Faulty Window Installation
WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK -- In August 2008 we contracted for the purchase and installation of 37 top line windows from Home Depot. I like our new windows- so far. Installation was subcontracted, and there began the problem.. Instructions for installation were on stickers on each window,( I saved one) and included wrapping with insulation ( not done) and using predrilled holes to attach windows ( not done) and inside and outside sealing. ( inside seals developed many gaps). Immediately the house started whistling with any wind. When winter started cold air could be felled streaming in through the gaps in sealant. Home depot came several times, blamed "little holes" in sealant, would fix. Eventually one smart guy took off stops and found the lack of insulation and the open pre drilled holes, letting the air in from the outside right into the home- which caused the whistle. He felt windows needed to come out and new windows ordered because they were "cemented in and would be damaged during removal". ( This was Christmas and I did not fancy having windows removed during that cold time, so I requested it done early January.
By that time Home Depot did not want to re order windows and reinstall, so they assured me it would be equivalent to take off the interior window stops and stuff insulation along three sides of the window from the inside.Plus they would take off something outside and stuff insulation along bottom of window. ( nice guy, I requested the one who discovered the problem in the first place, but as you probably realize I am pretty gullible. I am not sure this way of insulating is as good as if it had been wrapped around the window properly the way it should have been done in the first place)). He had to scrape the sealant and putty from the poplar wood stops, which caused some unavoidable damage, and they now look awful, and some were gouged or broken.
He also drilled screws into the existing holes. No more whistles now.
I did lots of other things to decrease my oil consumption before last winter. ( New storm doors, from Home Depot ha ha), pipe covering, caulking and plastic over the basement windows that were not replace, sealing crawl spaces and lowering the thermostat to 64 in daytime)
There was NO decrease in oil consumption. ( gallons, not dollars). I checked heating degree days, they were about the same as year before. ( did you know you can do that on line? )
So, my complaints were monetary loss from heat loss due to faulty window installation, loss of work for multiple home visits, and a terrible looking inside window frame. ( the contract specifies they are not responsible for this, but it looked neat after the first installation. and taking these window stops off a second time really ruined them, had they done it right the first time that would not have occurred. Home Depot, offered to replace them with pine, but said it was not as good as original poplar.
We settled my collective gripes for a 450 dollar gift certificate ( end March). After a while, I had to send a release form, ( end April). I am still waiting for this gift certificate and the project manager is so fed up with me, he no longer answers or returns my calls. I expect I will eventually get this 450 dollar gift certificate- may be even this year, but want to warn every one about Home Depot. I will never contract for any services with HD again!.
Now, in all fairness, here are the good things.
The windows look and seem to work really nice, and every one- (well, all the people I have met from Home Depot), tell me they are better than some famous name brand windows. This story also makes for great dinner conversations and a support group, who have followed along with me, through all the ups and downs of this saga. At work, the joke is " did you get your Home Depot check yet". And some times at night I miss the howling whistle sound of the wind coming in through the holes in my window frames, very soothing as long as I did not think of the warm air pouring out.
I even made some new acquaintances because I called some other customers that had window installation done by the same company. ( HD left a customer list- not on purpose I assume)
So will I ever shop at HD again? Well, I may have a gift certificate, right?. So I keep dreaming.