vinyl windows installed properly?

Terry S
by Terry S
we just had some vinyl windows installed in a 3 season room that we are turning into a dining room. they installed the windows right over rotted wood. told us it didnt matter as the window would cover it? i have a bad feeling .it was agreed the rotted wood would be coming out but the contractors failed to do that. am i worrying about nothing?
  14 answers
  • You are correct on this Terry, They should remove the windows and fix the damaged wood that they covered over. Rotted wood will result in additional insect damage should moisture become trapped between the vinyl and the old damaged wood. This is one of the many issues people have when window companies that sell large volumes of units and use sub-contractors that only get paid per window and not per job. Call them back and insist that they do the job as originally planned. If need be, bring the contractor and the sales rep back at same time. Be sure to document everything that is told to you and who you speak with. Be sure to send copies of these complaints and topics of what was discussed to everyone involved. This will make they understand you mean business and are not just fooling around with this. The best method a homeowner can do is to have a notebook in hand when you start talking to these people face to face. With every word that they say you wright it down. Even if your only putting down the weather or writing a note to yourself about dinner. The fact that you are writing down something while they are giving you their excuse on why they did not do this job properly, will intimidate them enough to make they do the right thing. In any case you do need to document everything just in case the company you hired to do the job right will step up to the plate and if they do not, your paperwork will go a long way on getting it resolved if it ever needed to go further on a legal route. I am also curious if they provided you with a lead paint awareness document? If your home is older and it could contain lead paint, the contractor must be as required by Federal Law to be certified in lead paint renovation. Ask them for their certification. If they do not have it they can be fined over $30,000 for non-compliance. If they tell you they do not need one they are lying to you. Any window or door installation contractor by law that touches trims, windows, and doors must have this certification and must provide you with special documents that you must sign off on before they start the job. This is a very serious issue that must be taken into account.

  • Terry, Woodbridge is correct. I would add a few comments: Check out the manufacturer's website to see if they have installation instructions online. The national manufacturer's will, not all local manufacturers will. Download those and keep a copy. What you are looking for is information about proper prep. If you paid by credit card, be sure to dispture the credit charge in writing within 60 days of billing. Follow the instructions on the back of your bill. If you have a written contract (hopefully you do) be sure to review it carefully and follow any requirements for notice and dispute. Keep track of all calls (date, time, who you talked to), send follow up emails. Remember that one of the important thinks in dispute resolution is to have a clear idea of your rights and what you are seeking to resolve. Also you may be writing for a judge to review, so keep it clear and professional (and to the point). If they come out to inspect, take pictures of everything. Good photo documentation is helpful (and that is not a blurred phonecam shot). Digital pictures are cheap -- especially if they remove a window to check for rot. Video is great too. Try to have someone else make a video so you can concentrate on the issue. If you cannot get it resolved, you should consider hiring legal counsel.

  • Terry S Terry S on Jan 01, 2012
    woodbridge environmental and kevin thank you so much for the help. i was afraid of that and was hoping maybe i was wrong.i would never cheat anyone and cant believe people can do this.i should not be surprised.i will call the contractor tomorrow and have him remove these windows and do them properly.that is what was agreed upon to begin with but the workers said it wasnt necessary.i should have i do . thanks to both of you . have a great new year!

  • Nip Tuck Remodeling Nip Tuck Remodeling on Jan 01, 2012
    Terry, I agree with Woodbridge. You should be aware of the proper installation techniques and as the contractor what they did about the rot. It is possible that they dug out what they could and treated the opening, but ask the question to verify. If they did nothing about it, I would seriously question their waterproofing strategy for the install. If the contractor will not return to correct the installation then Kevin's advice to take additional steps are the correct route. In my experience, it is a surety that rotten wood will continue to decay even with the water source (leaking window) replaced. Good luck with your call tomorrow.

  • Terry S Terry S on Jan 01, 2012
    i watched them fill it with spray foam and when i questioned them about it they told me there was no need to replace the wood. there were 2 areas about the size of a half dollar and another spot the size of a quarter.then yesterday i noticed they attached to a rotted board on the outside of the house. does anyone know what the cost of 5 double hung windows and 1 steel entry door would cost roughly?

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Jan 01, 2012
    Not replacing rot/rodent/bug damage should not be an option. Whatever caused the problem will likely return. It may cost more but I think the problem should be resolved by doing the job properly & removing the damage and replacing it. I'm not an expert but that is what I would require. Would that coverup they did pass your local inspection?

