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Yolanda Lynn Jolley
New member
Username: lynn_jolley

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 06:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have a substitution requst to use Weathershield Aluma TFT windows instead of Pella Architect Series. The projected cost of the Weathershield windows are half that of the Pella Windows. This makes me very nervouse; however the point to point comparision submitted with the substitution request shows the Weathershield windows meeting or coming close to meeting our specifications.

We are being pressured by Owner to accept the cheaper window.

The windows are aluminum clad wood(fixed and outward opening).

The project is a hospital in Whitefish, Montana.

Anyone have experiance(good or bad) with Weathersheild Windows?
Mitch Miller,AIA ,CSI,CCS
Senior Member
Username: m2architek

Post Number: 63
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 09:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

when this type of substitution request comes after the bids, I request a credit for the dfference. After all, if the specified product would be used, the contractors cost would be more.
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 237
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 09:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

For substitutions, we ask for complete, side-by-side comparison, from the Contractor and manufacturer of the proposed substitute.

Usually this will reveal the "glitches" that may be disqualifying.
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 82
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 11:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There are several worthwhile comments related to Ralph's "side by side comparison" thought to be found in a short discussion on product comparisons elsewhere on this discussion board, at: http://discus.4specs.com/discus/messages/24/1949.html?1127763700
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

When I am faced with these situations, feeling a little uneasy about the request, I get all the comparison data I can and can usually find several key differences that allow me to reject the substitution request.

Before I joined the firm i currently work for, a project manager here faced a similar situation as you are faced with now. The substitution request was for a well known manufatcurer of windows, and the project manager found few reasons to deny the request, and accepted it. About 2-3 years later the building was leaking at every window, all of them had failed. We were not liable, but we still had to pay a fair amount of $ to extricate ourselves from the lawsuit that followed.

I have learned in the 8 years I have been a specifier that there is usually very little incentive for me to accept any substitution request (or the owner), ESPECIALLY when it comes to such a critical component as exterior windows. Go with your gut. There is no shame in rejecting the substitution request if you have reason to do so.

J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 144
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

One of the critical ideas here is that the burden is on the Contractor to dig up all the information needed to evaluate the substitution and properly present it. Alternatively, the Contractor may compensate the Architect for the evaluation time. The Owner has paid the Architect for a design which includes product selection (and, hopefully, evaluation), and the Architect has done his/her job. Now the Contractor wants to 2nd guess the Architect's work.

On the other hand, if this is a request coming from a manufacturer, I would prefer that it be run through the Contractor first. If the Contractor doesn't want to bother with packaging the request, that tells me that the proposed product offers no particular advantage to anyone other than the manufacturer.
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 86
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 06:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

As I recall, in January 2004, it was -25 degrees in Whitefish. How does the Weathershield perform that environment?
David R. Combs, CSI, CCS, CCCA, MAI
Senior Member
Username: davidcombs

Post Number: 84
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 08:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Another option would be to ask each manufacturer for a full size window sample (preferably of the specified version of the product).

That way, both you and the Owner can sit down and compare the two side-by-side. Look for things that are not published in the literature: fit and finish, ease of operation, tighness of seal when closed, etc.

Remember - A Nissan may be half the cost of a Lexus, but that doesn't make it half the quality.
Lynn Javoroski
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 245
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 10:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Good point and idea, David. Weather Shield is manufactured in Medford, WI, and competes with many other manufacturers from that area. If it were Marvin against Pella, I'd have no problem. I've had good experiences with Marvin. I've had no BAD experiences with Weather Shield, but that's not quite the same thing.
Call the reps and get those sample windows. In my humble estimation, Pella's reputation is similar to that of Lexus - perhaps deserved, but not sacrosanct. There are others out there equally good and less expensive.
Phil Kabza
Senior Member
Username: phil_kabza

Post Number: 144
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 04:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What you really want to do is obtain a list of 10 year old installations and go see them. Operate the windows - especially casement cranks and latches. Inspect the IGU seals. Examine the weatherstrips. Observe the interior and exterior finishes. Lab tests tell us some things about a handful of carefully prepared test units. Time tells us quite a bit more about installed units.
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 - 12:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Yes, but there is absolutely no guarantee that a window made 10 years ago is anything close to a window made today by the same manufacturer!
Jo Drummond, FCSI
Senior Member
Username: jo_drummond

Post Number: 22
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - 01:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

One important characteristic of quality products is that even if the models change, the old ones continue to perform. On behalf of Pella, let me say that I have lived with a house full, 19 windows, some of them large,and 3 pairs of out swinging doors with sidelites for 12 years. They continue to perform well: no leaks, blocking out most of the sound from a rather noisy neighborhood, and they continue to look good.
P.S. Pella doesn't know I wrote this.

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