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Old 11-02-2008, 12:18 PM   #1
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Pella Casement Windows


We installed 11 new custom Pella Casement windows in our home in 2001. As time passed, they started having issues closing. We would have to crank them building speed to get them into the frame. Crank slow, as recommended, at they would not pull into the frame because they "hung heavy" in the frame and warped. If the window was a double window, I could open the one next to the one that wouldn't close and push it closed from the outside but if it was a single unit, it would not latch.

We called Pella Corporate to discuss the problem. They told me "The casement windows can't be left open for long. The wind and weather reaks havoc on the frame." I replied, that they won't close after being left open over night, no wind, no rain, no inclement weather". They repeated what they said the first time.

So, the bottom line is that Pella sells a window design that they know has issues and they have no excuse for why they haven't fixed the problem. A larger window requires a more supportive bracket and cranking system and they choose not to make the advancements to their product line.

It's on to The Better Business Bureau, forums like this one and word of mouth.

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Old 11-02-2008, 03:18 PM   #2
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I have one Pella clad casement that I put in a year and a half ago as an experiment.

One of the drawbacks to a casment is if there is rain while the window is open it obviously gets the window frame wet. But that shouldnt be an issue in your case where the window was just open and no rain.

I havent had the issues you are having with the opening/closing which is fine in my case. I do have a moisture build up on the bottom of the window on colder mornings which I have yet to resolve.

Looking at doing a few more windows in the futue and its questionable if it will be the Pella brand.

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Old 11-02-2008, 03:46 PM   #3
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You're right about the rain problems. That's how I'm sure the weather played no part. And, it's not just one window. It's 6 of the larger ones (wider than 12" opening). I'm sure it's the hardware that can't support the weight of the window when open.

We also had rain water come in through the top framing screws because the Pella installers neglected to install drip edges on the top frames of the 2 largest picture windows. We also had frost on the wall below 2 other windows because they also neglected to insulate. We called them back and they fixed the issues after some cohersing but I had to stand over them to be sure it was done correctly. So much for a "Pella Professional Installation".

If you have forced air heat, you probably have a humidifier. If you do, set the humidistat to a lower number and the moisture on the lower part of the window will probably go away. We had the same problem the first winter we had them installed and that solved it.

If I am satisfied with Pella at all, it's solely because when they do close, they are tight!

I wish we had these forums back when I bought our windoes. If I knew the problem existed before I bought them....

Casements were the only design we could go with on our contemporary home. The ones that were in the home were 20 year old Andersens. I don't know why I didn't go to them for a quote. Pella just "seemed" to have a better act, I guess.
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:16 PM   #4
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Wow.........
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:33 PM   #5
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Sorry, but this sounds more like an installation issue than a product quality issue. Your statements about the installers indicate to me that these guys are not top notch craftsmen...It is unfortunate that they are a Pella installation outfit, but that is nothing more than good marketing.

I have no dog in this fight, and no reason to defend Pella products. Titleing the thread "Don't buy Pella casement windows" is unproductive and generally misleading. Not sure which casement you bought, but most Pellas around here are "builder grade" windows....With windows and window installers, there's a direct correlation between price and performance.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:47 AM   #6
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If I were being subjective or had any doubts, I would agree with you. I'm not just the HO. I am a contractor myself. I don't install windows but it's not difficult to understand the problem.

The casements we bought were the top-of-the-line Architect series windows, most were custom sizes. The Pella distributor in our area was the only Pella distributor recommended by Pella corp at the time and were strongly recommended for installation to maintain the warranty.

We recently broke 2 unison lock assemblies while running the windows in to attempt to have the hooks grab the window and pull them closed. The Pella service tech who came out to fix the lock assemblies knew of the problem and was the one who told me there was no real fix for it and recommended that I should contact Pella corporate, write letters, etc... They haven't called back.

The windows we bought that are 15" width or less have no problem. Once they get over that dim, the window hangs heavy and can't be left open for "too long" or the outter edge droops then doesn't pull in when cranking closed. This is not installation, it's hardware design.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:31 AM   #7
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i don't think that this is a problem exclusive to Pella. I bought 2 6'x6' Crestline double casements NEW for $100.00 each! (wrong size returns, $860 EACH if installed, i got them clearance after they sat for 3 years) after installing i foresaw the problems you are describing, i.e. the 'difficult to close' thing. at first i told the wife and kids that they should not attempt to close them. i should be the only one. that worked ok, but i added these wooden beads (predrill the holes!) close to center on the windows to serve as a 'pull' and now there is no problem. an afterthought... small flushmount drawer handles would probably would have been better. i'll probably swap them out soon. again, SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY predrill!

