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  1. #1
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    Cool Window manufacturers intent

    This is a new construction inspection. The window manufacturer has a molded groove in the lower sash that you can put your finger tips in then lift the window open. The builder installed the window sill so that it covers the molded groove. This type of installation makes it impossible to get your finger tips into the groove and forces you to open the window by lifting the top frame of the sash. Which by the way was difficult. Every window in the house was installed this way. Some of the windows I could only open by releasing the tilt locks then tipping the window in and lifting from the sides.
    I am curious if anyone else has seen this and how you would write up what I consider to be a hazard to egress and an annoyance to normal operation.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    [quote=Tim Fuller;173166]
    I am curious if anyone else has seen this and how you would write up what I consider to be a hazard to egress --------- normal operation.[/quote.
    .
    .
    Not Allowed in sleeping rooms.
    * also not installed per manufactures instructions in any room.
    .
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
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    NY Finger Lakes Area
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    I would write up exactly what you put in your post..........it desribes what you observed in simple language and tells the client what they need to know. There is no need to speculate why it was done.........it simply is what it is.

    Greg


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    And on some windows, when you lift by the top rail of the sash, that top rail bows upward (is trying to come apart), so I doubt that is something the manufacturer would want done very often.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Can't make out anything distinctive relative to your description in the photo you selected to post.

    You might want to take a photography course or review your camera instructions and practice with your camera.

    Looks like there are white continuous lifter "fins" on the lower sashes projecting close to the lights/glazing side of the top side of the lower sashes near the locking hardware, when I blow up the photo, and not applied lifters or inset grooves on the lower/stool side of the lower sashes, is that not the case?

    From your post, I glean you are concerned about the clearance for a built in lifter as opposed to applied lifter hardware on the lower sash and its/their (lifter "grooves" or lifter hardware) clearance/elevation to/above-and not behind, from the applied/installed (trim carpentry) WINDOW STOOLs, and/or window trim that makes operation in some way difficult, and not clearance from the window's SILLs.

    Please review your window terminology and window TRIM carpentry terminology and clarify your question. Thank you in advance.

    A better, up-close, photograph that actually highlights the detail you quesiton would be more helpful.

    From the photo you posted it seems you are picturing a first floor common open area not a sleeping room, which directly communicates with the primary means of egress, and perhaps a secondary exit door to the rear right, and that none of these windows may be any sort of minimally required EERO or secondary exit on the building plan, but perhaps merely lighting and ventillation due to sq. footage of the space.

    Be that as it may, there are specifications in the standard/s refered to by the code(s) designating the maximum force to operate exit/egress openings.

    As there appears to be an as-of-yet unfilled "window" opening to the right, or is that glazing in a door in shadow and sillouette? Can't tell due to poor photography. Perhaps this is not yet fully finished, "punch-list" completed new-construction. There may be planned lifter hardware not yet installed/replaced additional offset-lifter hardware to facilitate the operation of the sashes - or a finishing detail not yet selected by the new-home-purchasers; have you inquired?

    Curious as to the elevation from the floor of these openings and to the finished grade/elevations outside, i.e. guarding and as necessary safety glazing.



    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-17-2011 at 12:33 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Tim, just report what you posted. It covers it all pretty well, seems like HG is the only one who has trouble understanding.

    On a side note..... With tilt-out windows you really should raise the window a few inches before activating the tilt feature. On some windows the little plastic latch that you push in to tilt the window can be damaged if the window is not raised.

    Oh, and to make HG happy (I know, that is not possible) try turning on the flash when you are taking a picture towards light or windows. The flash will fill in the shadows and dark areas.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    I reported it that at best this is an annoyance.
    At worst it is a hazard to emergency egress.

    In between those two extremes there is a probability of failing the sash frames by lifting at the top.

    Then if for whatever reason they may have to sell the house some HI may come in there and tag this a safety issue and "kill the deal" as they say.

    When I read responses from HG I try and keep a smile on my face. If you read what he says from the context of continuing education he brings up great points and I learn.

    Tim Fuller
    Fuller Home Inspection

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Fuller View Post
    I reported it that at best this is an annoyance.
    At worst it is a hazard to emergency egress.

    In between those two extremes there is a probability of failing the sash frames by lifting at the top.

    Then if for whatever reason they may have to sell the house some HI may come in there and tag this a safety issue and "kill the deal" as they say.

    When I read responses from HG I try and keep a smile on my face. If you read what he says from the context of continuing education he brings up great points and I learn.
    Well put...

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    I went back to the home and got a few shots that may help to explain what I saw with fewer words. The windows are Windsor Windows PVC Composite with recessed sash lift.
    Pic 1 is intending to show the window fully closed and locked and you can't see the sash lift.
    Pic 2 shows the dimension to the top of the stool at 1 3/4 inches.
    Pic 3 shows the dimension from the bottom of the sash to the top of the sash lift groove at 1 5/16 inches.
    There are 22 windows in this house and they are all made this way. 8 of the windows are in rooms designated as bedrooms.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Tim, FWIW you did the right thing.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    I just got a follow up email from the manufacturer on this installation.

