Ok, everyone has their love/hate with Pellas. I thought it might be a nice thing to have a thread dedicated to the do’s and don’ts when it comes to Pellas.
When you look at the manual, everything seems nice and easy: either pull the tabs and remove the window or slide the little dohickey’s and unlatch the window so it swings inwards.
I’ve done a few of these, mainly the big ones that have 3 or 4 dohickey’s to slide and then reslide because it didn’t release, but for the most part it’s pretty simple and easy. I just treat it like grandmas fine china because you never know if the hinge is in good condition or if the rope that holds it from swinging all the way out is in good condition or whatever.
I just bid a house that has grills and blinds - apparently I didn’t bid it high enough because he scheduled for next week. But the grills (in theory, according to the manual) are just snap in/out: gently pull out starting at the bottom then line up with hash marks and gently push back in starting at the top. The blinds have a little loop that you gently pull out and then lift the opposite side off the pin and should be easy… right?
For those of you who do a lot of these, please post your lessons learned or if you love cleaning them, post that too. Or if you just shake your head and walk, post that too.
I guess my only tips are:
After you clean the inside, leave the window open for a little while so that it doesn’t fog up on you when you close it.
You can use a can opener to gently put pressure on the window while you’re trying to use the dohickey to unlatch the window, but not too much pressure…
Oh man, I absolutely hate tilting in the double hung windows. The center pivot seems like a good concept, as it requires less room to tilt them in, and puts less weight on the sills. But they never stay put. They want to flop all over the place. Plus, insects looove to build their nests in the tracks, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that it’s going to be an awful mess when I fold it in.
For the ‘designer series’ casements and doors, I think you’ve pretty much covered the essentials. I usually just use my finger nails to pull on the frame as I’m releasing it. If you need more prying force for some reason, I’d recommend an automotive trim tool to minimize the risk of damage. I wear gloves when I reinstall the muntins, as it’s nearly impossible to not touch the clean glass as I snap it back in place. I also try not to deal with the blinds- I just clean under them the best I can.
For classic Pellas, I’ve used a small screwdriver to unplug the vents upon request. It’s actually a pretty decent add on for the customers who see the value in it. You can get an extra $1 or $2 per pane for that simple task.
Or the time when I removed the “Slim Shade” from the sliding glass door and every single slat slid from the strings an spilled into a pile on the floor. It took me like and hour to re-thread that damn thing!
I’ve literally cleaned 10,000+ Pellas. They’re the most popular window in my area. Last year, on the advice of another window cleaner, I started using SprayWay instead of Glass Gleam & water solution on the #2 & 3 (inner) surfaces. It details much easier and leaves less moisture between the panels when you reinstall them.
Yes, I started using it over the winter. I had been trying for a couple of years to design one myself and finally admitted that I’m a better window cleaner than designer, so I hired a real artist to design it. It was totally worth it. Thanks for noticing.
For the new style Pellas with blinds, here’s one piece of advice. When you go to put the blind back in, you slide the metal end into the hole. However, the hole is a hexagon, and if it has moved at all you can’t get the blind into it. Reach down and slide the lever used to open and close the blind just a half inch in either direction. Now the blind will slide right in where it goes.
Regarding the grids, before you close the windows, double check that you put the grids back onto the little hashmarks where they go. Kinda sucks when you get it all closed, then have to re-open it to straighten the grids.
The best advice I can give for Pellas is this: Find a Pella showroom and go there. Ask them to show you how the different types of windows work, including blinds, grids, casements, double-hungs. You don’t really want your first experience with them to be inside a customer’s house.