  • Terry S Terry S on Jan 01, 2012
    out here we have no inspection that i am aware of.

  • Glkirk Builders Inc. Glkirk Builders Inc. on Jan 02, 2012
    Terry, Im not trying to say: it's ok to cover rotted wood. I am saying that without seeing the exact half dollar size pieces, we can not make any determinations. Usually, when you replace windows, you wrap the exterior trim with aluminum. I have done this many times and where there is substantial rotted wood (Where there is no backing for the aluminum or anything to nail to), I will replace the wood with a rough fascimilly and leave it unpainted. Wood will not rot or deteriate if it is not exposed to the elements. I wonder if it is possible that you (as a homeowner/castle owner) are worrying too much. May I suggest you ask a salesman from the window supplier (name on a sticker on top of top sash) , or other general contractor to come and look to ease your mind.

  • Check with the local township you reside in. In our state, if you change out windows you must pull permits. Even if they are the same size. Just a way for the townships to make more money. But even with those inspections the township is not going to evaluate the condition of the window frames that are in place prior to the new being installed. They will simply drive by to see that the windows were installed without any changes in size that may have required a new header to be installed. Klkirk has a point however. If you only had a quarter size rotted spot here and there, not a big thing to worry about. But if the sill was rotted out and they simply covered it over and filled with foam. Lousy job and should be torn out and properly replaced. I would disagree however that if you do replace the wood, that it be primed. As even wood under metal trim can become damp should a caulk seal fail or condensation forms under the metal on cold days. Raw trim wood should never be left unprotected.

  • Terry S Terry S on Jan 02, 2012
    glkirk builders i hope you are right and i am worrying too much. i dont think so though,the wood was rotted all the way through a 1 by window sill in 3 areas and damaged the wall (which is car siding) which is bowed.was told by owner of company it needed to be torn out, but contractors didnt think it was necessary.board on edge of window on outside is also rotted. caulked up to it.this is no longer a 3 season porch but a dining room off of the kitchen. i just want it done properly.@ woodbridge thanks again

  • Glkirk Builders Inc. Glkirk Builders Inc. on Jan 02, 2012
    Terry, It sounds like you are sealed up for the moment. So, take your time and establish a game plan. Any way you can, get the information you are looking for. Find out if the wall has rot in it. Find out what the best procedure would be to repair it. May I suggest you look for older General contractors to help you with these answers. They are going to have the life experience/knowledge needed to help you. They are going to be more apt to help you make your alterations and repairs which will give you the ultimate outcome you are looking for. Maybe sit down with some and discuss all your thoughts and ideas over a coffee. Write down everything they say, take your time and decide how you want to handle this. I think you will find that this is a common occurance and good general contractors ( Not just a "window installer") can remidy the whole situation.

  • Terry S Terry S on Jan 07, 2012
    they came to fix the rot . took out 1by under windows with sawzall without taking out windows,and replaced that .just really poor workmanship and would never recommend these guys. if there was a hole it was filled with caulk. rotted wood , filled with caulk:( i guess it is a learning experience. word of mouth does alot. thanks for everyones help. really appreciate your time.

  • Ken H Ken H on Jan 07, 2012
    If I purchased a home and found rotted wood that was covered by new windows, I am sure that I would get legal help to file a claim against the previous owner for 'hidden defects'. Everyone has a responsibility to inform buyers of any defect they are aware of when selling real-estate. This would, in my non-legal opinion, be one of them. Don't pay for the work - request to see the building permit that shows the job was inspected and passed final inspection. If they do not have permit, don't pay them.

  • Terry S Terry S on Jan 08, 2012
    the owner came out yesterday morning and was truly horrified by what his guys tried to pass off. just one simple question did the trick."would you like this in your house?we didnt want the same guys in the house because of course they are not too happy that we didnt just accept the horrible job they did so everytime they came back the job would get worse and the caulk job got worse(not only windows but all over walls). we have done alot of remodeling and although we are NOT professionals i know we could have done a better job than they did.,so the owner is coming himself to take out all rotted wood and start over. what a relief!!!! a few sleepless nights over this .now if this all comes about with no problems i will be amazed.i will post some pics so you can see what this is all about.thanks to everyone for all the help i received on this.