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How out of level does it have to be for you to gripe?

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How out of level does it have to be for you to gripe?

Old 07-19-2012, 05:27 PM
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Default How out of level does it have to be for you to gripe?

If you were having windows installed, how out of level does the window have to be before you bring it up.

We're talking front to back level (meaning, if you place the level on the glass (or the frame) the top is further out than the bottom or visa versa)...

What's an "acceptable" amount to be off? 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2".

I'm a pretty demanding prick-stick... this is a pretty big job and I'm curious to see what you guys would do. Normally I do it myself, but in this case there was no way due to circumstances beyond my control. When I do it the windows are dead-on perfect - but I understand that the "pros" are there to do it fast and get out... it's not their house.

What say you?
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:29 PM
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They should be level. Hand 'em one.

Show 'em how to use it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cedarholm View Post
They should be level. Hand 'em one.

Show 'em how to use it.
x2

And no payment till they correct the problem.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:32 PM
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Unless they're skylights.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:34 PM
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Top to bottom on a 4 foot tall window should be plumb within 1/16 inch in my book. 1/8 inch in an old (more than 50 yrs) house. If the wall is out of plumb more than this, then you do the best you can considering fit of inside casing. Otherwise you are scribing jamb extensions, which may still be required in extreme situations.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:35 PM
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1/16 unless installed by mexicans, then 1/8.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:40 PM
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Thought that was going to be the answer. And to think, I was going to try and "be nice" -- just not in me... but I was going to try.

I'll go in the AM and "ask" if I missed something as to why they're out of level by so much.

I can see having to pull the level 1/8" of an inch or something to get it dead on, but in some cases it's a 1/2"... and that just rubs me wrong.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Buoy Scout View Post
Top to bottom on a 4 foot tall window should be plumb within 1/16 inch in my book. 1/8 inch in an old (more than 50 yrs) house. If the wall is out of plumb more than this, then you do the best you can considering fit of inside casing. Otherwise you are scribing jamb extensions, which may still be required in extreme situations.
No casings to deal with -- the interior walls plastered all the way into the windows (so not molding or trim, etc.). So, plaster walls inside and concrete stucco outside...

Originally Posted by Redfish44 View Post
1/16 unless installed by mexicans, then 1/8.
LOL. I can live with 1/8" -- I start to get edgy with 1/4" and up...
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:44 PM
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Holy cow ! 1/2" is ludicrous !!! 1/8" I could handle ...
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Tommysmicroskiff View Post
Holy cow ! 1/2" is ludicrous !!! 1/8" I could handle ...

I hear ya. Only one window is 1/2" off... may even be 5/8". Most of them are 1/8 or less. I think two are 1/4" off...

I'll be nice (or as nice as I can). LOL. The owner made it clear that he doesn't leave until I'm happy... I'm not concerned. I would just rather they not caulk them up and all only to have me open my pie hole later. LOL.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Redfish44 View Post
1/16 unless installed by mexicans, then 1/8.
We had a pretty bad hail storm a year or so back and most roofs in my area were damaged (fiberglass/asphalt shingle).

Legal immigrants from Mexico (papers presented by the contractor checked) installed a new roof on my house after the initial first layer was removed. Those guys worked from morning till 7 pm in 90f temps (shade) and did a fantastic job. The job was completed in a day. Our insurance inspector looked at the job the next day and gave it a thumbs ups rating.

Local guys doing a roof job on my neighbors house took 3 days to do the job and much of the work had to be redone.

YMMV.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
If you were having windows installed, how out of level does the window have to be before you bring it up.

We're talking front to back level (meaning, if you place the level on the glass (or the frame) the top is further out than the bottom or visa versa)...

What's an "acceptable" amount to be off? 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2".

I'm a pretty demanding prick-stick... this is a pretty big job and I'm curious to see what you guys would do. Normally I do it myself, but in this case there was no way due to circumstances beyond my control. When I do it the windows are dead-on perfect - but I understand that the "pros" are there to do it fast and get out... it's not their house.

