What I'm Seeing Now

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When You Install New Windows, It's Important To Caulk Them Well

New window installation is a very common home improvement, and when you install new windows it's important to caulk them well.

At least I think so.

The feature list on the house proudly proclaimed that it had efficient, new windows recently installed.  To me that is always a great feature.

So imagine how proud I was so see such fine caulking on this recent new window installation!

And all over the house!

The caulking was beautiful - smooth, small bead, very clean.  They even used the right caulking - not the clear silicone so popular today!

It filled all the gaps too!

Around the window frames that is.

Unfortunately around the windows, and again, all over the house, wood was rotting badly.  Very badly.

Even this excellent caulker had a hard time with it.

It sure is difficult to get that nice smooth, small bead when you have to deal with those pesky, huge, rotten gaps.

I was a little shocked, I have to admit.  Not only was the job not nearly completed, they didn't even paint!

Why not suggest that the rotting wood get replaced first?  THEN install the windows.

The windows might be the newest, bestest, most efficientest windows ever invented.  But when you install them without taking care of all the rotting spots (and again, rotting wood around the windows all over the house) it does somewhat take away from the windows as a great feature!

My recommendation:  a feature might be a great feature, but if what is done is not professional it really doesn't add benefit to the house!  This job has been made dramatically more difficult by having to remove rotting wood and fit the new pieces into place around new windows.  Damaging the windows might be in the offing at the same time.  Make sure the feature isn't a subsequent tragedy!  And cause more work in the long run...

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 24 commentsJay Markanich • March 27 2013 03:42AM

Comments

Jay I had high hopes when I first started reading the post.  Shame the sellers did not go ahead and do the right thing.  thanks

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 5 years ago

Hello Jay,

All the expense of new windows, and not taking the necessary step of replacing the wood too.  It will be a shame if those lovely windows pop-out as their surrounding support completely rots out and "gives way".

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 5 years ago

Perhaps they're just not finished.

HA!

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 5 years ago

I have seen new construction home that had no caulking at all.  Nailed into place and drywalled and trimmed on the inside and vinyl on the outside.   Leaks everytime it rained.

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) over 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

It is called cutting corners for the "profit."

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 5 years ago

Notice it's not in the Best Practices group James!

Some of the windows were exceptionally rotten Lisa.  But they were high up.  This photo, low to the ground, had enough information for the post though!

Lenn - yet they have accepted a sales contract!  A previous one fell through, I heard, because of the home inspection.   Hmmmm....

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

I had one of those this week Richard!  It will make a good follow-up post!

There wasn't must corner to cut here, Raymond, as the corners are already rotting away... 

That's a ha ha.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, Wow.....hard to believe that anyone would install new windows into the midst of obvious wood rot.  You just never know what people will do next.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

New windows on top of rotten wood...ouch...a sight for very sore eyes !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 5 years ago

Bliz - some of the windows were dramatically worse off, just high up and harder to get a good close up.

S&D - isn't that amazing?  I was shocked.  What obviously bad work.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

I love it when a home touts a "brand new" something just to find out it was not installed the correct way.

Makes me mad when I find this stuff. The buyer is always counting on it being done the right way.

Have a great day in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 5 years ago

They do, Clint, and things can be disappointing when not done right.  This represents a lot of future work for somebody!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

That guy needs to get all those fancy "cake-decorator" attachments for his caulking gun---especially the one with the "full-bore" opening.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Ain't it perty Charlie!  Can you imagine this guy installing windows, carefully caulking them, and ignoring all the rot.  This window was not nearly the worst!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay -- but it wasn't the window installer or the caulkers job to call out the rot.  They are very specialized. ;-)

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 5 years ago

Jay - it's all about the entire picture, isn't it?   

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 5 years ago

Nor do we want the left hand to know what the right hand is doing Steven!   ;>)

Michael - this was truly amazing to see - all these new windows, and all that trim rot!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Good afternoon, Jay.

Reminds me of the song, "Caulk your windows well, the weather's hell, will slowly rot by...

I will put my head back down on my desk...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 5 years ago

Thanks Michael.  When you wake up, will you awaken me?  Thanks...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago
"We'll if its caulk you want , it's caulk you're going to get". Paraphrasing John Wayne, a carpenter friend of mine used repeat this "quote". Now the challenge is to say to ten times as fast as you can and not sound like a perv.
Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 5 years ago

I might pass on that on Robert!  I can imagine John Wayne's accent when he says it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Why so frugal with the caulk? They obviously missed the gaping, rotting holes. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 5 years ago

Hey, they hired him to replace the windows... nobody said anything about the wood surrounding it!

I like the cake decorating attachment idea Charlie mentioned... lol, great idea!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 5 years ago

Jim - rot, there's no stinkin' rot!  This is the same house as the Waldo post.

Fred - I once saw a chimney guy repair a firebox with one of those.  It worked great!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

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