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Old 07-14-2010, 09:00 AM   #1
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


I'm sorry for the long post, I honestly don't know where else to turn for advice on this. There seem to be many knowledgeable contractors on here that can probably lead me in the right direction.

I signed a contract with a roofing/siding company to redo all of the siding and gutters on my townhouse. In the process of their guys setting up they dropped a ladder on my bedroom window breaking it. They said this is not a common occurrence and happens maybe once a year or less and they would just remove the frame and have the glass replaced. This would be easy except I have a few OLD aluminum windows on my townhouse and the one that broke happened to be one of them, which meant the window frame is non removeable. They had a parade of 3 window people come and everyone said the entire window needed to be replaced with a new window. So, something that should have taken 48 hours to fix has now turned into a 2 week job so far... This all happened on July 1st right before the holiday weekend. So Friday afternoon they sent someone to measure for the new window and that was all I heard about it until after 4th of July. The siding and roofing has long since been done and here is is 2 weeks later and I am STILL without a window in my bedroom no less. Everytime I talk to these people they tell me, "No one is going to make a window for you faster then a week" which I KNOW is a crock of hooey. Cause I am pretty sure if someone gets a broken window by baseball or burgler that they would NOT poswait 2 weeks to get a window made. I positive sure that since the roofing company is paying the cost to replace this window that they obviously did not want to pay for rush service to have the window made faster. I call them every single day asking what the holdup is and spoke to the roofing company yesterday and they told me the factory told them the window would be made by July 21st, which is NEXT Wednesday. 3 weeks from the date the window was broken! One thing i failed ot mention is this roofing and siding company advertsises windows as well, so they are using a factory they usually use.

In the meantime I have a peice of Tyvek taped up there for what seems like an eternity. Everytime the wind blows it makes a ruffling noise, I cant sleep well because of it. Not to mention there is a bat problem in the area so I am terrified that a bat will find a open gap in the tapeup job and come into my bedroom as I sleep. We have had 3 thunderstorms since the window has been out and I am also scared that the water will come in and ruin my bedroom/carpet or worse. I don't even like to be out of the house more then an hour at a time cause of it. Thank goodness I have been on vacation from work the past 2 weeks or I would have surely lost my job by now.

I have asked friends and one told me to go get the window fixed asap myself and deduct the price from the cost of the job. Looking into this option would be about HALF the cost of the siding costs I still have yet to pay so I dont think they would take that lightly. I have a contract with these people and although I havent paid them a dime for the siding or gutters they did (which is very nice, by the way) I dont want to deduct any monies from their work for fear they would sue me or put a lien on my house for not paying them. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-14-2010, 09:11 AM   #2
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


They gave you a date of when the window would be done/in. I would hold them to that date and if it is not in by then, i would take further action. I am no contracter but i do know that older, uncommon shaped windows do have to be custom made and it can take time.

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Old 07-14-2010, 09:22 AM   #3
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


They should have boarded up the window but other than that 2-3 week wait for a new window to be made is normal especially this time off year.

They said the new window would be ready July 21. That sounds about right. Usually a day or two after you order you receive a conformation from the manufacture that the order was received and in the same conformation you get a “ship date”.

I’d still call them back to do something about the Tyvek patch though.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:11 PM   #4
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


Window manufacturers aren't sitting around waiting to serve an individual. The order goes in and they get to it as it comes up. If the contractor was a good customer, they might push it, but it seems he isn't.
Sometimes even a princess has to have a little patience.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:15 PM   #5
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I agree with the other answers. If you have concerns, check with your State's web site for common forms to make sure the roofing company pays for the window, not you later: http://www.lni.wa.gov/FormPub/Detail.asp?DocID=1877
You have to pay per contract terms, try to have them give a lien release before final payment if not in your contract for other suppliers. I would hope a reputable company would would work with you on this, which sounds as if they are.......

