Sunday, May 10, 2009

Window Worries




I was so happy last week when the windows & doors were delivered, but when I saw them, something didn't seem right. I thought the clerestory windows seemed smaller than I expected them to be. Then our architect, John Spears, stopped by the house early last week and also noticed that. He looked into this and the found that the salesperson at Quality Window & Door did not quote or order the proper clerestory windows. Instead of 3' x 3' windows, as specified in the window & door schedule detail, he ordered 2' x 2'. John had reviewed the quote in detail and did not notice that mistake. The right sized clerestory windows is extremely important as they are an integral part of the passive heating and cooling of the house. These smaller windows won't work from that perspective.

As if that wasn't enough of a problem, the hours and hours of discussions between John Spears and Quality Window & Door sales rep, with regard to ensuring the correct glass is used by WeatherShield in the manufacture of the Southern exposure sliders, seemed to have been forgotten as well. The standard glass was used, not the Cardinal Glass as specified by John. That means that all of the Southern sliders do not have the proper glass for the necessary solar heat gain co-efficient. 

There's not much point in building a passive solar house if the glass isn't right.

We all make mistakes. I probably make more than my fair share of them. But I try to catch them before someone else does and fix it. And if someone else catches my mistake, I apologize and work to get it fixed. 

So far, no apologies and after days and days and days, no answer as to what the fix will be (if any). I learned Friday evening that the owner of Quality Window & Door has been out of town and he'll be back on Monday, which is why they haven't been able to solve this problem. I hope we'll have a resolution identified on Monday. 

Here's the fix: 

1) replace the incorrect clerestory sized windows with the correct sized ones. 
2) replace the incorrect southern sliders with new factory-made sliders with the correct glass.
    -- NOTE: replacing the glass on-site with the correct glass is not an acceptable solution. We paid for factory-new windows with the quality control that comes from that environment and that's what we need to have installed in our house -- with the correct glass.
3) expedite the order with the factory so we do not have to hold up progress on the rest of the house for another five weeks while these windows are being made. It doesn't take five weeks to make/ship windows and doors. 

We remain optimistic that this can be accomplished. It's not that big of a deal in the overall context of a window & door business, but it's a huge deal for us and our house. Without the proper windows & doors, we might as well stop the project since the house won't be able to do what it was designed to do. 

Readers, do you think our expectations are too high?