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I am in the middle of having 18 windows replaced with what are supposed to be Pella Series 250 windows1, by a large US national based home remodeling firm. In inspecting the new windows I see that all of them have visible and exposed seams at all 4 corners of both top and bottom panes, and that some even present injury potential if you caught your finger the wrong way.

Window seam

One of the features that the salesperson sold us on was Pella's seamless design.

enter image description here

When I just called him, his response was (without batting an eye) "Obviously we'll compensate you for this", and "Sometimes you get a bad batch from the factory", and made no offer to actually correct this.

I only familiar with Pella by name and reputation of supposedly being decent quality (yes, I just also learnt about the class action lawsuit from 2019), so I don't know their level of quality control. So my questions are:

  1. Is it possible to repair a seam like this in order to make it flush with the frame?

  2. Is this level of quality control typical from Pella2


(1) I have collected the paperwork stuck to some of the windows and it appears to genuine Pella windows, including installation instructions, shipping and batch number stickers, and warranty cards. And the latching hardware says Pella in the same font that I can see on the Pella website.

(2) I don't know if this is going to be more suited for the legal stack exchange. The lack of surprise from my sales person was troubling, to say the least.

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    Anything you do yourself to fix/repair will most likely void the warranty. Some big name companies have let QC go down the drain and ship defective products. Would have them shipped back to company if not happy with them.
    – crip659
    Sep 10 at 17:04
  • @crip659 I'm not touching them myself. And they were mostly installed when I noticed it. I don't know if if it's bad QC or we are paying full price for rejects.
    – Peter M
    Sep 10 at 17:12
  • I suggest you revise to ask about the repair and not about the quality concerns. The latter is almost entirely a matter of opinion, as you see by the answers on the table. You'll have to make a decision whether you're going to modify the windows or not and go from there.
    – isherwood
    Sep 10 at 18:31
  • @isherwood IN this case I think the QC aspect is relevant. One option is to pop out the entire pane and replace it with a new one. But if Pella's QC is so bad that the new pane is likely to have the same level of seam as the current one, then the benefit of that option is reduced.
    – Peter M
    Sep 10 at 19:15
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    Pella has a bunch of different lines of plastic windows, and their economy ones by design have seams like in your picture. Is it possible you got the wrong windows entirely? An inferior model to what you bought? If that's the case, and if it matters to you enough, you should have them all entirely replaced for free. Or perhaps you should get a significant partial refund that you can use on some other home project, as you know there will be plenty.
    – jay613
    Sep 10 at 19:49
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SmoothSeam corner available on Pella 350 Series products only.

Page 5 of the Pella Window & Door Guide (PDF)

There you have it. You didn't buy what you thought you bought. Bummer.

Regarding the photo of the brochure that was added later, it may be a faulty early version of this one, which lacks the reference to the 250 series window shown in the image above (page 4). Could've been a marketing department mistake. You may indeed have grounds for a good case.


Original answer:

I've never seen vinyl windows that don't look like that. They take extruded rail stock, miter it, and weld it together. That's not a precision thing. (Well, from a historical standpoint it's miraculous, but....) Some come out better than others. You buy plastic windows and you get plastic windows. This is why your salesperson wasn't bending over backward to fix the "problem".

Premium windows are aluminum and wood. That goes for Pella as well, which I consider a great brand when you're buying their good stuff.

You could lightly file the sharp corners so they aren't as likely to scratch hands. Other than that, they're vinyl windows. You'll have to live with them.

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  • The fact that the sales person immediately and without pause offered up compensation without me even mentioning it says to me that this is level of seam well above what is acceptable. I've previously had vinyl windows installed at my last house and nothing was like this.
    – Peter M
    Sep 10 at 18:39
  • No, it says that they know that the easiest and cheapest way to move on is to toss a few bucks at you. Taking the window out would be more expensive.
    – isherwood
    Sep 10 at 18:42
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    Interesting find about the 350 series windows. However the "smooth seam" image I included above is taken sales brochure as used by the sales guy and given to me, and is on a page that exclusively talks about 250 series windows. There is no footnote saying that smoothseam is only on the 350 series. That takes it out of the realm of manufacturing issues and into the realm of deceptive sales practices which requires a legal response.
    – Peter M
    Sep 12 at 23:21
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    Pella's web site and the brochure in this answer imply Smoothseam is a 350 feature but OP photo quite clearly shows it marketed as a 250 feature. Possibly it used to be a 250 feature and they stopped that, and you were shown an old brochure? That's a random guess. I really don't think it's a defect. The seam in your picture does not look defective to me. "You didn't buy what you thought you bought" is correct. Either the brochure is too old, or it's too new, or it's intentionally fraudulent, or some other error or intentional deception was thrown at you. I would aim for free windows.
    – jay613
    Sep 13 at 11:26
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    @isherwood I have a different brochure branded from a different company, but yeah. This is fun /s Thank you for that find, that is a key piece of information.
    – Peter M
    Sep 14 at 0:11
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Is this level of quality control typical from Pella?

I've installed 5 Pella 250 windows in my home between 2018 and 2021.

2018

enter image description here

2021

enter image description here

Your experience seems consistent with mine. I never read the sales brochure so I guess my expectation wasn't inflated and the seam is just like countless other vinyl windows I've seen.

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  • I do not understand why this answer was downvoted. OP asks if he has defective windows. I do not think he does, I think he was deceived. This answer shows that OP's window is not defective, it is completely typical of this model of window consistently over at least 3 years. Maybe you should actually explain that in the answer @monkeyzeus.
    – jay613
    Sep 13 at 11:29
  • @jay613 I appreciate the support but I did this to myself. Check the edit history and the timeline to see the unfortunate series of events. Unfortunately the downvoters do not get notified when a post has been edited =/ but it's all good.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Sep 13 at 14:56
  • Now that your pics are up, I believe you're implying that this is exactly the quality one should expect from a Pella 250 window. However, you don't actually say that...
    – FreeMan
    Sep 13 at 15:07
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    @FreeMan I added to the end of my answer. Thanks!
    – MonkeyZeus
    Sep 13 at 15:14

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