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New Window Installers Ruined all of my woodwork - advice, please!

17 years ago

Hello! Just going through a bit of a disaster with our woodwork.

Last year we moved into a 1946 Chicago Bungalow with pristine, untouched original woodwork. You just can't buy this stuff anymore -- it was a major selling point. How easy can you find 60 year old woodwork that isn't painted over or all scratched up? I digress...

Last year we had half of the windows replaced in our house by a fairly well-known window company througout Chicago (it is not like I went through Bob's Discount Window Shack). As stipulated in the contract all windows were installed from the outside as to not require any touching of the interior woodwork. The windows were installed that way and my wood remained untouched. Completely satisifed customer.

So we of course went back to this company this year when it came time to finish the rest of the windows. Again, sales man said windows must be installed from the outside to preserve the existing woodwork, and it was stipulated in the contract. So Monday morning, here come the window guys. In a thick accent he says to me "Don't worry. I am carpenter. If I need to replace wood, I do beautiful job".

I said "No No No No"! The existing woodwork is not to be touched. Last time the windows were installed from the outside and that is how they need to be installed this time. It is in the contract. I do not want my wood touched at all! He said "Okay Okay....I don't like to do it that way but I can. I will install from outside just like they did last year".

So they are working away all day....and I was peeping at them but I really couldn't go up to them since stuff was flying everywhere. At 2:30 they finished with one room so I went up to inspect. Something didn't look right. They ripped all of my door stops off with a crowbar and used a nailgun to tack it back up every 1". In addition since these are older windows, all of the charming and large brass screws were gone. I called my husband and he ran home from work. He made them find every brass screw in the front lawn and replace them. Most of the brass screws were damaged, split in half, name it. But what about all those nail gun holes? They filled them with blonde, stainable wood putty on my golden-deep, rich existing wood work!!!! Not to mention that as they pryed off my doorstops with a chisel and hammer, they would miss and made huge, deep gashes in my window sills and frame around the windows.

Needless to say I am furious. We called the window company and they were totally apologetic. They came today to take pictures of the damage (they took pictures with a cellphone ---- yuck!) and suggested a fix might be replacing the doorstops with new wood....but not staining them. Wouldn't say anything about the gashes in the window sills or frame around the window sills. He said he would get back to us with their fix proposal in a couple of days...

Sorry for the lengthy narrative...but, I just had to explain it all. Question ---- What should I demand? There is nothing they can do to get them back to their original state other than inventing a time machine and stoping those two idiots from installing from the inside.

I want the woodwoork undamaged, but I want it to match with everything else. What if they can't get it to match? Do I demand money???

Please --- I'd really appreciate your thoughts or if you have ever experienced a similar problem. Thanks!!!!

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