Many of the WWC homes were constructed with a mix of windows that function in a side to side sliding motion and up and down, double-hung motion. The double-hung windows use a set of spring mechanisms, hidden in the window side frames and referred to as ‘channel balances’ which operate as counter balances to the portion of the window that slides up and down, helping to maintain the window’s open position and thus, preventing it from closing unexpectedly.
When these channel balances fail, due to either age fatigue or spring failure, often the window becomes immobile. Many homeowners are not aware that the replacement of these channel balances is a relatively easy and inexpensive process. Oftentimes, homeowners are quoted an average of $150 to $200 per window to replace channel balances; I learned this from personal experience and with 15 windows in my home, this wasn’t a feasible solution.
Rather, I found a company named Swisco (swisco.com) that specializes in, among other things, replacement window hardware. After consulting Swisco’s website, I inventoried the windows in my home, determined what each window required for spring tension (channel balances are usually individually stamped with a code which lists its strength - smaller windows require less strength, larger windows require more).
Once an inventory of channel balances was completed, I photographed a typical end attachment point and forwarded this to one of Swisco’s customer service representatives (the website provides this feature as a part of its service). Once a representative reviews the photograph(s), they can assist by determining the proper replacement part(s). In general, channel balances are replaced in pairs since replacement of one side will most likely result in an uneven movement.
By ordering the channel balances from Swisco and installing them myself (nothing more than a screwdriver and a cloth to prevent scratching the window frame), I spent an average of $25.00 to $35.00 per window for a new set of channel balances.
In addition, Swisco carries a variety of specialized hardware replacement items, including window weather stripping and other related items.
Prior to contacting a window contractor due to a malfunctioning double-hung window, I would would suggest WWC homeowners check out swisco.com - saved me a lot of money.
PROPERTY LINE WOOD FENCES:
Several homeowners throughout WWC have used the following vendor to replace their property line fences:
Hector performs repairs and complete fence replacements, matching the original WWC standard while providing a more durable alternative, using pressure treated 4x4s set in concrete with the remainder of the fence constructed from redwood.
As I mentioned during our telephone conversation, I recently began researching availability of the roof tile, installed during original construction, throughout WWC. According to the homeowner manual provided by Kaufmann-Broad, the original roof tile was manufactured by ‘Monier’.
After much research, I discovered that Monier was purchased by another roofing product manufacturer, Boral (boralamerical.com), and that the product style and colors used throughout WWC are no longer manufactured by Boral. Rather, Boral now manufactures an alternative line of ‘shake style’ (with a ‘raked’ or rough finish) concrete roof tiles which are a close substitute for a complete roof tile replacement project.
According to Boral reps, the company no longer manufactures the Monier roof tile line and their current concrete roof tile line shapes and colors are not not compatible with Monier and, thus, are not a patching option.
The local Boral sales representative suggested that I contact a roofing ‘boneyard’ where excess Monier product may be available for sale. Evidently, the process requires the seeker of roof tiles to bring a sample of the tile(s) they are attempting to match. If this is not possible, then a measurement of the tile(s) and photographs of all sides is necessary.
A couple of boneyards which may stock the original matching Monier tile are as follows:
RWC Building Products / San Bernardino
JFT Boneyard Roofing Tile / San Bernardino
Classic Roof Tile / Lake Elsinore
Extreme Roofs / San Diego
Hope this information is of help . . . call or email me if you have any questions.