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 Post subject: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:23 pm
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Need help with vinyl replacement windows. Must pick between Andersen and Paradigm. While Andersen is a well-known name, I know almost nothing about Paradigm - other than sales rep saying it's the second coming. Can't find any reviews about Paradigm, and I know of no serious complaints about Andersen. Any advice would be appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:50 pm
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Location: Alabama
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I have no personal experience with either Andersen or Paradigm but I would offer the following: If you're looking at Renewal by Andersen, there are a lot of posts on both this and the sister site about it, pro and con. Use the search function to locate these posts. As for Paradigm, according to the installation instructions for their "premium" window ("Tapestry"), the window is made using the Swiggle seal. The pros on this site have weighed in (and primarily against) this type of seal. Again, you can run a search to read the posts about Swiggle seals.


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:56 pm 

Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:43 pm
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We purchased a new home in Palmyra PA which had all Paradigm windows installed in 2008 by Costello Builders Inc out of East Petersburg. It won 2008 Harrisburg Parade of Homes award. We have 49 windows and we have confirmation from an independent labratory that they leak! The casement style vinyl windows have faulty caulking where the casing mets the window mainframe. The exterior sealant also failed. We have over $300,000 worth of damage to our 4,100 sq ft stucco home - what a mess. and Paradigm's plant manager Andy Sevier came out to assess the damage and Paradigm would not give us replacement windows nor would they pay for the damages. They DO NOT honor their warranty.

Andersen windows came to our rescue and are supplying all custom windows as their stock windows would not fit in our rough openings. They cost a little more but everyone we've spoken to says they are the way to go.

Paradigm interestingly enough changed it's caulking on these windows and I suspect they knew about this issue but did not say anything to it's consumers. If you bought Paradigm windows manufacturered in 2008, I would higher a moisture inspector right away. The leaking window damage was not noticable from the interior and only when the stucco was removed did we find that all the OSB was rotten and mushrooms were growing on our interior. Buyer beware! The coporate head figures told me "we have nothing for you". You decide if you want to buy anything from people who do not stand behind their product.

Marilyn from Palmyra PA


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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Marilyn,
That is a terrible situation and I am certainly sympathetic. That said, from what you are describing that sounds like an installation issue more than a product issue. Certainly I could be wrong though, perhaps you could elaborate on the findings?
If your original description of failed caulking where the trim meets the window is accurate, I would say
1) that has nothing to do with the window,
2) caulk requires maintenance that would not be covered by product or workmanship warranties (in most cases), and
3) if failed caulk is the origin of the leakage, then that was a poor install that did not follow the industry's best practices as caulking is merely a fail-safe, and the last line of defense after the properly lapped nailing fin/housewrap/flashing interface.
Quite honestly I have never installed a Paradigm window in my life so I can't say how good or bad they are, but the vast majority of water infiltration issues in window and door openings are due to poor installation as opposed to product failure. I'd imagine that this is what the reps from Paradigm concluded, and why they could not warranty your windows or the subsequent damage that you incurred.
If anything, this situation should illustrate the importance of proper installation, and cause you to put the appropriate amount of emphasis on that aspect when choosing a replacement.
If my assessment of the situation (based on your description) is incorrect and it truly IS a product related failure, I'd recommend some legal counsel as $300k worth of damage is certainly not chump change.


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:38 pm 

Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:43 pm
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The installation was also faulty but the windows themselves leak too. The Paradigm corporate leadership first offered ALL 49 new windows plus the cost to remove and replace all their windows but we informed them that the cost would also need to include the cost of mold remediation, stucco removal and reconstruction, interior trim and paint restoration, rental of a pettibone lift for four months, landscape and turf restoration not to mention engineer fees, etc... We have a lawsuit in place and because we expected them to cover their portion of the overall liability, they opted to go to court. The fact that they acknowledged the windows were leaking and they would replace them all and then they went back on their warranty speaks volumes of their position to help homeowners and their customers.

In the end, they did not do the right thing and stand behind their product and the builder Costello Builders East Petersburg PA also walked away - Check out our documentary by searching on Costello Builders Disaster home to see for yourself. There is enough blame to go around on this new home construction. Thanks for your input but Paradigm Windows does not get a pass on this disaster home.


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 399
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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I dont know; landscaping and mold remediation?????? Sounds like a very huge stretch here.
Although im not a fan of paradigm, they did offer to reinstall all the windows until landscaping and all that other stuff was thrown in. Im not pointing fingers at you or making excuses but i never heard of such demands for reinstalling faulty windows.
This is a great example why using a solid company who uses high quality products is key to a successful window project.
Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 8:19 pm 

Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:43 pm
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Thanks - if you bought a brand new home with your entire life savings and all the windows needed to be removed and you had associated damages well over $300,000 (beyond simple window replacement)- you'd be expecting full reimbursement I think. Why should a new home buyer who has a warranty pay for all those repairs? That is why companies have insurance. After all, it's not different than buying a lemon car. Why should I have to pay for all the repairs associated with faulty windows installed on a new home?


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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I watched the video in entirety.

There was much more wrong with that home than the windows alone. For the purposes of this forum, the windows are probably the most pertinent to these browsers but I would have like to have see a more detailed water test of the window.

Not questioning your results, however, it would have been nice to see it. Perhaps I scanned over in the midst of the video as several things were going on.

The framing issues, again from the video, do not appear to be massive or really structural. If they are, they should be taken up with the county as they should have not passed inspection.

The settlement cracks in the front walkway are certainly annoying and the result of poor site preparation and grading.

