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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Kansas
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    4

    Default Window Issue - Need Help

    I have was looking at a new construction home. I noted a gap above windows on the front of the house due to a trim board that was too thin to cover the entire top of the window. This gap was allowing water to flow behind the siding. No water was detected on the interior due to the house wrap. I have investigated the IRC, Jeld Wen installation instructions and the smart siding and trim installation instructions and there doesn't seem to be any specific reference stating this detail is wrong. I have consulted with the local code enforcement agency and they cannot find anything to address it either. The builder claims it is installed per code and industry standards and refuses to correct it. What is the correct answer with this installation?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    I wish you were kidding with this post but I realize you aren't. Scumbag developers, so stupid. I deal with this type of nonsense work and responses regularly. Here are a couple points to consider:
    - Developer states it was done per Code and per industry standards = "Great, wonderful to hear. Mr. Developer please provide the Code section and industry standard you are referencing you used for this installation". - Usually ends that part of their BS since they can't provide such.
    - Correct installation = close up the gap.
    - Show your client the pictures and let them see what's going on. Its pretty obvious water is going to get in there. In light rain it may not be an issue. In heavy rain it will clearly be an issue over time.
    - Discuss with your client the importance of them and/or their attorney expressing concerns about the poor workmanship, reduced lifespan of the wall and potential inability to occupy the home in the future due to water getting into the wall and causing structural damage and/or mold growth.
    "Thank you Mr. Developer but unless you fix this we don't think we can proceed with the deal due to the potential cost factors and occupancy hazards for us".
    I'm not in the deal, I know nothing about the deal but I suggest your client hold the Developers feet to the fire. They have the check book. No fixy, no checky. This is NOT an expensive fix. If he won't fix this, does anyone think he'll actually honor any 1 year warranty concerns. The client should make it clear they are willing to move on. (whether that's the truth or not)
    - Beyond that they could ask the Developer to conduct a flood test of the area and video the test. Of course the wall would fail which is why you want the video. Now tell me you won't fix it.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Kansas
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    4

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    I agree with you 100%. The problem is, this was an 11th month warranty inspection. I have spoken to the city codes administration, window manufacturer, siding and trim manufacturer and house wrap manufacturer. Everyone agrees this is not a good installation but nobody can provide a specific code or installation detail that requires this to be repaired. At the very most I can see this opening being caulked but caulking should never be the primary defense against moisture infiltration. A thicker trim board or head flashing should be installed. How can I make the builder install a thicker trim board or flashing and not just a backer rod and caulking?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    I'd be looking at neighbouring properties built by the same builder to see how those windows have been installed, and whether or not those neighbouring properties are having problems.

    I'd also be putting via registered letter to builder that any damage resulting from leakage and improper installation will result in further action seeking damages, et ceteras.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 12-17-2015 at 03:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    Great point by Raymond. Take a look at the other buildings.
    Since you/your client own the building conduct your own flood test (light of course) with video and when it fails have your attorney write a letter. If other buildings have the same issue, get everyone together to go after the developer.
    Had a conversation with a potential client about the worthless 1 year warranty just this morning. Told him to have his attorney review it to see if it was worth anything at all. They usually aren't. Price shopper, wanted me to take a $150 off my price. I said No. Knowing where the house is, he's going to get so screwed by going with the checkbox idiot inspection report.
    Sometimes you can't provide a Code section for 'Duh'. It may just be easier for the homeowner to install a new board themselves. Pretty standard material and color based on the pic.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    You are saying the window manf. rep was OK with this installation?
    On the other hand, in 11 months I would assume there has been some heavy rain. Is there any sign of water intrusion, or damage?
    The building code does not cover every single component installation. This would fall into the siding, or window installation guidelines. It sounds like you might have gone down that road already, but I would suggest they have the window manf. rep come out and look at it.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
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    876

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    I don't think it is so clear that this is wrong. It looks like an integral J channel window. They are designed so that water flows out of the channel. Yes. the trim is short, but even if not water would still flow into this channel.

    I also don't understand why the manufacturer cannot determine whether this is correct.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    Looking at the picture again I would say that stone veneer has not been installed properly. The stone should have been set out past the window arch. Over on the left side the stone does not protrude as much out past the arched flashing which appears to be made on site to fit over the window.

    There maybe more wrong with this installation than just a large gap - j-channel or not - bad stone work, bad substrate, poor workmanship.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    Looks OK.
    If the installers sealed the flange it should remain water tight.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YttTTi-hNZc

    If the house wrap is compromised around the window and there is infiltration I am sure the finger wagging will point to the window installers.
    To bad.

    IMO the faux stone requires head wall flashing detail.
    vertical head wall flashing.GIF


    I am happy I bought my IR cameras.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 12-22-2015 at 09:29 AM. Reason: adding link
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Summerville, South Carolina
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    Quote Originally Posted by David Block View Post
    I have was looking at a new construction home. I noted a gap above windows on the front of the house due to a trim board that was too thin to cover the entire top of the window. This gap was allowing water to flow behind the siding. No water was detected on the interior due to the house wrap. I have investigated the IRC, Jeld Wen installation instructions and the smart siding and trim installation instructions and there doesn't seem to be any specific reference stating this detail is wrong. I have consulted with the local code enforcement agency and they cannot find anything to address it either. The builder claims it is installed per code and industry standards and refuses to correct it. What is the correct answer with this installation?
    It appears to be a window with integral J channel.....so your concern is more cosmetic in nature than functional. On a window with integral J channel the bottom almost never flashed correctly but if the house has housewrap it's not likely to present itself as a problem.

    A while back I wrote a page explaining the proper way to flash the bottom of the window with lots of pretty pictures...... it's at http://www.summerville-home-inspecto...gral-j-channel .

    Last edited by Ray Thornburg; 12-25-2015 at 11:11 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    David
    Can you give us an update on this one?

    - - - Updated - - -

    David,
    Can you give us an update on this one?

    Mark Parlee
    The Building Consultant www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    “Real Solutions for Real Problems” EDI EIFS and Building Envelope

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    Building Science BSI-085: Windows Can Be A Pain*—Continuous Insulation and Punched Openings
    http://buildingscience.com/documents...-can-be-a-pain


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chicago, Il
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    Contact an architect and engineering firm to look at it. Perhaps contact the architect or firm that is in responsible charge of the plans and get their evaluation on the installation.
    You will have to pay for the service.
    It is hard to tell from the photo if the housewrap is exposed. There are time limits set by the manufacturers for exposure of housewrap.
    There are engineering firms that deal with buildings and can evaluate the installation.
    In the International Residential Code, try looking up Moisture Control in the Index at the back of the book.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
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    1,842

    Default Re: Window Issue - Need Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Thornburg View Post
    A while back I wrote a page explaining the proper way to flash the bottom of the window with lots of pretty pictures...... it's at A Charleston home inspector discusses windows with integral j channel | Blue Palmetto Home Inspection .
    Nice article Ray T. Good explanation.
    I carry siding lock zip tool.
    You can take a peek behind the veneer.
    siding zip tool.JPG
    Shhhhh..... Don't tell anyone.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

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