Be safe, Gary
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:22 PM   #6
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I don't know how long it should take to get a window assembly custom made, but they could have done better than making a temporary repair with Tyvek.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


better than felt...sorry Ronnie sorry
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:16 PM   #8
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


Thanks for the responses and information. As for a princess having to wait I think 2 weeks is long enough to wait for accidental damage. I'm a single parent, so having my house exposed to the elements and heat and having my HVAC work harder to cool my house cause of their negligence doesnt seem like I am being unreasonable. Especially when I was told it could be rushed which isnt the case. Its not an uncommon window, its just a rectangular 33 x 70 size so its pretty cut and dry.

They had the window boarded up and covered with Tyvek before the finished the siding. After they finished the siding, they only used tape & Tyvek since they said the window would be replaced soon (that was a week ago). I guess they did not want to mess up the siding they just did.

GMHammes, you said take "further action" if it is not done by the promsed date, but I would like to know what further action would be customary in such a case?
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:47 PM   #9
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


It does take time to order windows. I agree they should have done a better job closing the opening, even if it's "for a short time". We have waited at least a week for our window orders every time. Depending on the day ordered in the week, sometimes it takes two weeks or more. For just one window, it may go down the list even further.

I think your hands are tied and so are the Contractor's. Not saying I wouldn't be upset either, just stating how I can see both sides of it, being a contractor myself.

Do you have a picture of this? If you plan on doing anything, you must have pictures.
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:57 PM   #10
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


I know it’s frustrating but from what you’ve said I see nothing that the contractor has done wrong.

Accidents can and do happen. There are plenty of contractors on this site that if they thought you were being wronged at this point would have let you know.

There is nothing “cut and dry” about a 33”x70” window. You can’t just grab one off the shelf.

If the window was measured and ordered on the Fri. before the forth it’s highly unlikely the order was processed at the factory before the 5th or 6th. Window manufacturing is a highly automated process. For the most part windows are made by computers and bots. Whether you order 1 window or 30 makes no difference. Once the order is in the system your in line like everyone else.

I’ve broken customers windows before and would have done anything (even paid more) if I could have fixed it now instead of 3 weeks. It just doesn’t work like that.

As far as taking this to the next level, I don’t understand. You’re holding their money what more leverage do you need.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:43 PM   #11
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


I have to agree, also. Even stock sized windows take 2 to three weeks with my supplier.

I think that you could call and ask them to tape up the windows with something that doesn't flap.

The contractor sounds like he's trying to repair his damage as quickly as possible. At his expense--

Good luck with that,--Mike---
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:13 PM   #12
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May be they can Bill you for the window replacement, and discount that amount from the siding invoice, so you can at least get a 30% tax credit for the window amount & the hassles.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:06 PM   #13
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


Windows take time like everyone else said. Whether you have kids or not. There are families waiting on 20 windows to finish their home so they can move in. Whos to wait? You or them?

Regardless, you should be able to fix the tyvek problem yourself. I mean come on, its a piece of tape. Pull it off, and cover it with some masking or duct tape. Simple, even a techie could do this.

As far as further courses of action, quit callin everyday and let them fulfill their end of the bargain. Accidents happen and they're taking the right steps to make it right. Give them a chance.

Call them a couple of days before the final date they're supposed to be there to confirm that they will be there to put your new window in. If they push it back further, then tell them you will be deducting $50 a day until the window is in from the date they said they would have it which is the 21st I believe you said.

Good luck!!! And have patience!
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:37 PM   #14
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


Bats aren't a problem. Mosquitos are a problem. Bats are a solution.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:39 PM   #15
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Contractor problems, please help. What can I do?


Above I said I called everyday, but I never got an actual ETA or date until yesterday. Once I got that date, I have NOT called them back.

As for re-doing the window myself I'm in a 5 level split. The broken bedroom window is 3 and a half stories up, of which I have NO desire to get upon a ladder to fix for someone else's snafu.

I have pics of every single step of each and every one of my home improvements... This is my first bad experience. I had been getting window quotes for the past few weeks but I was saving replacing windows until after all of the siding was done.

It seems the majority are contractors pointing at me like I am to blame for this somehow or I am in the wrong for being upset which is sad on a DIY message board aimed at people helping each other. To the other voices of reason, thanks all for the helpful responses. It really isnt what you say, but how its said.

I guess I shall post back on the 21st.

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