Help.. buying new construction and I think they are trying to pull a fast one.

We are about to close on a house and we noticed a few major flaws
The first is on the limestone windows sill. Our house is 2/3 brick and on the first level we have a limestone ledge that also acts as a sill for our three front windows. Now, they laid the brick at a slight angle and one the right side it comes out too far. in order for them to lay the sill correctly they have left a 1/2 horizontal gap between the sill and the window which they have conveniently calked. I have heard that horizontal calking can be problematic. Also it looks horrible. Any opinions would be appreciated
Here is a picture
http://img.ranchoweb.com/images/hota_ga/window.jpg
Thanks
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So do not close until all your questions have been answered satisfactorily.
-- Don Phillipson Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
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Seems to me you have a potential problem. There may be a better way to solve it, such as a wider sill, but from what I can see, moisture is almost guaranteed to get in there. I'd certainly want it fixed properly. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Grind it out and mortar it. At least it could have been the right color.
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The picture you see here is what it looked like before it was caulked. I wanted to show the gap between the window and the sill. My main concern is will having this gap caulked lead to future problems? The builder is trying to tell me that caulking is a viable and the only solution. He went off on a rant about how industrial caulks are just as solid as the limestone. This is something I have a hard time swallowing.
Yeah, I did askthem to put in a wider sill and he said they would consider it. The next day they caulked it. =\

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Caulk is caulk, it doesnt breathe and holds in moisture behind it. Only an ass would say its as solid as stone. Mortar joints can last hundreds of years. Caulk ? 10 -20- 30 yrs.. Have him do it right . not the hack way.
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hope youve been up on inspections, when a guy does it where you see it , you have to wonder about quality being cut.
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It looks as if the windows were not properly installed to allow for the gap that must be left behind the brick and limestone sill. The window "brick mould" or whatever they are calling it these days, should protrude enough to overlap the masonry. If it was installed properly the gap between the masonry sill and the wood could be filled with mortar, or the wood moulding could be extended down with a properly fitted piece of wood.
To me the window installers did it wrong, not the masons.

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I looked at the picture and read all the posts to date including your reply.
I think I would insist that they return the stone to the window or fill the void with mortar. Caulk just isn't the work-man-like solution to this problem. Actually stone is the preferred one.
--
Colbyt
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One more idea. I think the window was installed OK because they are usually installed on the sheating before the masonry. Than the masonry covers the nail flange (modern) or touches the brickmold (old fashion)(Are they Anderson windows it looks like the terrratone color?). It seams the sill was not installed close enough to the sheating. I have seen this before with brick homes. Some builders will get coil stock that matches the window color, make a small bend to stiffen it, and slide it under the window and out over the sill. If done correct this will look like part of the window. Any way you will lose lots of leverage if you close. Make sure all is fixed before you close don't rely on punch lists to ever get done.

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Thanks everyone for the advice and I think the one common note is that we should make sure this is done to our satisfaction before closing. I also agree that stone is the way to go. I just hope can get them to do it within a reasonable amount of time. But we are prepared to stick it out.
It is definitely the masonry and not the windows. In all the other houses in our projects the two levels of brick line up. On ours you can see how the bottom level protrudes out a half inch or so. They cant put the sill in any further due to the ridge cut into the bottom of the sill for dripping. Also you can see how the brick comes out from the foundation from left to right. The left side is almost flush. While the right side sticks out over a half an inch.
I wont go into details, but its been hell for the last 4-5 months and its hard to fight off the desire to just close and be done with it. We have are walk thru tomorrow. So we'll see what happens.
Thanks again for all your help.
Herzog
PS: I always wonder why they called it a punch list. Now I know. =P

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On 16 Nov 2003 16:28:14 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net (Herzog) wrote:

Then don't close. It's your house, get it the way you want or walk. And the only way you can get it the way you want is if you're genuinely prepared to walk on the deal.
Jeff
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