Vinyl failing on new windows

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coinmls
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Vinyl failing on new windows

#1 Post by coinmls »

I bought a new home in Phoenix with Toll Brothers and closed a year ago. They installed white vinyl Cascade windows. At the end of the 1 year builder warranty, one of my warranty claims I have made is that the vinyl is failing. Specifically, the color of the vinyl is fading, worse in areas that have more sun exposure. On areas such as the sash you can see extra deterioration. You can see the contrast with the metal screen frame in the picture.

I have not had a response yet from the builder, but I just spoke to a neighbor whose house was completed 8 months prior who had the same problem and he informed me that he was told (about 6 months prior to my home's completion) that they were told that the windows were made without UV protection. I have to assume this was a manufacturing oversight/defect. He told me that the builder had a team come out and PAINT the windows. And not just his house, several other homes completed about the same time.

I anticipate this is what they will offer me as well, but this doesn't seem like a proper fix. In fact, it's a cover-up, not a fix. My initial question is how long will the paint last vs properly manufactured vinyl. I would assume the vinyl should last longer so this is a compromise for longevity of the product. And then there is the fact that they in my layman's perspective, the windows are defective and should be replaced.

Are there any industry standards or codes I can reference to demand new windows and refuse the paint? Am I out of line here? I don't know if it makes it worse, but at that point the builder knew or should have known that they had installed defective windows on my home and sold me a home with defective windows.

And if I do get new windows, is it reasonable to make them take down and reinstall my windows shades (which were installed by a 3rd party after closing) or is that demanding too much?
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TheWindowNerd
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#2 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Buyer beware. They will only do whatever the warranty that is written demands.

Painting them is a reasonable "cover up".

Most builders use the cheapest thing they can get. We, window replacement companies have a lifetime of job security.

coinmls
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#3 Post by coinmls »

Thank you. So in my state, a construction defect is defined as:

4. "Construction defect" means a material deficiency in the design, construction, manufacture, repair, alteration, remodeling or landscaping of a dwelling that is the result of one of the following:
...
(b) The use of defective materials, products, components or equipment in the design, construction, manufacture, repair, alteration, remodeling or landscaping of the dwelling.

As well as Material Deficiency:
8. "Material deficiency" means a deficiency that actually impairs the structural integrity, the functionality or the appearance of the dwelling at the time of the claim, or is reasonably likely to actually impair the structural integrity, the functionality or the appearance of the dwelling in the foreseeable future if not repaired or replaced.

So I have 2 questions:
1. Are the windows considered "defective"? Just want to make sure there is no argument to say that this is natural weathering and fading.
2. Is painting the window considered a legitimate fix? After all it does not reconstitute the vinyl. Looking for any industry documents or standards or experts to back this up. My concern is will the paint last as long as the window would have? In my case, they knowingly installed the defective windows so this is almost fraud.

Note that I am dealing with a builder warranty, not necessarily with the manufacturer so the builder will cover the stucco, paint, and drywall costs. The manufacturer's warranty is here: https://www.cascadewindows.com/download ... rranty.pdf
I just wonder if we get into other legal issues like fraud if Toll or Cascade knowingly installed defective (or inappropriate) windows, which I think can be proven given the history with other neighbors.

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TheWindowNerd
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd »

According to the warranty I would say you have no claim.
I am not an attorney.
You need to ask Toll Brothers what they will do. If you are not satisfied with the fix, contact your attorney.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#5 Post by HomeSealed »

1) Have you attempted to have the windows professionally cleaned? It looks more to me like contaminants on the surface than fading.

2) "The windows were made without UV protection" doesn't sound likely, but if somehow there was a bad batch of vinyl used or something like that, that would likely fit the definition of a defect.

3) Have you contacted the manufacturer directly? I'd try that. In the replacement window realm, its best to go through your installation company for product warranty, but I rarely hear of successful experiences on the Builder side.

4) Properly prepped and applied paint made for vinyl windows is very durable, but its also not quite the same as the vinyl itself as its 10 year warranty would suggest-- and that is when applied in the factory on a virgin surface under ideal conditions.

If the info that your neighbor stated has any truth to it, there is either a known defect with the manufacturer, or they've just done so to placate this group of homeowners. I don't know how Toll Brother's does business, but I know that they are and enormous company so perhaps that may do something like that. If I were you, my next step would be to speak to an area rep at the manufacturer or distributor.

coinmls
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#6 Post by coinmls »

TheWindowNerd wrote: Mon Jun 06, 2022 11:06 am According to the warranty I would say you have no claim.
I am not an attorney.
You need to ask Toll Brothers what they will do. If you are not satisfied with the fix, contact your attorney.
The builder has a warranty. I know I posted the window company warranty but the builder is still on the hook for the first year.

uncle eddie
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#7 Post by uncle eddie »

coinmls wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:23 pm
The builder has a warranty. I know I posted the window company warranty but the builder is still on the hook for the first year.
For what? Did the builder make the windows? No. The manufacturer did. I'm not a fan of worthless builder warranties in general, but you are barking up the wrong tree.

coinmls
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#8 Post by coinmls »

uncle eddie wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:25 pm
coinmls wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:23 pm
The builder has a warranty. I know I posted the window company warranty but the builder is still on the hook for the first year.
For what? Did the builder make the windows? No. The manufacturer did. I'm not a fan of worthless builder warranties in general, but you are barking up the wrong tree.
There is a clear material deficiency as defined by state law. The builder can't absolve himself of responsibility because he chose a bad window company with a bad warranty. It's on the builder to get his supplier/subcontractor to perform and if they won't he has to find someone else who will perform. I paid the builder, not the window company.

