We purchased 7 regular windows and 1 bay window that was installed where we had a picture window. These replaced windows that were original to my 1959 house. They are great no problems with air leaks. I am pretty handy and installed them myself. With me doing the installing I made sure everything was sealed up nice and tight and added insulation where needed. I don’t think you can blame Pella if you had a bad installer.
These windows ROT under the aluminum especially on the bottom of the actual window. Ours are 12 years old and the first one that rotted out was 5 years ago. It is not incorrect installation, it is a bad design that allows condensation to form UNDER the aluminum cladding. Lack of a sealant in the mitered corners contributes to moisture problem. Replacing the glass portion now costs more than we paid for the entire window originally. NOT to mention install charges. A huge Marvin window with aluminum clad exterior installed a couple years earlier in the same home does not have moisture problems. Since windows are a major improvement in a home, I would NOT recommend Pella.
I must share how dissatisfied I am with their vinyl windows. I purchased sliding basement windows. They have two about 1″ weep holes that allow cold air to stream through–so much so that the glass above the hole is covered with condensation. I had to cram towels in the tracks to prevent air flow into the house. When I called their corporate office, because their product service department could only provide me air permeable sticky-backed, cheap plastic flaps to tack on the outside of the window, they said the window was supposed to be designed like that and that the window meets their tested energy standard. If that is the case, I suggest that people look for other brands because the air flows through, which does not seem to be a very energy efficient design. Plus the cheap flaps were only made because people were complaining about bugs crawling though the holes-something to look forward to in spring.
We replaced our front window and patio door with Pella products, they seemed to be OK. So, we decided to replace the rest of our windows with Pella. Shortly after the installation, we found our bedroom window to be defective, which caused water damage. The installation crew took out the window and tore up the wall and carpet to repair the damage. After a Winter here in MN I noticed a moldy discoloration in the corners or wood casement of the windows. We called our sales rep and he came out to take a look and did nothing about it, he blamed it on humidity. The windows all over the house continued to get worse, so we called again. Pella and the installation company came out again. They were debating whether it was a window or installation problem. Meanwhile, it has gotten cold again and I have frost all around my new windows! I don’t see this happening with my friend’s and family’s windows! So frustrated! They are under warranty and nothing is being done!