourselves against an unscrupulous or inept installer? We just moved here and don't know anyone with Pella windows. Our neighbors just had 10 Alside windows installed for a total price of $3000, and the whole project including a large picture window was done single-handedly by a guy in his twenties and took less than 1 day.,


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

One way to check out any installer is to contact the better business bureau and see if they have any complaints registered against them, and actively checking out references they may give you. If you have trouble seeing the work, maybe find a neighbor who can double check the work for you. It would be the same way with any window you buy, they all have some sort of installation requirements...if they don't I would steer clear of them anyway, any company worth its weight will give you some guidelines on installation technique and procedure.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

Where does Pella say to use screws for any window installation? Just curious, I've never heard or seen that one before on their installation videos, unless they have changed recently.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

On a related note, our bedroom window opening is about 4 inches too wide for the widest double hung Designer Series window Pella can make. We don't want to put casement windows in the bedroom, so the Pella salesperson has suggested building up the frame to accomodate a smaller window. How should this be done, and would it be esthetic, or would the end result be bulky-looking woodwork around a window that appears too small? The house is concrete block with a stucco exterior.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

What kind of window is in that spot now?


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

It's the original 30 year old window-- an aluminum single-pane, single-hung? (opens from the bottom only) window.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

Pella makes no recommendation for wither screws or nails, that ends up being a personal preference. Some contractors like using screws, because it makes removing a window easier in the future, and some contractors feel it gives a stronger hold than a nail. In my estimation it does not really make a difference in strength because the the force of the window is pushing or pulling down on the nail rather pulling it out.

One way to tell if they use enough fasteners is if the nailing fin has every hole filled. Pella recommends a fastener in each hole of the nailing fin.

How big is the window you are having trouble fitting in another suggestion would be to make the window a little smaller and putting a transom or an awning over the top of the window. If you send me the sizes I can check on a couple of ways to do the product and make a couple of recommendations


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

the window opening is 52 inches wide and 49 1/2 inches high.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

Mrs. FLGALVR,
Please be sure to check your local resources, as there are extruded aluminum, clad-wood, window manufacturers that build double hung type windows within your dimensions, as standard product. These standard products also conform to hurricane codes, which may be prevalent in your area. Contrary to your inital post, the Pella product is not all extruded, as the sash are roll-formed aluminum, and thus are a weak point in the product. This may be a reason why the unit size is not avalable for you, as the structural rating would be downgraded from that of a company that produces a much stronger window with all extruded aluminum. Therein lies the problem with roll-formed aluminum clad windows, and the reason we do not use them for our building material requirements.

Regardless, I believe some other manufacturers also provide the dust-less blind system. Check with Andersen, Eagle, Kolbe or Marvin. Although Andersen does not provide an extruded aluminum product, the others do and certainly would be able to provide the size you are requesting without manipulating the opening or using a different type of window assembly.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

A roll form sash has nothing to do with the stuctural integrity or lack of for Pella windows. ZERO.

Floridadawglover. If you ain't a Gator, you're Gator bait!


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

The roll formed aluminum on a Pella sash does not have to have the structural strength to of the extruded metal on other sashes as Pella uses a solid wood sash and the cladding is rolled over it to provide protection form the weather not to provide structural strength to the window. Pella also connects the corners of the sash with 3 different methods, mortar and tenon, metal fasteners and glue to provide stronger joints where most of the competition only uses two methods of joining the corners. Several manufacturers use only a hollow core wood on the sash and the extruded metal has to provide the structural integrity of the window.

In the case of Andersen 200 series they do not even use a cladding on the sash, it is just painted wood. The reason Pella will not manufacture over certain widths is that they do not feel the wider window offers the proper design pressure to withstand extreme weather and would rather err on the side of being conservative.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

So Galefarm, what do you think I should do about the bedroom window opening of 52 inches W by 49 1/2 inches H?

BTW, Eagle's casement windows can be ordered with blinds between the glass, but this does not appear to be an option for their double-hung windows.
As for Anderson, I really don't want vinyl-clad windows, and an salesperson who sold Anderson told me he didn't recommend them because the windows are double paned with the blinds between the 2 panes of glass so that when the blinds are raised and lowered they will eventually scrape off the inner e- coating on the glass.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

I tried posting an answer last night but my computer was acting up, si I will try again.

you are talking a 4" difference here in the size of the window...I think it would look nice witht he 48" window centered in the opening with a 2" brick mould surrounding the window. This was an option that was utilized extesively in my area and it gives a nice finished appearance to the window.

I know Eagle also has shades between the glass on certain windows, but look at the system to operate the shades, as compared to Pella's It is a system of strings similar to exterior blinds and shades as opposed to the slider mechanism in the Pella system.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

Thanks Galefarm. The brick mold sounds like a feasible and esthetic solution. We have found a window installer whose business is accredited by BBB, and has no BBB complaints. He was recommended by a window distribution center for contractors in Tampa as an experienced Pella installer, and we will check out his references. We won't be doing the project until the fall, but I will come back and post a followup after it has been completed. Thanks again for everyone's help.

bselt. Come football season I'm gonna be a lot more than just gator bait... My son is a junior at the University of Tennessee!!


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

I live in SW Florida i'm in the process of replacing two bedroom windows.Do you have any recommendations on what type would work best in this area ?


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

And Pella has a class action lawsuit workinhg its way through the courts.

Cladding wood with ANYTHING is a recipe for disaster.

A water tight seal cannot be maintained indefinitely, and once water gets into the wood it starts rotting.

The damage cannot be seen until it is very bad.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

Brickeye,

I will defer to your judgment as you seem to have quite a bit of experience in the matter but is there no way to clad a window properly?

I think there is a right wan and wrong way to do anything. If the window cladding is stepped properly, it should not have to solely on a caulk joint to be water tight. I have see clad windows that are 20+ years old that are fine.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

"but is there no way to clad a window properly? "

None besides paint that requires periodic renewal as it weathers and develops breaks in the film.

There is no way to make a seal that will exclude water indefinitely (or in many cases even for a reasonable time).

"I have see clad windows that are 20+ years old that are fine."

Have you taken them out and apart to determine if they really are in good shape?
I would bet money that there is rot under the cladding.

The cladding may still look good, and the wood surface on the interior may still look good, but there is no way to tell without tearing them apart if rot has started.

Solid wood windows can almost always be repaired (unless they have really been allowed to decay extensively).

Every piece of the window frame and sash can be replaced.

I have worked on wooden double hung windows that are original from the late 1700s (old town Alexandria, VA).

No one wants to perform maintenance, and the continued search for 'maintenance free' has led to all sorts of solutions that are never going to last as long as a plain old wooden window.

Windows being made now are generally estimated to have a life of only 30-40 years.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

I have torn some of the clad units apart that are still okay but it may be the exception and not the rule.

Are you out of the VA area?


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

"Are you out of the VA area?"

Northern Virginia.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

Nice. As am I. We should get together and get lunch sometime.

Shoot me an email: info@windowsonwashington.net


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

What is the difference between roll-formed clading and extruded clading? What do I need for window replacement in Oklahoma??


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

The thickness of the cladding. Roll formed is thinner in most cases and not as substantial.


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RE: confused about aluminum-clad windows

Extruded aluminum window frames start as a chunk of aluminum that is shaped to make the frame and the thickness of this aluminum is approx that of a quarter. Roll form is just that, generally a shaped piece of wood that a thin(think coke can)piece of aluminum is rolled or wrapped around or mostly on(not covering all sides). Thus roll form is prone to denting, bending or coming off the substrate as well as not handling a coat of paint very well and color fading at a much greater rate than extruded.


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