Who is Responsible for Proper Fenestration Performance?

Jim Snyder
January 14, 2014

Fenestration product performance is dependent on proper installation. This we all know, and continually preach to all of our clients, no matter what our role in this industry. We are taught this early on, and through the years, this point is reinforced through experiences―both good and bad. 

Should a performance issue arise with the installation, the installers are the ones called in to address the problem. A reliable installer will own up to the issue and resolve it.

That being said, I need to pose this question: Is the fenestration installer solely responsible for the performance of the installation?

Your initial response would likely be, “Yes. He’s the only one who installed it, so he is solely responsible.” But let’s look at the bigger picture. Installing fenestration is a small piece of the new home construction puzzle. Many other trades move in before and after the fenestration installer is on site. This, and other factors, can affect the quality of an installation, independent of the actual installer’s work.

So who bears the responsibility for fenestration performance post-installation?


Survey Results for 01/16/2014 :

In new home construction, who is ultimately responsible for the performance of the fenestration post-installation?

It’s a shared responsibility





The builder





The installer





The fenestration manufacturer





The architect







Jim Snyder is an AAMA-certified FenestrationMaster and InstallationMaster who shares his years of installation field experience as an industry writer, speaker, trainer and project/product consultant for dealers and manufacturers. A member of various industry organizations, Snyder also is involved in instructional document creation and revision. Contact him at jim@windowjim.com.


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In new home construction, who is ultimately responsible for the performance of the fenestration post-installation?

Good column Jim. . .I'd like to comment. . .I'll be as concise as I can. As we all know a residential new construction house can be a wonderful experience as it becomes a home, or a nightmare for years. My advise to the owner/home builder is this, “be very involved in every stage of the process.” Early collaboration of every project team, including consultants, in the “design stage” should increase communication among teams and team members thus, assuring a smoother flow to the project schedule while reducing mistakes, change orders, ect. My point here is this, If I understand the question correctly, although it is a shared responsibility from the start thru the construction stage to have “properly specified” fenestration products perform as they did in testing/certification, I believe the Builder who may be acting as the “project manager” or “construction manager” would be the person I would approach when discovering a window or door performance issue if indeed it was “properly specified.” If there is not a project manager or construction manage to address. . .there lies the root of the problem.

Michael S Spatafora, CDT
Window&Door Consult&Design

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