Not only that, but, after finding out about the deficiency, still installed the defective windows in my home without any disclosure.

uncle eddie
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#9 Post by uncle eddie »

coinmls wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:15 pm
uncle eddie wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:25 pm
coinmls wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:23 pm
The builder has a warranty. I know I posted the window company warranty but the builder is still on the hook for the first year.
For what? Did the builder make the windows? No. The manufacturer did. I'm not a fan of worthless builder warranties in general, but you are barking up the wrong tree.
There is a clear material deficiency as defined by state law. The builder can't absolve himself of responsibility because he chose a bad window company with a bad warranty. It's on the builder to get his supplier/subcontractor to perform and if they won't he has to find someone else who will perform. I paid the builder, not the window company.

Not only that, but, after finding out about the deficiency, still installed the defective windows in my home without any disclosure.
You are trying to jump a canyon on a moped brother. I'd bet a hefty sum that a big builder like those guys has bullet proof warranty language that puts manufacturer warranty issues on the manufacturer where they belong despite the wannabe diy lawyer guys' best effort.
If you can prove that last part that they installed defective windows with the knowledge of a deficiency then you have a chance there, but good luck. Not sure how "because my neighbor told me so" will hold up in court.
Why is it that you don't just try to go through the manufacturer anyway? Maybe they already shot you down? It would be far less painful and less expensive than long shot litigation.

coinmls
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#10 Post by coinmls »

uncle eddie wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 5:28 pm You are trying to jump a canyon on a moped brother. I'd bet a hefty sum that a big builder like those guys has bullet proof warranty language that puts manufacturer warranty issues on the manufacturer where they belong despite the wannabe diy lawyer guys' best effort.
If you can prove that last part that they installed defective windows with the knowledge of a deficiency then you have a chance there, but good luck. Not sure how "because my neighbor told me so" will hold up in court.
Why is it that you don't just try to go through the manufacturer anyway? Maybe they already shot you down? It would be far less painful and less expensive than long shot litigation.
I'm going through he builder because that is what the builder requires for all claims in the first year of ownership as part of their warranty.

The known defect is easily proven because of the date that my neighbor was told about their windows and told they would be painted is easily 9 months before I closed on my home. The dates are easily proven. Once the windows in the other house were determined to be lacking UV protection, at that point the builder had a responsibility to investigate and determine if the defect extended to other homes under construction using the same materials. At a minimum, Arizona law requires knowledge of such material defects to be disclosed which they clearly did not do.

I appreciate your opinion and have taken it into advisement. Your opinion, if I understand it correctly, is that a builder can choose any subcontractor or supplier and bears no responsibility for oversight of subcontractors, performance of subcontractors, or quality of the work and materials provided.

I'm guessing if I was a contractor seeking legal guidance that's not what an attorney would tell me and they would probably advise me to be very selective and watchful over subcontractors and material selections and probably tell me that I am responsible to some extent for what they do. I'm sure I will find out.

uncle eddie
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#11 Post by uncle eddie »

coinmls wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 7:05 pm
I'm going through he builder because that is what the builder requires for all claims in the first year of ownership as part of their warranty.
A logical first step.
coinmls wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 7:05 pm The known defect is easily proven because of the date that my neighbor was told about their windows and told they would be painted is easily 9 months before I closed on my home. The dates are easily proven. Once the windows in the other house were determined to be lacking UV protection, at that point the builder had a responsibility to investigate and determine if the defect extended to other homes under construction using the same materials. At a minimum, Arizona law requires knowledge of such material defects to be disclosed which they clearly did not do.
Nothing is proven here. Maybe they just came out and painted the windows because several homeowners complained about yellowing and they just wanted to make them happy. Maybe there was some other reason that they did so. Do you have documentation that a defect even exists, let alone was known by the builder or manufacturer? Did your neighbor have to sign off on anything like an NDA, or even a completion form or something of that sort?
What is "lacking UV protection" exactly? That doesn't even make much sense. Furthermore, if a batch of windows was made with a missing ingredient or step, it makes no sense whatsoever that this would still be the case 9 months later.
coinmls wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 7:05 pmI appreciate your opinion and have taken it into advisement. Your opinion, if I understand it correctly, is that a builder can choose any subcontractor or supplier and bears no responsibility for oversight of subcontractors, performance of subcontractors, or quality of the work and materials provided.
Nope. What I'm saying is that if you have interest in actually solving your problem, follow the "protocol" where needed (file your claim with the builder), and then get some real information! You could probably expedite this quite a bit with a simple conversation with a Cascade rep by asking if there is any substance to all of this, or maybe he'll say that is all laughable, they've had no such issues. You could also ask your neighbor to look at any documentation that he has on the subject.
Legally speaking, if it were ever to go that far, I'm sure that both the builder and the manufacturer would be named in a lawsuit, but more specifically to your question, I'm sure that the builder has/had a reasonable expectation that the quality of windows and their warranty would be sufficient and not require on-site management of their production to do so. Much different than managing an installation crew or picking out 2x4's that aren't warped and moldy.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#12 Post by HomeSealed »

