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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:04 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:59 pm
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well ecostar
I noticed you made a point to keep using the word "decieved". i guess you accomplished your goal. i am pretty sure deep down you don't think that okna was guilty of deception but yet you keep choosing to use that word more than a few times.. i mean some windows during a certain time period were'nt totally filled with foam. it costs how much money to fill a window with foam? hardly anything. i think you would agree that it was a manufacturing issue at that time and not an issue with deception. lets not use the word deception as a sneaky way to plant a seed of doubt.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:21 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
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Location: Northern,Virginia
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I don't think there's any real question that consumers were decieved by Okna. I thinks it's only a question of whether it was intentional or not. I said we would never know and I even allowed that it might have been a disgruntled employee. The fact still remains that consumers were decieved and Okna has admitted they did so but that it was unintentional. I take them at their word. I don't know what your problem is, I was defending Okna.

Here's a really good thread on the subject.

http://www.vinyl-replacement-windows.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3220&start=15

You do realize the person I was responding to was NJryder and that his posts were deleted?


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:17 pm
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I hope this isn't off topic or changing the discussion.
We made the mistake of buying Alside Sheffield vinyl windows and had them installed in Oct.
They are terrible. They leak air like a sieve and I have plastic over 6 of 12 with it bowing out terribly with the wind and sucked in on the other side of the house. The contractor has been out twice and each time it's a major job to even contact him. They have tried putting more padding(?) in and once just looked at them and stood around saying hmmmmmmm. I would cover all the windows but they are to be back out, who knows when. They act like I'm an idiot(which is definitely possible, I bought them!), when talking about what it could be. They supposedly aren't having problems with any others, but a secretary at their supply warehouse once said this contractor was busy on service calls. I've learned to call around the contractor to his supplier to get hold of him. I don't think he appreciates it, but at this point I don't care.
In a nutshell do NOT buy Alside Sheffields. I'm holding my breathe whether they are going to leak water or not. The worst purchase of my lifetime that I can think of. (I'm 61 yrs. old).
I wish I would have found this forum before purchasing.
Any ideas what I can do? We are thinking of interior storm windows.
The install wasn't great but the windows are worse. We have 3 of 12 that whistle in the wind.
Anyone researching(which I didn't do), please take my advice. Plus the price was $475 no matter what size installed.
We would have gladly paid a little more for quality.
CAVEAT EMPTOR. :(

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:28 pm 
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dummy, you aren't going to find many words of praise for Alside products on this board, however you are describing some pretty major problems. Even a poor window should not leak so badly that the curtains (or plastic) blow or move. There could be a manufacturing defect, however I'd find it to be more likely that you received a terrible installation. I would demand that this is corrected. Take video or pictures of the plastic moving so you can show this to the installer in case it isn't replicated when he visits.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:37 am 
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Words of wisdom for other to follow. I have had very similar experiences with the Sheffield. I have had some good experiences too, however, there seems to be one bad for every good one.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:52 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:17 pm
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Thanks very much for the replys. At this point, I'm wondering if there is anything I can do?
The contractor, installer and the distributor sales rep. have been out when the wind was blowing(it doesn't take much of a breeze) and saw the plastic. That's when they said Hmmmmmm and the second time they tried putting the padding in to no avail. They were to get an engineer to look at things, but have decided now to pull a window that the installer forgot to take the weights out of and maybe another one. Personally, I hate doing that in really cold weather for the fact I don't have a clue how the caulking will react. I plan on leaving the plastic on when it warms up so the air movement will still be able to be seen.
They are blaming the house. convection, conduction, etc. My logic is if the perimeter of the window is insulated and the coil is properly installed and caulked the house shouldn't be a factor with the window leaking. I have a degree in Ag. engineering, so am not totally ignorant to the principles of air movement or thermodynamics.
How does one go about demanding they fix the problem? Other than keep calling them, which has led to nothing so far. They have my money, I'm assuming they are coming out to avoid a complaint to the BBB. I hate threatening anyone, because that usually leads to nothing further getting considered. I am an easy going guy, but persistent, so guess I will keep bugging them. I would love to have an engineer from the company come out.
The installer put about 3/8" fiberglass on the bottom of the window frame, used three one inch finishing nails and bent them over and set the window in from the inside. He first cut off the outside stops. He didn't have a level or shims and two windows have sashes not square. He put perhaps a 1/2" of fiberglass in the weight wells....except the window he forgot to take the weights out of. And I never saw him put anything at the top. He might have when he coiled but I don't think so. He did all the work from the inside. Most of the windows are roughly 34" x 70" double hungs. The last time he was out putting padding in he clear caulked the inside stops. Two reasons I can think of. To possibly stop air and to let him know if I or someone else has been looking at the insulation. Bottom lining it, the windows are junk, the install quite possibly the same. And I would like to repeat and ask if there is anything I can do? What are my options? I don't plan on giving up. I would love for them to take my windows back and refund my money. I know I'm dreaming on that one. Another question. If I get someone else to look at them will that void the warranty? Doesn't read as such. If I try to foam the perimeter will that void the warranty? Isn't mentioned. I have some more windows and doors to do and would gladly pay another person a little bit to look at things.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:47 pm 
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I will tell you from my experience what I found to be the issue as it pertains to the air infiltration.