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Old 11-04-2008, 09:28 AM   #8
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The Pella casement I have is around 25" wide by 35" tall on the panel itself.

It faces the pool in the backyard and is opened quite a bit.

I have never had a problem with it opening and closing with ease.

Like anything, coulda been made on a Monday or a Friday.
[or election day]
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:20 PM   #9
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Monday or a friday...I like that!

Thanks for the idea and, yup, we paid almost $900. per double window for 6 sets (not including the other 5 sets) and the screen is on the inside so: 1) I'm not retro-fitting anything to make it work and 2) The screen precludes it anyway. But thanks again!
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:43 PM   #10
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New and first post. I am retired from the school dist. now. We had Pella casement windows in a few of our schools and had the same problems. We had a guy come out from Pella, he showed us a little trick, You take a small hammer wedge and lift the window and put the wedge under the lower hindge and it lifts it right up and levels the window. It worked perfect. I can't remember how it was slipped in there, but in only took about 5 seconds to do it.

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Old 12-26-2008, 11:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
We called Pella Corporate to discuss the problem.
I hope it's okay to post this woman's name and address here. If the mod's. have to delete it, you can PM me and I'll give her info to you.

Elaine Sagers
Vice President of Customer Satisfaction
PELLA CORPORATION
Pella, Iowa 50219


Send a letter off to her. I had a few issues with my Pella slider door. I called them and really didn't get the help I needed or expected. I don't remember how I got this woman's name, but I sent her a letter via snail mail. Someone from Pella called me back and they were very helpful.

We also had a long crack in a newer Pella window downstairs (probably caused by someone here) and I called Pella to ask about a replacement. They didn't ask any questions and sent a new window within a week. Free.

After reading what you've posted about your experience though, I would think twice before I buy their casement windows. They should stand behind their gaurantee for you.

Quote:
They told me "The casement windows can't be left open for long."
WHAT!? Imagine having a problem with your car or truck. If you called Ford or GM, would they ever tell you, "That model of truck can't be driven for long."? That's probably not a good example, because you just might get that response some day if you drive an electric car .

Good luck, I hope you get to the right person at Pella and get the help you need.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:36 AM   #12
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Pella Casement Windows


THANKS! I will send her a letter and get back if I get a response...
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:10 AM   #13
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Pella Casement Windows


Just keep after them and if they don't come up with a satisfactory solution, then ask for your money back or tell them you will be contacting an attorney to exercise your rights.
I, as a former customer was not satisfied with their installation practices. Some of their work was corrected by me. The district manager called me pickey. They installed a bay window and front door. Both had issues.
1. They left air gaps around the framing even after installing expanding foam on the bay frameand door frame.
2. Exterior caulking also left air gaps.
3. Underneath the bay, a nail was doubled over. It should have been pulled and driven in another location.
4. Because of the weight of the window extending out away from the wall, I told them I wanted supports placed under the bay. The installer drilled into the brick to place the supports, instead of the mortor joint as this joint has about 1/4 inch spacing and would be the logical place to install an anchor and lagscrews. My brickface has hollow spaces in it. The installer should have known this. It looked sloppy afterwards. I made them come back and cover the supports with aluminum trim to dress it up.
Aside from having a defective product as you have; Pella does not do a good job in determining the skills of their installers.
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:13 PM   #14
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In my opinion, I would avoid using Pella. I've experienced many problems with my Pella Architect Series windows and doors, including cladding problems, seal failure, spotting on the glass, rotting wood among other issues. These Pella windows and doors were installed throughout my house in 1995. You can view photos of the Pella window and door defects/failures in my home at onlinelitigationdiscovery.com. Pella refuses to acknowledge these claims. Therefore, I highly discourage using this brand.

I'm very interested in hearing other people's experiences regarding problems with your Pella windows. If you, or someone you know, has had similar problems with Pella, please go to my website (onlinelitigationdiscovery.com) and tell me your similar experience. Thank you for your time! -A. Bailey
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:16 PM   #15
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I'm with you--Anderson is what I install (5 today) I've seen to many unhappy Pella customers.

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