Case Studies


Purdue Avenue

This project was a major remodel that, as often happens, had undergone significant changes to the scope of the work as the remodeling work progressed. As the project neared completion an inspection revealed that 4 of the large Milgard picture windows framing a three-bridge view were required to be safety glass but were in fact installed with standard float glass, and the window dealer and contractor shared responsibility for this oversight. HW+D was called in to reglaze the windows with tempered insulated glass units while leaving the installed aluminum frames intact.


The windows had been trimmed inside and out with expensive and irreplaceble hardwoods. 



Once the new tempered glass units were manufactured and delivered to the site we removed the stops and glass from each window. Almost all insulated glass made for the San Francisco Bay area is low-e coated which improves thermal performance. It is critical that the low-e coating be identified and installed with the correct side facing the exterior. Before glazing the window, we carefully identify which piece of glass the low-e coating is on and which side is to be installed to the exterior.



The window stops were removed, the glass de-glazed and removed and the frame cleaned and readied for the new tempered glass unit.



Once the tempered unit was installed the stops were replaced and the window reglazing is completed. Each piece of tempered glass should have a small etched "bug" indicating the glass is tempered, and often will also come with a sticker to indicated tempered. It's a good idea to leave the sticker on until after the final inspection is complete.



The inspection went smoothly, the project was completed, and the owners can now enjoy their view in safety.




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Harbor View Drive

HW+D was asked by Evolution Window & Door, the northern California distributor of Integrity Windows, to repair the water damage caused by a pair of leaking picture windows. The first question to ask is (yeah, obvious but still important)—why is this window leaking? It is generally either installation error, damage, or a manufacturing defect.

These picture windows are large and are designed to be glazed in the field after the frame is installed.  As I dug into the history of this project I discovered that the original glass had been replaced shortly after installation —it was not ordered with tempered glass and the location required safety glass to meet the California Building Code. The installer (an unlicensed contractor) did not correctly reglaze the replacement and the two windows had subsequently been leaking with every storm. The leaks had been stopped by sealing the exterior glass-to-stop connection, thus proving the source of the leak.

Evolution and Integrity offered to reglaze the 2 units and repair the water damaged interior despite the clear non-warranted cause of installation error. This is the condition of the unit when HW+D arrived:


You can see missing insulation, strings of caulk from the removed casing, water stains on the wall surface, baseboard and flooring, and damage to the drywall both from moisture and the removal work.



The glazing replacement done by another company caused its own set of items to correct:


There are gouges in the window stool, numerous nail holes in the stop, the interior glazing tape is bunched up and exposed beyond the stop, and old caulking remnants are hanging along the wood interior.



To remedy this, HW+D collected the needed raw materials and took the time to find an exact match for the trim stock and interior paint colors and sheens. Without this, the repairs would never blend; the result was a seamless restoration to the original condition:



The window is now ready to do its job—keep the weather out, and let the light and view of San Francisico Bay in.




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Stage Coach Drive

HW+D received a phone call from the homeowner who was unable to lock her Andersen patio door. The door is on the ground floor and she was concerned about security. The deadbolt lock was indeed inoperable—the thumbturn simply spun in circles without actuating the bolt. The first step was to remove the lockset from the door.



The culprit was a broken lock actuator, the piece that connects the thumbturn to the bolt.



Again, the first question that must be answered is why did this part break? It could be simply a defective part, but normally a defect in the casting like this would fail quickly during initial use, and the door had been in use for about 10 years. As I looked at the door installation itself I could see the source of the problem—the door was not square in the jamb and the bolt was misaligned with the strike in the jamb. In order to lock the deadbolt the thumbturn had to be turned with excessive force, eventually causing the actuator to fail. You can see how this door is out of square with the jamb. Notice the wide gap between the upper left side of the door and the jamb, and the narrow gap at the lower left side of the door.



Here are closer photos of the top and bottom.




This difference in the gaps—otherwise called a reveal—is the indicator of whether the door is sitting parallel to the jamb. If it is not, as in this case, the strikes and bolts will not line up  and there will be problems with latching and locking the door.



Doors can be misaligned from poor installation, but also can be caused by the slow movements of floors and walls as a building settles or moves due to seasonal variations. Andersen has long had an excellent system for correcting the alignment on their patio doors. They use a well-designed adjustable hinge that provides for adjustments both vertically (along the jamb) and horizontally (in or out from the jamb). However, from looking at the hinge the methods of adjusting the hinges are not at all readily apparent!


This is a case of "must read the manual." Quite often the people involved in installing doors, or the painters who remove all the hardware prior to painting, aren't "must read the manual" types...


We replaced the broken actuator and then set about adusting the hinges properly both vertically and perpendicularly to the jamb.


The reveal at the top of the jamb 


                                                 now matches the reveal at the bottom of the jamb.



The door is once again parallel to the jamb and the latch and bolt in the door align correctly to the strike in the jamb. The door is easy to latch, and the thumbturn now operates the deadbolt smoothly and easily.


The door is secure, and the job required only about an hour to complete.



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