I was getting some leakage around the meeting rail where the sash interlock corners are that I put their weatherstripping tabs on. That seemed to solve that portion of the problem.

The bulk of the leakage was from the fact that the weatherstripping at the sill had become compressed and had no more elasticity left in the Q-lon bulb seal. I ordered new bulb seals from Alside and the new batch has held up much, much better.

I would start there first and see if that does not fix the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:17 pm
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Thanks again for the reply.
The installer put some thicker weatherstripping and some pads I am calling them where you are talking about. He also put some pads on the top of the sash pivot rods. I am getting leaking in all 4 corners and where you are talking about, plus when the wind is right along the sides of the sashes.
More about the bowing of the plastic....a persistent(24+hrs) 30mph wind will loosen the lathe I have holding the plastic on. I have 4 mil sheet plastic film and on one stair landing have it doubled up on the bottom 2/3 of the window since cold air was tumbling down so bad.
Back to after he put the weatherstripping/pads on. I put the plastic/lathes next to the window and nailed it to the trim and stool. It still bowed out. The installer said, and quote, "well that's frustrating". They had me take off the plastic again and used incense sticks to see if they could see smoke movement. They could in each sash edge you are talking about and the distributor sales/rep said "Let's go". They promised to contact an engineer, but as mentioned that has been changed now.
Their thinking of thermodynamics causing the problem leaves me baffled. Without an inlet or outlet for the mass to flow there would be no movement. This is not a quasi-static thermodynamic process.
It is in plain words open flow thru the window and/or frame. One thing I haven't mentioned is the bottom of the glass on the sashes being ice cold. I realize convection might cause part of this but not to the extent where we have towels on the bottom sash and fiberglass along the top sash to constrict the cold. All windows have fiberglass insulation in all four corners, the outside edges of the sash interjection and some along the sides of the top sash.
Is there any recourse I can follow up on or am I going to live with what I have?


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:33 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
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Location: Northern,Virginia
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It's sounding more and more like they are just trying to patch the window up. While Sheffields aren't the best windows in the world, this goes beyond the pale. It's like buying a tire that goes flat before you get out of the parking lot and then having to take it back 2 more times to have it re-patched. At some point you just have to say this window is a lemon. That's what I think you got, a lemon.

I would ask that they refund all your money so you can go buy another brand of window as a starting point of the negotiations. Naturally, they will be resistent to this request. I wouldn't settle for anything less than full replacement of at least the windows you are having trouble with. I would also try to have another installer do the job if possible. This is ridiculous that they are putting you through this. I say enough is enough, get new windows, but don't expect the greatest performance or longevity from the Sheffields. Next time, come talk to us before you buy.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:37 pm 
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Check the jamb jacks as well. Those are the adjustment screws in the jambs.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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Windows on Washington wrote:
Check the jamb jacks as well. Those are the adjustment screws in the jambs.

