Wednesday, February 9, 2011
What does the word "custom" mean in "Custom Replacement Windows"?
Perhaps I am too picky. I work in an institution that cost a lot to build and has windows with real wood frames that fit exactly in the hole and are "custom" to the house. I just had "custom replacement windows" installed in my 1913 Victorian. My windows are NOT a standard size as it is a 99 year old house that has had some serious "Harry Homeowner" work done on it. I spent the extra money for the 100% virgin vinyl and the lifetime repair guarantee, and the fact that they are measured and built and have larger window glass area and show less of the side stiles than the ones you get from a home improvement store that are a standard size. You know the ones, where you buy the ones that are the closest fit, install, shim and caulk the hell out of them. They look nice until the caulk begins to weather and dry and then you get leaks and so on. Well, the windows that were installed over a 10 hour period are nice but they look just like the ones we replaced. The side stiles are various widths and they are caulked and shimmed to within an inch of their lives. I think that if you bother to measure the windows there shouldn't be that much play. ESPECIALLY, if you are making them in your local plant and I have to wait 8 - 10 weeks for them and have them installed on the coldest day of the year. If, what custom means is that I have to wait 2 months while you make them to a standard size and install them, rather than go to Home Depot or Lowe's and have them here in 2 weeks, then we may have a problem. I don't care how wonderful the product is, or how good the lifetime warranty is, if you have to caulk and shim and the windows are smaller than the single pane wood ones you took out, then the extra money you ask for your product is a waste. All caulk fails. It is not intended to last a lifetime. It is not intended to fill the spaces between the window and shim and wall that are over 1/2 inch because you measured to a standard size and not to the size of the window. No caulk is a miracle goo. They are sending out a customer rep in two weeks to talk to me. I hope that we can get a little closer on our definitions of custom.