@coinmls, regarding my question earlier, have you had anyone out to try and clean these? As I mentioned earlier, it looks more like contamination of some sort as opposed to vinyl degradation imo. I'd try to use goo gone or even mineral spirits in an inconspicuous area and see if that cleans up.

coinmls
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#13 Post by coinmls »

@HomeSealed: No, the windows will not clean up. You cannot clean the discoloration which again, correlates to areas hit hardest by the sun (less or no discoloration for windows that get less or no sun). Doing some light Googling other Internet users indicate that the vinyl is breaking down.
uncle eddie wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 2:15 pm Nothing is proven here. Maybe they just came out and painted the windows because several homeowners complained about yellowing and they just wanted to make them happy. Maybe there was some other reason that they did so. Do you have documentation that a defect even exists, let alone was known by the builder or manufacturer? Did your neighbor have to sign off on anything like an NDA, or even a completion form or something of that sort?
What is "lacking UV protection" exactly? That doesn't even make much sense. Furthermore, if a batch of windows was made with a missing ingredient or step, it makes no sense whatsoever that this would still be the case 9 months later.
No, the facts are easily attained. All white windows in the neighborhood are doing the exact same thing, and windows with sun exposure are affected worse than ones that are protected from the sun. We know the date of the complaint of the neighbor and we know the date that the windows were painted and we know the date that I closed on my home. This is enough to prove knowledge of the problem by the builder as the builder handles all repair claims during the first year. No one has signed any NDAs. I trust that my neighbors accurately reported the situation they had with their windows. I also trust that the builder would not paint the windows without cause. The builder's warranty rep has acknowledged problems with windows on other homes.

Why wouldn't it make sense that vinyl was made without UV protection? vinyl windows are typically coated with Titanium dioxide for UV protection. While a mess up at the factory is hard to believe, mistakes happen.

In the end though, the possibilities are limited (unless you can think of others):
1. The windows were made defective.
2. Inappropriate windows that are not rated for the Arizona environment were purchased by the builder.
3. The builder and/or the mfr intended for us to have color changing windows
Either way, the builder is responsible either directly or the builder needs to hold the supplier responsible.
uncle eddie wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 2:15 pm Nope. What I'm saying is that if you have interest in actually solving your problem, follow the "protocol" where needed (file your claim with the builder), and then get some real information! You could probably expedite this quite a bit with a simple conversation with a Cascade rep by asking if there is any substance to all of this, or maybe he'll say that is all laughable, they've had no such issues. You could also ask your neighbor to look at any documentation that he has on the subject.
Legally speaking, if it were ever to go that far, I'm sure that both the builder and the manufacturer would be named in a lawsuit, but more specifically to your question, I'm sure that the builder has/had a reasonable expectation that the quality of windows and their warranty would be sufficient and not require on-site management of their production to do so. Much different than managing an installation crew or picking out 2x4's that aren't warped and moldy.
I agree that I need more and better information and that is why I'm here. The more I can understand about vinyl and windows and warranties and what my rights are the better I will come out of this.
I agree both builder and window mfr would be named in a lawsuit, that's just how lawsuits work - you always name as many defendants as you can justify. When the builder became aware of the defects in the windows in the early-built homes, they had a self interest and I would argue a legal duty to ask the mfr to understand the nature and extent of the problem and how it affects homes under construction and to be built. They simply can't put their head in the sand and ignore the problem and hope it goes away. And, AZ real estate disclosure law requires known material facts to be disclosed which they did not do.

uncle eddie
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#14 Post by uncle eddie »

Light googling should have also returned that titanium dioxide is used in the blend of the vinyl, it is not a "coating", except when used in low-e glass coatings. Again, the fact that windows are discolored doesn't speak to the how or why on a factual basis, nor does it speak to any actual defect or knowledge of a defect. I'm simply letting you know that based on many years in the industry, you're swimming upstream here armed with nothing but a c0cksure attitude and a load of hearsay. It seems like you are more interested than arguing that getting to the bottom of this, so good luck with that. If I were you, I'd do what has already been recommended, and depending where that goes, I'd consider hiring an expert consultant on these matters to review the vinyl condition against the warranty terms.

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toddinmn
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Re: Vinyl failing on new windows

#15 Post by toddinmn »

My guess is Cascade and the builder are gonna call this natural weathering and fading which is not covered in their warranty. I think it’s gonna come down to what Cascade determines. I’d be hesitant using cleaners as this may void the warranty as well.
I’m with you and don’t think it’s natural per industry standards for that time frame. I have crappy low grade windows in my rental that go to be 45 years old or more that are whiter than that.

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