I agree...
I still think by your description that much of your problem is installation related. For one, It is very possible that there is an insufficient amount of insulation around the new window by the description you gave, in addition to an insufficient amount in the weight pockets. You also mentioned that some of the windows are out of square and that you are seeing air leakage on the sides where the sash meets the frame. Even a great window wont seal if it is installed out of square and not shimmed (or at least jamb jacks). All of our comments are purely speculation based on your descriptions, but my suggestion would be to tear these windows back out from the exterior, fill the weight pockets with a closed cell expanding foam, reinstall the windows square using shims and the jamb jacks as needed, foam around the opening(low-expansion, closed-cell), and redo the exterior trim and caulking. I have installed a lot of these windows in the past, and while I don't recommend them, the only place that I've experienced air leakage is at the meeting rail, and its an easy fix as WOW described earlier... The fact of the matter is that the chances of you getting new windows out of this is virtually zero, unless this company just tells you to pound sand and you'd elect to file suit. You are however entitled to have a window that functions as it should, and between Alside and the installation company, they need to make this right.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:59 pm
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one thing i am skeptical about with regards to Alside is how tight their manufacturing tolerances are. Alside is a mass producer as are many of the lower end vinyl window companies and manufacturing tolerances can be an issue. just something to keep in mind after considering the aforementioned recommendations.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:52 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
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Location: Northern,Virginia
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ranger wrote:
one thing i am skeptical about with regards to Alside is how tight their manufacturing tolerances are. Alside is a mass producer as are many of the lower end vinyl window companies and manufacturing tolerances can be an issue. just something to keep in mind after considering the aforementioned recommendations.


This is why I'm more inclined to think this may be a problem with the window instead of an installation issue. If this was a Sunrise, Gorell, Simonton or Softlite window, I would be less inclined to believe it was an issue with the window. Because it's an Alside window, there's a greater perponderance that it's a manufacturing error.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:55 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:59 pm
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Agree. That's why I brought up the tolerance issue. Companies like Gorell, Okna, soft life and sunrise adhere to stringent manufacturing guidlines.


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 Post subject: Re: What brand of windows should I definitely AVOID?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:17 pm
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Thanks to all for your replies. I appreciate them all very much.This contractor is a small family owned company that also does siding. They only have the one window installer. They have been
around for 32 yrs., supposedly. In my opinion, I think it is a combination of both the install and the window. My ideas right now are to hit them with the money back approach and buying another brand of window. I'm 99.99% sure that isn't going to fly, but should make them aware of my feelings. It will be interesting to see their reaction. I have no intention of going to court. BBB possibly. Another thought is to call a local TV station to come out and do a consumer rip-off report. Not sure if I could get anyone out but might be worth a try if something doesn't materialize here soon. I might mention that to the contractor and his supplier.
I like the idea of them being torn out and reinstalled. The problem is this installer told me numerous times he hates foam. I know he won't use it and I would more than likely wind up with a poorer install that I have now.
QUESTION: How much do you think it would cost per window to hire a good installer to tear these out and reinstall them correctly? I know that is a tough thing to put a figure on since you don't know the layout, etc.
I more than likely would never get any repairs done after that happens. At least from this original contractor. I feel they have control over me, and it should be the other way around.
I totally agree with all your statements and have thought about the quality control angle. Especially in that time frame when people were hurrying to beat the deadline for the tax incentive. Although I'm no kid, I've acted like one, not doing my homework. I had no idea a family owned contractor would sell crap like this. A big slot store yes, but not a privately owned company that's been around a long time. And with a clean BBB record. Anymore ideas would be very welcomed. Thank you all again. I can't say it loudly enough....DO NOT BUY ALSIDE.


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