04:45PM | 12/07/09
Member Since: 10/14/09
4 lifetime posts
Hi Mark - Interesting how you preface your reply with all your credentials in such a manner that suggests that hundreds of other contractors don't have your level of expertise, etc. You seem to be one of the few people who know how to "properly" install a Semco window.

Also, since you have not had any problems with this issue you indicate anyone who disagrees with your point of view is [somehow] perpetrating a scam of some sort - on behalf of Semco competitors. Just because you haven't had complaints doesn't mean things aren't rotting under the surface of the window.

I'm a contractor/homeowner who installed 17 Semco windows in my home 12 years ago and found them to be poorly designed which subsequently allowed moisture penetration - The caulking was defective/inferior straight from the factory. This problem only surfaces when the underlying Semco window frame has been exposed. Have you done that ... for real? Have you revisited a Semco window a few years following installation and actually looked beneath? {of course you will say, "yes")

Call me to see if I am part of the great scheme to mischaracterize Semco windows. 812) 825-8454.



05:41PM | 12/07/09
Member Since: 12/06/09
10 lifetime posts
Rereading my email I don't see how I am doing anything other than establishing the fact that I have installed thousands of Semco windows and have had fewer problems than I have had with other windows. I did not imply that we are the only contractors who can install properly and in fact said we do in fact have problems with new employees not doing it correctly. I will have to respectfully point out that installing one house of Semco windows 12 years ago probably is not a proof that the brand is bad. When we used Kolby and Kolby we had problems with the leakage due to (I believe) poor sealing application at the factory, they blamed it on a new caulk. Interesting that this is what made me switch to Semco and even more interesting that that was 12 years ago!? We still install Anderson, Marvin, Hurd, Pella windows once or twice a year based on customer preerence and I can't say we have any significant problems with them either. My experience is that Semco is a great window with a nice appearance, good pricing and service after the sale. My objection to your conclusion is the limited number of windows from 12 years ago certainly does not indicate it is a "junk" window. The time and effort required to post negative comments multiple times suggests something to me, but I have no doubt that your experience with Semco was bad. I have a house full of Pella window in a lodge up north and I have had significant problems with them. 3 leaks, 4 seal failures. But I have also installed maybe a couple hundred Pella's in other homes with out issues. Should I conclude that they are junk?

The reality is that all products are not perfect all of the time, there are bad batches, for me the question is does the company stand behind their mistakes? And yes we have looked at the Semco's after a few years, given how much remodeling and additions we are now doing vs new homes. If we got them installed right we just haven't seen any issues. Mostly Casements, but my own home is all double hungs and sliders. 4 years old is not an acid test, but no leaks, one seal failure and one stress crack to date, all of which Semco stood behind without question.

Mark Etrheim, President Mastercraft Homes Inc


05:46PM | 12/07/09
Member Since: 12/06/09
10 lifetime posts
Certainally looks bad, are you certain they were installed correctly? What did the Rep say? Did he blame it on installation (Sales Reps all say that right away and I would heartily agree that that is a lasy dishonest answer) But if he looked and made that conclusion, I understand that you do not like it, but...

Mark Etrheim, President Mastercraft Homes Inc


05:51PM | 12/07/09
Member Since: 12/06/09
10 lifetime posts
Just looking at all the problems stated about Semco I realized that virtually all of the problems are in the 1990 to 1997 years. I started using them in 1998, so we probably not talking about the same designed window, just the same brand?? Products and companies change, I sure would not want my customers from 25 years ago to assume that we are of the same skill level we were then as we are now.

Mark Etrheim, President Mastercraft Homes Inc


09:33AM | 12/08/09
Member Since: 11/19/09
3 lifetime posts
I agree...that's why I was surprised to see all the negative comments. But my windows, too, are newer (2007).

It seems that Semco has made a turn for the better in recent years.


10:47AM | 12/29/09
Member Since: 12/28/09
1 lifetime posts
I was just looking for information on how to repair our Semco windows and came across this site. We have 18-yr-old Semco wood windows. At least 6 fog up, one has a completely rotted frame, 2 slam down when you slide them up, and 4 will fall out of the window completely if you unlatch them (they slide sideways). The last problem we found out the hard way. Fortunately, no one was below the one 2nd-story window when it fell. In addition, as I read in other folks' comments, the windows let in an incredible amount of air. There is literally a breeze blowing in through our windows during windy weather. I just wanted to let you know that I don't believe these other folks are liars, because these problems are happening with our windows. I'm not even sure how to repair them. We have just been keeping them latched and hoping none of our kids will try to open them.


12:09PM | 12/29/09
Member Since: 04/04/05
13 lifetime posts

Your problems can be taken care of although they may not be warranty issues after 18 years. If you would like to give me a contact number at [email protected] I can call you and discuss the problem. In the e-mail please let me know what state you are located in and it might be helpful to know the name of the dealer.


02:05PM | 12/30/09
Member Since: 12/06/09
10 lifetime posts
I do not doubt that there are window problems with Semco (or Anderson, Marvin, Kolby and Kolby for that matter.) I have been using Semco in 80% of the homes I build (couple dozen a year) for the last 11 years or so. We have had very good luck with them and the problems we have had were because the guys did not install them correctly (50%?), window problem (50%?) Semco has taken care of legitimate issues at the 90% level. 18 year old windows? Wow, who knows if they were installed correctly or taken care of during that period. Wood windows have issues with the wood rotting on the inside if they are allowed to condensate and not get cleaned up or they are not revarnished every 5-7 years. This is a universal problem and if I had my way the inside of the window would be plastic, but no one likes plastic on the inside of their window and insists on wood (myself included). With that decision comes the responsibility to take care of them. I would find a good experienced contractor to come out and take a look at them and see what can be done to salvage/fix/replace them. Maybe consider a vinyl replacement window, but when we use them we get a fair amount of complaints about how much they leak air. If you want to call and talk about it feel free to call me. 608-781-7200 Mastercraft Homes Inc, LaCrosse WI

Mark Etrheim, President Mastercraft Homes Inc


02:16PM | 12/30/09
Member Since: 12/06/09
10 lifetime posts
Actually this is simple problem, but expensive to undo the damage. Condensation is a result of the humidity being to high in the house when it is cold. Truth is a home is not livable if you get the humidity low enough so there is no condensation. Try reading this web sites explanation of teh problem to understand it.

We install a simple fresh air system that is controled by a humidistat that simply turns on a super quiet exhaust fan. There is a barameteric damper (skuttle) installed into teh cold side of the furnace duct work to allow fresh air in whenever the house gets under negative pressure from any fan or exhaust. It works! When you see condesation on the glass turn the humidstat down just like a thermastat. It takes a few days typically to vent the excess humidity. The purists tell you to use an air to air heat exchanger at an installed cost of $2000+, this sytem costs $400 or so. It increases your heating bill around $60 a year in Wisconsin, compared to the interest cost of $96 to borrow the extra $1600 to install the air to air. I'm green but it still needs to make good sense.

Mark Etrheim, President Mastercraft Homes Inc
Click to reply button Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon