The Time We Paid $20,000 To Make Things Right

May 19, 2022
Case Study

We Absorbed A $20,000 Cost To MAKE THINGS
RIGHT (When We Didn’t Have To)

At Rockman Windows & Doors, The Customer Experience
Trumps Everything

Historical replication projects are all about getting the details exactly right. The glass panes in the windows and doors have to be distorted just so. The door frames, panels, trims, reveals, and sills all have to be precise replicas of the original versions.

On this historical replication project, everything was smooth sailing… until it wasn’t. The bad news is that the solid mahogany door sills were manufactured incorrectly. The really bad news? They were already installed, trimmed and painted by the time we discovered the problem.

Is a manufacturing faux pas – one that results in $40,000’s worth of damage – the supply company’s responsibility? Many window and door supply companies would answer this question with an emphatic “NO.”

But at Rockman Windows & Doors, our number one goal is to provide our customers with the best possible experience – even if that means covering a $20,000 cost that technically was NOT our fault.

A BIG DEAL Project

The house was built in the 1920s, and was now undergoing a major gut renovation. We were tasked with restoring all the windows and doors to their former glory. In other words, we had to use our resources and know-how to replace all the windows and doors with versions that mimicked – as closely as possible – the original windows and doors.

Our meticulous process is specifically designed to handle complex projects like this one. We have teams in place every step of the way to make sure no detail flies under the radar.

We replaced all the windows and exterior doors. To give the appearance of old glass from centuries ago, we incorporated distorted restoration glass. Every part of the windows and doors had very specific instructions – including the door sills. These had to be made of solid mahogany with a unique specific interlocking weatherstrip.

The door sills had to be extra thick. They needed to be two inches thick at the exterior face – much thicker than the standard door sills on the market. Since wood and grade-A mahogany are not readily available that thick anymore, today’s manufacturers laminate the sills together to achieve the desired thickness.

And A BIG DEAL Problem

We gave our final approval on the shop drawings – which clearly stated that the door sills should be created from one piece, not a glue up — and the project was set in motion. All the windows and doors were installed precisely by the builder. Everything seemed to be going as planned… and then the Long Island climate reared its ugly head.

The glue-up on the door sills was not equipped for the Long Island heat and extreme sun exposure. Within four months of installation, the edges of the sills started to show signs of edge-cracking. This is a common occurrence with glued sill material and is an expected result, however it absolutely was NOT what this customer had requested or paid for. Somehow, the manufacturer didn’t produce the door sills according to the specifications that were detailed on the shop drawings.

The damage? 15 fully installed doors – including single, double, and quad doors – would not make it.

A Rockman Windows & Doors Solution

We had to replace those door sills. But to do that, we needed to completely uninstall the entire door – panels, frames, casing, trim and all. The manufacturer took full responsibility for their mistake and re-manufactured the door sills with the correct standards. It was up to us to uninstall and reinstall all 15 doors for our customer.

Once we received the newly manufactured sills, our trained professionals carefully removed all the doors. They replaced the sills, reinstalled the doors perfectly, including the historic trims used on the doors’ interior and exterior.

The builder was thrilled with our response time and the quality of our workmanship. He told us many times that we far exceeded his expectations and the doors seem to work even better than they did before. Despite this snafu, we were later awarded phase two of this project.

After all was said and done, the bill was over $40,000. We have a long-term partnership with our manufacturer, and they agreed to compensate labor costs up to a specific amount to replace the wrong sills. But that didn’t come close to covering the entire bill for the installation labor.

We were left with a $20,000 cost to cover. Many window and door suppliers would NOT be willing to cover the partial cost of a mistake that wasn’t even theirs. But to us, it’s worth going the extra mile to leave our customers with an absolutely uplifting experience.

Less Than Six Weeks Later…

The average time frame for correcting a mistake of this magnitude is 10 to 15 weeks – if not longer. But we did it in six.

We used every resource at our disposal to expedite the reinstallation of the doors and avoid a long and drawn-out process. We wanted to correct this mistake and move on as soon as possible.

Ignorance Is Bliss

The best part of this story? The homeowner didn’t even know there was a problem!

When the builder first identified the issue, we communicated the problem to our manufacturer. We were able to come up with a solution without involving the customer. The last thing they need is to have the headache of this issue. Our service technicians reinstalled all 15 doors just as good – or even better – than the builders had installed them the first time around.

At Rockman Windows & Doors, we pride ourselves on giving our customers an A+ experience from beginning to end. If there’s an issue, we handle it to perfection.

Contact Rockman Windows & Doors

At Rockman Windows & Doors, every member of our team jumps through hoops to give you the top-tier experience you deserve. Because that’s what we’re all about. Contact us today to experience this for yourself!

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