Monday, August 31, 2009

Its Always Something

Do you ever feel that you're getting things accomplished, but then the setbacks begin? One step forward, two steps back?

I complete projects, whether on my own, or with professional help, and in some cases problems surface and I never get to check them off the list permanently. It's frustrating!

My old brick rowhouse is definitely a living, breathing thing... and it needs constant care. On one salary. Hence the DIY, when and where I can do it myself!

I grew tired of the flimsy aluminum framed windows.  One by one the inner workings snapped or malfuctioned and I was propping the windows open with sticks. So bad for curb appeal, not to mention unsafe.

I called a widely advertised replacement window company and the salesperson (a woman) kept asking to speak with the "man of the house." I was flummoxed. I was transferred to a "supervisor" and I told him that I was the sole owner, that I would be the one to sign the contract and to pay for the job, and he still insisted that he speak with my husband. I finally implored (yelled, actually...) "Do you want me to RENT one?" before I hung up on them.

I did some more research and I got a recommendation from 3 friends for a well known company, CertainTeed. I was happy that the contractor listed on their site was vetted and local. The estimate was do-able, the sample window looked good and on the day of the job, the installers were very careful and clean. I got double paned windows, Low-E with argon gas in between for energy savings. I was feelin' all green. I love the look of 6 over 6 panes. And they tilt in for cleaning! That matters, as I am the cleaning woman.

Last year, a few months before the 5 year warranty was up, I noticed that no matter how well I cleaned, there's a very distinct wavy rainbow look on the glass on 3 of the 8 windows.

I made some calls, and they finally agreed my issue warranted sending a technician over from "the home office." He HAD to agree that he could see the rainbows. Now the blame game begins. Seems the contractor installed windows without some kind of indentifying sticker in the sides so they can't trace the origin, and the technician deduced that the gas-filled glass was not sealed properly by the fabricator. The manufacturer, CertainTeed, only covers the WINDOWS, and it seems the GLASS is not included as a PART. Can you believe that? So I guess if I needed a 25 cent latch, they'd fix me right up. The phone and fax for the local contractor are disconnected. Of course they are.

I am not one to give up or give in easily, but I conceded defeat. No amount of reasoning was going to have CertainTeed replace the defective glass. He suggested I find a glazier to replace the glass onsite at my home. As if they would have argon gas handy? I think it would make the problem worse.


I've decided to try to look on the bright side. Even though it's the bright side that has a glaring defect. I will live with it and view it philosophically. How bad can it be to look out the window and see a rainbow, here in Queens, in any kind of weather?  I'm still trying to convince myself...
...and then today I saw this 3" long cricket checking it out, at two stories high. Eek, I'm glad the screens are holding up!

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