    I am in receipt of your online contact where you have a question regarding the Legend PVC when closed the finger plow is behind the stool. By raising the bottom sash by pushing up on the check rail will not cause damage to this sash.


    The manufacturer does not address the question about the installation but they do confirm that opening by the check rail is acceptable. A follow up telephone conversation also provided me with information that this same window is available without the "finger plow" and is used in homes that want the "old timey look".


    Tim Fuller
    Fuller Home Inspection

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Fuller View Post
    I just got a follow up email from the manufacturer on this installation.

    I am in receipt of your online contact where you have a question regarding the Legend PVC when closed the finger plow is behind the stool. By raising the bottom sash by pushing up on the check rail will not cause damage to this sash.


    The manufacturer does not address the question about the installation but they do confirm that opening by the check rail is acceptable. A follow up telephone conversation also provided me with information that this same window is available without the "finger plow" and is used in homes that want the "old timey look".
    I was wondering about the concern of the sash separating... if the window is that flimsy, I sureley woundn't have put it in the first place. I always open double hungs by pushing up on the sash instead of using the plow or handle. I really don't see much of a saftey issure either, if the code required opening isn't reduced. The lock needs to be operated from the top anyways, so you really need to be tall enough to unlock it in order to open it.

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Quote Originally Posted by Door Guy View Post
    I was wondering about the concern of the sash separating... if the window is that flimsy, I sureley woundn't have put it in the first place. I always open double hungs by pushing up on the sash instead of using the plow or handle. I really don't see much of a saftey issure either, if the code required opening isn't reduced. The lock needs to be operated from the top anyways, so you really need to be tall enough to unlock it in order to open it.
    I just offered an opinion to my client based on my experience and education. In my experience I never open a window from the check rail if there is a mechanical lift available. If the mechanical lift on a window is broken or missing then I report that also.
    If the manufacturer designs and assembles a window sash with a finger plow then it would be natural to assume that this is the intended method of operation. Damage incurred to the product by any other method of operation could be enough reason for any manufacturer to deny a warranty claim.
    Or maybe I am just over analyzing the whole issue.

    Tim Fuller
    Fuller Home Inspection

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Fuller View Post
    I just offered an opinion to my client based on my experience and education. In my experience I never open a window from the check rail if there is a mechanical lift available. If the mechanical lift on a window is broken or missing then I report that also.
    If the manufacturer designs and assembles a window sash with a finger plow then it would be natural to assume that this is the intended method of operation. Damage incurred to the product by any other method of operation could be enough reason for any manufacturer to deny a warranty claim.
    Or maybe I am just over analyzing the whole issue.
    Don't get me wrong, I think you did the right thing Tim... opening windows by pushing the top of the sash is just a habit of mine. I unlock it and push up at the same time. Just wondering if the plow or handle are more of a convience thing.

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  15. #15
    Leigh Goodman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Lifting a window by the check rail may have an unwanted long term consequence. The first force applied to the window unit is not lifting but rather an outward pressure at the top of the glass with the heel of your hand as you put your hands into position to do the lifting.

    This is liable to stress the seal between the panes and lead to failure of the seal and fogging.

    In my own home, built in 1984, the only failed seals were in the three windows I formerly routinely opened this way in my bedroom. The sills are lower than the rest of the house and the check rail is right there to use.

    Circa 1992 the window wholesaler gave me three replacement glass units and advised me to use the hardware. No failed seals since then


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Goodman View Post
    Lifting a window by the check rail may have an unwanted long term consequence. The first force applied to the window unit is not lifting but rather an outward pressure at the top of the glass with the heel of your hand as you put your hands into position to do the lifting.

    This is liable to stress the seal between the panes and lead to failure of the seal and fogging.

    In my own home, built in 1984, the only failed seals were in the three windows I formerly routinely opened this way in my bedroom. The sills are lower than the rest of the house and the check rail is right there to use.

    Circa 1992 the window wholesaler gave me three replacement glass units and advised me to use the hardware. No failed seals since then
    Funny how as we get older we look for ways NOT to bend over...

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    And the older I get the more people accuse me of turning into my Dad. Perhaps just a bit on the side that will analyze anything into a tortuous death.
    And I don't like bending over either. That is why I quit wearing shoes.

    Tim Fuller
    Fuller Home Inspection

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Window manufacturers intent

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Fuller View Post
    And the older I get the more people accuse me of turning into my Dad. Perhaps just a bit on the side that will analyze anything into a tortuous death.
    And I don't like bending over either. That is why I quit wearing shoes.
    I don't think you over analyzed, that's how we all learn. It lead to a good conversation with many opinions. BTW I have a few Anderson windows in my house that don't have a plow or a handle on the bottom sash.... just push up from the top.

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

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