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We just finished building our new house and we feel like the Simonton windows might have some issues. I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is normal or not so I thought I'd post my issues here and see what you guys think.

  1. The screens on some of our have a gap on the side larger then others. In some cases I can move the screen side to side and there's about a 3/8" gap that I've actually seen bugs crawling through into the house. On some days we have to keep the window closed because bugs keep coming in.

  2. Some windows are extremely hard to lock. I have to pull the window down with my body weight to get it down far enough to lock. Otherwise the lock just pushes against the top pane and doesn't actually go into the lock slot.

  3. In the winter we would see circles of frost form on the picture windows in the center of the window.

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A quick check for proper installation is to measure the diagonals; they should be within 1/8". Also use a spirit level to check that the top and bottom are horizontal, and that the sides are vertical. –  Niall C. Jun 17 '13 at 23:52

2 Answers 2

Sounds like too much insulation was stuffed in the jambs forcing the window jamb to bow inwards causing the sash to be to tight in the jamb. On the loose ones sounds like the jamb was nailed in with an outward bow. Use a 4' or 6' level to check and see if the window jambs are bowed from top to bottom.

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Or using normal expansion urethane foam. Only use low expansion foam in this application. Using JohnnyZ's straight edge will show a bow in between every fastener holding the jambs to the studs. If this was done, you can use a long serrated bread knife to cut out thin layers of foam to relieve the pressure till the bow goes away. –  Fiasco Labs Jun 18 '13 at 2:02

With the screens loose and the windows hard to push all the way down, I'm guessing the house settled on the windows and they are bowing out, rather than in, on the sides. You may be able to pull of the trim and relieve some pressure on the top and bottom. But depending on how bad it is, the best solution may be to remove and rehang the windows so you can double check for square and plumb while ensuring that the window has space in the rough opening. As others have mentioned, use a straight edge and level to check for square and plumb. If the windows are no longer square, then you may have structural issues.

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