What say you?
The way I read your description I think you mean plumb and not level.

My house is over 225 years old and would allow exactly ZERO tolerance.

Sounds like shotty workmanship.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:01 PM
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Top to the bottom is plumb 'vertical' horizontal is level but if the framing isn't plumb then it's going to be hard to get the new windows plumb. If it's all new construction then all should be plumb, squared and level.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:07 PM
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If it's old construction (built in 1969) why would it matter? If you had the window pushed too far in at the top (or too far out at the bottom), which is what caused it to be out of plumb... how does age matter?

Just curious.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:16 PM
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Last summer I completed remodling a 125 year old home. Nothing was square to work with but the new windows were installed properly. None over 1/8" out of level or or out of square. When you are paying someone to do the job you expect the work to meet your approval. Let the installer know right away of your concerns. Don't wait until he has completed the job.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:20 PM
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If you're talking wood frame flange style windows it all depends on the wall. In that case the windows can only be as plumb as the wall. On block wall there is some fudge factor, but again, if the wall wasn't laid plumb, you're asking the window guy to correct a problem they didn't cause. Most window guys are going to measure off existing structure and not get out a level. Is it dimensionally in the hole? I mean if you measure off the inside or outside wall is the window within a 1/4"?
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
If it's old construction (built in 1969) why would it matter? If you had the window pushed too far in at the top (or too far out at the bottom), which is what caused it to be out of plumb... how does age matter?

Just curious.
If the wall isn't plumb to begin with the window installer isn't going to re-frame your walls to get the studs plumb. He can only go with what he has to work with, you can shim some out but you'd want to let the homeowner know first that his walls were out so the blame doesn't come back on the window installer when the homeowner catches the shims.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:25 PM
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If the side wall isn't plumb how is the window to blame? Its not like you're going to shim the window off the sheathing.

As for level it better be dead nuts on.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:26 PM
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If I see it once......I will see it forever (and it will bother the chit out of me!!!!). It will be fixed or I'm not writing the check.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:38 PM
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Almost none of the guys responding above know what construction looks like down here, so..

Concrete block houses 35-50 years old. Window openings are pretty simple - top sill is underside of the poured concrete tie beam. Bottom sill is usually 2-3" poured concrete. Sides are just concrete block. Wood firring strips (?) essentially frame it out and give the window a mounting surface, although they're not structural. Pete's doing impact windows with aluminum frames. Impact windows are a good 3/4 - 1.5 inches thicker than the original windows, so when measuring for replacement, they tend to size them just a little bit smaller than the originals, so that they will fit into the openings without dramatic modification.

When replacing the windows, they knock the old window out with a sledge, then they try to fit the rough measured window into the frame. When it doesn't fit, they break out some tin snips and cut down the window flange a bit. If it's close, they beat into place with a sledgehammer and block of wood. The original stucco leaves a tapered opening so this is a little tricky.

Ideally, the window will butt right up against your inside drywall or nearly so. The windows are then anchored by tapcons all the way around the window. Then the caulk comes out, (potentially a couple tubes on a big window) inside and outside. There is not much pouring or grinding concrete on a south florida window redo, unless maybe you've really broken out the big bucks and gotten a $30,000 window replacement or there was some significant damage from removal.

I've watched 4 installs from 4 companies (2 on my own houses) and all went about the same. 40 year old poured concrete does not make the most accurate work surface. It is pretty common to see 1/2"-3/4" caulk adjustments around replaced windows down here. Joint compound and Stucco will hide anything, it's definitely one of those jobs where you are better off coming home at the very end of it and saying "hey, that looks nice."

Pete, I know where you're coming from and if you've got one or two that are way off and you can SEE IT, by all means make 'em fix those.

PS: Curiosity got the better of me, I'd say most of my windows and doors are within 1/4" - I have one that looks like it might be off by a half, maybe. I wonder if everyone above REALLY has plumb windows or they just think they do?

Last edited by Flot; 07-19-2012 at 07:18 PM.
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