WoodCladâ„¢ Series Fiberglass Patio Doors
Windows and doors do not measure up in harsh environment
We purchased a total of 20 Woodclad windows and doors in 2004 for a major renovation of a beachfront house in Waimanalo, Hawaii ,,,, a location where the Pacific trade winds continually deposit salt mist over entire structure. Construction materials were selected to withstand this corrosive environment. The main reason for selecting the Milgard Woodclad series was because of the anticipated durability of the fiberglass construction, the beauty of the wood veneer interior, and the stainless steel hardware.
Here is the result after 10 years:
1) the stainless steel hardware has held up exceptionally well, exhibiting essentially no tarnishing. The operating arms on the awning windows had to be replaced (parts provided by Milgard) because of corrosion and failure of the tiny "ball" connector (apparently not stainless steel) that snaps into the plastic track slide attached to the bottom of the window.
2) although the interior fir veneer was stained and then coated with two coats of a marine-grand polyurethane varnish prior to installation, in the most severe locations (the windward side of the house), water has wicked through each joint where the side stiles are joined to the top and bottom stiles. This in effect has allowed water (and salt) to diffuse up the wood grain several inches and deteriorate the varnish coating. As I mentioned this is an extremely harsh environment that has proven to be a problem with almost any wooden window or door. I am in the process of refinishing each of the affected windows and doors ..... taking precautions to prevent salt/water intrusion into these joints. The refinished interiors look great.
3) the frames of each window and door are pultruded fiberglass that is subsequently coated with a white epoxy finish on the exterior. Over the 10 year period, the white epoxy finish has deteriorated to the extent that it is very friable and in the extreme cases is flaking off the fiberglass substructure .... or in painter's terms, it is "chalking". The phenomenon appears to be slightly worse in windows exposed to direct sunlight. Obviously, the epoxy coating has degraded. I am in the process of sanding the exterior of all of the windows and doors, and re-coating them with a 2-part marine polyurethane coating.
To be fair to Milgard, we live in a very corrosive and oxidizing environment. For windows and doors that are more sheltered, the problems are not nearly as severe. For comparison, conventional alkyd paints and varnishes and some latex paints (even those with a 25-year guarantee) begin to deteriorate after a few years, and colors fade rather quickly.
I raise these issues only to make the consumer aware that extraordinary measures need to be taken when building a house in a harsh and corrosive environment. In these cases, the beauty of a varnished wood finish might have to be compromised for the durability of an all plastic (vinyl) or anodized aluminum product..... or be prepared for periodic maintenance and/or complete refinishing.
September 18, 2013
high quality and good features
wood clad fiberglass french doors look good and work well. Wish it could have come already stained but not too hard to do that after the fact.
September 10, 2013
Excellent windows. They are attractive, durable and well constructed.
I purchased Milgard windows for a new home in 2007 and was extremely pleased. Upon recently selling this home, I purchased a home that needed all new windows. I made a mistake in initially going with an inferior manufacturer and subsequently all 37 windows had to be removed and replaced. There was not a second thought as to purchasing Milgard for the replacement. I should have trusted my instincts the first time as I an extremely pleased with the outcome. I have no doubt I will enjoy years of satisfaction.
September 10, 2013
Amazing Customer Service!
After having my windows in service for more than 10 years one of the double pane glasses seal broke and moisture entered the void between the panes. I was ready to call my local glass repairman when I remembered about the lifetime warranty offered by Milgard. To my amazement it was easy to setup an appointment on-line, then a technician came to my house to evaluate the damage and to take measures and in about a week I had the window repaired at absolutely no cost and without hassle. This happened at the same time as we were planning to replace our aging patio sliding door. Of course we bought another Milgard product.
September 3, 2013
Beautiful, functional doors and professional, knowledgable installer
May 10, 2013
Beautiful product, very sturdy hardware.
We live in at Lake Tahoe, NV where the temperatures can be pretty extreme. We like the fact that these sliding doors will give us more insulation during the cold winter time. We ordered the dark tinted glass which also helps in keeping our indoors much cooler in the summer.
August 29, 2012
Milgard has the best warranty
I had to replace several of my windows and I choose Milgard because of their great warranty. My other windows were very expensive but when it came to warranty issues, they did nothing. The most important thing to me is how a company deals with warranty problems. Milgard exceeds above all others.
August 28, 2012
Single hung windows are problematic
I paid a contractor to replace the 1935 vintage (true divided lite) windows on two single family homes. I choose the Milgard Wood Clad Series because they were appealing and closely matched the look of the original windows. The problem is the operation of the single hung windows. If you're not extremely careful in opening and closing the windows, the rope in the balance adjusters will break and jam or disable your window. The rope is extremely thin and obviously weak. I've had this occur on four of my windows and will need to order replacement parts and have the windows repaired.
August 1, 2012
Well built and looks great
The outside fiberglass is great. Resists the elements and looks nice. At the same time the interior wood is beautiful. I finished mine with a white wash and clear coats.
April 8, 2012
Very nice looking and excellent quality. The wood clad windows are so attractive and do the job perfectly.
April 5, 2012
We are very happy with the windows.
We really do love our windows. They are a major improvement over the metal windows we used to have - no more sweaty window frames and no more cold drafts coming in.
As far as the appearance goes, they look very nice. However, I wish there had been more choices in the hardware. The hardware we have looks cheap. I see that now there is a dark bronze color available, which was not available when we purchased our windows. that is what we got on our Milgard slider, and it is really attractive. I would replace all my hardware with the new dark bronze color, but I know it would be way too expensive.
We were also disappointed in the color of the inside metal framing. It is a kind of beige color, and it would have been a lot more attractive if it had been available with dark bronze as an option.
However, all and all, we love our new windows. The do work well and look nice.
April 5, 2012