Monday, July 25, 2011

Weird Wind Follow Up

In a previous post, there was a weird wind that left some of our Loewen windows whipped and hanging not in a good way. Well, a few days later, our paper reported this as a storm. It was apparently a pretty bad one and left a lot of damage in it's wake. We finally were able to get a warranty claim processed for the original purchase of our windows and doors. They came out about a week after the storm. They were very professional and thorough. When they were working on the slider in the Garden Level, they noticed and did not like how the handle and lock were working and they fixed it. This may not seem like a big deal to anyone but I can't tell you how many times a certain other person, who also works for the place we bought these from, went through that door. Also, on two windows there was some pieces that they were able to just lightly pull and the pieces came right out. The pins that were used to nail the pieces in were too short. These guys fixed all that up too. Again, fixing the work of the aforementioned certain other person. This crew answered a bunch of questions for us. The Husband was here as I feel I can no longer control the urge to kick the crap out of anyone that looks like they hold a hammer for a living. I absolutely REFUSE for the sake of my freedom to deal with contractors without The (six foot tall) Husband standing next to me. Exceptions: Bob's Sheet Metal, LR Contracting, Hanson Electric. I also REFUSE to EVER go to the Building Department for anything EVER again. That, of course, is a lively discussion The Husband and I occasionally have when we talk about the wind turbine installation. Anyway, so The Husband was able to ask his maintenance questions. These guys addressed our concerns, answered our questions, and fine tuned the windows and doors. They were an interesting crew. They have worked on multi-million dollar homes. They do custom cabinetry. They've seen worse than The Secret Cabin. While it is somewhat comforting to hear that I'm just as stupid as someone that can afford a multi-million dollar home.... Cripes! I know human beings can't be perfect but for crying out loud, hideous framing on a mulit-million dollar home?! You've got to be kidding me. One of the purposes of this blog and the bitching in the blog is to hopefully help protect at least one person from the criminal building industry. It is unfortunate because there are honest guys out there that take pride in their work but finding them is like trying to find a rare, almost instinct animal. My brother is a carpenter. A good one. He said the guys that were in residential building that were really good, closed up shop, and went and got jobs elsewhere due to the economy/housing industry or lack of housing industry rather. He no longer works in the residential sector. He's now working for a huge industrial construction company building roads and bridges. Anyway, I'd been better off just doing my best with macaroni and glitter glue so I don't know what to tell you. My resume includes work for architects, engineers, and industrial contractors. I dreamed of becoming an architect as I typed away on proposals, scopes of work, and specifications. I was secretary to the Vice President of the industrial electrical contractor that performed the electrical work on The State Office Tower II in Columbus, OH. I worked on site during a BP turnaround. There was a trailer that was just for the job schedule. The schedule would constantly change and I'd take down pages of Gaant charts and replace with them with the updated schedule. I read everything I could get my hands on - for twenty years. I designed one home from scratch. The economy was cranking and no one builds a truly custom home. They can't make money or rather a killing on a home they've never built before. I thought I proceeded with caution but.... Back to the windows, I am now in receipt of an estimate to repair the wind damaged windows. It's bad. I feel queasy. Eighty-five dollars an hour for labor and to sit in a truck while it rolls down the road to get here and it's an eight and a half hour drive - each way. I have no idea what our insurance company is going to say. You really can't have just any body work on these. The hardware system is unique to the brand. We'll see. I'm going to close the Loewen window chapter on this blog with this closing statement: While the windows and doors are beautiful, we don't recommend them. They are too fussy requiring an immaculate installation and pricey, certified technicians to maintain and repair them. Some general tips for specing windows and doors: NO push-out casements for a windy site. (They blow closed all the time.) Doors should be out-swing so that when the wind blows it blows the door slab against the jamb thereby making a tighter seal against drafts. Especially, important on a windy site. It is best to let your new construction/remodel settle (probably at least a year, maybe two depending on item and warranty) and just before the warranty is up, in this case on windows and doors, make all your calls for a claim/adjustments. Most importantly, NO ONE cares about you, your home, or your money as much as you do; unfortunately, YOU MUST educate yourself enough to pass an architectural, engineering, and builders licensing exam and even then your odds may be better in Vegas, baby. For your construction budget, the ten percent for overruns is just the beginning. Unfortunately, you're going to have to pay for some work at least twice. Once for someone to run off with your money without coming back and/or possibly twice to pay for it to be done right and/or, if you're like us, you'll just gut things out until you can afford the parts and do the work yourself. Yeah, Vegas, baby. This concludes the window chapter.

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