As it pertains to the water management, stucco is flawed as a cladding for a climate such as yours in my opinion to start with. The flashing details need to be redundant in triplicate. The first thing that sticks out is the lack of a drip cap. That is a bit no-no in stucco to start with.

If the water can get behind the stucco at the window head, it is doomed to create a failure point down the road.

Sorry to hear of your difficulties (that is putting it mildly) and I hope you can somehow be made whole on the project.


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 9:51 pm 

Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:43 pm
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Thanks for your feedback. I know mistakes happen but these issues are over the top from my perspective as a new home buyer. Missing flashing seems to be the common theme along with faulty windows and soil tamping.

I have video and photos of all the windows we tested on site along with the onsite test at the Lab. In the video we showed the lab report and some window pics but we are working on another video just dedicated to the windows. This video was an all inclusive issues list of the damages on the back of the home only. We still have to deconstruct the sides and front which is all windows. Each window will be tested however the many photos of damaged rotting OSB under the window rough opening tells a story too.

So if the windows did not leak - regardless of the install, the damages would not be so great and if the install especially the flashing was done correctly, the damages would not be so great.

Stay tuned for more info as we produce more video evidence. PS. The chimney was removed today and it was so wet it had lots of mushrooms growing on the OSB and was not worth redoing as it was decorative. Again no flashing.

Lessons learned - for all you window installers - don't skimp on flashing!


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:08 pm 
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I am not excusing these "mistakes". They are much bigger than small mistakes.

Water is a home killer and if the exterior is done wrong, you are done for. Just depends when.


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 399
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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I agree but i dont think blaming the window company for everything is justified at all. The wi dow company ( paradign) agreed to replace the windows but they should not expect to fix things that arent related to the windows just because they are an easy mark.
I do feel for you and hope you can remedy some of these (non window ) construction flaws.


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:15 am 

Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:43 pm
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Agreed - we calculated only the tasks / costs related to the faulty windows when we requested financial reimbursement from Paradigm Windows. We wanted to be fair to them and wanted the work with them. We even offered to separate the two issues (financial reimbursement vs getting replacement windows). They held the replacement windows hostage.

So the scenario Paradigm offered was we will give you replacement windows and pay (we estimated about $18,000) for the removal and reinstall of the windows but we would have been stuck with about $155,000 worth of additional restoration damages just from the windows. We have an additional $150 - $200K worth of damages from faulty builder construction so we did apportion fairly.

We even offered to buy their windows from them at cost without the frame casement piece which was leaking and then allow the courts to decide who was responsible for what fees - they said no. I could not have been more fair to this company. Andersen Windows was shocked and disappointed that Paradigm did not help us in our time of need.

We needed to put a weather barrier back up to protect the home for the Spring rainy season. We were sitting in our home which had all the stucco pulled off and I mean all the stucco down to the studs in some areas as we needed to replace all the moldy OSB. When we started the restoration of this brand new home, we never anticipated needing new windows so when we uncovered all the damage, we could not wait so Andersen Windows came in an helped us. They are making all new custom windows because nothing stock would fit in our rough openings - we were 1/2 inch short on the sides.

In the end, I am glad we went with Andersen because after I saw the window leak at the national lab, I do not trust Paradigm's casement design. Just to be clear - when I said the caulk and seal failed, I was not talking about the caulk from around the window from the installation. What people need to know is that the Paradigm window itself comes as one unit (mainframe plus a casement or decorative frame. Those two parts snap together and are caulked in the production line at the plant. The caulk terminated badly on the line so it was a manufacturing error plus the small piece of sealant rubber that seals the outside of the frame (casement as they call it) to the mainframe also failed and let water in. So the window failed in two places regardless of the install method.

We were able to compare our windows with one of Paradigms newer windows recently and it was obvious that they changed the internal caulking material on these windows at some point after 2008 so it is my opinion that they knew about problems. Their sales rep mentioned to me that they've had other similar issues on other properties.

If I can clear up anything else to help people understand that we were fair, I would be happy to do so. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:20 pm
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Can you identify what part of their warranty that Paradigm is not honoring? If they are offering all new windows at no charge, I do not see how they are not honoring their warranty. I understand that there is the possibility that damage was caused due to their alleged product failure, but that may or may not be part of their warranty coverage (I suspect not). In addition, you would have to prove that, which in my opinion will be impossible due to the fact that ANY and EVERY knowledgeable (and ethical) expert will give the opinion that the installation of the windows and siding system (including lack of flashing, stucco job, etc) is primarily responsible for your issues. I'd also assume that Pardigm like other manufacturers also has a provision that the warranty on the windows is VOID if not installed to manufacturer spec.
Let me clarify, I feel absolutely TERRIBLE about your situation and I hope that the parties responsible take care of these issues whether they do so voluntarily or if compelled by court order. Having said that, this looks to me as though your attorneys see the window manufacturer as the only party here with deep enough pockets to go after, or perhaps the only company even left to go after. The builder, subcontractors, and building inspectors have far more culpability here.
Again, I sincerely hope that these issues get resolved for you, just be careful that your frustration and anger is directed toward the appropriate parties. You also want to be careful from a legal perspective that you don't libel or slander a company and end up with even more problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:39 pm 

Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:43 pm
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I guess time will tell. You sound like you work for them :-) Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech. I will hold ALL parties responsible I can assure you!


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 Post subject: Re: Andersen vs Paradigm
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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I checked out the video as well, and in my experience I'd again say that poor installation is primarily to blame. That said, I obviously have not inspected it personally so it is impossible to say with certainty.
I do wish you the best in getting this resolved.


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